David and Ellen Cooper came to the lonely beachside cottage in hopes of rekindling their troubled marriage. Yet they are not alone on their second honeymoon. Marianna, a beautiful and enigmatic stranger, comes to visit David whenever Ellen is away.
Who is Marianna, and where has she come from?
Even as he succumbs to her seductive charms, David realizes that Marianna is far more than a threat to his marriage, for her secrets lie deep in the past and beyond the grave. And her unholy desires endanger the life and soul of everyone she touches.
©1989 Richard Matheson (P)2010 Blackstone Audiobooks
“The author who influenced me the most as a writer was Richard Matheson.” (Stephen King)
“In 1982, before Matheson achieved the cult-and-grandmaster status he enjoys today, Playboy Press published a version of this erotic ghost story that was so severely edited that the author took his name off the book, which was presented as by ‘Logan Swanson’…the author injects some excellent suspense into this [‘approved and restored’ version].” (Publishers Weekly)
"Matheson, master of both horror and suspense, here gives us a picture of a man obsessed, then possessed, by the ghost of Marianna, a beautiful, depraved woman...Incredibly powerful." (Library Journal)
The story is an interesting exploration of what drives a man to be unfaithful. Lots and lots of inner monologue and self exploration. The ghosts activities struck me as a pale rehashing of the haunting shown in Hell House. The events of the haunting manufactured to continue the self exploration of the main character rather than drive the plot. The main character, David, is the only one who is developed and has drives and wishes. Everybody else is there to give him reasons to act. Still an enjoyable story.
The Narrator, Bronson Pinchot, is not very good. inflection misplaced constantly and some of the fight scenes are read very stiffly, as if he wasn't sure they were really shouting at each other at the time.
I'm probably a little biased as I love all of Matheson's books, but this really is an excellent story. I thoroughly enjoyed the very human element of this book.
The main character in it is flawed and weak, and his faults are explained and consistent. He succumbs to the temptation before him but pays a price and ultimately comes through to do the right thing. This is typical of Mathesons writing and makes it very readable.
I would highly recommend this book if you like other title by him - it is not his best but still worth a listen.
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