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Alan, Tommy, Rick, Donald and Bernard were inseparable best friends living in the small, coastal Massachusetts town of Potter's Cove. A circle of five, their world was simple and happy until the day Tommy was struck by a car and killed. Nothing was ever the same. They were never the same.
Years later, as the four survivors - all unhappy, unsuccessful and marking time - approach their 40th birthdays, Bernard suddenly commits suicide.
Within weeks of Bernard's death, one by one the mutilated bodies of murder victims are found in town, and as the three remaining friends attempt to solve the riddle of Bernard's suicide, they come to realize that he may not have been who or what they thought he was. His entire life may have been a lie, and rather than the sad, lonely and harmless person they believed him to be, he very well may have been a savage ritual killer, a bleeder of young women who conjured evil to fulfill his own demented dreams. To find the truth not only about Bernard, but themselves, they must delve into the darkness and those who inhabit it, a darkness that cradles an unspeakable evil so terrifying it could forever trap them in the shadows of the damned and shatter the very concept of their existence.
This takes place in a small town. Alan and his friends get a message that their old friend, Bernard committed suicide, and it leaves them reeling and pondering what happened? When they find a weird note left by Bernard, Alan is left with a mystery to unravel after a body is uncovered. Did they really know Bernard??
Well, this was a dark and twisted tale! It begs the question, do you really know your friends? Alan thinks back on his childhood with the gang and soon realised that maybe Bernard isn't who they thought, maybe the glow of innocence blocked a lot of what Bernard was doing. I really liked the back story because we get a great incite into the boys and Bernard especially. He was evil but did the evil die with him?
The characters were all well developed and written. They grow throughout the story, which is always a plus. The plot was fast paced and gripping! It's a dark and deadly look into the mind of a disturbed child. We see how he progresses from child to child killer from Alans POV.
It's a gripping and darkly delicious read and one I can recommend! I loved pretty much everything about it and will definitely be checking out more from this author.
This is the first book I've listened to by David Stifel, but it won't be my last. He had such an easy voice but one suited to this dark atmosphere. He really brought across the dangerous feel of the book! I really enjoyed his narration.
*I received a copy of this for review. This is no way affected my thoughts.*
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I wasn't sure how the audio was going to stand up with this one, as I read it several years back and absolutely loved it. Fortunately, I was not disappointed. The narration was spot on and the cadence and pacing were perfect for the story. If you have read this one before or not, it is highly recommended.
The Bleeding Season is the story of Alan, Tommy, Rick, Donald and Bernard – Best buds since grade school. 20 years later they experience a horrible tragedy when Bernard takes his own life. Crushed by his death, the friends find out he has left a recorded message for them with clues to terrible things that he may have done and his dark and disturbed nature. The three friends quickly find out everything they thought they knew about Bernard was a lie. Nobody can believe it. Then, the bodies start to pile up.
Greg takes his time developing his characters and getting down the poignant aspects of the back-story, which only slightly distracted me from the pace. Greg is undisputedly a master of dark fiction and this one is surely a classic. Greg F Gifune is one of the best in the biz. Required reading for horror aficionados. Solid 4.5 Stars. Highly Recommended.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This was a terrific book! David Stifel narrated it very spookily.Would you know that a friend is a psychopath and has always been?This book follows a group of friends who learn way more than they want to know after a friend commits suicide. I was given this book free by the author,narrator or publisher.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Depends on the friend. The writing was good, and the performance was also, but it would have to be the right friend.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
Oddly, it's the same aspect. This book is consistently and painfully melancholy. Not exactly scary, as those theoretically frightening points are buried in so much mundane misery that they lose their edge. The books commitment to that relentless unhappiness is kind of astonishing, but hard to listen to after a while.
Which scene was your favorite?
I don't really have one
Could you see The Bleeding Season being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?
Not one I would watch. I think about halfway through the season I'd have to tear my eyeballs out...
Any additional comments?
Although this book wasn't my cup of tea, I would certainly check out other works by both the author and the narrator, as it was both well written and well read, it was really the concept that fell flat for me. I was given this book by the narrator at no cost in return for a fair review.
What did you love best about The Bleeding Season?
The thing I liked most about it, was the same thing I like most about everything I've read/listened to by Gifune. He does such a great job creating an atmosphere of existential despair that the horrific things that happen on top of it are that much stronger for it.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Favorite character is Alan just because the author allows us to get into his head to such a degree that it's borderline difficult to get back out again.
Which scene was your favorite?
It's a long book with a lot of great scenes that weigh heavily upon the plot, so it'd be difficult to single one or even several out as being better than the rest.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, but at 13+ hours that wasn't in the cards. I've read through several of his books in one sitting though so that notion was not entirely unexpected.
Any additional comments?
I received this in exchange for an honest review. I recommend the reading/listening to of as much Gifune as possible, and that's aided by the fact that Stifel did a great job narrating something as deep as this. It is extremely bleak however, so if that kind of thing bothers you I would stay away.
Alan and his friends have had a rough life. They all seemed like they were going on to great things as kids, super stars some would say. Alan was going to be an amazing writer, Rick a football star, Bernard a marine, and Donald, well he would be Donald.
Life didn't go as planned, and so when when Bernard kills himself, he leaves a tape he recorded and shares with the others some dark secrets. Secrets that at first they refuse to believe, but after the first body is found, hey realize Bernard may not have been the person they all thought he was.
The Bleeding Season is a novel of nightmarish imagery that fills it's pages with disturbing scenes that will make you again fear the dark. Greg Gifune has an amazing sense on how to build and sustain tension that puts him on his at with many legendary horror writers and reminds me of Clive Barker with his hellish visions. These images carry though much of the novel and they needed too, as The Bleeding Season is not without its faults.
I highly enjoyed this novel and strongly recommend it, but it doesn't a suffer from some odd character interactions and terrible dialogue. The way Alan and his wife talk to each other often conflicts with certain feelings and actions that make it sound forced and used more just as plot devices than actual character development. The same could be said with some of Alan's interview subjects. None of these interactions feel natural.
I also feel the ending was a little too...positive. This novel works so well, and good goes very dark, but somewhere in the end it feels like he could do a happy ending which is unfortunate as it made the ending highly predictable.
Don't get me wrong. This is an excellent read, and if you want something to fill your nightmares with, then prepare yourself for "The Bleeding Season." The images and the action are more than enough to make this well worth it as this novel will pull you in to Alan's hell. If you are lucky, you might just survive.
*This Book was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher for review
What made the experience of listening to The Bleeding Season the most enjoyable?
Mr. Gifune tells the story so well, The writing in this novel is so good, it's almost lyrical at times. The author writes very well, especially when it is in reference to people who are damaged.