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THE UNINVITED by John Farris



Pub Date: Aug. 24th, 1982
Publisher: Delacorte

A surprisingly restrained and modestly absorbing psycho-occultish novel by the author of such noisy, bloody horrifics as The Fury. Barry Brennan, 18-year-old daughter of famed Wyeth-like painter Tom Brennan and sister of alcoholic painter Dal, is thinking about her dead lover Ned Kramer one snowy evening while driving over a covered bridge. . . when a naked young man appears out of the snow before her! Tossed off the road by Barry's rear fender, the man winds up in the hospital and nearly dies, his vital signs fading although he's in perfect health. But then, when Barry visits him, the man recovers. Furthermore, though totally amnesiac, the man responds to Barry's teaching, learning language and reading rapidly, then even taking up sketching and painting when he comes out to bye on the Brennans' upstate N.Y. estate. Soon, in fact, the mystery man--""Mark Draven""--is producing master canvases to rival Tom's. Sexually, however, ""Mark"" is totally unresponsive. And there are other odd lapses. So it's not too surprising when neighbor Alexandra Chatelaine, a Tibetan scholar-mystic, announces that ""Mark"" is a tulpa, the occult creation of Barry's own mind, formed under the pressure of grief for her dead lover. (""Mark Draven"" is an anagram of ""Ned Kramer."") But slowly, Mark becomes independent of his creator; when Tom and Dal ask him to leave, Mark (now demonic) decides they should leave; and even after Barry kills Mark (she and Did weight and sink his body into the deeps of the family pond), he cannot stay dead. . . because he's still alive and being fed by Barry's weakening mind. Enhanced by the textured atmosphere (some purplish prose) at the painting-obsessed Brennan estate: steady, controlled entertainment for the astrally susceptible--with far fewer mindless shrieks than Farris fans may have come to expect by now.