EARTHBOUND by Richard Matheson


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 First published in 1982 in a version so heavily edited that horror writer Matheson (7 Steps to Midnight, 1993, etc.) took his name off it, this ghost story is now offered in a restored, uncut edition. Television scripter David and his wife, Ellen, have returned to New York's Logan Beach, the site of their honeymoon 21 years earlier. Things go wrong from the first. The cottage they remembered has been washed away by a hurricane, and its replacement is dusty, depressing, and abnormally cold--hardly the place to revive their troubled marriage. Ellen leaves their bed to walk on the beach, and David discovers he is not alone. The most beautiful woman he has ever seen tells him about her love for the artist who last rented the house. Both disturbed and enchanted by Marianna, David keeps her visit a secret. He tries to return her locket the next day, but finds only a boarded-up shack where her house should stand. Marianna returns to him, however, and while Ellen sleeps upstairs, the pair has wild sex. Ice-cold and completely drained after this encounter, David promises himself it won't happen again. But whenever Ellen falls asleep or leaves the house, Marianna arrives. David feels less in control each time they meet. Mrs. Brentwood, who lives in a nearby mansion, tells David that Marianna is dead and remains earthbound only to feed her degenerate passions. His neighbor urges him to flee before he is driven insane. As the evidence mounts up, David moves from outraged incredulity to belief and convinces Ellen they must leave the house. But Marianna steps in, and David must fight the erotic ghost who possesses him to save the woman he truly loves. A chilling supernatural sortie marred only by a self-important epilogue about the power of the mind and the true meaning of love.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-312-85712-8
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1994


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