Revisiting the Work: Wistwood

SYNOPSIS:

One tormented guy looking for a fresh start. One charming little town hungry for his pain. Wistwood. If you can get there … it already owns you.

Seeking redemption, troubled writer Brask Adams heads into the wild majesty of Big Sur, California, hoping the lost town of Wistwood will offer him a fresh start at life. 

But Wistwood has a way of attracting … or maybe even hunting … people in need of second chances. 

A terrifying way.

Many others are drawn to Wistwood’s promise, heeding signals and voices only they can perceive: 

Beautiful Schuyler wants to abandon her thankless state job and open a quaint antiques shop.

Faded rock star Lleyton wants the perfect place to fix his crumbling marriage once and for all.

Father Jarecki is determined to leave the priesthood behind and build a new kind of church.

But dreams aren’t so easily realized in Wistwood, for beneath the town’s idyllic facade, an ancient and vicious supernatural war is being waged. 

A battle for the souls of the lost.

And only The Landlord reserves the right to feed.

Caught between a tortured past and his desperate vision for the future, Brask, too, comes face to face with a horrifying truth: Hell on earth can be exactly what you make of it. 

In Wistwood, bestselling author Jonathan Kieran crafts an atmospheric and terrifying tale of human culpability. By turns elegiac and raw, Kieran weaves an insinuating psychological tapestry threaded with lust, magic, murder, and a host of unforgettable characters. 

Wistwood is a dark fable certain to haunt readers long after the last core-shattering page has been read

KIRKUS FEATURED PRINT MAGAZINE REVIEW

An obscure village becomes the site of disconcerting, otherworldly incidents in this supernatural novel … Parts of Kieran’s chilling story are deliberately hazy, with unknown characters discussing cryptic objectives. But detailed backstories ground the narrative … Crisp prose gives largely abstract occurrences a visual component … The final act is disturbing and decidedly more visceral, with a satisfying, open-ended denouement. An often mysterious but thoroughly horrifying and macabre tale. –KIRKUS REVIEWS

MY TAKE:

Serious lovers of sophisticated, steadily intensifying supernatural horror will find Wistwood crafted just for them. Mindful of my own literary influences, Wistwood is a novel reminiscent of Lovecraft’s explorations into the terrifying primordial forces that lurk at the edge of nightmares, and the psychologically harrowing plunges taken by Shirley Jackson or Richard Matheson as they dive into the deepest chasms of worldly (and otherworldly) evil.

The characters are as familiar as the people we all know–construction workers, bartenders, schoolteachers, police officers–but in the idyllic town of Wistwood all of them spin toward an unspeakable fate, each approaching that destiny from his or her unique vision of what one thinks is “deserved” in life. Unknowingly, they are all careening together toward the same, merciless judgment. Even a mighty goddess trapped in an ethereal parallel-world shares their collective Enemy and their peril, along with a need to prepare for the ultimate cost of defeat … or possible escape.

In addition to the authors mentioned above, Wistwood should appeal to diehard fans of early Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, and John Connolly, among other dark wordsmiths. A work intended for those who appreciate literary depth and brushstrokes of beauty mixed-in with their unwavering terror, Wistwood welcomes all … but don’t enter lightly; there are Powers here that care little for the hope of earthly redemption. Fortunately, it’s never been a good idea to underestimate the power of the human spirit.

Wistwood was well-received critically and probably features the best fictional prose and imaginative “boundary-pushing” of all my literary endeavors to date. Unfortunately, the novel was released in late April 2020, just as the first nationwide lockdowns were going into full effect. The opportunities to personally promote the work were severely curtailed, but that is the way the cookie doth crumble. When a big, fat, juicy bestseller of mine arrives in the near future, this book and others from my back catalogue will happily allow themselves to be dragged into the limelight retroactively, like so many incandescent tagalong particles trailing in the wake of a blazing comet.

See? It’s just that easy.

BUY THE BOOK HERE or at your Barnes & Noble Bookseller, etc.

And check back soon: Some major news coming next week entirely out of the proverbial left field. #AuthorJonathanKieran #JonathanKieran #WriterJonathanKieran #CaliforniaLife #OnTheEdge #Wistwood #JonathanKieranTheAuthor #JonathanKieranOfficialSite #MemoryLane #Novels #KirkusReviews #LiteraryEndeavors #ContemporaryHorror #SpeculativeFiction #LyricalWriting #MysticalNovels #Lovecraftian

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