Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Nightwalker

From the diary: “August 5, 1981

“[My father’s friend] Ray commented today, ‘I could easily OD on planes here.’”

I certainly did. I remember tramping around the broad airfields in the sun and crowds, circling plane after plane after plane. The Oshkosh air show is still going strong.

“I’ve run out of things to do,” I lament in the diary. “I bought a cap, contributed to a B-29 called Fifi, bought and read Firestarter by Stephen King, bought a Jiffyseat (fold-up chair), Dad gave me $100, I watched airplanes, named airplanes (‘That’s Button Bright, Hungry Tiger, Patchwork Girl.’), bought The Nightwalker (book), watched Dad play handball twice (and lose twice) … looked at airplanes, ate bad (and good) food, saw the movie Stripes with Bill Murray tonight, suffered through Dad’s snores, enjoyed myself, got bored, read, walked, went to the Fly Market (but didn’t buy anything), argued with Dave [Ray’s son], rode in a car, got mildly sick twice, heard country singers at the convention, got cold, shied away from Dave’s smoking cigarettes, heard from Dad that Ray had decided to lose weight when he discovered that he could barely get through the tour of the B-17s, found out that Ray had been stationed in Santa Rosa [the next town over from Sebastopol where my mother, brother and I lived], wrote on my serial, watched hucksters, wondered about what Oshkosh was like the rest of the year, went to the YMCA, spent almost all of the $100, washed clothes, walked, saw ultralights take off, watched the air shows, discovered that a $15 Jiffyseat is worth every penny, discovered that Jumbo Dogs start tasting pretty bad after awhile …”

Stephen King. I’d read several of his books. I bought The Nightwalker because there was a King blurb on the cover. As I recall there was a sex scene in which the werewolf, though in human form at the time, smears his lady’s menstrual blood across his face and body. At 15 I wasn’t all that clear on what menstrual blood was.

After The Nightwalker I noticed how frequently Stephen King was blurbing. He couldn’t say no?


David Lee Ingersoll said...

Oh yes, I remember King's blurbs. The Nightwalker is one of those books that had me reconsider the idea that King had good taste, or, at least, tastes similar to mine. A werewolf novel without a werewolf. I expected fangs and fur and hideous transformations. Nada. All psychological

It might actually be a good book but that blurb had me expecting something much different.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

All psychological? No hairy palms?

I don't remember much about the book, other than the menstrual blood and it being dark and depressing rather than scary.

David Lee Ingersoll said...

As far as I can remember the protagonist never physically transforms. I did a brief check of reviews at Amazon and one describes it as a "modern psychological werewolf-in-London" novel. As an adult I'm might like it. I've read other Tessier books and thought they were okay. As a teenager I wanted a big hairy werewolf in my werewolf novel.

(Hmmm. Now that I think about it - as an adult I still want a big hairy werewolf in my werewolf novel. So much for maturity.)