Thursday, February 5, 2009

THE KING OF NOD:  Some Things Never Die
By Scott Fad

This is a chilling novel set on  Sweetpatch Island in the Carolina low country.  The novel is not only a Gothic ghost story, but also handles several complex themes such as integration in the early days, bigotry, violence, friendship, murder and even love.  It has a complex plot, but is a fascinating read.

Boo Taylor, the main character, seems to be haunted all his life.  He witnesses the brutal death of one of his friends at the tender age of 13 and is drawn into the mystery of Joker Tribbit and his famous Gullah witch wife, Bathsheba.  The legend of Tribbit has haunted the island's children for centuries.  He was lynched and legend has it that his ghost takes the form of a savage Beast that returns generation after generation to seek vengeance for his murder.  

Boo is the adopted son of the island's only white physician.  He has an interesting protector, his black nannie and surrogate mother, Laylee Colebriar.  Laylee is a particularly interesting character.  The author based her on a real person who influenced his life.  She is part healer and magician. 

Boo leaves the island as a college student and does not return for twenty years.  When his father dies a strange death, and he finds he must return.  He is now a grown man who has been out in the world.  Coming back to Sweetpatch Island, he must confront friends and enemies from his childhood as well as his long-lost love.

The novel is compelling.  It's visual nature make a perfect choice for a film.  You will find yourself more than a little scared and may hear "bumps in the night!"  I know I did!  What do you think?  

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