Item description for The Bleeding Season by Greg F. Gifune...
Alan, Tommy, Rick, Donald and Bernard were inseparable best friends livingin the small, coastal Massachusetts town of Potter's Cove. A circle of five, their world was simple and happy until the day Tommy was struck by a car and killed. Nothing was ever the same. They were never the same.Years later, as the four survivors-all unhappy, unsuccessful and marking time-approach their fortieth birthdays, Bernard suddenly commits suicide.Within weeks of Bernard's death, one by one the mutilated bodies of murder victims are found in town, and as the three remaining friends attempt to solve the riddle of Bernard's suicide, they come to realize that he may not have been who or what they thought he was. His entire life may have been a lie, and rather than the sad, lonely and harmless person they believed him to be, he very well may have been a savage ritual killer, a bleeder of young women who conjured evil to fulfill his own demented dreams.To find the truth not only about Bernard, but themselves, they must delve into the darkness and those who inhabit it, a darkness that cradles an unspeakable evil so terrifying it could forever trap them in the shadows of the damned and shatter the very concept of their existence.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Oct 30, 2007
Publisher Delirium Books
ISBN 1929653778 ISBN13 9781929653775
Reviews - What do customers think about The Bleeding Season?
Disappointed Jul 15, 2008
the hype for this book was better than the actual book. I'm sorry that I purchased it.
Worth Reading Feb 14, 2008
This book is very well written. The characters are developed and the story is solid. Fate of one of the characters is blurred in the final chapter, which is unfortunate.
However, those reviewers throwing around five star reviews obviously have not read Ghost Story, Pet Semetary or even Son of the Endless Night.
This book is good. It isn't The Shining
Good But LessThan I Expected Jan 22, 2008
This was my first experience with Gifune and I came away from this novel with ambivalent feelings, to say the least. This is truly a work of dark fiction. His writing is exceptionally intelligent and his atmospherics can give you a creepy feeling up your spine. Yet equally, I was disappointed with other elements which I shall share later.
I have seen comparisons of "The Bleeding Season" to Stephen King's "The Body" yet I find it perhaps more similar to his coming-of-age and returning to finish unfinished business portrayed in "It." Five childhood friends (Alan, Tommy, Rick, Donald, and Bernard) form a lifelong bond growing up in the small town of Potter's Cove on the rural coast of Massachusetts, although Tommy, their spiritual leader is tragically killed when hit by a car as a teenager. Unknown to the boys at the time, this sad event sets in motion a series of events that changes them and their hopes and dreams forever and culminates when they approach their forties with the suicide of Bernard.
Bernard seemingly had always been the most vulnerable of group, a notorious liar and exaggerator who was always accepted as part of the whole even though he seemed to have the least to offer. After his unexpected suicide, the three survivors receive an audio suicide/farewell note from him that is filled with philosophical accusations, painful revelations, and critical evaluations of each of them from his perspective.
As hurtful as the thoughts and comments in the audiotape are, Alan, the "conscience" of the group, cannot let Bernard's spirit and memory go without delving deeper for meaning and substance behind Bernard's death. Contributing to their need to find out "why" is the fact that each of the friends experience the same macabre dreams that contain a dead Bernard and other creepy symbolism. With very little to go on but his duffle bag, a photo of an unknown woman, and their own memories, the three surviving friends, prodded by Alan, begin an investigation that quickly reveals Bernard was never who or what they thought he was.
Indeed, a trail of mutilated bodies begins to turn up along with more clues and indications that their deceased friend was perhaps surrounded by a darkness and evil that none of them had ever suspected. A race against time ensues as the investigation risks friendships, marriages, and sanity as the three move ever closer to discovering the source of the evil that may or may not ultimately claim them also.
My problem with "The Bleeding Season" was twofold. The pacing was ponderously slow in the first half of the book. Although I felt I knew where things were headed, it took an awful long time to get there. Secondly, while the characters were fully developed by Gifune, I found myself not caring about any of them on a deeper level--I never felt invested personally in their struggle. Even Alan was unsympathetic to me as he clumsily handled his relationship with Toni and as he stubbornly stayed on task through sometimes confusing dark philosophical musings. The only compelling factor left to me as the reader was to discover the ultimate source of the evil to solve the mystery.
Blown Away! Dec 28, 2007
I have seen many blurbs on other horror books likening the storytelling to "an early Stephen King". In most, if not all of those cases, I disagree wholeheartedly. Mr. Gifune does write like the early Stephen King. Group of childhood friends, one dies early on the other commits suicide (not a spoiler, you'd find this on the back of the book). Bernard is the friend who commits suicide. He leaves behind an audiotape in which he makes some startling statements and revelations. The remaining friends must piece together memories they had forgotten or purposely pushed way down into their subconscience to find out exactly what their friend Bernard was up to and in to. Then the creepiness ensues. The characters are so well developed you feel like you know them. The plot never lets up, yet is not rushed. It takes an extremely talented writer to actually make one feel uncomfortable or truly scared and Mr. Gifune delivers. The essence of suspense is palpable. No exaggeration-I literally had goosebumps reading one passage. "The Bleeding Season" is by far one the best books I have ever read. I hope many more readers discover Greg F. Gifune-they don't know what they've been missing!
Do I have your attention yet? Once in awhile a book comes along that is so well written and so captivating that it leaves you simply breathless in it's wake, and 'The Bleeding Season' is just that book.
Using a similar theme to Stephen King's 'The Body' and Robert R. McCammon's 'Boy's Life', one of a group of boys struggling towards adulthood and beyond, 'The Bleeding Season' is no camp follower or second contender to either of the mentioned famous stories.
Told in first person by Alan Chance, one of five boys growing up in Potter's Cove, a small town on the coast of rural Massachusetts not far from New Bedford. Life was seemingly happy until their teens, when Tommy was killed by a careless driver. Only Alan, Donald, Rick, and Bernard remained, now deprived of their leader. The boys grow into men, Alan into a failed writer and menial night security job, Rick to a bouncer after a one year stint in prison, Donald into a dead end word processing job, and Bernard into a used car salesman after injuring his knee in Marine training.
And then, just shy of their fortieth birthdays, Bernard commits suicide, leaving behind only a duffle bag and a strange recorded message filled with doubts and fear for the rest. Alan cannot let go of Bernard, feeling compelled to discover the deeper meaning behind Bernard's final and lonely goodbye. What he uncovers is the stuff that nightmares are made of.
Alan, Donald, and Rick find out that Bernard was never who they had thought he was, and slowly begin to uncover a long trail of purely dark evil that had been festering underneath their very noses. From past to present, Bernard's ghosts and demons begin to haunt their sleep, spewing out bodies in their wakes and leaving behind a sense of utter darkness. Even when Alan looses first his job and then his wife Toni, he still cannot turn away from the secrets hidden inside their past.
Greg F. Gifune's writing is real and raw, deeply poignant, excessively talented, and leaves behind naked emotion painted with words. Rarely will I read a book that can't be found for less than forty dollars and tell my listeners that it is worth the cost, but 'The Bleeding Season' definitely is. Buy it, read it, then resell it if you can. But if you are like me, the impact will be too completely brutal for you to do anything other than clutch the book to your chest as you scream out, 'Why? Why? Why?'
Gifune has mastered the creeping horror and intense dread of confronting the darker side of humanity and beyond, the demons that dwell both inside and outside the human flesh, and he serves them up on a shattered platter here for our minds to devour. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, no aficionado of horror should miss it, definitely a 10 star novel. Enjoy!