Walking Wounded [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Robert Devereaux
eBook Category: Dark Fantasy
eBook Description: Katt has the ability to heal with her hands. But when she discovers that her husband is having an affair, she finds that she can also cause harm by reversing her intent, that she can activate the Huntington's Disease latent in his brain. Much to her dismay, she discovers that she has disturbingly little compunction in doing so. To add to her problems, she meets and falls in love with her husband's mistress. Once her husband is dead, Katt is horrified to find that her mind sees all sorts of parallels between him and their young son, and she begins to harm him as well. A serial killer with a power drill lurks in the background, as the reader wonders what difference, really, their is between him and Katt.
eBook Publisher: Fictionwise.com, Published: Dell Abyss, 1996
Fictionwise Release Date: July 2006
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [MultiFormat - What's this?]: eReader (PDB) [230 KB]
, ePub (EPUB) [196 KB]
, Rocket/REB1100 (RB) [204 KB]
, Portable Document Format (PDF) [965 KB]
, Palm Doc (PDB) [233 KB]
, Microsoft Reader (LIT) [215 KB]
, Franklin eBookMan (FUB) [263 KB]
, hiebook (KML) [489 KB]
, Sony Reader (LRF) [268 KB]
, iSilo (PDB) [193 KB]
, Mobipocket (PRC) [239 KB]
, Kindle Compatible (MOBI) [266 KB]
, OEBFF Format (IMP) [300 KB]
Reading time: 196-274 min.
Microsoft Reader (LIT) Format: Printing DISABLED, Read-Aloud ENABLED
Portable Document Format (PDF) Format: Printing DISABLED, Read-Aloud DISABLED
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
"Robert Devereaux writes like a woman. People who insist that gender has something to do with how and what you write would assume that any author who can depict female emotion, sexuality and inner life so well MUST be female. I guess we can toss THAT adage into the trash along with women don't write horror. In his first novel, Deadweight, Devereaux's central character was an abused woman and he 'got it right.' Now, in Walking Wounded, he is still dealing with empowerment issues and a woman's perception of the world. The book, at times, reminds one of Margaret Atwood's subtle twisting looks into the female psyche.
"The author also deals with our ability to make choices in life and the effects of that choice. (It is interesting that Dell's other 'horror' title for this year, Elizabeth Engstrom's remarkable Lizard Wine, had a great deal to do with making choices.)
"It's difficult to convey the plot of Walking Wounded without giving the wrong impression. Devereaux, from the top, convinces the reader to accept that Katt, his pivotal character, has healing powers. He also shows us that choices and actions that may be perceived as 'bad' can not, in context, be considered in such moralistic terms. Add to that the convolutions of love, bisexuality and the reality of human relationships that exist first only in cyberspace--all presented without hesitation into the reader's understanding--a depth of spirituality, some philosophy on death, abuse and a crazy guy with a drill. Well, you see? You may already be getting the wrong impression. It can be read, admittedly, as a slightly supernatural, occasionally scary and fairly sexy look at modern relationships and the evils that may lurk inside ourselves as well as without. But there are elements that take you deeper as there are some depths here to explore.
"The underlying strength of the book lies in its full characterization of every individual, including a 13 year old boy, one encounters. They all live in a world so deftly woven by Devereaux that one never pauses to question anything that the plot brings. It's a masterful display of style, craft and imagination. Ultimately one is left with an examination of the power of emotions and a confrontation with darkness. It's a book that both unsettles and comforts and, yes, makes one think. Good fiction does that and Walking Wounded is just that."--Paula Guran
"To say that Walking Wounded is Robert Devereaux's weakest effort is rather like saying that Atom Heart Mother was the weakest Pink Floyd album; when looked at in relation to the rest of the canon, it suffers, but compared to the greater view of the horror novel (or psychedelic rock), you're still head and shoulders above the clouds. The moon can still eclipse the sun, despite its relatively small stature.
"Most of my problems with Devereaux's second novel are nitpicky at best, especially in horror. Sometimes it seems that the everpresent perversity is more forced than before (or since, for that matter); I hesitate to use the word 'gratuitous,' especially where naked flesh is concerned, but every once in a while it reared its ugly head while I was reading. As well, some subplots and minor details seemed to float off into the distance and disappear artificially; for example, one of the main characters finds herself dissociating from her circle of friends as quickly as does the other, despite a much (timeframe is never given, but 'much' is the heavy implication) longer association with them; during a later scene, it's almost as if her passing from amongst them has gone unnoticed. Granted, that sort of thing could be (and has been often, in other realms of fiction) a novel all its own, and here it's a plot point at best. Still...
"Criticism aside, everything about this book will tell even the most scanty acquaintance of Devereaux's other work that he's crossed into that recognizably-Devereaux territory where even such celebrated libertines as (early) Clive Barker have always feared to tread. Devereaux is the undisputed master of the twisted horror novel. Here, he gives us a woman who finds herself, suddenly, with the power to lay on hands. As with all responsible healer-type horror novels, the healing power also has a darker side. She finds herself in an interesting situation; she knows her husband is cheating on her. She also knows he has Parkinson's. Use the power to heal his disease, or accelerate it? And just to throw a monkey wrench into the works, what should she do with the woman with whom her husband is cheating when the two of them start to fall for one another? A less twisted mind couldn't have come up with stuff half this decadent, much less make it work. Where the novel weakens (and let me stress, pardon the pun, that it never fully gives way as did the other recently-read healer-horror novel I reviewed last month, Saul Wernick's Cain's Touch) is when Devereaux takes this gorgeous framework and attempts to add the garage. There's a reason homeowners' associations don't let you do too much weird stuff to your house. It starts getting ungainly.
"In defense of Devereaux, I might have given this book a far different review when it came out. All of the extraneous things tried in this novel succeeded when tried in Caliban, which also has odd stuff jutting out here and there. Perhaps it's best to look upon Walking Wounded as a first novel, despite the publication of Deadweight some four years previous. (Nothing in the horror genre, still, ten years after its publication, approaches the brilliance of Deadweight.) Some false steps got taken, but they were righted later in the author's career.
"I've spent way too much time slagging this novel and not nearly enough praising it. It sometimes seems, though, as if the same compliments can be attached to every book Robert Devereaux puts out. As usual, if you're a fan of horror with a high squick factor, once you've started page one, it's a relatively good bet you won't be sleeping until you've turned the last page. This is both a product of Devereaux's inherent readability and the same function in lizard-brain that makes us all slow down for car accidents (the more violent the accident, the more likely it is traffic will be blocked for miles, natch). Once you're involved, you can't help but stare at these poor, twisted creatures that come out of Devereaux's brain. It's only after you finish the book you realize how much they resemble you (again, with those extraneous parts jutting out). The ending is the kind of thing every self-help 'guru' has wanted to write for decades and has never had the cojones to actually set into print. Needless to say, the strong female protagonist is a rarity in horror fiction (let alone a pair of them). All of these are excellent reasons to be reading Bob Devereaux. Despite the relative amounts of space given to them in this review, the criticisms above are in no way reasons NOT to read Devereaux.
"Recommendation: Read his books in the order they were released (and definitely save Caliban till after you're done with this). At a guess, as I said before, the moon of Devereaux is capable of eclipsing the sun of horror fiction, but the twin suns of Deadweight and Caliban are a little too much for the moon of Walking Wounded to eclipse."--The Book Barn
"Robert Devereaux's first novel was Deadweight (Dell/Abyss 1994). That book was vicious and violent. It had a few extremely gruesome scenes fit to put you off your lunch. The groovy thing about it all was that the grotesquerie was merely a part of the plan. What you really remember about Deadweight is the ferocious tension that Devereaux constructed, the unforgiving pace of the progression of the story. Sure there were violent and perhaps sickening elements to the book, but it was a great novel, a fine piece of work.
"Still, as inevitable as a bad hangover from cheap tequila, there were dissenters. Some reviewers took exception to the extreme nature of Devereaux's first novel, implying, really, that he might not function so well without a diversionary device. It is easy to respond to those kind of people now. Just hand them a copy of the author's latest novel, Walking Wounded. If there ever was any doubt about Robert Devereaux's ability to write, Walking Wounded will surely calm those waters.
"The novel starts out with an overt sexual orientation, but quickly moves away from it as a central point, demonstrating an obvious lesson: sex is usually a superficial exercise which is absent emotion. It starts with the physical, then moves to the more emotional, spiritual, and even supernatural. I hope people (readers and reviewers) do not become obsessed with the sex described in the book, because Walking Wounded addresses much more important and lasting issues and questions, like: If you had the power to heal and to kill, how would you use it? More to the point, suppose you could kill someone who has wronged you in a particularly horrible fashion. Should you? Would you? An interesting question, indeed, and Devereaux explores it thoroughly.
"I am not saying this is a tender-hearted novel that takes you for a reflective promenade. No. I mean only that important issues are brought up by the author. There is plenty of excitement and action and intrigue. Walking Wounded is a skillful combination of suspense and deeper issues that haunt us when we take the time to consider them."--Number Thirteen Book Reviews
Prologue. A Laying-On of Hands
The day Katt Galloway decided to kill her husband did not begin unusually. No revelations hung in the air as it coaxed morning from dawn and turned it into afternoon.
Fridays were Fridays. Folks' minds were on plans for the weekend. Katt's too, somewhat. But mostly she mulled the coming end to her separation from Marcus and their son Conner. She'd be thrilled to see Conner. But her husband meant freedom gone, a chokehold, a strangulation.
The job at Hewlett-Packard had opened up in February. These days you compromised. Katt had come out on her own, rented a room north of Colorado State, flown the family in to find a house during Easter week, and made the place her own, a refuge for the spirit, a breathing space.
Four months without Marcus. She'd savored them.
But her freedom was approaching its end.
Ten days and they'd be back, coming off the road from Iowa. And the hidden longing she never spoke about, never dared speak about, the need to be unshackled, would return in spades. She'd had years of that. She faced a lifetime more, invisible bars holding her in for good.
She sighed, raised her eyebrows to the cubicle walls, and spotted the digital readout. The time had slipped by. Grace Kantor was due for her massage at four thirty. Katt just had time enough to log off, catch Timberline north to Prospect and Riverside, and pull into the Healing Pathways parking lot. And if Grace was her usual ten minutes late, Katt would have time to change and compose herself.
She poked her head out of her cubicle, wished Schreck and Darwin a superb weekend, and hit the exit doors to the second floor stairwell. The June sun was made bearable by a patchy cloudcover, and the traffic was mercifully sparse and the lights in her favor as she cut across Fort Collins to Old Town Square.
Healing Pathways was a simple two-story building next to the food co-op. Good energy, said Lyra and Joseph, the founders of the place. A building whose design and layout caressed the soul, Katt translated, thinking kindly of her friends but not buying into their New Age jargon.
Other masseuses and their resident acupuncturist were at work behind closed doors on the second floor. Katt did this for extra money, yes--but primarily to ground herself after hours in front of moving electrons. Grace Kantor, a retiree in her seventies, creaked the stairs when she took them. Katt heard the stairs creak now.
"Hello, Grace." Katt met her in the hallway.
"Katt," the old woman said, a tiny wave, a crinkle of her eyes. She was big-boned. Her flesh sagged. This was her third session, and she looked healthier with each one. Little wonder. The massage Lyra and Joseph had given Katt in their cabin west of town had had its effect--had gifted her, those two nights, with a power that grew so gradually it felt not miraculous but inevitable. That she'd come to accept it with such nonchalance, such surety, astounded her. And tonight they'd massage her a third time, under a full moon. Full moon or not, Katt expected yet another surge in what she'd come to call the power of healing.