Douglas Clegg’s Neverland On Shelves TodayApril 13, 2010
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the good people in the public relations behind New York Time’s Best Selling Author Douglas Clegg’s newest novel Neverland, at both Wunderkind and Vanguard Press, who were kind enough to send me an advanced reading copy (unfortunately I just received it this past week and haven’t had the opportunity to peruse the contents just yet) of the book. And while I’ve had my face planted firmly in the other wonderful novel that they sent, Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven, I did have the opportunity of inspecting the book and I’ve got to tell you that it feels great in your hand, that they’ve paid great attention to detail with a striking cover, and old-fashioned pages that make it feel as if you hold a classic in your hand.
And maybe it is, if the praise propelling the momentum of the award winning author and his newest work is an indication:
— Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author
“Clegg (The Vampyricon) crafts a haunting story redolent with the influence of Arthur Machen, H.P. Lovecraft, and other classic horror writers. His credible rendering of the internal lives of children and their imaginations give this flight of dark fancy a firm and frightening foothold in reality.” — Publishers Weekly
“Douglas Clegg . . . could have hung out with Robert R. McCammon, Bentley Little and Stephen King. These are guys who know America, and know how to literally scare up the best and worst aspects of the American character and slap them into a ripping yarn full of monsters, terror and enough action to keep the pages turning late into the night.”
— Rick Kleffel, book commentator for NPR
Says Clegg himself on writing NEVERLAND:
“This novel, my favorite of anything I’ve written, is about absolute innocence embracing the wildness—and darkness—of the imagination. I was able to explore the destructive nature of family secrets, and how children sometimes create rituals of power as an escape from the world their parents have made.”
But imaginative games are not always innocent . . . and when Beau travels to the Retreat, his grandmother’s forbidding home on Gull Island off the Georgia coast line, resigned to a boring family vacation, he finds that his cousin, Sumter, has other plans.
Sumter has found a run-down shack hidden in the woods, a place “where you ain’t supposed to go,” a place forbidden to them that smells of socks, dead sea creatures—and dread; Sumter christens it Neverland.
Fascinated and terrified by Neverland but thrilled to have made a secret life for themselves in a shack full of old Playboys, smuggled beers, and forbidden words, Sumter and his cousins create a hallucinatory world of dark fantasy, a world ruled by a god of shadows, who Sumter calls “Lucy.”
But the shack is the key to a terrible secret, and the world the children create away from their parents, bound to each other by blood oaths, is anything but innocent. As tensions build at the Retreat and the adults start on their gin and tonics earlier each day, Sumter’s games begin to invoke a nightmarish presence that cannot be contained within the bounds of imagination any longer . . .
The excitement that the publishers have for this book is palpable and the buzz its been receiving is infectious, so I’m really looking forward to tearing into that first chapter to see why its putting such a smile on so many faces. If you’ve got a moment or two, please enjoy the trailer above and then jump on over to Douglas Clegg’s official site for the chance to enter and win a grand prize of an Amazon Kindle, or B&N Nook. You can also read a special excerpt of the novel, and conveniently purchase the book while you’re there. And I’ve got to say, if you value the people behind the scenes who ultimately get these books in your hands, consider giving this one a shot because they’re going above and beyond to support something they feel is really special. It’s evident in their enthusiasm to share it.
Anyhow, I’ll have more to share of my own about my experiences with Neverland in a future post.