A Grand Master of horror and suspense, Richard Matheson has won the Hugo, the Edgar, the Spur, and the Writers Guild Awards, among others. He lives in Calabasas, California.
Hunted Past Reason
The bestselling author of such classic novels as I Am Legend and What Dreams May Come, Richard Matheson is one of the twentieth century's acknowledged masters of suspense. Hunted Past Reason is a major literary event: Matheson's first new novel in seven years-and a gripping tale of madness, paranoia, and murder.It's supposed to be just an ordinary camping trip, two old acquaintances hiking through the wilderness toward a remote cabin in the woods of northern California. Bob Hansen, a middle-aged family man and author, isn't anticipating anything worse than sore muscles and maybe a few chilly nights.But the enforced isolation of the hike soon exposes long-hidden rivalries and resentments between Bob and his guide through the forest, a fading TV actor whom Bob has known for several years. The deeper they get into the primeval wilderness and the farther from civilization, the greater the tension between the two men becomes-until the simmering hostility erupts into a terrifying life-or-death struggle for survival.Two men entered the woods, but only one may emerge alive. Hunted Past Reason is a nail-biting thriller in the classic Matheson tradition.
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Richard Matheson is the author of numerous classic novels, including I Am Legend, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Somewhere in Time, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, A Stir of Echoes, The Beardless Warriors, Now You See It, and Seven Steps to Midnight. Many of his acclaimed short stories were recently collected in Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, while his metaphysical views can be found in a volume titled The Path. A Grand Master of Horror and past winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement, Matheson has also won the Edgar, the Spur, and the Writer's Guild Award. He lives in Calabasas, California.<
"The author who influenced me the most as a writer was Richard Matheson."--Stephen King"Perhaps no author living is as responsible for chilling a generation with tantalizing nightmare visions. . . ."--The New York Times<
2:07 pm"This is as good a place as any," Doug said, leaning forward on the backseat."Okay." Marian started to slow down the Bronco as it turned a curve to the right."By that fallen big-leaf maple'll be fine," Doug told her."Right." She eased the Bronco toward the right side of the road and braked slowly. The carpeting of yellow leaves crackled under the tires before Marian stopped the Bronco by the fallen tree."Perfect," Doug said.Bob drew in a sudden, involuntary breath. "And so the adventure begins," he said, trying to sound pleased.Marian looked at him as she switched off the engine. "You all right?" she whispered.He nodded, smiling. "Fine," he said.Doug opened the back door of the Bronco and got out. He stretched his arms upward, groaning as he arched his back. "Ohâ€¦boy," he muttered.Marian looked worriedly at Bob. "Are you sure you're all right?" she asked."Yeah, why do you say that?" He managed a grin."Well--" She gestured vaguely. "You didn't sound too certain there.""About what?""And so the adventure begins," she quoted."Oh." He laughed softly. "I'm a little nervous of course. I'm no kid. But I'm sure it's going to be fine."In back, Doug had unlocked the hatchback door and was starting to lift it."You're comfortable then," Marian said."Oh, sure." He leaned over and put his arms around her. She responded and they held on to each other tightly."Okay, lovebirds," Doug said from behind the car. "Time to unload our gear."Bob and Marian drew apart, smiling at each other. They opened their doors and slid out, standing on the leaf-covered ground. "My God, the leaves are so big," Marian said, picking up one that was more than a foot across. After a few moments, she dropped it, the golden leaves crunching under their shoes as they moved to the rear of the Bronco where Doug was pulling out his backpack."Here, I'll get yours," Marian said, pulling at Bob's backpack. "Holy! Moses." She had lost her grip on the pack, which thudded down on the ground. "It weighs a bloody ton," she said. "How in God's name are you going to carry that for four days?"Bob forced a smile. "It's really only three, honey. There's not that much left of today.""Two hours would be too much for carrying that," she said, gesturing toward the fallen pack. "You're forty-five, not twenty-five.""Honeyâ€¦" He gazed at her reproachfully."Ohâ€¦" She sighed, looked guilty. "I'm sorry. I'm not saying you can't do it. It's justâ€¦" She made a face. "It's so damn heavy.""He'll get used to it," Doug told her. "And it'll get lighter every day as the food goe
Richard Matheson is consistent in his craft. The story, I'd penned by a lesser writer, could have become tedious and predictable. Instead, it was intriguing, suspenseful and a disturbing study of a man plunging into insanity. I admit that I was disappointed in the last sentence, yet that seems forgivable considering the thrilling ride.
Richard Matheson is one of my favorite authors. His work with The Twilight Zone was stunning. His novels Bid Time Return (which later became the classic movie Somewhere in Time) and What Dreams May Come (which spawned a movie of the same name) are excellent.So it was with great excitement that I discovered this book and bought it. A new Matheson novel! I couldn't wait to read it.Boy was I disappointed.Hunted Past Reason is a pedantic novel with dialog so heavy-handed and stilted that I'm not sure Matheson himself wrote it. How could he have? He's a master storyteller, a legend among legends!Yet, there's his name on the book, and his photo on the dust jacket.The story is about two supposed friends (more like acquaintances) who go backpacking in the wilderness. One man (Doug) is experienced. The other man (Bob) is not. But Bob agrees to go on the trek because he's writing a novel and wanted actual backpacking experience with which to add realism to his book. Somewhere along the way, Doug turns into a maniac and hunts Bob down with intent to kill him.The friction between the two begins immediately...and clumsily. I could tell immediately what was going to happen, and how it was unfolding. The scenes were unbelievably transparent.I never did feel any tension or suspense reading Hunted Beyond Reason. All I felt was a sickness in my stomach from the way-too-graphic scenes of violence (Bob being sodomized by Doug, for example). Ironically, I also found myself pressing forward to complete the novel with the same dogged determination that Bob and Doug pressed through the woods. Not because I was enjoying it, but because I had a destination in mind (the last page) and I wanted to get there as soon as possible.I finished the book last night and felt nothing but relief that it was done. The book's premise is shaky, its dialog is clumsy, and its main characters are unbelievably written. Doug, for instance, is evil incarnate. Bob, on the other hand, compassionately talks to animals and even stops long enough in his haste to flee Doug that he frees a trapped mountain lion. Like, hello! You have a madman at your heels and you're playing Dr. Doolittle?I can't recommend Hunted Beyond Reason. In fact, I heartily suggest you hunt for an entirely different Matheson novel...and let this one remain snoozing with its fellows on the book store shelf.
This book is torturous to read. I have to ask if Matheson is going a bit senile in his old age. For a man who gave us I Am Legend, and Hell House, and Stir of Echos, and a bunch of other brilliant books, his latest releases (such as the reprinted Now You See It) are simply abysmal.
I am about forty pages from the end of this book and am seriouly considering not even finishing it. I've only not finished (excluding some books i hated in high school--The Good Earth anyone?) maybe four books my whole life.
Where to start with why this book is bad. Well, to begin, it's completely rehashed. Our hero spends two days getting chased through the California woods by a man who wants to kill him. And rape him. Can you say Deliverance? Okay, so the book acknowledges that part, as the endorsement even says it's "straight out of Deliverance" or some such nonsense. But come on, it's not even an original twist on the subject. It's the same as that stupid Ice T movie, as a bunch of television episodes from the 80s. The so-called "chase through the forest for your life" game. Secondly, these characters are boring archetypes. The hero who believes in karma practically has the ability to talk to woodland creatures. And the bad guy is just bad for no reason. Oh wait, he's jealous. Yes, that's right, he wants to kill his friend because he's jealous of said friend's success. C'mon, I don't buy it.
On top of that, anyone who's been hiking for a weekend or more knows that the odds of seeing a bear,a mountain lion, another bear, a rattle snake, etc, are slim at best. I'm surprised the hero didn't run into an elf, a goblin, Jimmy Hoffa, Atlantis, or any other elusive noun as well. And the lightning? Please!
And finally, and maybe this is a style opinion, but who actually has arguments with themselves when they're alone ALL DAY LONG! This character does this throughout the whole book:
Yeah right, all of a sudden I'm a champion swimmer, he thought to himself.
"Shut up Hansen, just keep moving."
Once or twice okay, but all the time? Is the character nuts or something?
Well, you get the idea, this book is not only a dissapointment but a complete piece of (insert expletive) from a writer who is otherwise truly gifted. Do yourself a favor and skip it.
Hunted Past Reason is one heck of a page turner. As some one else mentioned, this novel has similarities to Deliverance and The Most Dangerous Game. What starts out as a backpacking trip between two acquaintances turns into a deadly game with one of the men being hunted by the other. And yes....it is as horrifying as it sounds. What makes matters worse is the hunter is an experienced backpacker, while...
This book was a bit slow to get going. Even then it was not the best read. The character of the writer was far to whiney and wimpy. The antagonist was one sick puppy. I did not care for the way the book played out, I thought it could have been done a lot better. I would not recommend reading this book as there is much better stuff out there.
Richard Matheson is an amazing suspense author and able to create a thrilling novel without using random violence, profanity, etc. for shock value. Therefore, this book came as a surprise and I had to check twice to confirm it was the same Richard Matheson. I also found myself rooting for the psychopath because the victim was preachy, whiney, judgemental, and unbelievable. He deserved to be hunted....
I love Richard Matheson. My first Matheson novel was What Dreams May Come, and after that, I was hooked. I was very excited to see this book, in hardcover, at a discount book store. The first half of the book had me hooked. I had to finally put it down and go to sleep about 4am. When I picked it up again, I read about 5 pages, and was horrified by what I read. The detailed sodomy scene was...