Annal: 2002 Bram Stoker Award for Novel

Results of the Bram Stoker Award in the year 2002.

Book:The Night Class

The Night Class

Tom Piccirilli

The college winter break is over, and Caleb Prentiss faces yet another semester of higher education. Struggling with alcoholism and frustrated by his irrelevant classes, Cal seeks solace in the arms of his scholastic-conscious girlfriend and in somnambulistic conversation with a mystifying college radio DJ.

But Cal’s ennui is shattered when he discovers evidence of a murder which occurred in his room over the Christmas recess. Obsessed with unearthing the particulars of this gruesome and haunting event, Cal wanders down the grotesque hallowed halls of a university gone mad.

Run-ins with the two hard-nosed campus security guards, relationship hurdles with both friends and lovers, and enigmatic signals from the Dean’s icily eminent wife force Caleb to question his place in the bizarre night classes of higher education. …[more]

Book:From a Buick 8

From a Buick 8: A Novel

Stephen King

The state police of Troop D in rural Pennsylvania have kept a secret in Shed B out back of the barracks ever since 1979, when Troopers Ennis Rafferty and Curtis Wilcox answered a call from a gas station just down the road and came back with an abandoned Buick Roadmaster. Curt Wilcox knew old cars, and he knew immediately that this one was…wrong, just wrong. A few hours later, when Rafferty vanished, Wilcox and his fellow troopers knew the car was worse than dangerous—and that it would be better if John Q. Public never found out about it.

Curt’s avid curiosity taking the lead, they investigated as best they could, as much as they dared. Over the years the troop absorbed the mystery as part of the background to their work, the Buick 8 sitting out there like a still life painting that breathes—inhaling a little bit of this world, exhaling a little bit of whatever world it came from. …[more]

Book:The Hour Before Dark

The Hour Before Dark

Douglas Clegg

As children, they played the Dark Game.

When Nemo Raglan’s father is murdered in one of the most vicious killings of recent years, Nemo must return to the New England island he thought he had escaped for good, Burnley Island…and the shadowy farmhouse called Hawthorn. But this murder was no crime of human ferocity. What butchered Nemo’s father may in fact be something far more terrifying…Something Nemo and his younger brother, Bruno, and sister, Brooke, have known since childhood.

There are secrets buried on Burnley Island.

Within the rooms of Hawthorn, beautiful Brooke Raglan has begun to go mad. She sees faces at the windows and wanders the night, trying to find what she believes is a monster. …[more]

Book:The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones: A Novel

Alice Sebold

When we first meet 14-year-old Susie Salmon, she is already in heaven. This was before milk carton photos and public service announcements, she tells us; back in 1973, when Susie mysteriously disappeared, people still believed these things didn’t happen.

In the sweet, untroubled voice of a precocious teenage girl, Susie relates the awful events of her death, and her own adjustment to the strange new place she finds herself. (It looks a lot like her school playground, with the good kind of swingset.)

With love, longing, and a growing understanding, Susie watches her family as they cope with their grief—her father embarks on a search for the killer, her sister undertakes a feat of amazing daring, her little brother builds a fort in her honor—and begin the difficult process of healing.

In the hands of a brilliant new novelist, and through the eyes of her winning young heroine, this story of seemingly unbearable tragedy is transformed into a suspenseful, touching, even funny novel about family, memory, love, heaven, and living.

Book:Lullaby

Lullaby: A Novel

Chuck Palahniuk

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Choke and the cult classic Fight Club, a cunningly plotted novel about the ultimate verbal weapon, one that reinvents the apocalyptic thriller for our times.

Carl Streator is a solitary widower and a fortyish newspaper reporter who is assigned to do a series of articles on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In the course of this investigation he discovers an ominous thread: the presence at the death scenes of the anthology Poems and Rhymes Around the World, all opened to the page where there appears an African chant, or “culling song.” This song turns out to be lethal when spoken or even thought in anyone’s direction—and once it lodges in Streator’s brain he finds himself becoming an involuntary serial killer. So he teams up with a real estate broker, one Helen Hoover Boyle–who specializes in selling haunted (or “distressed”) houses (wonderfully high turnover), and who lost a child to the…[more]

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