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The man on the ceiling
Melanie Tem and Steve Rasnic Tem
Adult Fiction TEM

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From Publishers' Weekly:

With this nightmarish series of vignettes, the Tems take the reader on a jolting, surreal journey through partially autobiographical episodes of their family life. This narrative is a complete reworking of their novella (winner of the 2000 World Fantasy, Bram Stoker and IHG awards) of the same name, expanding on the themes of family, loss and dreadful imagination. How does the tragic death of a child affect the entire family and even the house they live in? Why do they wrestle so with the demons of imagination and guilt? The authors addresss these questions in a stylized, stream-of-consciousness give and take, painting heartrending pictures of day-to-day life as parents, children and lovers. This visceral, psychological view of the horrors that occur in an average person's life will draw in readers with delicate, exquisitely detailed and almost hypnotic language. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This reworking of the authors' prize-winning novella of the same name is now a collection of "loosely autobiographical" vignettes examining the experiences of a markedly phobic couple, their neighbors and in-laws, their five beloved, damaged adopted children, and their heavily inhabited house. The narrative conceit is author as character; the keyword is dread. Readers may struggle now and then with the presentation's surreal nature as they ponder such themes as living with the fact that the very best one can do (for damaged children) isn't enough. The titular "man on the ceiling" seems to represent not only dread of the future but also regret for the past. Horror is a slippery mode; even cautioned about the theme and lulled by the charming humor and the occasionally splendid verbal music, readers may not be prepared for the heartbreaking outcomes of the spate of cheerful, mundane events. The metaphorical man can descend from the ceiling at any time to make things happen, revive repressed memories, or take over lives, redirect them, perhaps end them. Recommended for libraries where the novella was popular.-Jonathan Pearce, California State Univ., Stanislaus (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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