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In Silent Graves [Mass Market Paperback]

Gary A. Braunbeck
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Leisure Books; Reprint edition (April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0843953292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843953299
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.5 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 903,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Book by Braunbeck Gary A

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
In Silent Graves, I didn’t realise till I finished is the first in the Cedar Hill series and Gary Braunbeck certainly writes with a philosophical prose that flaunts a vivid imagination.

Robert Londrigan has it all it or so it seems, a sterling reputation as a TV news reporter with eyes on the upcoming anchor-man position, a beautiful wife and happily expecting their first child but things are about to take a cruel turn for our reporter as Halloween brings tragedy. An argument sees Robert storm off leaving Denise alone in the house and while cooling off in the park he meets a truly horrific figure that leaves him questioning his sanity but worse is yet to come when he discovers his wife collapsed on the floor.

Life becomes a blur as horror and despair assault his grip on sanity, with his wife dead, the body of his daughter is stolen from the morgue and here starts a trip that bends his conceptions of reality.

Thinking back there is such a lot that goes on in this book you seriously have to wonder how the page count is under 400 pages and not a 600+ page tome, it would be almost a crime to enlarge further on the plot but up till now I don’t think I’ve sold it.

There’s a lot of deep issues covered in this story from the despair and loss of the protagonists family to the horrific entity that leads to the true beginning and the unmasking if you like of a second time path, a second reality where things are very different, where we see the true horror of man and what the world has done to its children, to the children it no longer wants.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Majestic and unforgettable 15 July 2004
By Jeffrey Leach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When I cracked the cover of Gary Braunbeck's "In Silent Graves" and read roughly the first 100 pages, my blood ran as cold as ice. Not from the increasing sense of doom and gloom, although there is plenty of that going on initially, but from the disturbingly eerie resemblence between the opening chapters of this book and the novels of horror author Tom Piccirilli. If you've read Piccirilli's books, you know what I'm talking about. He's the guy who takes an interesting idea and derails it by burdening the plot with over the top surrealism. I've read two of Piccirilli's horror books, "The Night Class" and "The Deceased," and felt as though I'd stepped into a world created by a crazed Salvador Dali. These two books made no sense whatsoever yet fans around the world lauded them as the best new thing in horror. I feared Gary Braunbeck's book was going to be a retread of Piccirilli's style. How wrong I was! Stick with "In Silent Graves" even if you feel as though you will never understand what is going on. By the time the book wraps up, not only will you completely comprehend every aspect of the narrative, you'll realize this book is one of the best novels you've read in ages. I can't believe I haven't heard of this guy before now.
"In Silent Graves" tells the unique story of one Robert Londrigan, a local television news reporter in a town called Cedar Hill. Robert and his wife Denise are happily expecting the birth of their first child, a birth that, if everything goes well, will be their first after several disappointing attempts. Unfortunately, the Londrigans get into a nasty fray on Halloween night that results in Robert storming out of the house in a huff. Too mad to return home right away, Londrigan strolls down to the local park where he soon undergoes a most curious experience. He runs into an enigmatic figure, a quite horrific one actually, and one that changes forever his conceptions of reality and humanity as he knows it. When he finally returns home, Denise is collapsed on the bedroom floor, an ambulance arrives, and Robert soon learns that he must face the prospect of a bitter and lonely life. Or will he? It turns out that Londrigan must experience the deepest depths of despair and tragedy before hope and redemption will allow him to bask in the light of eternal love. For once, and this is a big deal considering how I love to write lengthy, in depth reviews, I refuse to give away further plot details. The story is simply too good to risk ruining it for others.
I will say that Braunbeck takes a fairy tale story everyone has heard about at some point in their childhood yet reworks it in a way you could never imagine. "In Silent Graves" toys with the idea of reality, time, and space in exciting ways; it calls into question memory and indicts the human race for its treatment of children. The children especially form a central part of the story of Robert Londrigan, who must learn to understand the true meaning of despair if he is to ever escape the torment his life has become since the demise of his wife. If Robert can do this, if he can succeed in attaining a higher level of understanding, what is ugly and tragic will become beautiful and sublime. It's a big task for one man, but fortunately he has some powerful allies on his side pulling for him to make it. The fate of tens of thousands rests on him doing so.
Braunbeck's realizes his vision largely due to his fetching prose style, which eschews verbosity in favor of concisely language imbued with heartfelt emotion. I can't remember the last time I read a book categorized as a horror novel that brought tears to my eyes. Yes, "In Silent Graves" brought a mist to my eyes not once, not twice, but on three separate occasions. It's not the gore or violence that caused me to choke up, but rather the lengthy passages on how humanity abandons its children to the mindless cruelty of this mortal coil. Of course, if all Braunbeck could do is write emotionally charged paragraphs, he wouldn't be all that different from many other writers. Thankfully, the author's imagination is as good as his writing abilities. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this book, but am I glad I decided to read it. I don't know how the mechanics involved in awarding the Bram Stoker prize for best novel in the horror genre works, but Gary Braunbeck should certainly win one for this novel if there is any justice in the world.
Horror author Michael Marano wrote a most enlightening introduction for "In Silent Graves" that in and of itself is worth reading. He laments the decline of publishing houses willing to take a chance on books that set up camp outside the paint by number formulas so readily accepted by the masses today. It's a quite amusing introduction-he calls one mystery book he read "retina-scrapingly bad"-that paints an ugly picture of what passes for literature today. Gary Braunbeck's book stands in stark opposition to these formulaic atrocities; his is a work that will stay with me long after I return the book to the library. Speaking of which, I'm angry I checked this out instead of buying a copy because I should have supported the author with my dollars. I've rambled long enough. What you need to do is get out there and pick this one up immediately. You won't be disappointed.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Mystical tale of profound sorrow and hope 21 Sep 2004
By Schtinky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ok, I'll say it. Wow. In Silent Graves deserves a Wow.

Robert Londrigran is an up and coming local TV newscaster, well on his way up the ladder, with a beautiful and pregnant wife at home. Then, his world crumbles. After a spat on Halloween evening, Londrigan goes for a walk in the park and meets a piece of his destiny wearing a mask of horror. When he returns home, he finds his wife crumpled on the floor, dying.

Not only does Robert loose the wife he loved so much, but his daughter's body is taken from the morgue. Braunbeck captured the dark torture of loss so well in his telling of Robert's grief that I was simply mesmerized.

Even at the start of Robert's journey of anguishing loss, his reality begins to slide as he is re-visited by the strange masked figure from the park. Something is happening to Robert, either he is going mad or he is transcending to a different state of awareness and being. Robert must open his heart, his mind, and his soul before he can see the truth of what his life is, and what it can become if he only believes.

In Silent Graves is part fantasy, part horror, part love, part tragedy, part inspirational, and part brutal reality. The story is fantastical, the content weeping with the brutality of the human race, and the prose graphically poetic. Quite frankly, I've never read anything like it; this is truly a unique and terrific book.

A bit of warning for those who are faint of heart, there are scenes of corpse manipulation here that could churn your stomach if you are not used to such grotesqueries; but I myself found the horror of real life child abuse scraping my soul far emptier than a little putrefying flesh could.

This is a graphically painted tale, with overwhelming sorrow and unbearably beautiful love, stylishly written in flowing prose that kept me awake and reading long after bedtime.

I could ramble and praise much longer, but will instead close with this; if you purchase one book this year, you should purchase In Silent Graves. I loved it that much. Enjoy!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A strange, different type of horror 22 Feb 2005
By L. Maynard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is not going to be one of my favorite horror novels. It was a hard story to follow and fully comprehend. Some would call it a "thinking mans" horror story.

The book started out exciting and frightening and full of booga-booga, then after about 100-150 pages, it became hard to follow. The story started bouncing back and forth, from past to present and one character was someone else from the past.....

I had a hard time keeping track of who was who.

If you love the type of horror written by Layman, Little, Laws, or Bailey, to name a few, you will probably not care for this book. If you are looking for something new, different and off-beat, this may be right up your alley. Mr. Braunbeck makes some moral statements toward the end of the story which is okay, but not what you would expect in a horror novel. Most people read horror for the sheer entertainment value, not to be morally enlightened by the plight of others.

It sounds like I didn't care for this book which is just not true. It was a very different type of horror story, not really my cup of tea, but it was a new and different experience. It took talent and a lot of effort to create the type of tale contained within these 378 pages. The raw emotion the main character showed was phenomenal. Give it a try and judge for yourself.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful read 27 May 2004
By Catrina Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read thousands of books, of all types, and rarely has one moved me so deeply. I'm not entirely sure why this book is categorized in horror, it does have some gore albeit not gratuitous, but it was not "scary" in the typical way. What is scary about it are the parts that are all too true in our world today, knowing that our beautiful children are sometimes (if not often) abused in the ways put forth in this novel, is truly frightening.

This book though can't really be classified in any one way. It is so unique as to need a classification all it's own. Yes, the editing could've been better. There were misplaced words and some mispellings which can sometimes ruin a book for me. But this book went beyond a "reading" and was an "experience" I will be forever thankful for, in spite of the editing sometimes being poor.
An excerpt from the introduction by Michael Marano: You feel this book, and you're made to feel in new ways because of it. It exists to be read and experienced and it exists to take you into those deep places within us most books are too afraid to let us acknowledge even exist.
I cannot recommend this book more highly, it is a MUST read!
Yes, I despair......
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books I've Ever Read 31 Mar 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In Silent Graves is ostensibly a story about a man unraveling the mystery of his wife's past, but his search leads him to discover some of his own secrets as well. A love story and an urban fantasy as well as a mystery and a horror novel, this book encompasses broad themes like the meaning of true love, the damaging effects of child abuse, and what it means to be human. At the same time, the completely believable characters and fast-moving plot make it a damned good story that will leave the reader wanting more.
Gary Braunbeck has been called the future of horror. This book shows why he could be the future of literature.
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