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The Touch [Paperback]

F. Paul Wilson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 9.61 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 July 2009
Dr. Alan Bulmer discovers one day that he can cure any illness with the mere touch of his hand, with no rational explanation. Although he tries to hide it, word inevitably leaks out and soon Alans life begins to unravel. Only rich, beautiful, enigmatic Sylvia Nash stands by him, and Ba, her Vietnamese gardener, who witnessed such power in his homeland, where it is called Dat-tay-vao and always comes with a price. Help arrives unexpectedlySenator James McCready offers the use of his familys medical foundation to investigate Alans power. If it truly exists, he will back Alan with the full weight of the Foundations international reputation. Alan accepts McCreadys offer. But he has only begun to pay.
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Frequently Bought Together

The Touch + The Tomb (Repairman Jack Novels) + The Keep (Adversary Cycle)
Price For All Three: 29.52

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Product details

  • Paperback: 446 pages
  • Publisher: Forge; Reprint edition (7 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765321645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765321640
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 13.8 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 826,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was well written and keeps the reader entranced with it's characters and fast pace. The hero has the ability to really cure people by touching them - but the downside is that his own lifeforce is equivalently reduced. The love angle is charming and moving and the outcome - albeit a little predictable - I found exhiliarating. One for all ages - this book cannot fail to charm it's readers - and the beauty of it is that - their is a tie in with F. Pauls other novels starting with 'The Keep'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another genre classic from F Paul Wilson 1 Mar 2005
Format:Unbound
Without doubt, there are writers in any genre that become celebrities, while others who are as good (but haven't had the commercial machine of a large pub house driving sales) as their famous peers tick along in the background, only ever emerging to see the 'real' genre fans and taste limited success. Writers such as King and Koontz are two such machines from the world of darkness that overshadow absolutly amazing genre contributers such as Mr. Wilson. His first book, The Keep, was a bestseller, and he has enjoyed limited success with his novels since. The Touch casts a family GP doctor as main protagonist, who's dedication to the practice of hands-on on medicine, that personal touch that makes the difference between good and bad care, whose life is turned upside down when he is possessed by a power that gives him almost divine healing powers. The balance of plot and character is drawn well in this story, unlike some of Wilson's earlier work which were more plot that you can shake a stick at, and the emotional responses of Alan (the doc.) are realistic and well considered, leaving the reader feeling much empathy with his problems. The Touch works to chill you, enlighten you, shock you, make you smile, make you snigger and most of all, leave you contented you've read a great story. Five stars without doubt, and keep reading F. Paul Wilson.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Continuing story. 24 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Following the success of 'The Keep', this progresses the unseen world, but is on its own a weaker novel, as the premise makes you expect more in the way of horror and originality. As a means to an end, satisfactory.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book 3 of the Adversary Cycle 9 April 2010
By herdy1
Format:Paperback
The Touch is the third book in what forms the Adversary Cycle, and is not related to either of the previous two books. Those two books, The Keep & The Tomb are both unrelated aswell. However, the author assures that all events will tie up in the conclusion Nightworld, to be released in 2012 as a heavily revised edition (previously released back in '92 or '93 I think). All the Repairman Jack books tie into the conclusion aswell, and overall pretty much all of F. Paul Wilson's novels form what he calls the Secret History of the World. Anyway, The Touch can be read independantly as just an excellent stand-alone supernatural/medical thriller if you so choose. It's a great story about a doctor who still stands by the basic principles that his money grabbing peers have long-forgotten, and simply wants to heal people of their pain. When chance offers him a miraculous way of carrying out feats of healing on a massive scale, he cannot wait to offer it to the world and cure some of the worst illnesses and disabilities that can be inflicted on people. But, it comes at a terrible price. That you will have to discover by reading the book...
Also contains the original short story Dat-tay-vao, which explains the origins of the miraculous power to heal. Both have been out of print for many years, so now is a good chance to see what all the fuss about this author has been about. A great storyteller, F. Paul Wilson is in my opinion one of the best in the genre, and up there with Joe R Lansdale & Dan Simmons. Brilliant.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Characters Make It Worth A Look 28 Oct 2002
By Daniel V. Reilly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Touch is Book Three in Author F. Paul Wilson's "Adversary Cycle", and while I've enjoyed all three books (The Keep and The Tomb are the previous installments), I still have NO clue what the have to do with one another. The Touch is a marked departure from the Horrific aspects of the two prior Adversary books; It's more in line with Wilson's Medical thrillers. Doctor Alan Bulmer is gifted (Or is it cursed..?) with the Dat-Tay-Vao, which enables him to heal with a touch, but seems to be exacting a terrible price. The characters are realistic and engaging, and Wilson's writing style is brisk; The story moves along quickly, and I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't able to predict every plot-twist a mile in advance. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Wilson's Adversary books.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Addition 19 July 2000
By Rich Horch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I became a big fan of F. Paul Wilson after reading The Keep and The Tomb. The Touch was the third book of his that I read and I was not dissapointed. The novel began a little slowly with an introduction of the characters but soon developed into a mysterious thriller. I liked the story and how Wilson only lets the reader know what's happening to the main character as he is finding out himself. I thought it was a very intelligent and thrilling book and a very worthy addition to Wilson's Adversary Cycle. The Tomb is still my favorite by far but I thoroughly enjoyed The Touch as well as any of the others.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant novel....both in 1985 and today 3 May 2010
By David Roy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Touch was written by F. Paul Wilson in 1985, but a new edition of the book has now been released. Being a new fan, I had to pick it up. I have no idea if this was the case when the book was originally written, but it is now part of Wilson's "Adversary Cycle", a series that also incorporates his "Repairman Jack" books. It will be interesting to see if events or characters in this book make reappearances in subsequent Jack books. This book shows that Wilson definitely had the writing "touch", even back in 1985.

Dr. Alan Bulmer has been a family physician for over a dozen years. One day, after a strange meeting with a seemingly-homeless man in the hospital, Bulmer discovers that his touch has the power to heal people instantaneously, wiping out everything from viruses to cancer, though it only works at certain times of the day. As word of this power leaks out, only Sylvia Nash, a beautiful, rich, and enigmatic woman whose son Bulmer has been treating, stands by him. Bulmer struggles to adapt to his changing circumstances, as well as to understand how "the Touch" works, but he may not get the chance. Sylvia's Vietnamese assistant, Ba, knows what the "Dat-tay-vao" is, and that it carries a price that Bulmer's only beginning to pay.

As I was reading The Touch, I found my mind wandering at times, wondering what parts of the book Wilson had updated. Bulmer's involved in a Senate committee testimony about health care, and I originally marveled at how some of the exact same arguments were being made back in 1985 that are being made today. Then I noticed that Wilson had updated a lot of the references to make the novel take place currently (Iraq, Harry Potter, etc). Finally, I was able to set that aside, but one thing really jumped out at me, one anachronism that made me stop and stare for a moment.

When the terminally ill Senator reflects back to when he was first diagnosed with his disease, Wilson has the doctor smoking like a chimney while he's giving the Senator his tests. Either the Senator has been sick for a very long time, or Wilson forgot to update that part.

However, when that's the only real fault I can come up with, you know that a book is good. Wilson captures his characters brilliantly, both heroes and villains, making you want to continue to read about them. You actually have some sympathy for the Senator and his circumstances until Wilson cuts off that sympathy by showing to what extent he will go to in order to get his cure. Bulmer, Nash, even Axelford (a sometimes boyfriend of Nash who is extremely skeptical of anything that requires "belief," which includes the Dat-tay-vao until he can scientifically prove it), all of them spring off the page in full three dimensions.

I thought at first that the opening of the book was extremely slow, but as I continued through it, it became apparent that it was all very important set up. We see a lot of Bulmer's mindset as a physician during this time, his need to help people. His view that "hands-on" medicine is much better than the "take a number, prescribe a pill, see next patient" method of medicine that is too inhuman. Thus, when Bulmer does get the Dat-tay-vao, his struggle to use it (or not use it, as his life starts to get worse) is even more poignant.

Wilson's prose is excellent as well. He even manages to make the medical terminology palatable, once they begin figuring out just how the Dat-tay-vao is affecting Bulmer. Even the rather slow beginning is more from the pace of the novel than the prose itself. Wilson's writing keeps you reading to find out about these characters (especially Ba, who I loved).

This edition of The Touch also has a new short story that fleshes out the story of how the Dat-tay-vao left Vietnam during the war and made its way to the northeastern United States. I believe this is a brand new story, and even in its shortness, Wilson manages to capture everything beautifully.

Since I have never read the original book, I don't know if Wilson changed the ending at all to make it fit better with the "Adversary Cycle." Without being part of a series, it very much fits the "everything's finished...for now" conclusions that many authors go for. Whether it's been changed or not, the ending makes it obvious to me that at least one character is going to show up again. Yet the book itself does reach a conclusion; there is no "to be continued." I like that in a novel.

The Touch is another masterwork by F. Paul Wilson. Whether as a standalone novel or as part of the Cycle, it's definitely worth a read if you like a bit of medical horror in your reading diet.

Originally published on Curled Up With a Good Book David Roy, 2009
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a Horror Novel 24 May 2004
By Dean E. Turner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a book of suspense not horror. And like most of Wilson's books his character development is exceptional. I even recommend it to my wife who doesn't like horror novels. How this book fits into the Adversary Cycle I havent't a clue. So I guess I'll just have to read the final three to find out. A great book for a "dark and stormy night".
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who says doctors don't care? 10 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A wonderful story of a man dealing with the uncaring medical machine he is a part of, the love of his profession, and the trials of being more than just an average doctor. A doctor with a heart who feels that patients should be treated like people instead of bodies to be processed, he is given the gift of the healing touch. Like most gifts, this is a double edged sword and there are those who want him and his gift for their own purposes.
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