Thursday, May 31, 2012

THANK YOU MR. WILSON .. for Repairman Jack and the-end-of-the-world

Today, with mixed emotions, I will begin to read the last Repairman Jack novel by F. Paul WilsonNightworld. The odd thing is: I've already read this book before, but not really. For those of you who don't know Jack, continue reading!

 I first discovered Wilson when I read his classic horror novel, The Keep, in 1981. The book was later turned into a truly awful movie several years later - avoid! Then, in 1984, I read The Tomb, which introduced us to one of the coolest, baddest and most complex action heroes ever created, Repairman Jack. Jack is part Travis McGee, part Rambo, part Indiana Jones and pure entertainment. He is a mercenary who  "lives off the grid" and "repairs" situations for people who hire him, often through violence, but just as often through clever scams Some of Jack's adventures have a mystical, supernatural element in them, but mostly, they are pure adventure. If you are looking for a great beach book this summer, look no further than The Tomb.

CLICK HERE to see a list of Wilson's novels.

Unfortunately, for the next fourteen years, Wilson did not write another Jack novel, even though he continued to write some of the best contemporary fiction of the 80s and 90s - medical thrillers, horror novels and science fiction. In the early 90s he published three connected novels titled Reborn, Reprisal and Nightworld. In those books, the evil entity called Rasalom, supposedly destroyed The Keep, manages to have its essence stored as the soul of a cloned human, Jim Stevens. When Jim marries and has a child, Rasalom transfers its essence into the soul of Jim's son, who is born preternaturally aware and feeds off human misery and fear. Rasalom has been reborn! The last book, Nightworld, is literally the end of the world, as Rasalom transforms earth into a world of a perpetual hellish night. Wilson himself has claimed that he will never write another novel that takes place after Nightworld., since in his fictional universe, nothing exists after that timeline.

Original editions of The Adversary Cycle

In 1998, Wilson finally published Legacies, a full blown Repairman Jack novel. And he kept writing them, fifteen in all. He also managed to crank out three Repairman Jack Young Adult novels, letting us meet Jack as an adolescent, learning how and why Jack the kid became Jack the Repairman.  And with each subsequent book, the story of Rasalom's emergence in the world creeps into Jack's world. Which leads us to the new edition of Nightworld, completely rewritten to incorporate the entire Jack storyline.

I approach the reading of this novel with torn emotions. Like anyone who loves fiction, I cannot wait to SEE WHAT HAPPENS, but on the other hand,  I also DO NOT WANT to see what happens to Jack, Gia, Vicki, Abe and the other characters who have become part of my life.

F. Paul Wilson
So, thank you Mr. Wilson for making the reading of Nightworld such a bittersweet experience, and thank you for creating such an amazing story and characterLONG LIVE JACK!


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