If this might still actually be a really, really bad nightmare. The burn in my lungs and the strain of my muscles was too real for this to be a nightmare. The figure that was running towards me appeared to be a man, covered in blood and water. His heart and lungs were missing, yet he was still somehow alive, let alone running. His legs were indeed anatomically incorrect, longer than any human leg should be, as were its arms, which reached almost past its knees.
But the most horrifying part about him was his skin. Most of his skin was flat-out missing from his body - not missing as in being flayed off, but there were pieces of flesh and skin that appeared to have been slowly nibbled or chewed off of his body by fish or other scavengers. His eyes were missing - there was just two empty, yet wide-open sockets, the eyelids appearing to have been chewed or rotted off. His nose was also missing, as is his lips, ears, and most of the flesh around his cheeks, exposing his teeth.
The skin and flesh around his neck was also mostly gone, leaving barely enough muscle to still support his head. I felt the taste of bile in the back of my mouth as I turned around again, shining the beam forward, struggling not to start crying myself. We were starting to slow down now, breathing in the putrid stench of decaying fish, which seemed to have gotten even worse than at the beginning.
The boardwalk was no more than forty yards away now. I noticed Jessica had stopped crying, having forced herself to focus on the one thing she needed to do. I risked a glance behind me again. The figure was almost ten yards away. Jessica let go of the bag, which lent her a little extra boost of speed.
A few seconds later, we finally reached the boardwalk. I vaulted over the railing while Jessica had to climb over it, which gave me an extra head start. I ran past the row of stores selling goods, Jessica soon right behind me, jumping over a low concrete barrier, reaching the parking lot. I located our car - which, again, was the only one in the entire lot - and dashed over to it. I turned around just as she caught up with me. I inadvertently shined the flashlight at her face, illuminating her wide eyes and terrified features.
The confused, then newly horrified look on her face was all she had to offer. I almost shit my pants when I realized it too - our keys were in that bag. It deflected the blow. I tried again, this time throwing my weight against it as I did so. The glass shattered, pain shooting down my forearm. I looked Jessica in the eye. Her eyes grew even larger than I thought they could, but before she could say anything I reached forward and pulled open the glove compartment.
I blindly pushed a few objects aside, found what I was looking for, and pulled it out. It was too dark to see what it as, but I knew it just by feel. In fact, other than the horrible smell, it was dead quiet. Not even the ocean was making any noise. I had considered giving Jessica the gun to protect herself, but she barely even knew how to hold one.
Once reaching the beach, I swept my flashlight across the cold sand, frantically searching for the bag. It took longer than I wished, but eventually I found the bag. I quickly dug into it and pulled out the car keys, not bothering to spend any more time bringing the entire bag back. As I began running back to the boardwalk, I heard it again. That awful sound - the human, yet inhuman, scream of something coming from the sea, something splashing, and this time, that deep, powerful, reverberating sound again.
I spun around, flashlight and gun both pointing out towards the water. What I saw pretty much made me shit my pants. All around the edge of the water, which expanded as far as the moonlight was able to illuminate, figures were staggering and lunging out of the water. The scent of rotting fish was physically painful at this point. I leveled my handgun towards the nearest sprinting figure, using my flashlight as a guide.
I squeezed off six shots. I gave another look over my shoulder, and that was when I noticed something, far out in the ocean. A massive shape was slowly rising up from the surface of the water, at least several hundred yards out to, sea yet still large enough for me to see clearly at that distance. I had no idea what it was, but it was so large, it was literally stretching across the horizon. It was then I realized something. It was a sixth sense, something primal and buried deep within me.
I crossed the boardwalk, fired three more shots behind me, returned to the parking lot, and ran to my car. Not bothering to wait for her response, I reached through the broken driver window, unlocked the door, and clambered in. My shaking hands managed to shove the keys into the ignition just as the first few creatures reached up to the parking lot. I raised my pistol in one hand and fired two bullets into its head. Its head was thrown back by the impact of the rounds, but otherwise, it was completely unaffected.
Out of desperation, I hammered the pistol down on one of its hands, which dropped out and left the creature hanging on with just one. Without anything to grasp on, the figure finally dropped away from the window. As I floored the gas pedal and came around the sharp bend in the road that would feed me to the main highway, I turned my head around to give one last glance at the beach.
The massive shape that I had seen before had now risen substantially. It was a mammoth, rounded dome, reaching at least several hundred yards up into the sky and with a width of at least twice that. It took me a few moments to realize what it was. I had just enough time to witness two gigantic, globular white shapes suddenly appear through the dark mass.
Eyes - eyes the size of entire buildings, which locked and focused directly on me for just a split second, before my car completed the turn and obscured my view. The sounds of car horns and engines slowly filtered into my senses. I have never been so happy to see and hear the signs of other human beings. Not much else to tell afterwards, really. I drove right to the nearest police station, saying that we got robbed and someone kidnapped Jessica. Really, I have absolutely no idea what happened at all that night.
I imagined these creatures looking like drowned victims. I was half expecting Lovecraft's-like sea monster. Italy Available as ebook Available as ebook Available as ebook. Where to buy Where to buy Where to buy. Full-color illustrations by Mara Cerri Left alone on the beach to fend for herself, a doll named Celina is having a terrible night. Maurizio de Giovanni Cold for the Bastards of Pizzofalcone , pp. Andrea Camilleri The Sect of Angels , pp. Fabio Bartolomei We Are Family , pp.
Al Santamaria is a child prodigy, maybe a genius. But then as we grow, wonder, faith, and imagination are tempered or lost. Everything has a shadow; every loss is also a gain. And maybe if we hold on tightly enough, we can keep a small amount of the wonder, faith, and imagination — enough to light a single candle, maybe.
If you enjoy wondering but not knowing, exploring highly visual and imaginative landscapes, and descriptive prose then I would give this one a try. But his sort of comforting, ethereal, yet slightly creepy voice is just about perfect for this book. Also seen on The Readventurer. View all 34 comments.
Feb 02, Shirley Marr rated it liked it Shelves: I just like to read and then tell people what I think. I don't fawn unless it is genuine. I don't criticise unless the book forces me to be passionate and want the author to do better. So please find enclosed my review. From the onset I wanted to love this book. I wanted to love Kirsty's first book, Raw Blue.
I didn't quite get there and gave it a non-committal 3 stars. Saltwater Vampires … yeeeaaahhh, but naaahhhh maybe the title puts me off. Are there Freshwater Vampires too? Does one require Steve Irwin to wrangle them? But this novel is where me and Kirsty can make a fresh start. Night Beach is a deeply Gothic, ghostly story about Abbie and her love of the Deep Blue Sea which she surfs and loves. Where at the bottom of her soul, her latent obsessions and desires over the ocean, Kane the boy she craves and her artwork create a monstrous place that starts to take on a supernatural life of its own called The Night Beach.
The most frightening thing is that Abbie might just be haunted by herself. Will this take her to a place of madness in her mind of no return? I admit the first chapter didn't immediately grab me. I was promised Night Beach. Gimme ghosts… or sumthin'. Chapter two onwards I am prepared to be on truce terms with the novel.
We go slowly, eyes on each other at all times. Normality is slowly leaving me, like the tide going out. I don't know the answers, but I want them so badly. I can't read fast enough. The chapters just build and build. The book gets creepier and creepier. This is so delicious, I don't think I can stop reading. Someone stop me, I'm going to explode from the deliciousness. At the same time I am so scared that this "gothic" billed book is going to spiral into your typical view spoiler [PNR!!!!
Arghhhh hide spoiler ]. This keeps me on tetherhooks. This novel is billed as "Gothic" and Gothic with a capital G this book is. Eagar creates a beautiful mindscape of the Australia suburban seaside - where numbing middle-class living and the wild ocean collide through the glass windows of a beach-facing house, in a setting that feels both claustrophobic and all-consuming. I am breathless with the description of the house that Abbie lives in as having no hallways. Only rooms that open into other rooms and chandeliers on ceilings that are positioned in strange corners, these circumstances never explained.
What an absolute hottie. I can absolutely understand the animal attraction that Abbie has with him. Being the daughter of a tradesman myself, building sites filled with wolf-whistling, young working-class tools don't daunt me. In fact, in the middle of the Australian summer heat, I often stand slack-mouthed, watching the tanned, topless bodies of these sexist and piggish Aussie men and I can't explain the attraction.
Kirsty Eagar captures Abbie's feelings spot on. Abbie's obsession with her painting and art is realistically rendered too. I have the feeling that Eagar has imbued her protagonist with the same obsessive feelings that Eagar probably has towards her own novel writing endeavours, which reads a little obvious, but the intention rings true. The yearning and the need to create come across very strong and poetic.
Together - Abbie's obsessive wanting of Kane combined with her obsessive need to create art mash together into a series of chillingly beautiful supernatural experiences Abbie starts going through. Boy does the book deliver on the brief of scary story in the first half. The extra cherry being that the book does not take that hackneyed and beaten-to-death-reincarnated-and-then-beaten-to-death-again roughly around a dozen or so times route I expected to.
It exceeded all my expectations. All culminating with a mid-point that is so beautiful that my view spoiler [own hide spoiler ] hair was standing on end! Five Stars for you, Kirsty Eagar. What happens after the midpoint, I can only describe as strange and subtle. The book starts to fall in on itself, almost grain by grain. Whereas the first half builds up to the perfect peak, the second half begins that same slide downwards just as measuredly.
First I start to notice that the writing is not as magical anymore. I can't really put it down to anything but that the "x-factor" is gone. Then the writing starts to read like this: What it's like to scramble. Kirsty Eagar's writing is lovely in the fact that it is simple and effortless. When she writes about feelings and the tacit, it comes across as beautifully classic and it's this rendering of prose that suites her best.
Shy college student Nasir Khan spends the night with a quirky, mysterious girl, and is horrified when he awakens to find she has been murdered. John Turturro, Riz Ahmed, Bill Camp. Episode cast overview, first billed only. We all love going to the beach. Well, most of us. In Southern California, beaches are so dang easily accessible. The long strip of coastline.
When she tries to over-work and over-think her words and be consciously clever, it can be… well, you just read that excerpt didn't you? Things also start to feel pedestrian and flatten out. New small real-world sub-plots are added in. A series of ultimately dead-end scenes and scenarios involving babysitting, troubles with dad, troubles with sister, wandering around pointlessly mooning over an ex boyfriend occur.
It feels like Kirsty Eagar has peaked and doesn't really know what to do between now and the final climax. I am slowly losing interest and at one stage my eyes skim over a chunk of words and I realised with a sinking heart that my mind had just wandered. This should be the point when Kirsty begins to tie all the lose ends together and bring the baby home, but it feels like all the threads are unravelling instead. It also feels suspiciously like the rushed writing of someone writing large chunks on end, with no time to stop in-between to take a breather, with perfunctory editing.
By the time the climax arrives I am debating its payoff value and the denouement goes through the expected motions. The best thing I can say is that the "mystery" does not disappoint in its final execution. I didn't feel cheated. The final scene is okay. I felt this book was released before it was ready. And what a shame. It had all the potential in the world to be spectacular. You know that horrible achey feeling you always feel when you think of the term "the one that got away"?
Whether it be a boy or an opportunity or just something very special that slipped through your fingers? Well I feel absolutely that way over this book. The first half was perfect. I wish the second half was too. This book absolutely refuses to let go of me. So maybe I should give it four stars for impact. But I have to give it three stars for technical execution. I followed my hunch that something went wrong with the second half, looked around on the web and I discovered that the publication date was originally February - pushed back to April with the author stating that she felt it would be a "better book" for it.
I just feel maybe Kirsty ran out of time in the end. Under the circumstances, I think Kirsty did fantastic and I applaud her. Thanks to Penguin and Netgalley for the advance copy of this book View all 68 comments. Feb 17, Melina Marchetta rated it it was amazing. I was asked to blurb this by Penguin so this is my quote: A powerful story about yearning and fear and finding the beauty in the spaces between.
Apr 27, Arielle Walker rated it liked it Shelves: Oh, this book frustrated me. The writing the physical, lyrical arrangement of words on the page, that is was absolutely beautiful. I wish I could give it 5 stars just for the writing. It was dark and sultry and evocative and I wanted to keep reading for longer, regardless of story. But the actual plot - well, was there even a plot? There was a supernatural thing, an evil?
Everything else throughout the book was so beautifully described - why not the transitions from "normal" to "fantasy"? I just couldn't work it out. In fact, I think I would have been happier with the story if the supernatural element was entirely removed - although that would have left the story as a rather more bland "artist girl is obsessed with boy" teenage drama, and the writing deserves more than that. Melina Marchetta wrote a blurb for the cover, and this seems fitting to me for the prose was equal to, if not better than her own writing, which I adore.
However, where Marchetta triumphs hugely over Eagar is that she takes simple, unconfused plots and turns them into something magical, so that you feel as though you're reading a fantasy but it is still firmly anchored in real life. This book was almost the opposite. In terms of plot, however, I will give Eagar props for remaining true to the characters. Maybe Eagar will write another book, a not-quite-sequel where the plot becomes as important - as coherent and beautiful - as the prose, and Hollywood is a main character.
I can only hope. I kept getting distracted by needing to check online for images of the mentioned artworks, so I decided to put them here, in sort-of order of appearence: Jan 31, Heather rated it it was ok Shelves: If pretentiousness had a name, it would be Night Beach.
It is a shame. There was so much potential here. To give credit, where credit is due, the blurb was outstanding, and the first half of the book… well it kind of rocked. Eager has an uncanny talent for writing the human condition. But…I do believe Eagar bit of more than she could chew. Not only is this book about compulsive teen angst, but also the artistic process, the derivative of the creativity that feeds it, and some supernatural mumbo jumbo that frankly was too weird for words.
I mean that truly. The disorientation is normal, and the confusion evoked by Abbie waxing poetic about her dad and scrambled eggs most likely exists because the author lost her way. Thankfully, art is subjective. So while I may not find a photo of a surfboard locked in a cage a staggering work of art, I respect the right of others to call it such. To each their own. I may have to accept that her style is simply not for me. Sep 02, Jo rated it really liked it Shelves: I can be waiting at the bus stop and find at least five people I am jealous of.
Because, seriously, how does her hair stay so nice when it is chucking it down?
Um… I am not a jealous person but I am jealous of Kirsty Eagar and her writing. Exhibit A - Raw Blue. One of the most evocative and ridiculously heart wrenching books I read last year. And, guys, I read Jellicoe Road last year. This book is incredibly intense. I miss being scared by a book. I think Night Beach could be classed as horror. O], Night Beach definitely flirts shamelessly with horror and I bet horror will buy it a drink and kiss it at the end of the night.
Because, come on, that is going to be gooooooood. She was immaculate in her craziness. Just when I thought I had a grasp of what her personality was like and I had made up my mind she did something that completely shattered my expectations. I like characters that are always in motion, always growing, always developing, always learning things about themselves, becoming stronger.
I think Abbie is the perfect example of this. I loved how Ms Eagar never really encouraged you to like Abbie. There were so many aspects of Abbie that were so far removed from my own personality and emotions that I was a bit unsure what to make of her. But then again, there were other parts of Abbie that felt like I was looking into a mirror. Is it possible to feel that way about a character? Feel like they are both the opposite and the exact same as you? Before I read this book, I would have probably said no, but Ms Eagar has made me change my mind.
When I first read the synopsis of this book, I thought it was going to be a paranormal romance book. You want me to say what kind of story it is? Will that do you? Anyway yes, this book. Sorry for yelling, but she seriously does. Because it is exactly the same as mine. And I have the best taste in music. I love Patrick Wolf ridiculous amounts and I like to keep him close to my chest because his music makes me feel every emotion there is to feel mostly JOY and it feels personal. Maybe I should set it as my ringtone and go and stand on Blackpool pier and basically become Abbie.
Though… you never know in Blackpool. But seriously, ra-ra-ra Kirsty Eagar. Read this book, yeah? I received a copy of this book from the author. You can read this review and lots of other exciting things on my blog, Wear the Old Coat. View all 15 comments. Sep 04, Carla rated it it was amazing Shelves: Let them slide down my throat and seep into my lungs.
I would let them steal my breath and claim my oxygen for their own. And you know why? Night Beach is one of the most evocatively beautiful novels I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Dark and encompassing but ambiguously so; it invokes a fear that feels irrational because all you have is am impression of a thing, just an idea and that is all it takes for the roots of uncertainty to take hold. This is a tour de force of a third novel; Eagar has made her voice so distinct that she can blur the lines between genres and not once lose the distinct quality of her writing.
To give credit, where credit is due, the blurb was outstanding, and the first half of the book… well it kind of rocked. Nov 27, Shelleyrae at Book'd Out rated it it was amazing Shelves: Abbie feels abandoned in her own hometown. View all 47 comments. A few seconds later, we finally reached the boardwalk. Search 'orphan of kos' on images! Things also start to feel pedestrian and flatten out.
Her prose is powerful and lyrical and laced through with her intuitive talent of knowing just the right words to say to turn something ordinary into the extraordinary. Her lush descriptions are at the heart of this novel; her interpretation of art and all that stimulates the creative process to the undercurrents of threat, everything was startlingly beautiful yet jarring at the same time. The relationship between Abbie and Kane is both disturbing and then not.
This is not a crush, this is an obsession. It is so psychologically intense that it is thrilling and frightening all at the same time. And you will dislike them but resisting is futile; you will love them and they will consume you with so much intensity it will make your head spin. The power of suggestion you guys. Are you missing something? Or is everything as it seems to be? Turn everything you think you know about this book right on its head. Not everything can be explained or described; there are shadows and shades that not even the brightest minds can shine light into.
Your mind can play tricks on you and so will this book. But will lull you and soothe you and whisper secrets to you that you can never quite hear. View all 4 comments. May 02, Jasprit rated it it was ok Shelves: From Raw Blue I knew Eagar had the knack for creating a raw, achy and intense read, from just reading one of her books I knew Eagar was an author who could leave such a lasting impression that I would be thinking about her book for days afterwards.
Her writing flowed effortlessly; it was magnetic, poignant and could easily lull you into a false sense of security. Night Beach never failed in this respect. I think because of the writing I felt compelled into finishing the book, otherwise I think I would have given up ages ago. Raw Blue was constantly on my mind days after finishing it because it had a huge impact on me. With Night Beach it too was on my mind, several times when I was reading it and afterwards but for totally different reasons; because it left me totally baffled.
We would be constantly writing back and forth to each other with our theories and what we thought would happen, but boy were we wrong. It could be quite creepy at times as the direction of the book could change so quickly. I commend Eagar for tackling something out there and for keeping me hooked in anticipation. Also I felt that whenever I felt the book was going in a great direction the chapter would abruptly end and start at something fresh. By the end of the first few chapters I probably had a huge list of questions I still needed answering.
I usually need answers really quickly otherwise my attention seems to drop suddenly. On a few occasions I was tempted to skip ahead just so that I could clear some of the confusement in my head. Thank you Keertana for reading this with me. This review can be found on: View all 22 comments. Dec 26, Amanda rated it really liked it Shelves: Abbie is seventeen and lives at home with her mum and step-dad.
Her step-cousin, Kane, has been overseas on a surf trip but returns home early. Abbie has been obsessed with him since he moved into the room below their house. Both of them surf but Kane never even acknowledges her until the day he returns home. While they're out on the water, an incident occurs betw Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar is set in Sydney, Kirsty fictionalised the North Narrabeen and the surrounding suburbs to suit her story.
While they're out on the water, an incident occurs between Kane and one of the regulars. Abbie is sure she saw something behind Kane, right before the incident occurred but the memory is blurry in her mind. Kane then offers Abbie a lift home and while helping him unload his car, she notices a notebook of his but quickly puts it back into his bag when he returns. To take her mind off of Kane, Abbie heads to her room to take another photo of her reflection, it's something she's been doing for a while and she often holds a handwritten message in the photo to convey what she's feeling at the time.
She's currently on holidays so she has plenty of time to surf and work on her Visual Arts project before she returns to school and she also babysits for the Clarke's, looking after their daughter Joey and her imaginary friend, Pinty. It's not long before Abbie realises there is something weird about Kane and she knows it has to do with what went on during his surf trip. Then Abbie starts having weird dreams and she's sure Kane bought something back with him and now it wants her too. I don't know where to start with this book.
I had been looking forward to it ever since I read Saltwater Vampires earlier this year. I thought Night Beach would be a follow on from Saltwater Vampires, not a direct sequel but that it would be about vampires and surfing. I spent most of the beginning of the book wondering when it would be revealed that Kane had returned as a vampire but I was completely wrong and I'll let you know now, there are no vampires in Night Beach but it is still a realistic fiction cross paranormal story, set in Australia that involves surfing.
Kirsty really knows how to set the mood for her books. From the opening page and the description of Walls surf break I knew I was in for a chilling, haunting read but I'm sure you all knew that just from looking at the cover, it suits the book perfectly. Abbie was a brilliant protagonist. She's intelligent, artsy but also very lonely and in need of love. Her mother is often away and shows her no affection, she's as cold as the ocean. Her dad loves her but has re-married and has a child on the way and seems to have no time or room for her in his life.
Her sister, Anna, is away at uni and while they used to be close, they don't talk as much as they used to. Abbie has a best friend, Petey, but she's away in Darwin with her boyfriend and doesn't have time for Abbie now that she's not single. Abbie has drifted away from her other girlfriends but does have two male surfing buddies, Hollywood Ollie Wood and Max.
And then there's Kane, her older step-cousin, who she has been in love with and obsessed with for so long. He's a really typical, twenty year old guy and I'm sure he has always known about Abbie's crush but chose to ignore her anyway. They had a moment, before he went away, but Abbie doesn't know if he will even acknowledge it or if he even remembers. Her need for Kane is so real and so raw, I was drawn into her life so easily and I really felt for her. She's completely honest with herself about how desperate and weird she is around Kane and her need for his attention, I really admired her for that.
It's hard to talk about a lot of what happens in Night Beach because I think everyone will interpret this book in different ways. Kane did bring something back with him, a sort of evil spirit but even now I feel like I'm guessing because it was never quite clear to me and I did wonder if I was missing out on something. It was definitely creepy and left me feeling worried for Abbie and wondering what went on with Kane and his surf mates on their trip. But those questions are answered via his notebook, his friends from the trip and by Kane himself.
I was so pleased with how Abbie dealt with the issues she faced and how she grew over the book. While she might think she's always doing the wrong thing she makes a great decision at the end, I was so proud of her for being so strong.