When a rare mental disorder begins to consume his small-town neighbors, a young psychiatrist digs up the past for clues to the epidemic’s bone-chilling source in this brilliant supernatural horror debut, written in the bestselling tradition of Peter Straub.
Convinced that evil spirits have overtaken his daughter, a desperate father introduces her to Nat Thayer, a young psychiatrist in their sleepy blue-blooded Massachusetts college town. Thayer quickly diagnoses the girl with Cotard Delusion, an obscure condition sometimes described as “walking corpse syndrome.” But Thayer soon realizes his patient—and many of the local families—are actually being targeted by a malignant force resurrected from the town’s wicked history. Thayer must discover the source of the spreading plague…before there is no one left to save. – Goodreads Synopsis
The Binding Review
The Binding, by Nicholas Wolff, weaves a tale of age-old vengeance visited upon a small town. It’s a theme that has been done almost ad nauseam but somehow never gets old. Perhaps its our fascination with history, entwined with the idea of ‘sins of the father’ that gives this sort of tale a shivery pleasure.
Wolff’s take on this tale is, unfortunately, average. While most of the individual threads of the story are fascinating, the weaving leaves something to be desired. The characters seem one-dimensional, and do not act in ways that lend themselves to being engaging personalities that one can identify with. The plot is as formulaic as can be expected with this type of story, up to and including the diary of events that the main character discovers that leads to the ‘big reveal/discovery’. The book itself tends towards “almost”. Almost creepy, almost well-written, almost fascinating. Almost a great take on an old yarn. The elements are all there, it’s just the execution that is lacking.
I was left, overall, with the impression that I’d just read the book form of a low-budget B-grade horror movie. One that had the potential to be interesting, but had, due to a variety of factors, fallen just short of that potential. Whilst not a bad read, it is neither engrossing or more than moderately entertaining and I cannot recommend it in its present form.
Have you guys had a chance to read this yet? Did you think this The Binding review was fair?