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The Snow Garden

2.4 (1882)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Snow Garden.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Christopher Rice(Author)

    Book details

A shocking death exposes dangerous forces of seduction, obsession, and vengeance lurking beneath the idyllic surface of a prestigious New England university.

It is more than just the late November weather that has cast a chill over the campus of Atherton University. When the wife of respected professor Eric Eberman is killed in a tragic accident, his secret student lover, Randall Stone, fears the professor tried to avert career suicide by committing homicide. Or do the dead woman’s haunting last words point to an even more damning crime?

Fearing the truth, Randall digs into his lover’s hidden history. But what he finds draws him and everyone he cares for into a dark dance of sexual manipulation, twisted retribution, and murderous rage where nothing is as it seems. And no one will escape from it unscathed…if they escape at all.

In this emotionally gripping tale from New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice, the past may seem buried, but it can come back with a deadly vengeance.

Revised edition: This edition of The Snow Garden includes editorial revisions.

Life imitates art imitates late-night cable TV in Rice's second college gothic novel (after A Density of Souls). Set in the histrionic, pansexual pharmacopoeia that is freshman year at fictional Atherton University, it follows the secret dramas of Kathryn, a San Francisco waif on the run from dark sexual secrets back home; her black, militant lesbian roommate, April; her best friend, Randall, a mysterious, gay, Gucci-clad prince; his roommate, Jesse, an enigmatic and apparently irresistible (straight? bi? predatory?) sex god; Tim, gay muckraker for the campus paper; and Dr. Eric Eberman, an art history professor with a theory about Hieronymus Bosch which, the author seems to suggest, has something to do with the plot. Eberman is sleeping with Randall, and the news of his wife's sudden demise makes for a panicky recall of events of nearly 20 years ago. Randall, having just broken up with Tim, is finding it harder and harder to resist Jesse's mysterious magnetism, but in order to find out whether Eric is a murderer, starts sleeping with Tim again to probe Eric's past. Kathryn finds herself drawn to one of Eric's misfit grad students, and April, who seems to exist merely to counterbalance the XY pH of the overall bitches' brew of the book, makes an observation about Kathryn that might well be applied to the author himself: "... you like drama. Epic, who-shot-JR drama." Said tendency muddles what might otherwise have been a decent gay-themed mystery, but readers may not want to relive freshman year for 400 pages in order to learn whodunit. Agent, Lynn Nesbit. (Feb. 13)Forecast: The son of Anne and Stan has enough of a following to guarantee respectable sales, bolstered by a 15-city author tour, national advertising and a teaser chapter in the paperback of A Density of Souls. Son of the bewitching Anne Rice, the author follows his first novel, A Density of Souls, with a second that is just as rife with murder, fear, madness, and homoeroticism. Unfortunately, it is also a histrionic hodgepodge, all set on a snowbound college campus in the Northeast. Respected Atherton University professor Eric Eberman seems devastated when his wife, Lisa, drives her Volvo into the icy Atherton River and drowns. Was it a drunken accident or suicide? This question and many more erupt into scandal when the small university town discovers that Professor Eberman has been sleeping with one of his male students, Randall Stone. Randall comes to suspect that Lisa's death was not accidental, and subsequently he and his tightly knit group of college friends go through tremendous amounts of angst, haunted by sexual desires and obscure fears and just generally all worked up. Rice tries to imbue this pretty much plotless novel with an aura of foreboding, but it just ends up being tiresome. Stick with mom. Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

2.4 (10437)
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Book details

  • PDF | 515 pages
  • Christopher Rice(Author)
  • Thomas & Mercer; Reprint edition (December 9, 2014)
  • English
  • 6
  • Gay & Lesbian

Read online or download a free book: The Snow Garden


Review Text

  • By Glenda on January 14, 2015

    I guess after working nearly 40 years on a university campus, the last years managing and directing the utilization of university facilities, I am naturally attracted to the college environment as a favorite setting for novels. Then, too, both this novel and The Density of Souls, which I reviewed yesterday, create a feel of the dark gothic tone I've loved since I first starting reading adult novels. This one, especially, also presents one of the most fascinating mysteries of suspense I've read. The author has also included information about the original publishing, what was changed...and provide the readers an opportunity to get to know the author better.The Snow Garden, originally published as Rice's second novel was his favorite of the first two. It is not similar to his debut except in his ability to hold readers in suspense and to a climatic ending, but more deeply reveals the writing genius that weaves a story that is ageless and certainly has a timeless story that will resonate for generations to come.The novel is amazing in the number of twists that come into the story, none of which could have been anticipated, at least in my opinion. At first, it comes across as a somewhat typical college campus student environment, with a variety of sexuality issues spotlighted that could be faced by any students who are excitingly moving away from home and trying to settle into a totally different environment where freedom seems the logical assumption. Ahhh, but that is where the mystery starts because one after another of the students find that either their past greatly influences their new-found freedom--or the personal interactions with other students totally opposes their expectations. Let's just say that I was happy my university classes were taken as a part-time, working individual who had no time or interest in the social environment of full-time students...The Prologue raises immediate interest, but then drops from the story, leaving the reader beginning to see the mystery start but left dangling...There was one thing that caught my attention that others might not--there was a mention of a former student who was now acting as the architect for buildings on the campus in a very modern style as compared to the rest of the campus. I immediately wondered why--didn't they have a campus master plan to prevent that sort of thing? LOL... Well, this mention was minor so I ignored it as something that just personally interested me... Assuming that the money contributed to the college was the reason the buildings were being accepted. I was happy though that some of the students were upset with the change... Of course this added reason for my personal pleasure--in more ways than one I discovered...The main scene for the book is in the dorm of a few main characters. Somehow, perhaps because of their background, although it doesn't say specifically, Randall Stone and Kathryn Parker had become very close friends, although not romantically.Then we have Randall's roommate who seems to be on campus purely to see how many girls he can get into bed... Having been designated as roommates places an ironic twist in itself as Randall is confronted with not being able to get in his room often... BTW, it was a coed facility, which was an unusual twist for me to accept given the time frame. In fact, it led to some of the relationship issues, as girls who had been hurt would no longer come to visit their friends on that floor...Neil Patrick Harris seemed to fit the personality of Randall... A good-looking guy with a mysterious background, or at least one he was unwilling to share... But we find that he had come to campus to meet Professor Eric Eberman, who had written a book delving into The Garden of Earthly Delights, which had been painted centuries ago, but which seemed to continue to garner study and research by others, including Eberman. Eberman was married by his wife had a sister with cancer and was away from home one weekends...It was during that time, that Randall visited his professor.It wasn't very long before Eric's wife was killed when she was on her way to her sister's home, but instead crashed over a cliff...Of course, that type of accident would cause an eruption of news and rumors all over campus. The first of which was if it truly was an accident or was it murder. No matter what was happening officially, Randall could not stop thinking of some of their conversations. He began his own investigation...In the meantime, Kathryn had become interested in the grad student to Professor Eberman. The secrets started to fall apart, as part of the overall gossip, especially from one student who was working for the college newspaper. He and Randall had hooked up earlier in the year and now Randall had approached him, using their past relationship, to get him to help in his investigation.Sooooo much more is happening on that campus and/or in the lives of those in that somewhat small circle of characters. It was only when the talk about the possible homicide that Professor Eberman was placed in a position of his secrets coming out... And that involved more than Randall...Enough, I've shared only about the characters, since the novel is definitely character-driven. But the actual mystery and suspense is for readers to discover on their own! It's Literally Unbelievable... Readers will move into horror scenes that will in the end explain the title of the book, in a most decidedly unique, macabre manner that will chill and totally surprise all! At least for me, that is... Let me know if you even began to glimpse the ending for this one! The intricacy of his story is pure genius. For those mystery and suspense fans, I believe you will find, like me, that it is far superior to many tales of mystery and will doubtless be timeless in its top place in great suspense novels.A masterpiece everybody should consider. In additional to other materials, the author has included his first ending which the publishers rejected... I'll agree that I prefer the revised, but I would have totally accepted the original as quite appropriate with the ending theme... Brilliant!GABixlerReviewsBook Provided by Publisher

  • By Kindle Customer on February 20, 2015

    This story starts with the death of a young woman. Her body rests on the ice of a creek near Atherton University. She isn't quite dead when someone takes a stick and manages to remove the bright red scarf she is wearing. Time moves on. Twenty years have passed and her death is a faded memory. But there is soon to be another death, and it will signal the start of a series of events that will have a profound effect on several students, and even a highly regarded professor.This is, for the most part, the story of a group of kids starting their first year of college. They are away from home and like many (or most) young adults at that age, they are trying to figure out who they are. The three main characters, Kathryn, Randall and Jesse, are all trying to leave their childhoods behind. For very good reasons. They are young, full of hope for a brighter future and shortsighted as very young adults tend to be, because it doesn't matter how much you want to leave your past behind- it will always be with you. The true hope is minimizing the damage it can have on your future.Randall is the lost child of the group. He has become extremely close to Kathryn in a short time and the relationship makes him want to be a better person. Unfortunately, he becomes sexually involved with a professor. Even more unfortunately, the professor's wife dies in a car crash. Her death looks like an accident...but is it?Kathryn is the backbone. She had a relationship with a college student her senior year of high school that left her worldview shaken. It created a rift between her and her parents and left several young women in precarious health. She is trying to figure out how to live with what has happened and has come to the opposite side of the country to attend college.Jesse appears to have it all together. He, too, has come east from California. He is the classic horndog. The guy who seems determined to make his way through as many of Atherton's young women as possible. He is charismatic and people are naturally drawn to him. This is Jesse's exterior. His interior is much darker.I enjoyed this book immensely. This book starts, for the most part, as a story about kids who are away from home for an extended period for the first time. There is so much going on in their lives that there is no reason to think that there is something darker lurking beneath the surface. But there is. And it's much darker than any of them are even remotely prepared for. There are small things at first. Tiny details, stories or conversations that don't quite add up. Nothing serious- just a nagging suspicion that all is not what it seems. As the story moved along, it became clear that there was something terribly wrong but it wasn't until the end that everything became clear.This is a story about how close love can sometimes reside with hate. How revenge taken years after an incident can become so out of proportion that it becomes monstrous. It's the story of the power that an adult can have over their students, and the terrible consequences that can come from abdicating that control and leaving those who should be able to trust a teacher in positions that will ultimately lead to their undoing. It's about the destructive power of guilt and the uselessness of lying about who you really are. It's the story of how all of this can come from something as innocent as a red scarf. It's one heck of a tale.My sincere thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for providing this book for me to read and review.

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