Incubus: a novel

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Alfred A. Knopf, 1999 - Fiction - 322 pages
20 Reviews
Incubus (from Latin incubare, to lie upon): 1. an evil spirit or demon thought in medieval times to lie on women, seeking sexual intercourse; 2. a nightmare. Succubus: a female demon who preys similarly on sleeping men. The acclaimed author ofSister Wolf("A powerful haunting tale"--Jean Strouse,Newsweek) andGroup Sex("A rich and original stunner"--Cleveland Plain Dealer) now gives us her most thrilling and beautifully written novel. Surrounded by hills and pasturelands, the town of Dry Falls is a thriving agricultural community. The town itself and St. Anthony's, the local church, are deeply rooted in the natural order--blissfully ordinary and uneventful. But suddenly life in Dry Falls begins to go awry. A heat wave spikes in March; a three-month drought blights farms and gardens; animals give birth to monsters; women complain of sexual persecution. As one uncanny incident follows another, the natural order is disrupted. The townspeople seem to be living under a glass bell: the conditions in Dry Falls extend only as far as its borders--over the town line the weather is seasonable and crops ripen on schedule. Marital discord has reached epidemic proportions. In one-third of the households in town, men have lost sexual desire and the women blame them. Henry Lieber is the rector of St. Anthony's. He is an arch-believer, but his faith in the Christian God is wavering. He seeks proof of the spiritual dimension in any form, and will take it as he finds it. His wife, Cora, an expert cook and gardener, is a self-professed materialist, believing that the natural world is wise and orderly, and that the supernatural is the creation of a morbid mind or the product of wishful thinking. Evidence of the mysterious evil grows. An outline of the incubus experience gradually emerges. Although the attacker of the townswomen is invisible, every victim refers to it as "he." And it is clear to Henry Lieber, the self-appointed chief investigator, that the Dry Falls invader is both one and many. It takes the shape of traditional entities--an incubus demon, a succubus, a Frankenstein monster, an extraterrestrial, the Blessed Virgin. Its complex and absurd intelligence can masquerade as every kind of supernatural phenomenon.What kind of interaction does it want? Why is Dry Falls the target of demonic infestation? How can Henry Lieber, with his limited Christian magic, prevail against it? There is one thing the townspeople of Dry Falls can be certain of: if one invasion is repelled, another will follow . . . Incubus is a novel that lures us into its spellbound world and holds us enthralled.

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Review: Incubus

User Review  - OutlawPoet - Goodreads

Literary Horror As I finished this book, I imagined that this would be the sort of book that you either love or hate. This is literary horror. Subtle, slightly surreal, and very quiet. If you are more ... Read full review

Review: Incubus

User Review  - Terri - Goodreads

This book was really slow for me. I expected a story about an Incubus but it was quite different kind of horror story. I didn't dislike it , it was just not compelling enough. I usually really like ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
11
Section 3
19
Copyright

27 other sections not shown

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About the author (1999)

Ann Arensberg was born in Pittsburgh, grew up in Havana, Cuba, and was educated at Radcliffe College and Harvard University. She is the author of two previous novels, Sister Wolf, which won the 1981 American Book Award, and Group Sex. Her short stories have been included in the O. Henry Awards Prize Stories anthologies. She lives with her husband in northwestern Connecticut.

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