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The M.D.

A Horror Story


Thomas M. Disch (View Bio)
Hardcover: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991.

"Simply one of the best novels of horror-fantasy I’ve ever read. Thomas Disch has been writing wonderful tales of imagination for years now—stories that sometimes amuse, sometimes sting, sometimes horrify, and sometimes manage to do all three at the same time—but The M.D. is surely his magnum opus." — Stephen King

"An extraordinary feat of the imagination…. A superlative chiller with a surprisingly thought-provoking symbolic subtext and a remarkably evocative, often brilliant, style." — Washington Post

"A truly stunning work of supernatural horror." — San Francisco Chronicle

"Each new page, like an electric eel, is poised to shock." — Los Angeles Times

"Resonates with surprise and menace." — USA Today

"Endowed with the power to heal or destroy by the Roman god Mercury, Minnesota grade schooler Billy Michaels embarks on a strange lifelong journey. Spanning the early 1970s through 1999, this well-written horror novel takes Billy from childhood innocence and casual cruelty to adult greed and calculated evil…. A multitude of major and supporting characters, a good many subplots, plus much dark and wicked humor all contribute to the tale’s success. By the author of the children’s fantasy The Brave Little Toaster and several science fiction works, this lengthy adult entertainment is well suited for summer weekend reading" — Library Journal

"Subtitled ‘A Horror Story,’ this chilling tale begins mid-century in placid St. Paul, Minn., where little Billy Michaels is visited by the god Mercury, who announces that the stick Billy holds, with the desiccated corpse of a sparrow tied to one end, is a caduceus, whose power to harm and heal can be triggered by any curse uttered in rhyme. Disch—poet, playwright, writer of SF, children’s books, short stories and novels—follows Billy from his first experiences with the stick-—healing nearby elm trees of Dutch elm disease, paralyzing his teenage stepbrother, turning his grandmother bald—into a life thoroughly corrupted by power…. As gruesome horrors accrue, Disch spares few of humanity’s institutions." — Publishers Weekly

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