The Spirit: Thomas Page
Reviewed By Steve Stred
- Paperback: 242 pages
- Publisher: Valancourt Books (6 Aug. 2019)
“Silence was an unnatural state of nature, Jones thought. It meant you were being watched.”
When Grady Hendrix unleashed the ‘Paperbacks From Hell’ release on the world, it opened up something unique in horror fans. It gave a guide to forgotten tomes that would otherwise get passed by.
While I have yet to read ‘Paperbacks…’ its influence is far-reaching. Through the book, Valancourt Books announced a series of reprints/rereleases featuring rarities from “Paperbacks From Hell.”
The Spirit from Thomas Page was one such book. When it was announced, I saw an alternate cover than the new release version and knew I needed that one in my meagre collection. I tracked down an old paperback online and was finally able to get reading it recently.
The book is outstanding.
The story cuts right to the chase, no long build-up, no mystery about what’s happening.
A group of hunters are in the Caribou in northern Canada on a hunt when they’re attacked by a creature. Only one man survives and that man gets a decent enough look to know that the creature they were savaged by was a Bigfoot.
From there the man becomes obsessed with tracking it down, killing it and exposing it to the world.
The plot then casts a net to include a scientist, a park ranger, a ski resort owner and of course the secondary main character; the native man who is also following the Bigfoot, on his own spiritual quest.
The story moves along at a brisk pace and Page does a brilliant job of keeping tension throughout. He introduces a number of theories throughout as to what Bigfoot may be if they do exist and then pairs that with the back story of the native man, which I really enjoyed.
I only had one small gripe with this book, but I did take it into context of the year it was released, and that was the minimal female character. There was only one female character in the story, one who had extensive knowledge on Native American’s, but who was frequently pushed away & at times she was treated horribly.
As I said, I really dug this story, the entire mythology behind it and the backstories peppered throughout elevated the narrative. I’m really thankful this book came onto my radar & there’s a very high likely hood I’ll snag the new release from Valancourt to read Grady’s intro and have the new cover.
It has many names: Bigfoot . . . Yeti . . . Sasquatch.
But whatever it is, it’s out there in the woods and leaving a trail of blood and severed heads behind it.
For John Moon, a half-mad Indian, it is a spirit that holds the key to his inner self. He worships its power and he’ll kill to protect it. Desperate, exhausted, half-starved, Moon will follow it wherever it goes.
For Raymond Jason, killing it has become an obsession. He was the only survivor of a hunting trip to the Rockies where the hunters became the monster’s prey. Now he is determined to track the creature down and destroy it.
But when the two men finally corner their quarry they set loose a flood of terror and destruction that may leave no survivors …
This long-awaited reissue of Thomas Page’s Bigfoot classic The Spirit (1977) features a new introduction by Grady Hendrix and cover art by paperback horror legend Tom Hallman.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of the novels Invisible & The Stranger, the novellas The Girl Who Hid in the Trees, Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, and the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun.
On September 1st, 2019 his second collection of dark poetry and drabbles called The Night Crawls In will arrive. This release was specifically created to help fund the 1st Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here