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Publisher's Summary

Charles Ripley has a good job as an engineer, a pretty wife, and an expensive house in a fashionable San Diego suburb. But it isn't until Ruskin Marsh moves in next door that Ripley realizes how passionless his life really is. Marsh, a connoisseur of the arts, high-powered lawyer, model husband and father, and effortless seducer of women, is so supremely alive that Ripley finds himself irresistibly drawn to him.
But after Marsh's arrival, local girls begin to vanish, marriages end violently, nights are split with endless, desperate screams, and horribly mutilated corpses are found. Soon, Ripley becomes caught up in an accelerating maelstrom of sex, drugs, violence, and ghastly, unimaginable rites...and begins to see the beauty of life.
From its profoundly unsettling first pages, Eric C. Higgs's The Happy Man (1985) reveals the nightmare underside of the American dream and brilliantly echoes the Gothic horror tradition of Edgar Allan Poe and Roald Dahl.
"The Happy Man is an essential '80s horror read: smart, sharp, unforgiving, unlike anything else in the genre." - Too Much Horror Fiction
"[A] grisly shocker, understated for the most part but carrying the impact of a fist to the stomach...a most promising debut." - San Diego Union
"A thoroughly engrossing Gothic horror story." - South Bend Tribune
©1985, 2018 Eric C. Higgs (P)2018 Valancourt Books LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Simone K on 03-24-18

Moderately Good

I wanted to like this book so badly. From the description to the narrator to the cover, it sounded right up my alley. I had the hardest time getting into this one. It seemed to get interesting in bursts to me but never really grabbed me. Perhaps it just wasn't for me! Matt Godfrey literally always does fantastic work, so it may be worth the listen just for him. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone only because it didn't strike a chord with me.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Jamie on 03-21-18

Well written little horror story...

If you could sum up The Happy Man in three words, what would they be?

Interesting. Thoughtful. Shocking.

What did you like best about this story?

The detail that the main characters were fleshed out.

Which scene was your favorite?

The last. Wrapped it all up nicely.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, but it kept me interested which is often no small feat.

Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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