This article is about the Richard Matheson novel. In an introductory note, Matheson explains that the characters are the what dreams may come richard matheson pdf fictional component of the novel.
I was determined to fight against this image. Dammit, I never wrote ‘real’ horror to begin with! To me, horror connotes blood and guts, while terror is a much more subtle art, a matter of stirring up primal fears. But, by the mid-seventies, I had tired of playing the fright game.
Scaring the hell out of people no longer appealed to me. He based Chris’s family in the novel on his own. The prologue is narrated by a man telling of his visit from a psychic woman, who gives him a manuscript she claims was dictated to her by his deceased brother Chris. Most of the novel consists of this manuscript. Chris, a middle-aged man, is injured in an auto accident and dies in the hospital. Amid a failed séance that ends up reinforcing his wife’s belief that he didn’t survive death, an unidentified man keeps approaching Chris, telling him to concentrate on what’s beyond. Chris disregards this advice for a long time, unable to leave his wife Ann.
After following the man’s advice, and focusing on pleasant memories, he feels himself being elevated. Understanding now that he has died, he is surprised that he looks and feels alive, with apparently a physical body and sensations. After exploring the place for a while, he finds Albert, his cousin, who reveals himself as the unidentified man he had been seeing. Being a state of mind rather than a physical location, Summerland is practically endless and takes the form of the inhabitants’ wishes and desires. There is no pain or death, but people maintain occupations of sorts and perform leisure activities. The book depicts Summerland at length, through Chris’s eyes. Chris feels somehow uneasy, haunted by nightmares ending in Ann’s death.
Soon he learns that Ann has killed herself. Albert, who is as shocked as Chris, explains that by committing suicide Ann has placed her spirit in the “lower realm” from Summerland, and that she will stay there for twenty-four years — her intended life span. Albert insists that Ann’s condition is not “punishment” but “law” – a natural consequence of committing suicide. Since Albert’s job is to visit the lower realm, Chris asks to be taken there to help Ann. Albert initially refuses, warning Chris that he might find himself stuck in the lower realm, thus delaying his eventual, inevitable reunion with Ann. Chris eventually convinces Albert to attempt the rescue, though Albert insists that they will almost certainly fail.