Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Visitor

They did not invite him....

He was out of this world.

The Visitor - Christopher Pike
1995, 168 pages

Tom was not like a normal teenager. First off, he looked weird. He was too tall, too thin, and his hair was practically white. Also, he had incredible eyes. When you looked into them you felt like you were staring into deep space. Some thought he was from outer space. Almost everyone believed he was a nice guy. But was Tom really nice? Was he even human?

I have multiple beefs (beeves?) with this book description. Tom doesn't even appear until page 75. Up to that point I was like: "What the hell? Who's Tom?" No one thought he was from space, no one thought he was nice, and his human status wasn't called into question. By anyone. Ever.

Also, Pike must have been a recent grad of the James Patterson school of the two-page-chapter when he wrote this. There are 42 chapters crammed into 168 pages. And an epilogue. Aaaaaand chapter 4 is like 19 pages long for some reason.

So, now that we know Tom has little-to-nothing to do with it, let's hit up the character list:

Jerry Rickman - Mary's boyfriend

Mary Weist - Jerry's grieving (read: horny) girlfriend
Pamela Poole - school bitch
Savey Barker - hot for Mary
Ken Rickman - Jerry's little brother

Tom - whatever

Words found on page 1: waking, nightmare, consciousness, dream, memory, napping, sleeping, and chronic fatigue. I'm not even joking. Chronic. Fatigue. Help me, you guys. I sense an abundance of dreams coming up.

One month ago, Mary and Jerry (a teenage couple with rhyming names - gag me) broke into the principal's office to count the homecoming queen votes and see if Mary won. They weren't stealthy enough, and a security guard caught them. The guy was absurdly aggressive, and ended up shooting Jerry in the arm. Mary went apeshit and the gun went off again, this time hitting Jerry in the head. Mary had a superhuman moment and turned the guard's gun hand around, forcing him to shoot himself in the head. Then she fled, and didn't tell anyone she was there during the killings.

In the present, Mary has taken up hardcore cigarette smoking since Jerry's death, and her friend Savey had been trying everything to get in her pants now that she's single. It's a Friday night and Mary's sometimes-nemesis Pamela is having a house party. Savey picks Mary up for the party, where Mary proceeds to get smashed on expensive wine.

Jerry's little brother, Ken, wants to hold a séance to contact Jerry after the party. Just the idea makes Mary vomit THREE TIMES! She leaves the party to walk in the woods to the spot where she and Jerry had first made a soul connection. Fourteen months ago, Mary had been wandering aimlessly, thinking about a story she'd been writing about an Egyptian goddess who'd been trapped in a tomb by evil priests. She couldn't think of a way to end it without it being totally ridiculous. That's pretty telling, eh?

Jerry, an artist, had brought his easel and paints into the middle of the woods and was painting a skeleton in the desert and a spaceship with "insectoid creatures" coming out of it. I woulda been like: "Geek!" or "What kinda weirdo brings all his art shit out into the woods like that?", but Mary was very attracted to Jerry from the first moment.

This information was brought to you by Mary, lost in memory. Congratulations, Christopher Pike, for not just having her pass out in a wineful stupor and dream about it. Maybe I misjudged you.

Savey finds Mary in the woods, and brings her back to the party. Most of the guests are gone, so it's time to contact spirits. Pamela, the hostess, is wearing "silk sweats" and carrying around a can of beer. That sounds sooooo like a washed up movie star living in the hills drinking her days away. There are many mentions of Pamela possibly being infected with sexually transmitted diseases, and awesomely, she has a mirrored ceiling above her bed. Who the freak's parents would be redecorating their teenage daughter's bedroom and be like: "Flowered wallpaper, pink window treatments, dusty rose carpet, ceiling mirror..."?

Apparently Pamela and Ken had had a séance before and Mary's name kept coming up. The spirit requested that Mary be there next time they make contact. The gang contacts something, but it's not Jerry. It's an ancient being from Egypt. It says that Mary was in ancient Egypt and she'd thought she was a god. And it was unnatural. Whateva.

Anyway, Savey drives Mary home and begs for sex. She says no, but he can give her a massage. She gets naked and he massages her butt for, like, 45 minutes, until she tells him to leave. Then Mary, dressed in her robe, drives to the cemetery and humps the dirt pile on top of Jerry's grave. I'm being real.

Mary reminisces about when Jerry was shot in the head. His face had turned into a dried out mummy face and he said some stuff about Clareesh and sacrifices, then he died.

Before driving home, Mary spits on the security guard's grave. At home, she goes to sleep and dreams (aaugh!) about the desert, and pyramids. She's woken up by a light in the sky. It's a flying saucer! She puts on a different robe, because her other one is dirty, and goes outside.

Next, Mary is writhing on Jerry's grave again, wearing the second robe. What. She gets up, spits on the guard's grave - take two!, and sees Jerry's van in the parking lot. Well, ok. She drives it back to Jerry's place and walks the rest of the way back home. She goes back to bed. Holy crap, this town has long nights.

Mary has a job at the movie theatre in town. Her boss is an old blind guy called Mr. Barker, who is also Savey's uncle. The next day while he counts the till, Little House on the Prairie blind school advanced lesson style, Mary asks him about life on other planets.

This book, jeez... sadly, nothing exciting happens until the next dream, and even that's not interesting, but I'm obligated to mention it or else this will make even less sense. Mary dreams that she's in the desert with her camel. She's an invisible being who is the supreme commander. "Mysteriously, she made herself visible." I think you mean "conveniently" or "contrivedly". Everyone around starts to worship her, and then she becomes them. I'm not gonna argue, but what the shit is all this about???

It's the middle of the night when Mary wakes up and calls Savey. She tells him to come over and bring Ken. Savey thought he was gonna finally get a piece, but he didn't agree to Ken being involved. Mary tells him it's not a sexual visit; they need to have another séance.

The guys show up, and the Ouija board spells out a verse/poem, Prayer of a False God. I guess it wasn't a big deal, because the guys leave and Mary goes back to bed. She dreams that she's buried alive.

God, I don't know why Mary's being so annoying. She wakes up and calls Savey, but something else answers the call. It says: "Yes, Clareesh", then the real Savey picks up. He's pissed off because it's the middle of the night and he STILL hasn't gotten laid and he doesn't want to talk.

Mary decides to walk in the woods. Really? I thought she'd wanna do some more sleeping. This is gonna turn out to be the one where it was all a dream. Hahaha! In the woods, Mary sees an alien being. She starts to approach it, but - bear! Cubs!! RUN!!!

At school the next day, Pamela tells Mary about a new kid, Tom. Mary wants to know if he has a cute butt. Pamela answers with: "He looks like sex with all the trimmings!" Ok, #1: I'm gonna have to use that about - I dunno - David Beckham in those underwear ads, or - ooooh! - Tom Brady. And #2: For realz? According to the book description, he looks kinda weird. Too tall, too thin, white hair, and the book says he has a deep tan. So, he's a young, twigged-out hybrid of George Hamilton and Leslie Neilsen? Zexy. Not. Sounds a little grody to me. Anyway, Mary and Pamela talk for about 2 seconds before they start to hate on each other and their conversation ends with Mary saying: "Later, bitch", which I love.

Mary meets Tom, and they go to Denny's. She babbles on & on about Jerry. They go back to Mary's, where she lights a fire. Soon they are kissing and rolling around naked in front of the fireplace. But they don't have sex. Tom doesn't want to. Mary has no love, so they'd end up making nothing. That's so deep. And also, it's the excuse Mary used on Savey earlier.

Next, Mary is sleeping (OH MY FUCK/R U SERIOUS???!!). A bright light wakes her up. There's an alien in the backyard. The alien touches her and everything changes...

Tom and Mary are Klaxtor and Clareesh, alien beings in ancient Egypt. They are of the "fourth density", which means that they have abilities that humans don't. Clareesh brought the ship to earth to correct gender inequity and stuff like that. She is a shapeshifter, and takes the form of a girl she meets. The girl was Phairee, a servant to a cruel high priest.

Clareesh does some stuff to make herself into a false deity to the ancient Egyptian community. She takes on Phairee as her personal assistant. Thirty-five years pass, and Clareesh still looks young and hot in Phairee's teenage form. Phairee has aged and become bitter.

Clareesh meets a sexy sculptor named Jarteen. She had told Phairee about the rule that beings of different densities can't have sex. Well, they can, but it violates the "law of life". When Phairee found out about Clareesh and Jarteen's relationship, she turned everyone against Clareesh, killed Jarteen, and buried him in a tomb along with Clareesh, who is still alive and CAN'T DIE.

Mary wakes up. It was just a dream. This has gotta be a record.

After school, Mary stalks Tom. She sees Tom embrace a fox that had been flattened by a car. The fox comes back to life and runs away.

Pamela tells Mary that Jerry is going to be exhumed. Mary is distraught, but still needs to go to work. She asks Mr. Barker, the blind movie theatre owner, about her alien experiences. He responds with a story about how he was walking in the woods 18 years ago and he met an alien. It asked him which women in town were pregnant. He didn't want to tell, but it got the info straight out of his brain.

The faces of the pregnant women flashed in his mind, but there was one woman whose face he saw who he hadn't known was pregnant: Mary's mother. Okayyyyy.

Mary gets a gun and goes to find Tom. She tells him to bring Jerry back to life, like the fox, or she will kill him. Her birthday is tomorrow and she should get to screw her boyfriend on her birthday.

Tom unburies Jerry, all the while protesting and trying to make Mary think of the consequences. He tells Mary that it's been 5000 years and she needs to go back to the ship now. She doesn't care. Tom holds Jerry until Jerry starts convulsing and choking. Mary commands Tom to help him, but Tom is toast. He used all his life force to bring back Jerry.

Jerry is all forehead-gunshot-wound, stench, and babbling. His autopsy stitches leak all over the place. He's in extreme pain. Mary thinks some fresh blood would help. So she comes up with a plan...

Mary calls Pamela to say that she has the real homecoming ballots, the ones Jerry found in the principal's office the night he was killed. She will give Pamela the ballots if she calls off the police from opening Jerry's grave.

Pamela meets Mary downtown, and is immediately clubbed in the head with a hammer. Mary takes her back home and starts draining out her blood in the garage.

Jerry's eyeballs are all mouldy and he can't see. He begs Mary to let him die, but she keeps refilling his blood. Eventually she realizes that he really can't stay alive.

After calling an ambulance for Pamela, Mary takes Jerry back to the graveyard. Tom is still there, barely hanging on to life. Mary shoots Jerry in the head, and then decides to give her life force to save Tom, so he can go back to the ship.

Mary sacrifices herself for Tom, and gets into the coffin with Jerry. Jerry disappears, the wood coffin lid turns to marble, and she says: "Mary Weist had been a dream, nothing more." Oh. My. God. I called it. I actually had this piece of crap's number. I can't believe it. BTW, guys: Jarteen was really an olden-days Egyptian form of Jerry (he was an artist too!) and Phairee was Pamela.

To make it even stupider and more intolerable, the epilogue mimics the first séance at Pamela's, but... Jerry is there! And Mary isn't! The seance is to contact Mary. It doesn't work so great, and Jerry visits her grave after the party. He wishes that he and Mary were together, as a shooting star (or something) passes overhead.

The earth moves and Jerry hears moaning. As he turns to leave, he sees an empty cigarette box in the dirt. And it's the same brand as the one Mary had thrown there when she made Tom bring Jerry back. Jerry leaves the cemetery, and the book is over.

Wow, I hated it. Well, I liked the beginning. But the end? Silly, silly shit. By the way - got any ideas for next week? I can never decide. See ya!


Anonymous said...

This was a weird one. I've actually never reread it but I remember the weird haunting feeling the story conveyed and that feeling stayed with me for weeks after I finished the book. I think it was the aliens. I've always been terrified of aliens. ^_^ And I thought the Prayer of a False God was pretty cool.

As for next week how about Whisper of Death? That one's always fun. ^_^

Sada said...

The grave humping sounds awesome! The rest of it, not so much.

Fear Street said...

She HUMPS his grave?! Damn.

For some stupid reason, everytime I see the word 'Clareesh' I hear Hannibal Lecter's creepy voice...except with a speech impediment.

Annushka said...

Ahahahhahaa, grave-humping for the win!

Please please please pleeeease do "The Immortal" next! <3

zanne said...

This one sounds pretty weird. I didn't really care for it. What is with Pike and all his references to Egypt? Is this why I wanted to go there so bad?!

Devika said...

I am so glad I never read this book. Also, Christopher Pike needs to stop bastardizing Middle Eastern/ Southeast Asian culture.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one really amused by 'Author of The Lost Mind and The Last Vampire 3: Red Dice'

I mean, who puts sequals in their 'Author of' title? That's like saying 'Francis Ford Coppola, director of Godfather 3'

Anonymous said...

I.......didn't understand what this book was about..... ;x

LongWinter said...

Hey all,

Deathy - This was my first reading, and I think I'm a little Pike-d out because I can't take his plots seriously anymore. If I'd read it when I was younger, I might have been a little disturbed.

Sada - I love when grave humping gets the best reaction!

FS - That was totally what I thought too! "Clareesh" / "It rubs the lotion on its skin". I'm scared now.

Annushka - The Immortal, coming up in two weeks. Thanks for reading!!!!

Zanne - I hope Pike never had any influence over you! That would be awful. Who knows what other kinds of stuff you could get up to if Pike was your compass!

Devika - I couldn't agree more, but he's far, far from being done. There is much more bastardizing to come... and soon!

Shawn - That is goofy, eh? And what's weirder is that MANY of his covers do that. There are always Remember Me 2, or various Last Vampire references. Nutty.

Megan - I didn't either! I was like, "Why? What? WTF?" every single chapter. For 68 chapters, or however many there were.

Anonymous said...

There's a dead Jerry in this book and in "Fall Into Darkness". I wonder what it is about the names Jerry, Mary, Ann, Clyde, Mike, Sharon, and Teresa.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm glad I never read this. I know many of the female mains are selfish and horrible to their friends, but...Mary is such a conniving colon of a person. Even though we find out that none of this story really happened, she risks the lives of at least two people (or entities, I suppose) to bring back a long-deceased boy she supposedly loved- whom she got killed in the first place because she insisted on doing something very stupid and unnecessary- so much, she practically tortures him to keep him alive against his wishes. Just so she can get sex on her birthday. From the description posted, I couldn't bear to force anyone to suffer in the same way Reanimated-Jerry did, especially not if I loved them.
I think I can understand why this stuff happened though. Clareesh (these names annoy me), in her dream, is realising how selfish she was during her life and this is a twisted redemption fantasy. She basically screwed up Klaxtor's ability to do his job and neglected hers so she's now giving him the chance to go home and try again, she realises that if she really loved Jarteen she would have not risked his life and let him go, so she finally does, and she realises she was wrong to exploit the lifeforce of Phairee (she used her form and didn't reward her for years of dedicated service), so she stops taking Pamela's blood and gives her a chance to survive. So she's buried alive, alone and has learned her lessons far too late, so this dream is all she has. Funny how she can't use her powers to get out of the tomb- maybe she feels she deserves to suffer for eternity. (But we don't!)
The epilogue seems to be 'What Really Happened' and Clareesh's original tomb seems to be under Mary's (just Mary, no Clareesh analogue) grave, and how Jarteen is alone in his re-incarnated lives.
Really quite sad, but it's hard to have sympathy for a protagonist who is self-absorbed and sick as Mary is and the change of heart seems out-of-character right before the 'reveal' moment.

Anonymous said...

I am Kat. I hate you and this story.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, Kat here again. Doesn't a husband somewhere have something to smoke, a child to hurt, and a mistress to infect? HIV or Tina? Know what I mean Vern?

Anonymous said...

Last one, just kidding. Where are all the fake accents when you need them? Hiding behind mommy and daddy? Or the construction worker who can't mind his own business or maybe the train horn.. Beep beep beep. Back up. Silly rap tricks are for kids.

Anonymous said...