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Literature / Comes the Blind Fury

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Comes the Blind Fury is an extremely creepy 1980 horror novel by John Saul.

Exactly Exty Years Ago in the charming small town of Paradise Point, a gentle blind girl took a walk along the seaside cliffs near her home and vanished forever. Was it an accident? Suicide? Or did it have something to do with the cruel schoolchildren who taunted her until she lost her sense of direction?

In the present day, Dr. Cal Pendleton, his pregnant wife June, and their adopted twelve-year-old daughter Michelle come to Paradise Point, where they live in a Big Fancy House overlooking the sea. But strange things have occurred ever since they arrived, such as the disgusting stain in June's art studio that can't be scrubbed away, or the mysterious, disturbing paintings that appear on her blank canvases each night, or the antique doll that Michelle finds in the attic.

Things take a turn for the worse when Michelle falls over the edge of a cliff and injures her hip. Her disability, coupled with her new and uncharacteristic resentment over it, causes her few friends to abandon her while the other children in town mock and avoid her, leaving her lonely and even more bitter. Even her parents seem to forsake her in favor of their newborn daughter. Now she has no one but her doll Amanda.

But there's another friend, one who only comes on misty nights. One only Michelle can see. Her name is Amanda, too, and she wants to look through Michelle's eyes to see everything she's missed throughout the past one hundred years. In exchange, Amanda will make sure that anyone who makes Michelle unhappy will be very, very sorry.

Soon the town children begin dying, one by one, in grisly accidents. Soon there will be no one left to blame but Michelle, who is always at the scene of each death. Soon Michelle will have to run.

This book contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Cal calls Michelle "Princess." It's a sign of his growing disconnect from her when he bestows this nickname on baby Jennifer.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Led by Susan Penderton, the other children in town turn against Michelle (although Michelle's bad attitude after her accident doesn't help).
  • Ambiguously Brown: It's strongly hinted that Michelle might not be white, and that she's possibly Asian, but this is never confirmed. The only reason it seems to come up is to make clear that she looks markedly different from her fair-skinned, blond, blue-eyed parents, in order to make it instantly obvious that she's adopted.
  • Asshole Victim: Even though she's only a child, it's hard to feel sorry when Susan bites the dust.
  • Beta Couple: Corinne and Tim are this to June and Cal, to a certain extent.
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: June goes into labor on top of a grave.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Not quite a teenager (she's eleven) but Lisa Hartwick seems to fit this trope pretty well.
  • Creepy Child: The townfolks begin to believe Michelle is this...and then there's Amanda...
  • Creepy Doll: Two.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: A child is killed with a swing set — and not in any way you might be envisioning right now.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: So, so much.
  • Disney Death: Amanda and eventually Michelle.
  • Guilt Complex: Cal has one of these in regard to Alan Hanley's death; Joe Carson uses it to his advantage.
  • Hereditary Curse: The Carsons'.
  • Here We Go Again!: In the epilogue, baby Jennifer, now ten years old, discovers the doll Amanda (which June destroyed after Michelle's death) and decides to name it after her late sister Michelle. June realizes that Amanda — or possibly Michelle — will again use the doll to destroy Jennifer... and there's nothing she can do to stop it.
  • Happily Adopted: Michelle was adopted as a baby. Her parents have always been open with her about the fact and it's never been an issue... until they move to Paradise Point.
  • Milky White Eyes: Amanda. Makes for quite a creepy book cover.
  • Nosy Neighbor: Constance Benson, who barges right into June's art studio on the very first day the family moves in and does not improve for the rest of the book.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Paradise Point, to a certain extent.
  • The Unfavorite: What Michelle's schoolmates tell her she will become with the new child.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Although physically present, Cal becomes more and more distant from Michelle after Jennifer's birth, when previously they'd been very affectionate. Michelle's childish efforts to win a moment's attention from her father are heartbreaking.