This book was absolutely awesome! I can definitely say after reading this book that I'mafraid of corn fields than ever before Which really sucks if you live in Indiana! I really feel that Mike West pulled out all the stops with this book, I truly had a hard time putting it down If I HAD to put the book aside for a few minutes, I was always anxious to get back to see what was going on It is something I will readthan once and anytime I want to jump start my heart Hats off to Mike West for a masterpiece If you like/love horror, this is a MUST read!! Harmony, Indiana is a small town overrun by endless fields of corn, young people languishing in the stereotypical boredom inescapable with small town living, and yes, legends of nightmare coupled with an underlying history of mystery, bloodshed, and horror Paul Rice grew up in this town, spent his high school years fraternizing with his circle of friends, aspiring to direct Bgrade horror films, and falling in love with classmate Deidra At a time when graduation is only days away, Paul and Deidra's relationship had blossomed into a bond the likes of which could almost be found in romantic fairy tales And then came time for the class of 1988 to ditch class and undertake the comingofage ritual played out by the graduating classes of numerous years before them..the time to play the Wide Game The Wide Game is virtually a race where the object of all participants is to journey from the edge of a vast cornfield to a large clearing where a small manmade lake and good partying await a race that could take hours, considering the ground they have to cover and how one could easily get lost, considering also a certain strategy involving keeping quiet and stealing a belonging of anyone else playing the game that they encounter in the corn Ohand then there's also the matter of an ancient tribal Indian presence which inevitably screws with the graduates' minds, invoking psychedelic visions, unspeakable mayhem and the grisly murders of Wide Game players, one by one Michael West proves himself to be a masterful storyteller, flawless in building momentum, and his skills in characterization match or even often surpass some of the most successful writers in the business This is a firstrate novel, well edited and no holds barred My jaw dropped, quite literally, atthan a handful of turning points in the story that I just didn't see coming, and I oftentimes couldn't put the book down I know that's a pretty cliché phrase, but coming from mewell, that sort of intense preoccupation just doesn't occur too often This is a work of firstrate terror and suspense, and for the seasoned reader sports a refreshingly original story methodology as a means to scare the wits out of you This is his first novel, and I'll be watching the career of Michael West with sincere interest in his works to come And I'll never look at corn fields the same way again. All versions out of print except ISBN Number 9781937929183 The Wide Game the way it was meant to be! There’s something seriously scary about the Wide Game, and nearly everyone who’s played will carry the scars But they won’t talk about it And now Paul’s back in Harmony, Indiana, for a school reunion where he just might have to face up to what was Meanwhile the reader follows his memories of that Wide Game played before graduation, and wonders at the cost.The Wide Game is classic horror, with teenagers separating in the dark when you know they ought to stay together, with something scary in the cornfield, and with romantic leads just desperate to survive But survival isn’t everything, and there are gaps in the gruesome details where nobody knows just who or what is setting the rules for the game And then there’s death And then there’s the school reunion.The Wide Game is told in separate parts which tie past and present together and lead inexorably, but secretly, to final scary conclusions where a church, once scorned, just might play its own part in healing because some things just can’t be earned after all I enjoyed the whole story, but I truly loved the ending; that touch of thoughtprovoking mystery that raises a tale above its genre and makes it something special.Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy during the author’s blog tour I’m just sorry it took me so long to get around to reading it. Awesome horror book! Scary, good plot, great characters 80's trivia galore This is my favorite book from Michael West (although all his work is amazing) I grew up in the 80's and he really brings it back to life It's so terrifically scary, there are parts I could barely stand to read!! West makes you feel so close to the characters that there's even a bit of sadness when the 'bad guys' go down The plot never skips a beat, the love story is beautiful and realistic, and the manifestations of evil makes you wonder how West sleeps at night with this stuff in his head! Stephen King needs to read this book ;O) The Wide Game starts off with Paul Rice and his wife arriving at his mother’s house back in his old hometown This visit isn’t just for family fun, however: it’s also the day of his high school reunion Feeling nostalgic, his mother pulls out his old high school yearbooks, which trigger horrible memories from his senior year where his class played a game out in the cornfields of Indiana known as “The Wide Game” This wasn’t any kind of game, though, as many of his fellow students ended up dead Written mostly as an extended flashback, The Wide Game takes the reader through the terrible night that Paul Rice, his girlfriend Deidra, and numerous other friends played The Wide Game their senior year Running around in a cornfield during the middle of the night is spooky enough, but when you add in all of the “surprises” that await the students throughout the night, well… it can get to be terrifying! West has created a creepy tale with enough twists and turns to keep any reader sucked into the story, and still questioning what happened when arriving at the end As an added bonus, there are ‘80s trivia factoids sprinkled throughout to readers (at least those of that era) to get in that nostalgic mood along with the cast I would recommend The Wide Game to all fans of horror as it is the kind of story you’d want to pull out on a dark, rainy night… especially if reading by flashlight out in the middle of a cornfield.Contains: Language, Violence, Mild Gore, SexReview by Rhonda Wilson Harmony, Indiana: This was technically the first book Michael West based in this town besieged by otherworldly influences I read the three novels out of order, but that did nothing to take away from the plot of any Each novel is a stand alone, and each will have you eagerly searching outstories from Harmony The Wide Game takes place in the 80's, in a cornfield ruled by unseen energies When these elements decide to play, there isn't anywhere that's safe.Recommended! Review to follow once posted at MonsterLibrarian Will repost blog at that time. On the advice of his wife, Paul Rice is making plans to attend his 10th year high school reunion Returning to his boyhood home of Harmony, Indiana, he finds that he is still haunted by memories of that timeamemories of Deidra, his first love, and memories of the Wide Game It was ten years ago that Paul and his friends watched their day of fun become a race for their lives, a fight for their very souls Now, as he meets the survivors of that day once , Paul makes a chilling discovery: the incomprehensible forces that toyed with them have yet to finish playing their own game. Picked this book up after seeing it on one of the Goodreads lists and seeing the high reviews.The first 275 pages focus on character development and interactions between several pairings of characters with little plot development The characters themselves appeared to be archetypes from the same 80's popular culture that serves as the stories main setting As in the popular 80's classic movie The Breakfast Club, you have the jock Danny, the Nerd Mick, the misunderstood bad boy Skip, and the popular girl Nancy The main characters Paul and Deidra are generic interpretations of inseparable young love The next portion of the book quickly runs these characters through a classic B horror movie gauntlet Probably the most fun to be had in the novel is in this middle section which reads like a teen slasher flick Finally the last section of the book seemed to show the most promise as a telling of the after effects and tying up loose ends, however this seemed to be hurried and servedas an epilogue offering a minor twist to the story The whole book seemed to be building to something that never came The books use of flashback, dream sequences, and character fantasies make the book at times feel like you are getting a vague impression of what is actually going on and there will be a clarifying moment By the end you realize what you've read was pretty straight forward with no tricks The mythology is a little mixed, originating from (spoilers) an evil Native American figurehead who required fights to the death to benefit the land where cornfields now sit In the current time period of the novel this has somehow translated to a mix of mind control and demonic harassment of anyone coming on the land forcing them to kill Other than the one minor twist noted above, there is no master plan being implemented through a crazed central character as may be inferred by the prologue Generally what you see is what you get in the novel The resolution of the book also includes the protagonist coming to grips with the events through his talk with a priest This part felt a little "preachy" and is likely why I also saw this book on a Goodreads list labeled something to the effect of "stories with strong Faith based characters" To me it felt a little heavy and out of place.In general though the book kept me reading and as others have said, there are some fun 80's references and throwbacks to the past Generally you should be reading this for some brief fun and not to expect a lot of twists and turns or overly complex plot I would also like to add some commentary here that may be slightly unrelated to the review of The Wide Game This book, like horror movies, may appeal to the viewer through its visceral experiences In this regard I believe the sex scenes are a continuation of this experience and are not excessive or "tacked on" (as at least one other review has noted) These limited scenes are actually somewhat necessary to show the building of the main relationship in the story These scenes do not come close to anything like a Harlequin romance I find it a little disturbing that so many novels now are negatively critiqued for any sexual depictions, a fact I noticed as I read several other book reviews last night This book had some very graphic kill scenes I would hope these would startle the average consciousthan a rather tame telling of an experience the majority of the human race goes through Are the sex scenes strictly necessary? Probably not I would however argue that the majority of experiences in a fiction novel are not necessary but are there for the reader to enjoy, to add background to the characters, or show the reader someone else's interpretation of events In this regard I believe the scenes are appropriate and well delivered.