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10 Eclipses in Novels
As America prepares for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, here at EW, we've been brushing up on our favorite literary eclipses — which have occurred in everything from Stephen King's horror novels to David Arnold's YA. Click through to re-read these passages now, in case you accidentally peek at Monday's eclipse and go blind.
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Joseph Helmrich, The Return
"'Dr. Leland,' he interrupted, his eyes on the moon. 'Sorry, but that sort of green speck on the moon where the shadow had just been—what’s that?'....Leland looked up, squinted. The green speck that Allenby had pointed out appeared to be moving. The physicist watched a little longer, then shook his head. 'No, that’s not on the moon. Much closer. Maybe an airplane.'
But it wasn’t an airplane."
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Stephen King, Gerald's Game
"...she groped a pair of the sunglasses from the table and put them on. According to her Timex, the eclipse should already have started—it said 4:30. I guess my watch is fast, she said nervously. Either that or there’s a bunch of astronomers all over the world with egg on their faces."
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Karen Thompson Walker, The Age of Miracles
"A total solar eclipse had been anticipated only for the middle of the Pacific Ocean...but the slowing had shifted the coordinates of all predicted eclipses — they used to have them all figured out, charted to the minute and the decade. This one had caught us by surprise. It was seen from a thick swath of the United States."
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David Arnold, Mosquitoland
"A couple of years ago, there was a solar eclipse. All the teachers and parents were like, Whatever you do, don’t look directly at the eclipse! I mean really, they were just going ape over it. Well, me being the kind of girl I am...I half obeyed it. I closed one eye and looked directly at the eclipse with the other.
Now I’m half-blind."
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Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan, The Strain
"On the small white kitchen television, they were hyping the next day’s eclipse...The anchors promoted their 'Live Team Coverage' coming tomorrow afternoon.
'It’s gonna be a big show,' said Matt…
'It’s a major celestial event,' said Kelly, 'and they’re treating it like just another winter snowstorm.'"
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Wendy Mass, Every Soul A Star
"'The path of the eclipse is all up in Canada. Aren’t you excited to see it?'
I shrug. I hadn’t given it much thought. Like, none. 'If our plan works, I might not even be here for it.'"
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Richard North Patterson, Eclipse
"'Always prepare,' he said. He straightened, standing taller, and walked toward the crowd and into the lengthening shadow of the eclipse."
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John Banville, Eclipse
"I remarked the peculiar light, insipid and shrouded, like the light in a dream. 'It’s the eclipse,' Lily said sullenly. 'We’re missing it.'"
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"Sheerin took a deep breath. 'All right. The eclipse — which happens only once every 2049 years, the gods be thanked! — will cause an extended period of universal Darkness on Kalgash. As the world turns, each continent will be totally dark for periods of time ranging from — what did you say? — 9 to 14 hours, depending on latitude.'"
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Stephen King, Dolores Claiborne
"I told myself I had to run, but my legs wouldn’t move. Where was there to run to, anyway, if he got out? One thing I found out on the day of the eclipse: If you live on an island and you try to kill someone, you better do a good job. If you don’t there’s nowhere to run n nowhere to hide."