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The Touch (Adversary Cycle #3)

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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,664 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
Suddenly, a family physician can heal any illness with a simple touch

After a dozen years of practicing medicine as a family physician, Dr. Alan Bulmer discovers one day that he can cure any illness with the mere touch of his hand. At first his scientific nature refuses to accept what is happening to him, but there is no rational explanation to be found. So Alan gives himse
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ebook, 448 pages
Published July 20th 2010 by Forge Books (first published 1986)
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Mark
Feb 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
After slogging through The Book of the New Sun I decided a more casual read was warranted. I had started the Adversary Cycle by F. Paul Wilson by reading The Keep , which was excellent and The Tomb , which was ok, but not great. The next book is called The Touch .

The Plot

Alan Bulmer is the main character of the novel. He is a family practice physician who moonlights in the local emergency room of the ficticious town of Monroe, Long Island, New York.

One night in the emergency room, a der
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Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 27, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, skimmed
I don't rate this low because it's horrible I rate it low because it never engaged me. I never got interested. I could not...could not get involved.

I've never been as taken with the Adversary Cycle as I am with the Repairman Jack books. I stared back into them (I read the first years ago) because the plot/s overlap with Repairman Jack.

Here we have a plot that isn't bad. It's very much like a plot idea that's been around for a long time and seen in many stories...The Monkey's Paw, The Bottle Imp
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Benjamin Thomas
Technically, this is book three in the “Adversary Cycle” and also fits into F. Paul Wilson’s overall “Secret History of the World” but it certainly reads as a stand-alone novel. I understand the connection with the larger series is revealed in Nightworld, the culminating novel of both the “Adversary Cycle” and the “Repairman Jack” books.

This novel harkens back to the days when the author wrote a number of medical thrillers and that, essentially, is what this one is. The difference, of course, is
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Micheal Johnson
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Engaging and Heartbreaking

A slow burner that pulls you into the life of a doctor who truly desires to heal, but whose new found power is as dangerous as it is amazing. Along the way we see people have their hope restored, their faith kindled, and the ability to love regained...but at a high cost.
David Agranoff

Wow, I read all 448 pages of this novel in a weekend, while still reading another book. I found this medical horror drama to be a serious page turner. This book is considered to be book four in the Adversary Cycle and fits into the Secret History of the World timeline just after Ground Zero (Repairman Jack #13) and Reprisal (AC Book #5).

Written back in the 80’s I read the 2004 edition which is updated and also contains a bonus prologue short story. As an author I personally strive to write books
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Nancy Oakes
Jan 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
#3 in Wilson's Adversary series

Once you pick up this book, you won't be able to put it down. The action starts at the beginning and doesn't let up. If you're interested in supernatural fiction, this one is a good one.

small peekie re what's inside:
Doctor Alan Bulmer is a family physician; he is not a doctor who enjoys ripping off his patients, but he is a doctor who has chosen his profession to actually do some good. He lives with his wife Virginia (Ginny) and has a seemingly normal life until on
...more
James  Love
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 4th installment of the Adversary Cycle. A physician, an Autistic boy and an elderly Vietnamese man are just some of interesting characters in this novel of horror and suspense.
Meg
Nov 20, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
William
Aug 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror lovers, medical fiction lovers
My appreciation of this book grew as the story went along. It did take it 80-100 pages to really get going. I have a little medical background so I enjoyed reading about 1980's era medicine and I think Mr. Wilson handled the medical aspect of the story very well. I found the characters interesting and easy the get involved with. Interesting supernatural yarn! I think I will read a Repairman Jack book next.
Brent Ecenbarger
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: repairman-jack
As a stand alone book in F. Paul Wilson's Adversary Cycle, The Touch barely ties into the events of the Repairman Jack world or even the rest of the Adversary Cycle stories, but was overall one of my favorite books I've read by the author. The book is the story of Dr. Alan Bulmer, a family physician who gains the ability of the Dat-tay-vao, a healing touch that works for about an hour a day. Patients who come in with hearing loss or broken bones leave Bulmer's office completely healthy. The abil ...more
Sean Newgent
The Touch sells itself as a horror novel but comes across more as a medical thriller with fantasy sprinkled in. Alan Bulmer is a doctor who receives the touch, a mystical power that allows him to cure anyone of anything at a cost. The novel plays a bit like the monkey's paw while also being somewhat Frankenstein-y as he is ostracized by the medical community yet loved by the people he saves. The main conflict comes from a politician who wants to use Alan's power but goes about it in a very convo ...more
Denise Richter
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sehr interessante Idee. Alan Bulmer wird von einem vermeintlich psychisch kranken Obdachlosen kurz vor dessen Tod berührt und erhält damit die Gabe, unheilbar Kranke zu heilen. Das geht solange gut, bis die Öffentlichkeit Wind davon bekommt und er jetzt flüchten muss: vor den Patienten, die meinen, ein Anrecht darauf zu haben, von ihm geeilt zu werden und von der Gesundheitsbehörde, die in ihm ein Versuchskaninchen erspäht. Doch jedes Heilen erfordert ein Opfer von ihm und ohne es zu ahnen, begi ...more
William
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Unfortunately, I can't give half stars. I'd give it 3.5 if I could.
Коста  Сивов
Това е третата книга от цикъла за "Врагът" (The Adversary Cycle) на Ф. Пол Уилсън. Как точно този роман се връзва с предните 2 и кой е този Враг на мен не ми е ясно. Надявам се тези въпроси да получат отговорите си в следващите 3 книги от поредицата. Но да оставим този проблем настрана за момента.
Какво имаме тук? След "Крепостта" - един истински шедьовър на литературното изкуство и "Проклятието" - роман от същата висота, следва не толкова силният "Докосването" (до момента не е издаван на българ
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L
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Not a horror novel in the usual sense," according to the San Francisco Chronicle. That seems a fair statement about this genre-bending novel. Alan Bulmer is a good-guy primary care doc, one who cares so much about his patients he makes Marcus Welby look cold-hearted. Ok, so his concern for little Jeffy, suffering with profound autism, isn't totally disconnected from his interested in Jeffy's mother, but hey, the guy's only human, right? And he's avoided inappropriate entanglements, even though ...more
David
Oct 31, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty good, if forgettable book by F. Paul Wilson. It asks the question, "If you could heal other people of their infirmities at a physical cost to yourself, would you do it?" The book revolves around Dr. Alan Bulmer, a physician who finds that he can heal people simply by touching them.

There are a variety of pretty good characters in the book: the unloving wife, the alluring female artist, the power-hungry politician and the loyal Vietnamese servant. None of them have a whole lot of
...more
Mike
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, e-books, reviewed

This book has more pathos and genuine emotion than most horror novels. Technically, I would only nominally categorize this book as horror. F. Paul Wilson has written his fair share of medical thrillers and I would count this in that category. This is included in the loose series called the Adversary Cycle and is probably counted as horror because of this association.


This book contains a lot of personal development for a host of characters involved. Even the villain gets a lot of emotion and a go

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Wade Grassman
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
“The Touch” is the third novel in F. Paul Wilson’s Adversary Cycle. It is the last novel which does not need to be read in order. Like the first two this was originally a stand alone story. The Nook version includes the short story “Dat-Tay-Vao” which provides background for the novel, but it would give away too much if read before reading “The Touch”.

On its own “The Touch” is an excellent read. Its about a small town doctor who becomes empowered with the “The Touch”, the ability to heal people
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Michael
A doctor is grasped by a man thought to be derranged while the doctor was making his rounds at the hospital. He feels a shock and soon afterward, when he touches someone who is ill, the person is miraculously healed.

Dr. Alan Bulmer is an old time family physician who enjoys being with his patients and feels that getting to know his patients helps in the healing process.

When he notices this ability to heal by touching others, he tries to downplay his talent but word spreads and soon people bombar
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Mary Chrapliwy
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a die hard F. Paul Wilson fan, reading everything I can get my hands on that he has written. That having been said, this is not my favorite book from this esteemed author.

One of the most enjoyable things about F. Paul Wilson's books is the touch, no pun intended, of a hint of the paranormal in all of this books. One of my favorites is The Tomb, which is awesome. The paranormal is loud and clear and front and center in this book. The Touch is about a healing touch that Dr. Alan Bulmer accide
...more
Robjr73
I'm surprised at the high scoring reviews this book got. This book fell flat for me much like the Keep did. A promising start...man gets powers to heal. Cool. Lets see what Wilson does with this. Not much. This is a boring book folks. The last five pages are the only taste of excitement we get and it's predictable ending is easily forseen from the second our character receives his "powers". Wilson's writing is great which is what earns this book 3 stars but the pace of this book is horrifically ...more
Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Once you pick up this book, you won't be able to put it down. The action starts at the beginning and doesn't let up. If you're interested in supernatural fiction, this one is a good one.

small peekie re what's inside:
Doctor Alan Bulmer is a family physician; he is not a doctor who enjoys ripping off his patients, but he is a doctor who has chosen his profession to actually do some good. He lives with his wife Virginia (Ginny) and has a seemingly normal life until one day when he sees a vagrant ma
...more
Steven
Feb 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alan Bulmer is a caring, dedicated family physician when one day he touches a dying man who some how transmits to him the ability to heal anyone's ailment with a touch. This power is not constantly with him, but comes and goes. He has about an hour twice a day during which he can heal. Of course, patients who are healed realize that something miraculous has happened--especially patients with longstanding incurable conditions. The word spreads and Alan is soon unable to maintain his regular pract ...more
Scott Hume
Dr. Bulmer is a family doctor who genuinely cares for his patients and generally lives a normal relatively happy life until a dying homeless man gives him the power to heal with a touch. However what a first seems to be a blessing soon becomes a curse as the touch takes its toll on him both physically and professionally.

The Touch’s greatest strength is in its interesting and believable characters aided by F. Paul Wilson’s familiarity with medicine and the medical community. It examines the react
...more
Rick Soper
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books by F. Paul Wilson. He ties it into the Adversary Cycle later on, but this one could, can, and does stand all on it's own as a cautionary tale of what can go horribly wrong when your given a great gift. I liken it to the fact that somewhere around 85% of people who've won the lottery end up dead or broke within five years of hitting the jackpot. Sure We'd all like it to happen to us, but sometimes getting what you want can be the absolutely worst thing that can ha ...more
Eric
Dec 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet another fine, well-written novel by Wilson. It's part of his Adversary Cycle, of which I've now read all of them but one. Nightworld is the final book I need to bag.

The Touch struck me as a deeply conservative book. The idea that doing good (healing with a touch, in this case) often comes with a price is one that conservatives are familiar with. They apply it to government programs (price can be higher taxes, unintended harmful consequences, loss of freedome, among others) but it also under
...more
SFReader
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Touch, by F. Paul Wilson, was originally published in 1985, but Wilson has done an update with a new edition re-issued in 2004. After a strange encounter with a dying homeless man, Dr. Alan Bulmer discovers he has the ability to cure any illness simply by touching his patients, although the power only seems to work during certain times of the day.

At first he refuses to accept what is happening to him, but there's no rational explanation. Accepting his gift, even though he doesn't understand
...more
Michael
Like most fans of F. Paul Wilson, I’m mostly interested in his Repairman Jack series. However, one can’t read about Repairman Jack without feeling the need to read the books in the Adversary Cycle. Whereas The Tomb and The Keep (the only other two of the cycle that I’ve read so far) fit pretty clearly into the whole “secret history of the world” theme, I’m still not sure how The Touch fits into the overall plot. It’s a pretty interesting novel that explores the cost of healing on the healer. A d ...more
Jan Kjellin
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spänning
Judging only by the back cover, I'd skip it without giving it much thought. But this is part of a series (The Adversary Cycle) and after reading the first two novels, I just couldn't skip this one, could I?

It's a rather fast paced read. It took me a day (and I did a lot of other things that day as well). The story tells of a doctor who mysteriously gains the power to heal people by simply touching them. Of course this ability comes with a price...

There are some loose ends (or if they're supposed
...more
David
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Although part of the Adversary Cycle, this has every appearance of a stand-alone novel. "The Touch" and some of its characters are featured in later books, but none of it seems to tie into "the otherness" so prominent in the other books of this series and the Repairman Jack series. There also isn't any real hint of danger until well over halfway through the book, and when danger strikes in the last couple of dozen pages, it's really quite shocking. Until then, it's a fascinating tale of a good d ...more
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Francis Paul Wilson is an author, born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He writes novels and short stories primarily in the science fiction and horror genres. His debut novel was Healer (1976). Wilson is also a part-time practicing family physician. He made his first sales in 1970 to Analog and continued to write science fiction throughout the seventies. In 1981 he ventured into the horror genre with t ...more
More about F. Paul Wilson...

Other Books in the Series

Adversary Cycle (6 books)
  • The Keep (Adversary Cycle, #1)
  • The Tomb (Repairman Jack, #1; Adversary Cycle, #2; The Secret History of the World)
  • Reborn (Adversary Cycle, #4)
  • Reprisal (Adversary Cycle, #5)
  • Nightworld (Adversary Cycle, #6)