" "It deals uncompromisingly with dark subjects-"(688). Robert Cormier has been noted on several accounts for his tendency to portray the darker side of human nature. Cormier continues on this path of writing in his novel Fade, in which his purpose is to evoke a horrific response in the reader. As the reader progresses through the novel, they experience feelings of shock, sympathy, and even curiosity. Cormier successfully evokes a horrific response through the effective use of plot.
Fade revolves around the life of Paul Moreaux and the many burdens that the mysterious "fade" brings into his world. Paul discovers his ability to "fade" in the summer of 1938 when his Uncle Aldred comes to town. The "fade", or ability to become invisible, is always passed on from uncle to nephew, and Paul has inherited it from Aldred. As the novel moves forward, Paul experiments with the "fade" and learns its curse rather than blessing. The first half of the novel is set at that time, then the novel shifts into the present. Paul has become a famous writer but has died recently at the age of 42, leaving behind a manuscript that details his power to "fade" and attempts to track down his nephew who has inherited the trait. This part of the book is told from Susan Roget's point of view. Susan is temporarily working as an intern for Meredith Martin, the agent of her distant relative Paul Roget, who was a famous novelist and died in 1967. Susan discovered the manuscripts, which Meredith had hidden. Through the manuscripts, Susan learned of Paul's desperate search for the new "Fader", and his awareness of the potential danger of the child because he too was once ruled by the overwhelming heartless powers of the "fade". Susan reads that when Paul finally found the boy, his sister's illegitimate child Ozzie, in a small town in Maine, he tried to save the deeply disturbed, abused and neglected Ozzie from the evil "fade", that had now implanted a commanding voice inside his head.