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Set against the desolate backdrop of the Great Depression, this debut novel is sure to reignite the horror genre. Mr. Shivers is a chilling and unforgettable figure as haunting as any monster out of mythology.
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» Mira també 26 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 21 (següent | mostra-les totes)
3.75 overall. This one was a solid 4 or 4.5 for the majority of the book, but in the final third of the book I guessed the final climax. I hoped that I'd be proven wrong, but sadly, I was right. The ending felt muddled and like it had lost the momentum of the first two thirds of the book. Still, a fun read and I'm curious to read more by the author. His ability to set the scene and place you in the story were fantastic. ( )
  tattooedreader13 | Aug 27, 2020 |
Wow. Really amazing combination of historical fiction and horror. Nicely done! ( )
  slmr4242 | Oct 16, 2019 |
An urban legend from cover to cover. I'm not sure what to make of the reviews that criticize this book for turning supernatural. It was supernatural from the beginning. They were never tracking a normal serial killer during the depression, that was obvious from the way that everyone knew who he was and the slightly different ways that they described him. The main characters were always tracking SlenderMan, black eyed children, the Hitchhiker or the Hook. Urban legends have always been about coming to terms with death and this story was no different.

Awesome subject matter and setting. The depression was a time that many people were displaced and their fates unknown to their families. Many were feared dead. Law enforcement was spotty and frequently served only the wealthy. Good people had no institutions to turn to in times of need. They only had each other. It was a time when legends, folklore and religion exploded from dark places within us - From places that lusted for apocalyptic revenge for the suffering on the dark path that so many had to walk.

Bennett swerved a little here and there, but mostly he stuck to a familiar path in the telling of our societal death fears. I can't wait to read more of his stuff! ( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
I enjoyed this book. Not a traditional horror but still lots of fun. Can't wait to see what he does next. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
In Robert Jackson Bennett’s lackluster debut novel, Mr. Shivers, Marcus Connelly rides the rails seeking vengeance for the murder of his daughter. Joining up with similarly driven individuals, Connelly searches Depression-era America for a killer, the mysterious title character recognizable by distinctive facial scars. To further denigrate his already cliché-ridden tale, Bennett adds a fallen preacher, hobos with hearts of gold, a carnival fortune teller, and a corrupt small town sheriff to the mix.

Bennett attempts to inject an aura of mystery and even a suggestion of the supernatural; instead he just repeatedly pummels the reader.

“What the hell is he?” Connelly said.

“We don’t know,” said Hammond. “We don’t, for sure. He’s motivated to kill and he’s smart enough to keep moving, and it’s getting a lot easier now because the whole goddamn country is moving with him. Migrant workers are everywhere. Everyone is looking for something better. And among them, there’s him. Something drives him to do this, I don’t know what.”

“Some madness, maybe,” said Pike. “Some disease of the brain that urges him to butchery. I’ve heard of such men, like Jack the Ripper in London, years and years ago. Perhaps he’s one of them. He goes from town to town, stalks someone for a few days, then strikes and moves on.”

Not all of it is terrible. There are flashes on panache as Bennett skillfully produces several exciting action sequences. He even manages to insert a surprise or two in the otherwise largely by-the-numbers story.

“Bastards!” shouted one of the voices. “They’re in there!”

For a moment there was nothing. Then the boom of a shotgun crashed through the car and a shaft of sunlight ripped into the dark, a gaping hole right where Pike had been hanging. Splinters of wood flew like chaff and Connelly saw Monk roll away, his head dotted with blood. Roosevelt dove for cover as well, his pack falling to the ground.

“Jesus Christ!” shouted Monk.

Connelly staggered to the door and began trying to undo the wire they had used to shut it. Harsh pistol snaps rang out and more holes began appearing in the ceiling. Something cracked by Connelly’s head. Roonie cried out, clutching his forearm.

“Out of the way!” Pike roared. “Out of the fucking way!”

“Shoot!” Connelly heard himself say. “For God’s sake, someone shoot back.”

Sadly, these moments only serve to accentuate the long lulls during which Bennett spends far too much time establishing scenes. For all his efforts, the author never convincingly evokes the era beyond encyclopedic-style listings of Depression hallmarks (extremely poor people, hobos on trains, etc.). The frequent, often lengthy conversations, though at times interesting, drag down the story in a morass of redundant information and obvious emotional manipulation. Weighing in at 336 pages, the tale of Mr. Shivers really only requires some 200.

“Bad dream?” he asked.

Connelly nodded.

“What happened?”

He did not answer, just shook his head.

“What happened?” asked Hammond again.

“There was a desert. A young man, covered in blood. And he ... he told me the world was changing, and I woke up.”

“Well, it sure is, isn’t it?”

Overall, the novel, reminiscent of superior works by [a:Joe R. Lansdale|58971|Joe R. Lansdale|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1200406474p2/58971.jpg], [a:Richard Matheson|8726|Richard Matheson|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1200467797p2/8726.jpg], and [a:Robert Bloch|12540|Robert Bloch|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1208225228p2/12540.jpg], falls short of terrible but at no point does it approach great. Robert Jackson Bennett does demonstrate some potential to emerge as a talented newcomer, but with Mr. Shivers all he achieves is mediocrity.

This review originally appeared in the San Antonio Current February 3, 2010. ( )
  rickklaw | Oct 13, 2017 |
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Set against the desolate backdrop of the Great Depression, this debut novel is sure to reignite the horror genre. Mr. Shivers is a chilling and unforgettable figure as haunting as any monster out of mythology.

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