James Herbert is very popular in Britain. I love his turn of phrase and insights. The suspense held by interest all the way to the end. I didn't think his writing was perfect or super-fantastic but he's certainly worth a try. However keep in mind this book is a suspense/horror story, but it has a moral and it doesn't have a horribly depressing ending like so many horror stories do - I hate those and rarely read horror for that reason.
freaky horror story. Too gory for me, but it was a page turner.
Author of such classic chilling tales as The Fog and The Rats, Britain's foremost horror master James Herbert now cleverly transcends the boundaries of detective fiction and the supernatural for Others, a book that begins in the bowels of Hell. In this fiery underworld we meet a former Hollywood movie star, thrust there for a lifetime of depravity. But now this damned soul is given one more shot at redemption, a chance to live again as a human. Begging for a new judgment, he is sent back to earth, without memory of his past life or death. However, his new existence will be a wretched one, living in the body of Nicholas Dismas, a brilliant and tender-hearted private investigator sadly afflicted with horrendous physical deformities. Shunned by strangers, Nicholas struggles not only with his malformed body, but also with a troubling sense of self. Staring in the mirror, other eyes stare back, "too blurred for recognition. That ill-defined but handsome countenance had hinted at something too evasive to remember properly, too vague to focus upon, yet still filled me with a strange, elusive regret." It isn't until Dismas takes on a seemingly run-of-the-mill missing person's investigation that he begins to understand the origins of his own hellish identity.
Others is a dark exploration into the psyche of the eternal outsider, a tormented freak in a cruel society. Gory, but brilliantly conceived, Herbert will leave you feeling haunted long after reading his final words.
Teh king of British horror...an admirable balance bwtween terrors of the supernatural and the darkness of the human heart.
Interesting subject matter.. the timeline was a little messed up, but all in all, a pretty good read...
From the back cover:
"It sounded easy. Find a missing kid. 18 years old. Only he was dead. Died at birth. So why was his mother so sure he was still alive? Alive and calling for help.
The assignment took me to Hell. And that's where I'd come from, only I didn't know it at the time....."
Truly disturbing novel from Herbert! I've read a few others by Herbert and they have all been pretty good horror/thriller novels but he exceeded himself with this one. It tells the story of the redemption of Nicholas Dismas, a private investigator with a deformed body who describes himself as a monster. A client hires him to locate her missing son that she thought died during childbirth. At first, Dismas goes through the motions of an investigation but does not believe there is any chance of success. But then with the help of a clairvoyant, he discovers a decades old cover-up involving children born with indescribable deformities at a nursing home called Perfect Rest. There, he encounters Dr. Leonard Wisbeech, one of the most diabolically perverse doctors ever encountered, and the secret experiments that shed light on the case and on Dismas's own origins. This all leads to a very shocking conclusion.
I was really engrossed in this one and would recommend it but be prepared to be disturbed!
From the opening pages, I thought I was on to a winner here: the prologue was a witty take on a damned soul in Hell, visited by two clueless angels who make him an offer he can't refuse. The narrator's anxiety to please his celestial guests (and not blow his last best chance to get out of Hell) is very funny.
And then ... and then .... Sadly, it seemed to me that Herbert was trying 'way too hard: "clever" asides, reminders in every paragraph that the narrator (unaware, except in inexplicable flashes of deja vu, that he is on day-release from Hell) is misshapen and crippled, interminable descriptions of things that really don't need to be described.
Too bad, because, based on the opening, it could have been fun.
From back cover: Nicholas Dismas is a private investigator, but like no other that has gone before him. He carries a secret about himself to which not even he has the answer. He is hired to find a missing baby, one that was taken away at birth. His investigation takes him to a mysteriously located place called Perfect Rest. It is supposed to be a nursing home for the elderly, but there is a lot more to this place than meets the eye.
Here Dismas will discover the dark secret of the Others. And in an astonishing and spectacular finale he will resolve the enigma of his own existence. As chilling, as memorable, and as timely as only James Herbert can be, Others will join the classics for which he is remembered with fear.
James Herbert has also written: THE RATS, THE FOG, THE SURVIVOR, FLUKE, THE SPEAR, THE DARK, LAIR, THE JONAH, SHRINE, DOMAIN, MOON, THE MAGIC COTTAGE, SEPULCHRE, HAUNTED, CREED, THE GHOSTS OF SLEATH and possibly his best known, PORTENT.
From the back of the book:
Nicholas Dismas is a private investigator, but like no other that has gone before him. He carries a secret about himself to which not even he has the answer. He si hired to find a mising baby, one that was taken away at birth. His investigation takes him to a mysteriously located place called Perfect Rest. It is supposed to be a nursing home for the elderly but there is a lot more to the place than meets the eye. Here Dismas will discover the dark secret of the Others. And in an astonishing and spectacular finale, he will resolve the enigma of his own existence.