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Creature Paperback – 1 Oct 1990


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam USA; Reissue edition (1 Oct. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553284118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553284119
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 3.6 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,218,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Pasadena, California, John Saul attended college in California, Montana, and Ohio but never obtained a degree. His debut hit, Suffer the Children, was the first in a long line of bestsellers that have been published worldwide. His novel Cry for the Strangers was made into a TV movie, and he has written several one-act plays that have been produced in Los Angeles and Seattle. A winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northwest Writers Conference, John is actively involved in the development of other writers. He splits his time between Seattle and Hawaii, where he enjoys golf, bridge, and cooking.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
When I read a brief summary of this book, I wasn’t really sure whether or not I would like it. Somewhat to my surprise, I found this to be a riveting novel. It’s not Saul’s best, but it is a great read. Creature is a sort of utopian novel, prompting one to ponder the effects of advanced genetic manipulation and subtle mind control on a controlled population. When Blake Tanner is suddenly promoted and transferred to Silverdale, he cannot be happier; TarrenTech only sends its future corporate elite to this small, idyllic town in Colorado. His family is initially happy there, but they gradually come to suspect and later fear something about the place. The total absence of junk food and colas in town would be enough to drive me out. TarrenTech basically owns and runs the whole town, including the mysterious sports clinic (given the foolish name Rocky Mountain High). Silverdale’s high school football team is an all but unbeatable group of huge, strong athletes, earning a reputation for playing rough and dirty (despite the coach being named Phil Collins). A childhood illness had left Mark Tanner a short and skinny guy, greatly frustrating his athletic father. When Dr. Ames at the sports clinic says he can make Mark big and strong, Blake Tanner jumps at the chance. He pays no heed to the experimental nature of the “vitamin” treatment or the fact that one football player seriously injured another player in a game and later pummeled Tanner’s own son in a jealous rage. When Mark soon begins to change, committing a few acts that I found particularly disturbing, Blake blames the change on teenaged hormones.Read more ›
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By A Customer on 2 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
John Saul, the author well-known for his novels that are created with eerie twists, fails to create a masterpiece with his latest novel, Creature. Creature describes a small family who, as a result of a job promotion, moves to a secluded town in the mountains of Colorado. Once settled, the family begins to notice certain strangeness amongst the townspeople. Football players and parents alike seem oblivious to the changes made in the personalities of the boys as a result of an experimental treatment gone awry. It appears to be up to the new family in town to solve the mystery before their own son follows the fate of those before him.
The author has a certain familiarity with science, sports medicine in particular, and has knowledge of football. The author tells the story from varying points of view, from the mad scientist to the crazy football coach to the estranged wife to the football players themselves as they slowly go insane. As a result the author uses dramatic irony in an attempt to appeal to the reader.
This story, though completely fictional, does question readers' morals consistently throughout the novel. The author asks such questions that invoke checks on readers' own beliefs. Would the reader be willing to step up against an entire town with a powerful company worth millions of dollars working against him or her? Would the reader risk their own life to save the life of many more inevitably to follow?
The author's perspective on the novel cannot be easily deciphered. The novel is obviously meant to entertain the audience by keeping them on the edge of their seats waiting to see what will happen next. However, with the books gruesome details, pleasure is hard to find.
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By A Customer on 12 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is my first John Saul novel, and it did not appeal to me for several reasons. If you are an animal lover, this book is not for you. Gore is supposed to be an accoutrement to a good horror story, not necessarily a staple. In this case, people simply behaved in a sheeplike oblivious manner that was hard to believe. It is impossible to comprehend that "EVERYONE" in a small town would be so wrapped up in sports, or subject themselves to only being able to purchase health food at the supermarket. The town ended up feeling contrived and the wooden characters even more so. Only the protaganist was fleshed out to any great degree, and that always kills a story for me.
John Saul seems to be very well read, and appears to do his research thoroughly, yet in this offering probably stretched credibility too far. I am not talking about the creature, or the science behind it, but rather the whole town and the way people interacted with one another. I will try another of his works hoping for less gratuitous gore, more realistic settings, and perhaps more three-dimensional characters.
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By A Customer on 10 Jun. 1998
Format: Paperback
I was going to trash this book, but I've changed my mind. John Saul writes books that fall into that elusive category, the good bad novel. I mean, by halfway through this thing, I recognized that it was bad on a cosmic scale. It has plot holes you could drive a semi through, and dialogue that seems to have been written by pre-schoolers who'd been dosed on acid and forced to read "Sweet Valley High" novels. But I still finished the damn thing. Hell, I even read another John Saul novel before I finally learned my lesson. Be warned, this guy makes Stephen King sound like Shakespeare. But he will entertain you, at least until you have time to realize what you've been reading.
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