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Keepers [Mass Market Paperback]

Gary A. Braunbeck
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Leisure Books; paperback / softback edition (Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0843955775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843955774
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 10.7 x 16.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,325,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1st edition 1st printing paperback, new In stock shipped from our UK warehouse

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a supernatural horror romance. All genres that I like. The part of the book dealing with the relationship between the main character and the woman he loves is very well written. I gave the novel only 3 stars because at a certain point the plot goes off into such bizarre territory that I have to wonder if the author was tripping on acid. Obviously supernatural books don't limit themselves to things that happen in the real world, but there is a difference between a supernatural horror like Stephen King's Pet Sematary
that follows a supernatural thread in a logical progression, and the plot in this book which is so off the charts wacky that for me it detracted from the whole. This is the only book I have read by Gary Braunbeck; I hope that in his other books he uses the same skill in describing his characters but reins in his imagination a bit.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mind-twisting foray into the caverns of haunted memories 29 Sep 2005
By Schtinky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Is it possible for the author of In Silent Graves, one of my favorite books, to write something even better? Yes, and 'Keepers' proves it. Gary Braunbeck has an extraordinary talent for taking you into parts of the mind that ebb and flow with surreal horror and unbearable charm, twisting emotion into intricately woven braids of thought, imagination, and lurid reality.

'Keepers' is so much more than the blurb on the back cover, it has a haunting 'coming of age' tale so poignantly detailed that I forgot I was reading a horror book. But nothing makes charm more vivid than the red-rimmed eyes of an unseen menace creeping up behind you.

Gil Stewart is an ordinary man, running his own business of 'novelties and collectibles' stores, and caring for his institutionalized Down's Syndrome nephew, Carson, one week a month. Until one day his normal life is shattered, first by witnessing a bizarre death on the highway, then by a mangy dog crawling under his house to die, and lastly a phone call from the institution telling him Carson is missing.

It's time to Gil to remember his past, to piece together the fragments of his memories in order to discover the secret of the Keepers, and why the Magritte-Man killed on the highway warned him of them. Gil must remember his parents, and the unbreakable bond he formed with Beth, his girl of the past, long missing and presumed dead. He must remember his kindnesses, to animals and elderly and all those who are invisible to the rest of the world. Before the Keepers come.

Anyone who has read Braunbeck will not be surprised by the talent in his writing, but if this is your first Braunbeck book, then get ready for an emotional roller coaster that will leave you gasping for air and unable to put the book down until you are finished. I can't recommend this book highly enough, definitely a 10-Star keeper. Enjoy!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A twisted forray into the realm where fantasy and horror collide 29 Dec 2005
By DanD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Gil Stewart is a man with a past. He just can't remember much of it. Or maybe he can. The problem is, he doesn't know WHAT he remembers...until he sees a man in a bowler hat being chased by a pack of fierce dgos...and sees that man die in a horrible traffic accident...and hears the man whisper his name...

On that terrible evening, Gil's world falls apart. It is a descent that will take him decades into the past, to when he was just a boy, and to a captivating young woman he once knew. It is a journey that will lead him to a time before time began, when animals ruled supreme. It is a trip down memory lane from which he might not return...

"Keepers" is twisted, shocking, graffic, and down-right clever: everything a horror novel should be. Braunbeck's writing is crisp and clever when necessary, dirty and daunting at other times. This is not a flawless novel, but it is certainly an entertaining one, and not somethimg for the squeamish. "Keepers" is, if nothing else, thought-provoking; and certainly not to be read around your favorite animal companions. You may never look at Rover the same way again...
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great balance and Great Job!! 13 Sep 2005
By Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Before we even begin the dissection, let me first point out that the cover of Keepers is stunning. That, right there, earns Mr. Braunbeck half of a point. But, I do have to deduct the same amount for the synopsis. That summary ... completely misleading. This book is not a twisted rendition of When Animals Attack. Nor is it a knock-off of Cujo, Them, or Watchers. Want to know how or what sets it apart from these other played-out renditions? Read it and find out for yourself.

Unconventional and clever, the plot is an intricate masterpiece. Shedding layer upon layer, the story constantly unravels and contorts in a new direction that, I promise, you will never see coming and never would have expected to be brought to. And the moment you think you understand what the tale is truly about - you're wrong. There are levels of subtext and symbols, even in the simplest scene your mind is in overdrive while Braunbeck takes you deeper into his world; never more so than in what could only be called the perfect ending.

Descriptive, but tight, Braunbeck's prose, while at times can get a bit purple, is never allowed free reign. The details are embellished just enough to grant you a vivid image without painting the picture for you and the dialog is fresh with just a hint of sarcasm. Me likey. In fact, there was one scene in the book that I absolutely loved. The exchange is between the main character, Gil, and Whitey, the secondary character, while at an animal shelter. Take a look and judge for yourself:

"You don't suppose they drug the animals, do you?"

"I wouldn't think so. Would they be this active if they had sedatives in their system?"

"Hell-I'm on sedatives half the time and you don't see it slowing me down any, do you?"

"No, but then you're freakish."

"Pot. Kettle. Black. Fill in the blanks."

-pg. 193

Beautiful.

Now, while Braunbeck usually likes to have the speed and atmosphere develop slowly, carefully, it is not so here. Oh no, you are gripped up from the first chapter and held firmly in place while the air thickens with the smell of decay and repentance. And if you think the ambience will slowly ease up or that you'll get used to it...give it up. The mood will only get darker, the climate colder, and that feeling of dread, well that will only increase with each page. Welcome to hell, dear readers.

Hand over you're desolate, discarded, abused, and forgotten and I promise Braunbeck will make them beautiful and wretched. Each character is realistic; written with brutal honesty and without regret, there are no rainbows or sunny days here. In fact, at times this cast may be a little too life-like. In the scene where the main character, Gil, dreams of a place called the Rumble Room you can see a very distinct reenactment of a widely known mock-act that was practiced at Auschwitz.

This isn't the only scene that hits home. Oh no, there are many and each one will embrace you against your will. But while their flaws are many, and the sins shown are so repugnant that you find yourself almost hating the author, he somehow manages not only to ignite your empathy, but ultimately, your forgiveness as well; both of the cast and yourself.

Horrifying and traumatic, thrilling and intense, Keepers has just become one of my favorite top ten books to read! Only a certain few have been able to capture me so extensively in their arms, move me to tears, and, yet, all the while with one hand over my eye.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Braunbeck delivers again!! 10 May 2006
By L. Maynard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Gary Braunbeck is quickly becoming one of my favorite horror fiction authors. His characters are complex, human, believable. He takes time to give you some insight into their lives, creating a situation where by you care about what happens to them as the story progresses. Another thing I really appreciate about the author is his ability to write horror stories that are so completely different. He doesn't bore us with churning out book after book of tales about the same subject matter. If you haven't already read In Silent Graves, you really need to. What a ride.

This story starts out with Gil cruising down the freeway, when suddenly out of nowhere appears a man wearing a bowler hat, being pursued by a couple of bull mastiffs. His hat flies off his head and as he tries to retrieve it, he is struck by a van. Gil jumps out of his car and tries to aid the dying man. With the mans' last breath, he warns Gil that "the keepers are coming". The dogs wait for the old man to die before they go on about their business. Don't worry, we'll hear from them again. It doesn't take long after that for the roller coaster ride to start.

Braunbeck has written another brilliant, compelling, frighteningly fun novel. I hope there are many more to follow.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can Braunbeck Possibly Get Any Better? 24 Dec 2005
By William M Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What a superb book! Wow. This truely stunning novel by Gary A. Braunbeck has raised the bar again. Reading Braunbeck makes me embarrassed to read most any other author -- he's so much better. The quality of his prose, the detailed plotting, and incredibly layered characters are easily among the best of I've ever read -- and I read A LOT. It is uncommon for me to give a book 5 stars -- a perfect book. It is even more rare for an author to garner a second 5 star rating in their body of work -- only four other authors have received this from me (Tom Piccirilli, Richard Laymon, T.M. Wright, and Bentley Little). Braunbeck now joins this elite group after the 5-star rating of his previous work, "In Silent Graves". Reading this profound and emotional story was quite a journey I'll not forget anytime soon.
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