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Others [Kindle Edition]

James Herbert
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)

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Book Description

'It sounded easy. Find a missing kid. Eighteen 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. Matter of fact, there were a lot of things I didn't know about myself. I just thought I was different, not the kind you'd expect to be a private investigator. But I was wrong. Like I'd been wrong for most of my uncharmed life. Because I was more than that. And the answers were coming, coming fast and they scared me shitless. Murder, mutilation, depravity and horrors that almost OTHERS at Perfect Rest and every thought I had about life itself changed. It's a story you might hate. Because it's too close to the real truth. And it might frighten you so badly you will never sleep in an unlit room again. But it'll make you think. I promise you that. I only hope it won't make you think too much. Because that's when the nightmares will begin. Yeah, that's when everything will change. Your choice.'

Product Description

Amazon Review

A book that starts in Hell has got to be expertly paced, and no-one has ever accused British King of Horror James Herbert of lacking any of those skills. Hardly has a damned soul agreed to an angelic offer he cannot refuse than Nicholas Dismas is limping down the mean streets of contemporary Brighton searching for a child who may not even exist. Nicholas has only one eye and is short, lame and hunchbacked; he finds himself living daily with the hatred a society obsessed with normality dishes out to those who cannot conform. This is a book about exploitation and prejudice which touches some raw nerves; it makes you think as well as making you shudder. Dismas--who feels sorry for himself but not too much of the time--is one of the more three-dimensional characters in Herbert's work, and his love for the tiny and beautiful Constance is genuinely touching while not entirely avoiding sentimentality. There is horror of a classic visceral kind here--one of Dismas's colleagues dies in a peculiarly vile fashion--and a nursing home turns out to contain a real heart of darkness, but the real horror is the shabby ways in which people treat each other. --Roz Kaveney


"As always, Herbert's writing is compelling, and his characters...vivid and complex."--"Library Journal""The king of British horror...An admirable balance between terror of the supernatural and the darkness of the human heart."--"Publishers Weekly"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 842 KB
  • Print Length: 516 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0330376128
  • Publisher: Pan (11 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050AM5V2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,260 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

James Herbert was not just Britain's number one bestselling writer of chiller fiction, a position he held ever since publication of his first novel, but was also one of our greatest popular novelists. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his twenty-three novels have sold more than fifty-four million copies worldwide, and have been translated into over thirty languages, including Russian and Chinese. In 2010, he was made the Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention and was also awarded an OBE by the Queen for services to literature. His final novel was Ash. James Herbert died in March 2013.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absorbing Work of Horror Fiction 8 Oct. 2003
Upon reading the synopsis and having read other Herbert books before, you would be forgiven for thinking this book is about a private investigator who is hired to solve a mystery and is pulled into a world of ghosts and spirits he can't control.
To an extent, part of this is true.
What however makes this book so different and so original, is the central character Nicholas Dismas; a man with such physical deformities, he resembles the elephant man. Quite a stark contrast to other "heros" who are 6ft tall, handsome and charming.
Whilst by it's own admission Others is a gripping thriller expertly written, it is society's intolerence and prejudice of Nicholas's character that will linger a long, long time after you have turned the last page of this book. Enthralling.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Herbert's best... by far 21 Aug. 2006
Not only is the premise extraordinarily clever, the pacing of the story is perfect.

A matinee idol, after inhabiting hell for half a century, is given the chance to leave in a very rare offer from on high. The conditions are that he will be reincarnated, will help a group of innocents, and, crucially, will not know anything about the deal.

Cruelly (perhaps), he is put into the body of Nicholas Dismas, a private detective with spina bifida who was abandonned as a newborn, who is contacted by a mother who suspects that her "stillborn" child has, in fact, been kidnapped.

Told in the first person, Others spirals rapidly from an apparent cut and dry PI story into a very disturbing (indeed) tale of extreme "medical malpractice".

If you can stand the deranged ending, this is excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pushing the boundaries? 28 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been reading James Herbert for most of my adult life it seems, and it is always nice to find one of his books that I haven't already read. Every time I do, for some reason, I look at the blurb and think "mmmm I don't know if I am going to like this" and then every time, without fail, I find myself hooked within pages and this was no exception. I'm not going to go into the plot (you can read the blurb and countless other reviews for that), but I note that there is an element of shock and disgust in the reviews, people claiming James Herbert should be ashamed of himself because of the content of this book. Well, I would say he certainly has pushed the boundaries of horror here, and the themes in the book could certainly seem very distressing to some readers - but the parts of the book that might be considered beyond the pale are not graphic - its all alluded to and not shown, it is more concept than anything else I think.

It is a story told by one person, Nick Dismas the hero, and you really do get right into the heart of the story that way. It can feel claustrophobic at times, but this is horror and I think in a way it adds to the atmosphere. The characters are fantastic, and my only regret is that we didn't see enough of Ida, I really took to her and liked her!

One thing worth commenting on, it is a story written a few years ago, so it was quite funny in a way reading about how the characters were working without the internet, and having to indulge in good old fashioned sleuthing. Makes you realise just how far we have come in just a few years.

It is a long, well written and gripping read - but that is just the way I like it, so no complaints here on that score!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Others 9 Jan. 2006
After being rather disappointed by the last couple of James Herbert books I'd picked up it was with some trepidation that I started "The Others" hoping that I wouldn't be too disappointed. Fortunately I can report that I genuinely enjoyed the story and feel that although not perfect, this book can be ranked with his best output.
Nick Dismas is the disabled hunchback private investigator who is hired by glamorous widow Shelly Ripstone to find her son, who was taken from her at birth. The official story is that the baby died but Shelly, after consultation with grandmotherly medium Louise Broomfield, is convinced that her son never died and she wants Nick to track him down. It was the detective parts of the book that I enjoyed the story the most. Nick Dismas is a most interesting character and the sections of the book when he's either working with his other employees or on the trail of the missing person are then best. The developing romance between Nick and Constance whilst being slightly predictable and a little too ...... it is still rather sweet and enjoyable.
However the book does escape completely from criticism. I mentioned the last couple of books of him had been disappointing (Haunted and The Survivor - I don't read in order!) largely due to their brevity of character and story development, this time the book can be rightly accused of being a little too wordy and a little too repetitious. You could have easily cut out large chunks and not lost any of the plot or atmosphere of the book. When we get into the "horror" sections Mr Herbert cannot resist going into overload and peppering us with gory description after gory description. This only serves to reduce the thrill and shock value and is nothing other than boring.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freak show 2 Feb. 2006
By Jane Aland VINE VOICE
Others is a fairly standard James Herbert horror/detective novel in terms of plotting, with private investigator Nick Dismas following the trail of a missing baby to a sinister rest home ( a setting used by Herbert just 4 novels previously in Creed), complete with a malevolent Doctor and medical monstrosities shackled in the basement. What makes Others more interesting than just another horror-by-numbers is Herbert’s decision to have both the lead male and female characters (let alone most of the supporting cast) suffer from physical deformity – the result is a horror novel rich in the flavour of such films as The Elephant Man and Freaks. For additional supernatural interest the hero also turns out to be a reincarnated Hollywood movie star, who is seeking redemption for his past crimes. The book is occasionally uneven in tone (witness the comedic Hell-bound first chapter), and feels a little bloated in the middle (at 500 pages this could have done with some serious editing), and occasionally Herbert’s desire to push the horror to the extremes tips the novel into the realms of the ridiculous (such as the pornographic starring giant-penis-wielding mutant at the climax) but generally Others is one of Herbert’s more interesting novels, thanks to it’s unlikely hero.
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