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The Light at the End

The Light at the End [Kindle Edition]

John Skipp , Craig Spector
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

An adrenaline-charged tale of unrelenting suspense that sparks with raw and savage energy... The newspapers scream out headlines that spark terror across the city. Ten murders on the New York City subway. Ten grisly crimes that defy all reason -- no pattern, no m.o., no leads for police to pursue. The press dubs the fiend the "Subway Psycho"; the NYPD desperately seeks their quarry before the city erupts in mass hysteria. But they won't find what they're looking for.

Because they all think that the killer is human.

Only a few know the true story -- a story the papers will never print. It is a tale of abject terror and death written in grit and steel... and blood. The tale of a man who vanished into the bowels of the urban earth one night, taken by a creature of unholy evil, then left as a babe abandoned on the doorstep of Hell. Now he is back, driven by twin demons of rage and retribution.

He is unstoppable. And we are all his prey... unless a ragtag band of misfit souls will dare to descend into a world of manmade darkness, where the real and unreal alike dwell in endless shadow. A place where humanity has been left behind, and the horrifying truth will dawn as a madman's chilling vendetta comes to light...

Filled with gripping drama and harrowing doomsday dread, The Light at the End is the book that ushered in a bold new view of humankind's most ancient and ruthless evil; a mesmerizing novel from two acknowledged masters of spellbinding suspense.



Wild Things...
They've been with us forever - prowling the smoky roadhouse dives that are their watering holes and hunting grounds. Predators, lurking amidst the human herd. Changing shape at will. Lusting for blood and meat they are gods in the wild. Gods in disguise. And they feed on the spark inside each of us.

The Scream

Rock ‘n’ Roll. Hell. Two great tastes that taste great together. Long before Elvis gyrated on the Sullivan Show or the Beatles toiled the smoky red-light bars of Hamburg, music has been sowing the seeds of liberation. Or damnation. With each new generation the edge of rebellion pushed farther. Rhythms quickened. Volume increased. Lyrics coarsened. The rules continued to be broken, until it seemed that there were no rules at all.

A Question of Will

Paul Kelly is a good man: a firefighter and paramedic facing death and danger daily, risking his own safety for the sake of strangers. Paul has seen tragedy a thousand times, but it has never been his own. Until now… A shocking crime. A loved one, brutally murdered. Paul’s life is suddenly invaded by police, reporters, the harsh glare of spotlights on a family’s private sorrow. The killer shows no sorrow, no remorse – a teen sociopath whose dead eyes stare in sullen silence. Paul does not want blood or vengeance. He wants to know why.


If Jim Thompson wrote A CHRISTMAS CAROL, it might go a little something like this...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 625 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Crossroad Press; 25th Anniversary Digital Edition edition (25 Oct 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0049P23PW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #102,405 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twilight it ain't... 17 Mar 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
John Skipp & Craig Spector's THE LIGHT AT THE END is a vamp novel first published in 1986, but don't let that put you off. This is awesome stuff and a delightfully far cry from Anne Rice.

And a million miles from Stephanie Meyer.

The story's set in 80s New York, where a serial killer (who turns out to be a recently sired vampire) is rampaging around the underground. The action plays out mostly during night time, lending the book a real Noir feel. The characters are as hard boiled as you like; our unlikely heroes being the D&D obsessed employees of a delivery company, our main vamp a grumpy old goth that feels more Iggy Pop than the Vampire Lestat. In fact, rumour has it that Skipp & Spector's antagonist, Rudy, was a big inspiration to Joss Whedon in sketching out the character of bad boy Spike for similarly groundbreaking vamp romp, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. And I'd believe that.

THE LIGHT AT THE END is thought by many to be one of the first splatterpunk novels ever written. And that's probably true also: there's certainly enough gore and violence in the book to qualify.

It's also an exceptionally well written book. Character-driven, for one thing. The flow is perfect, for another, the prose and dialogue bending so well that it's hard to put the book down once you lift it. There's a really nice colloquial vibe about this book, the authors' voice both confident and definitive. And it's not without its chills. THE LIGHT AT THE END preys on the mind as much as it preys on the gut.

To be honest, I can't recommend this book enough. It's got everything I love in a horror story: thrills, chills, great characters, loads of gore and a well layered plot. Although written in 1986, it mostly (with the exception of one scene, featuring a roller skating Jesus freak lobbing Holy Water bombs at our hapless vamp) feels contemporary, and definitely stands the test in time.

Simply put, I loved it.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Some twenty plus years ago I was leant a copy of this by a friend on a plane. I never gave it back. I later lost my copy to a nurse. In time I got another copy which was borrowed and so on over twenty plus year's Simply because this is one of the best. Vampire tales you will read. Non-formulaic, it set the pattern for so many that followed, and are still following, many deep in the shade.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am chuffed to bits that this book is now out for the Kindle. It is one of the best vampire/action books I have ever read. This book was a high water mark for both authors and I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anybody that likes a great story, great characters and an enemy that is as confused with his powers as the "good guys" are.

I have read this several times and still enjoy the book.

When you read this book, remember that it was written in the late 80's and mobile phones were not the common objects they are now. The book starts in the Subways of New York and the brutal murders that capture the headlines.

The antagonist is a former artist Rudy who is turned into a vampire. He master is a cold, callous ancient that gives him no training in how to use his powers or the consequences of not drinking. He simply leaves him to fend for himself or die. That explains why he is confused about his powers as noted by a previous reviewer.

Rudy simply turns to the first person he knew.. his former girlfriend and begins a campaign of terror for her and a group of motley friends linked by a courier firm. They are a motley bunch and believable too which makes this book even better.

I do not want to say too much more, but this book is inspired writing and I urge you to invest in the Kindle version. It really is that good. I do not award 5 stars to most books that I read, but this really is worthy of it. I would give it 6 stars if I could.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Offering 17 Jun 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a novel that I was curious about as a teenager (after reading an interview with the authors in Fear magazine), but only managed to catch up with it recently via the wonders of Kindle. The idea of a punk vampire terrorizing the New York City subway system has a definite appeal. However, for me the actual execution of the idea proves to be something of a mixed bag overall. There's no denying the brilliant, gory, exciting and atmospheric opening, which is surely a classic opening for a horror novel, depicting a vampire induced series of gruesome murders on a ill fated subway train. The first few chapters are also fine and the the book really kicks in for the third act, which I felt compelled to keep reading. The last third of the book is genuinely compelling and with it's series of bloody encounters and drama taking place over one night (complete with reminders of the passing of time) is almost like a vampire episode of 24.

It's the middle and some of the central execution that I found disappointing. It's a nice surprise when some seemingly unimportant characters later return and make a valid contribution (an old man character in particular ends up being a highlight of the group of misfit vampire hunters), but having enjoyed Danny and Claire's meeting in a cinema, I was a little disappointed that the characters get ignored for a large chunk of the book and don't get themselves or their relationship strongly developed. Oft times, characters feel like nothing more than plot devices and struggle to really come alive on the page (I wasn't expecting Jane Austen level characterisation but something just didn't work for me in a lot of scenes and dialogue). It's a shame that vampire punk Rudy is such a non entity too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  53 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos to Stealth Press for bringing this one back! 24 Aug 2001
By Henry W. Wagner - Published on
You know you're getting older when all your favorite songs are labeled oldies, the sports figures you admired are playing in "Old Timers Day" games, and some of the books you've read are now considered "classics." It's distressing to realize you're not immune to the passage of time, and also that your prior perceptions about what was worthwhile might have been misguided, if not outright wrong. The flip side of this particular coin is rereading the favorites of your youth and finding that they still stand up. In recent years I've had that experience with many of Stephen King's earlier works. This past spring, I experienced it with the new Stealth Press hardcover reprint of Craig Skipp and John Spector's The Light At The End.
For those of you who aren't familiar with this work, a brief summary is in order. The book focuses on two characters, punk/goth vampire Rudy Pasko, and the man who has vowed to kill him, the aptly named Joseph Hunter. Rudy, a jerk and a loser in life, gains his vampiric powers by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, stumbling upon a grisly subway massacre perpetrated by an evil ancient entity. Sired merely to amuse that entity, Rudy starts to groove on his new powers, using them to push back against a world he's always hated. The massacre, coupled with Rudy's high profile activities, brings him to the attention of Hunter, a hulking, gruff, compulsive do-gooder looking for something to hit after the death of his beloved mother. Their anger brings them into conflict, and also drives the horrific events to come. And they are horrific, even if they seem a little tamer to me due to the passage of time and to changes in my perception of what should be labeled "extreme."
In 1986 The Light at the End stood at the center of the then-raging debate of splatterpunk v. quiet horror (thank goodness we all realized the genre was big enough to include works from all points in the spectrum -- now if we could only stop talking about whether horror is dead, thriving, comatose or irrelevant). Skipp and Spector, striding through the horror community like the rock stars they emulated, championed a more visceral, high energy, in-your-face kind of horror than that to which we were accustomed, pushing out at the boundaries. They had their progenitors of course: folks like Robert Bloch, Stephen King, Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum and the young upstart Clive Barker (whose "The Midnight Meat Train" seems to have inspired Light's grisly opening sequence). This book, considered with works such as S. P. Somtow's Vampire Junction, seems in hindsight to have been almost a seminal influence on later writers. One could make the case that the stylish Light made splatterpunk more acceptable, paving the way for writers as diverse as David Schow, Nancy Collins, Poppy Z. Brite, Christopher Golden, Ray Garton, Rex Miller and Edward Lee, giving them permission to go over the top in their own writing (although, in Garton's case, it may just have validated over the top work he'd already published, like Seductions). It was a no holds barred style of storytelling that has trickled down to movies and television, as evidenced by the work of folks like Joss "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Whedon, whose character Spike bears more than a passing resemblance to Rudy.
This was and remains a swift paced, high-impact book, long on action, but also on character development -- Rudy's anger is tangible, as is Hunter's grief. The supporting cast is well developed, and the New York City backdrop is effective -- Skipp and Spector's New York vividly captured much of America's perception of the city as a cesspool. Yes, they do show signs of their relative inexperience at the time (for instance, a number of chapters end with annoying tag lines like, "That was the last time they would see him alive"), but these are easily overlooked when compared to the overall quality of the narrative. This book can be enjoyed by "old farts" and "whippersnappers" alike, either reliving fond memories or creating new ones. Kudos to Stealth Press for bringing it back in this handsome hardcover.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nastiness Bites 12 Jan 2005
By Marc Ruby™ - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Thanks to Skipp and Spector, we have come to know the dark truth about what lurks in the subterranean realm of New York's sewers. When I first read this book nearly 20 years ago this backdrop, coupled with a fresh and innovate plot quickly made it one of my favorite horror stories. Not all vampires are romantic. What would happen if a local jerk happens to meet up with the kind of evil that turns subway trains into bloodbags, and is 'drafted' into a new world. You would get a jerky vampire, of course, and Rudy Pasko is just as unpleasant dead as he is alive.

From his subterranean demesne Rudy sets about being nasty and all that stands between him and world dominion is strange cast of characters that include truck drivers, messengers, students, game players, and would be writers. That and a few forces even bleaker than Rudy himself. Badness is due to happen, not all will survive, and the tunnel turns out to have a few extra kinks. Spector and Skipp write in a helter-skelter style that catches the edginess of life on the fringe of New York City - out there where the glamour doesn't ever go.

For all the adventure of pushing the limits of horror Skipp and Spector remember that what scares you are the things you can't get used to, not a continuous flow of gore and the result is a story that is both chilling and magnetic. They are not by any means the first to use graphic imagery (Straub's Floating Dragon still haunts me today) but the are the first to bring nitty gritty characters into the spotlight and make this story as much about them as it is by the world's most offensive vampire.

A great deal of 'aura' has grown up around this book. Most of this concerns its role in the horror genre and as a source for the 'splatterpunk' as a writing style. To some degree this is true, but much depends on your definition of splatterpunk, a term which was originally coined by David Schow and arose more from George Romero's films than written literature. Skipp and Spector's own definition can be found in the introduction to the hard cover edition. The bluntest definition is a radical relaxing of what society considers good taste and a tendency to make heroes out of folks who would normally be villains and bystanders.

The odd thing is that, despite the graphic violence of The Light at the End, it never really lapses into bad taste, and the ragtag group that takes one the world's uncoolest vampire are quite sympathetic in spite of their flaws. So Skipp and Spector in their first (and I thing their best) effort were openers of the way more than the darkest of practitioners. This alone is the book worth searching out and reading if your taste runs to the grimly humorous. In the authors' later work the need to be unnerving began to erode the desire to have a good story. But this time they were spot on and its well worth hunting up a copy. Whether you care about it's significance to literary history or not.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In your Face Horror by Craig Spector 21 Nov 2000
By Donna Rockey - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Light at the End" is vampire horror at it's best. This novel is slick and sophisticated, written for an audience that is no longer satisfied with being spoon fed the same old plot. Fortunately, this novel has been re-released only recently in hardcover by a new press Stealth Press. ([...] Finally this classic is again in print. New York is the type of city that anything can happen in. In this novel, we are taken into the world of "what if" when an old world vampire comes to see the sites and leaves the city with a legacy of it's own in the form of a nihilistic young artist turned vampire, with an ax to grind. This novel steps out of the splatterpunk stereotype with it's gritty and realistic characters and a willingness to take chances with plot and its readers. There is no neat and tidy package from this author- he takes the story around with a realistic unpredictability and a tangible sense of fear. Bloody, yes, but the violence is not the star of this novel by far. Read it for the plot. Read it for the intense, razor sharp writing style, just don't expect to put it down.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Gory, Very Good. 11 Mar 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First off, if you are sick of the Anne Rice vampires who have a cheesy accent, and whine and complain about the "dark gift" of being a vampire, then this book is for you. The vampire in this book is anything but whiny. However, if you like your vampire books with a ruthless vampire that kills without compassion, morals, or even a second thought, then this book is for you.
Skipp and Spector have a very strong writing style. Strong in that this is a real page turner filled with violence and gore around every turn. For example, just wait till you read what happens in a movie theater.
This book is pretty much out of print. I was lucky enough to find my copy at a used bookstore. I urge you to go out and hunt for this book. I can promise you that you won't be sorry.
If you like your vampires to kill without reason, then you have to start this book. You'll love every page. That I can promise you.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the BEST vampire novel ever written! 6 Mar 2000
By Melissa Tapley - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was suggested to me by a friend who said it was the scariest book he'd ever read. I kid you not, this book was creepy! Besides it's scary side, it has incredible detail and descriptions, a great, flowing storyline, and characters that you can picture vividly in your head. This is, quite easily, one of the best books I've ever read. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes vampires, horror novels, or likes to be scared. You'll jump and gasp with every turn of the page!
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