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The Woods are Dark Paperback – 14 Mar 1991


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Feature; New Ed edition (14 Mar. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747235503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747235507
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.4 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 245,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Richard Laymon was born in Chicago in 1947 and grew up in California. Four of his books have been shortlisted for the Bram Stoker Award, which he won in 2001 with THE TRAVELLING VAMPIRE SHOW. Among his many acclaimed works of horror and suspense are THE STAKE, SAVAGE, AFTER MIDNIGHT and the four novels in the Beast House Chronicles: THE CELLAR, THE BEAST HOUSE, THE MIDNIGHT TOUR and FRIDAY NIGHT IN BEAST HOUSE. He died in February 2001.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Woods Are Dark (1981) is the second horror novel by Richard Laymon, his first being The Cellar (1980). The main protagonists in the novel are two backpackers (Neala and Sherri) and the Dills family. Both groups of people are attacked by the Krulls, strange and disfigured backwoods creatures who live in the surrounding area of Barlow. The victims are taken to a clearing in the woods where there are just six trees, The Hanging Trees, and here they are bound and strung up. They each suffer various forms of abuse before the Krulls attempt to satisfy their hunger for human flesh.

The book initially suffered due to heavy editing, poor marketing and jacket design. This affected Laymon's career in the USA; however, he eventually found popularity in the UK and Europe. He is one of the most popular horror author's alongside such luminaries as Brian Keene, Jack Ketchum, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Edward Lee. The Woods Are Dark now comes in two states: The original hardcover and paperback (the edited version); the recently revised and uncut version published by Cemetery Dance and Amazon Kindle (this contains an extra 50 pages). Fans of Ketchum's Off Season (1981) and Offspring (1991) will enjoy The Woods Are Dark.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 July 1999
Format: Paperback
One of Laymon's earlier books retains his usual skill of drawing you into his world and gripping you from the opening line to the last.
The book revolves around a small town, whose inhabitants capture and then offer up unwary travellers to the "Krull"....the evil occupants of the nearby woods. The story centres on three small groups of such victims, bound and tied to the trees where the Krull will come for them, they must escape the woods before they are caught.
There is no doubt that the book is an exciting one, I am not the fastest of readers yet finished this in under two days. The chapters are short and each one changes to a different group, describing their fear and their efforts to escape, thus helping to maintain the quick pace and the sense of urgency that the book achieves so early on.
Typically, there is the obligatory Laymon sex scene, perhaps rather unrealistically between two characters that you honestly can't believe would (or indeed, considering their life threatening situation) should happen. However this is not a major fault and certainly doesn't spoil an entertaining read. On reflection though, you realise that in an attempt to speed up the book, there is little or no development of any of the characters, which is a real shame as many of them would seem to have interesting tales to tell. But little time is spent on such trivialities as we rush headlong into another fight to survive...never mind. A potentially fascinating sub plot of unrequited love between two best friends is skimmed over, leaving you perhaps just slightly unsatisifed over the whole thing...if your not going to explore it, don't put it in would be my advice.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By PaulV01 on 22 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
This is one of Laymon's earliest novels, and still one of his best. Despite heavy editing by his editor's in the 80's it manages to retain much of the action and frenzy that makes this one of the most intense fast paced novels on the market.
The action centres around the isolated town of Barlow and its surrounding woodlands which harbour a dark sinister secret...
Barlow appears at first glance to be another normal American town but the residents know only too well whats lurking in the woodlands - and what needs to be done to keep their appetite quelled.
Outsiders are owerpowered at regular intervals and tied to a series of trees, the killing trees, in the midst of an open plain. As they await their fate, little do they know what terror awaits them in the form of the canibalistic 'Krulls'. Death, Danger, destruction and 'The Devil' all feature in this diabolical story which will have you burning the midnight oil to reach its conclusion.
Its quite a short novel (247 pages in the Headline paperback edition) but the exceptionally rare 'woods are dark chapbook' adds a further 48 pages to the tale and relates much of what is missing in the widely published version, mainly telling the tale of Lander and Ruth's plight. A great read and a real showcase of Laymon's talent.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "glennmiller3" on 3 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
A legless thing with powerful hairy arms dragged itself across the road. It paused for a moment in the car's headlights, in front of Neala and Sherri. It tossed a severed human hand which landed between the girls, and then scurried away into the dark forest . . .
This is the best Richard Laymon I have read. So compelling that I literally could not stop reading. It's an erotic thriller that will have your heart racing from the first page to the last.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clare VINE VOICE on 26 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
I have only read a couple of Richard Laymon's books, and they are fun easy reads, this one is no different! With all Laymon books I think you don't get to know the characters too well, as not a lot of information is given about them that said his books are great fun reads. This is no different - a group pff sub-humans living in forestland. The story surrounds the area of Barlow, The inhabitants capture travellers unaware of their fate to "Krulls" the inhabitants of this scary wood.

The story centres of 3 seperate groups of travellers who get tied to the killing trees but, must do all they can to escape.

As always with Richard Laymon's books the pace is very fast, although the book is quite short (240 pages) its quite gory and of course the obligatory sex scenes, the ending is a bit rushed though and it does leave you wondering but, overall pretty good, the usual you would expect from Richard Laymon.
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