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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absorbing Work of Horror Fiction
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...
Published on 8 Oct 2003 by banythehat

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good characters
This new book by James Herbert marks something of a departure as the central character is a fully rounded three dimensional character. Fleshing out protagonists was never one of Herbert's strong points till now. The reader gets a chance to emphasise with the main character who is full of flaws. Physically he is a short hunchback who resorts readily to drink and drugs to...
Published on 24 Aug 2000 by mario@martini99.freeserve.co.uk


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absorbing Work of Horror Fiction, 8 Oct 2003
This review is from: Others (Paperback)
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
By 
M. Appleton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Others (Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Others, 9 Jan 2006
By 
Rich Milligan (Thatcham, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Others (Paperback)
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. I also found the topping and tailing of the story with the supernatural heaven and hell redemption story pretty superfluous (and again far too long at the end) and didn't bring anything to the overall book.
All in all though I did enjoy this book and would definitely recommend it to all fans of thrillers, horror and even detective novels.
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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 (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Others (Paperback)
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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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing but brilliant, 9 Jun 2007
By 
marky77 (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Others (Paperback)
This James Herbert book was very different from the other books I have read by him (The Rats, The Fog, The Dark). The whole story is told by the ppint of view of one charactor and there are only a few gory scenes (although when there are bloody scenes, they are very gory and vividly described).

Although I found this book quite upsetting as the main charactor has spinobifoda and is physically deformed and for the first half of the novel we are told a lot about how unhappy he is and how hard the world is for people like him. However, the story is origional and very well told and I found it very difficult to put down. The last 200 pages are amazing, very creative and suspenceful.

Nicolas Dismas was a handsom, famous and well-loved actor in the 1930's and 40's, but on the inside he was a horrible person. 50 years after his death he is given a chance to live again to put right what went wrong and show that he is a good person (but he will have no memory of his previous life). He is born as Nick Dismas, a man made miserable and lonely by his deformity's. He is a Private Investigator and is one day asked to look for a woman's long lost son, which leads him on a terrifying and disturbing journey to Peacefull Rest, a nursing home for the elderly, and the horrors that it conceals.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good characters, 24 Aug 2000
This review is from: Others (Paperback)
This new book by James Herbert marks something of a departure as the central character is a fully rounded three dimensional character. Fleshing out protagonists was never one of Herbert's strong points till now. The reader gets a chance to emphasise with the main character who is full of flaws. Physically he is a short hunchback who resorts readily to drink and drugs to live with his present. As we get to know him we see that that this was due to his past, not just the past in this live but the past in a previous life as the story deals in part with reincarnation. Some of the minor characters are also fleshed out. One of them is a movie buff and this provides some of the light relief as there is some banter between him and the hero about who appeared in what movie... The book is a very good read, it starts slowly giving us a good insight into the relationships of the characters and builds to an exciting, and very sad, climax.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not one for the faint-hearted!!, 8 Jun 2003
By 
laineyf "widnes" (warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Others (Paperback)
I have read many of James Herberts' books, some of which I have really liked (The Magic Cottage), some of which I haven't liked at all (48) and one which I was really disappointed in (The Ghosts of Sleath). So I wasn't sure about Others. When I started reading it, I was drawn in right from the beginning. It caught my attention straight away, and so I settled down for a really good read. On the whole, thats what it was. The concept of what goes around comes around, and that there is always a price to be paid is something that we are all familiar with. I really liked the character of Dis very much, though when I first started reading the book, I didn't think that I would. There is a bit of everything in this book, including a love story for the romantics among us, and a morality tale as well. The descriptions of some of the 'others' does go a bit over the top I suppose, but then it is fiction. Or is it? It is thought-provoking, and creepy rather than scary I think,but still one to make you nervous if you're alone at night! I did find it a bit confusing at times, as I couldn't quite work out what it was trying to be, a horror story, a love story, or a battle between good and evil. In the end, it was a combination of the three I feel. Others is what Ghosts of Sleath should have been, a good story with a good ending. I enjoyed it, and would read it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NIGHTMARISH..., 21 May 2008
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Others (Paperback)
The author is a master of the horror genre in Great Britain. His books are well written, for the most part, and this one is no exception. The pacing throughout the book is brisk, and there is an increase in tension as the suspense mounts and the mysteries abound. When the horror makes itself apparent, it will be a natural segue into the unthinkable and the unspeakable.

The protagonist, Nicholas Ditmas or "Dis", as most people call him, is a private investigator. He is also physically deformed but has a heart of gold and a goodness about him that is palpable. He is the reincarnation of a handsome, narcissistic movie star who had lived an immoral and self-absorbed life but was given a last chance dance to redeem himself.

When Dis is hired to find a baby that went missing years ago, his investigation leads him to a nursing home for the elderly called Perfect Rest, which turns out to be anything but. What Dis finds there will shock the conscience. For DIs, it will also be a voyage of discovery of a personal nature, as well.

This is a book that those who like the horror genre, as well as novels with supernatural overtones, will enjoy reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, 6 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Others (Kindle Edition)
I read a lot of James Herbert when I was younger and prior to this purchase I read "The Secret of Crickley Hall" which I thought was excellent. So I had high hopes for this book but was rather disappointed. I struggled through to the end of the book but wish I had given in to my temptation to put it down after the first fifty pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best, 5 Jan 2013
This review is from: Others (Kindle Edition)
Plot ok but it lost it a bit towards the end. Just didn't hold me. Obvious ending too. I was expecting more.
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Others by James Herbert (Hardcover - 9 April 1999)
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