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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining page turner
The keep is a period horror set in the second world war and the story focuses on a group of German soldiers stationed in an remote, isolated 500 year old keep. Whilst there, they unwittingly unleash an old enemy of mankind imprisoned within the cellar of the keep and soon find themselves been hunted down one by one.
The story benefits from an inspired choice of...
Published on 2 Dec 2004 by Ravi

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ALIASES
Having seen the film of The Keep first, I came to the book with assurances ringing in my ears that it would be better. At a pinch, I'll agree. The film starts brilliantly and deteriorates about half way through; the book starts very well if not quite so brilliantly and stays good for nearly three quarters of its length, but when the rot sets in it's pretty disastrous rot...
Published on 12 Jan 2008 by DAVID BRYSON


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining page turner, 2 Dec 2004
By 
Ravi (London and Los Angeles) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Keep (Mass Market Paperback)
The keep is a period horror set in the second world war and the story focuses on a group of German soldiers stationed in an remote, isolated 500 year old keep. Whilst there, they unwittingly unleash an old enemy of mankind imprisoned within the cellar of the keep and soon find themselves been hunted down one by one.
The story benefits from an inspired choice of setting/era, great character stories, a pacey style, a nice creepy feel and a memorable supernatural antagonist.
Downsides are it's never really that terrifying, mostly due to the fact that it's more of an 'action' orientated horror dealing with the fear of been slain by this monster on the loose rather than a physiological horror that gets deep down into your worst fears.
Also, the ultimate explanation for supernatural being is functional rather than inspired. Finally, and although it doesn't ruin the story, the low-key ending doesn't really live up to 400 pages preceding it.
In conclusion, for me, because of those let downs, this is no 5 star master-piece but having said that, the issues don't stop it being a great read and a very entertaining page turner all the way to the end. Furthermore it definitely stands out thanks to its highly original war II setting and characters - and as such I'd have no qualms in recommending it to fans of supernatural thrillers and horror or even anyone even vaguely interested in exploring the genre.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting twist on the vampire legend..., 23 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Keep (Mass Market Paperback)
Until recently this book had been out of print for years so it's good to see Tor reprinting it for a new generation of readers. Wilson has taken the basic Transylvanian legends and created a whole new mythology from them - what's more he does it so well that it seems perfectly believable.
A group of German soldiers in WWII are sent to take up residence in the Keep, only to find themselves being killed off at the rate of one a night. When the SS arrive to investigate, the violence escalates as they race against time to find out what they have released and how to stop it.
Nail-biting tension and genuine chills abound in this book but the horror is kept at a reasonable level and Wilson focuses more on the psychological aspects of being trapped in a terrifying situation. This makes the book more scary than it might otherwise have been. Using the SS as victims is another clever touch. As more of their true purpose is revealed, it becomes hard to distinguish between which is the true monster and you may find yourself sympathizing with the 'wrong' side... I'll leave it to you to determine which side that is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great horror on top of a fantastic story!, 12 May 2009
Set back in April 1941, Nazi Germany is at War and Yugoslavia has just surrendered and it seems the Germain Army are unstoppable. Captain Klaus Woermann has got a job, set up a command and watch post at the Dinu Pass in Romania in a small unoccupied Castle simply known to the local villagers as "The Keep", easy enough job right? Until the first night, when a soldier accidently releases a unknown force upon the Keep, each night another Soldier is found dead in with thier throats torn and no explanation to how it happened! The SS are sent in, and fail, their only hope is a cripplied Jew and his Daughter and the Red Haired man on his way from Portugal. Will the Jewish man help his enemey to defeat this force, or will he join forces with it, and who is the Red Haired man? Read and find out, but beware reader, your skin will crawl!

Another note, this is my favorite book of all time and was a badly made film by Michael Mann, this is better than the film and the book was at one point very hard to come by, so get it while you can, highly reccommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ALIASES, 12 Jan 2008
By 
DAVID BRYSON (Glossop Derbyshire England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Keep (Mass Market Paperback)
Having seen the film of The Keep first, I came to the book with assurances ringing in my ears that it would be better. At a pinch, I'll agree. The film starts brilliantly and deteriorates about half way through; the book starts very well if not quite so brilliantly and stays good for nearly three quarters of its length, but when the rot sets in it's pretty disastrous rot in my own opinion.

Two aspects of the book stay good consistently. One is the quality of the writing, which is literate, fluent, clear and pitched at the right tone for a narrative of this kind. The other is the characterisation, and I would extend that category even to the fiend inhabiting the keep. This being was not handled well in the film, but here in the book I rather took to him, monstrous foe of mankind though he is. He has real individuality and with a couple of exceptions real consistency, and he conducts some rather intelligent dialogues with the professor who had been summoned to identify him to the nazis. Where he is not quite convincing here is in the strange, and so far as I can see completely unnecessary, little fibs that he tells the professor. Wilson does offer an explanation of why the monster pretends to be afraid of the crucifix when he is really not afraid. I find this explanation somewhat unconvincing, but it's still some kind of an explanation. However why he should bother to lie to the professor about his relationship to Vlad the Impaler, or about who built the keep, escapes me. Above all, what does he stand to gain by telling the professor that his name is Molasar when it is actually Rasalom? If the aim was deception it would not take much of a professor to see through it, and he might have tried a bit harder. This, it seems to me, points up one of the aspects in which both book and film are unsatisfactory, although in opposite ways. The film left too many things unexplained, not really creating a suitable air of mystery but just leaving threads dangling. The book is overly concerned with explanations, letting the tension out of the story because they are rather patchy and prosaic.

I mean - if Molasar/Rasalom is unimaginably old how can he have had a grandfather from Hungary? This might be another of his pointless taradiddles, but I can't help feeling that the author and his proofreaders failed to spot this inconsistency. Again, if his adversary (of whom more in a moment) is equally prehistoric how does he manage to retrieve his magic sword-blade and his stash of antique coinage so readily? They seem to be in concealment shallow enough for random picknickers or even a dog burying a bone to have turned them up accidentally. It all focused my attention on the adversary in question, and the story started to disintegrate from there on. First of all he is a being of untold antiquity from some First Age of Man and his name is Glaeken. However for modern purposes he chooses to call himself Glenn, and Wilson ought to know that if you want some such transcendental being with preternatural powers and a mission aeons-old to be taken seriously you should not call him Glenn, Derek, Terry, Darren or Wayne. What was wrong with, say, Nekealg?

It all starts to go to pot from here on. A 'love-interest' is introduced between Glenn and the professor's daughter. The latter had had a convincing role, integrated with the plot generally, up until now, but we are suddenly introduced to her specially alluring physical attributes as being parthenos admes, virgo intacta, at age 31. My own experience of women in this category is small and mainly unfavourable, but even leaving that aside the sense of this depiction is just titillation, if you will forgive the expression. The rest of the plot, which in the earlier chapters had been distinguished by a real atmosphere of morbid tension, descends into reach-me-down situations. Deathless survivors and some supposed First Age are commonplaces, such as McLeod. Goodies and baddies with transcendental Powers battling for the future of humankind were the stuff of my son's reading-matter at age 7 and probably dominate many computer games a quarter of a century on.

The setting in nazi-occupied Romania is brilliantly effective, but I should not bother looking for anything so literary and upmarket as allegories in this story. The nazis and WWII are simply a backdrop, although an inspired one. The setting in the keep has Lovecraftian overtones (e.g. The Shunned House), and there are references to his old favourites the Book of Eibon and De Vermis Mysteriis, but Molasar/Rasalom reminds me mainly of Tolkien's Sauron with his mission to 'in the darkness bind them'. This is where the story has gone wrong. The start was superb - atmospheric, tense, grim and magnetic, and the narration was kept going very skilfully through situations that in the hands of a lesser storyteller might have become repetitious, until Glenn drops in with his tools of different varieties. It then becomes fairly standard beings-with-powers fare with bodice-ripper sequences thrown in to attract a wider readership, all with a second-hand feel to it after that fine and original start, and with a final epilogue that is quite the most horrific thing in the book, albeit not intentionally so.

It's enjoyable, I don't deny. I wonder what the talented Dr Wilson could really produce if he felt like raising his game although doubtless lowering his royalties in the process.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Battle Between Good And Evil - Terrifying!, 16 Feb 2005
This review is from: The Keep (Mass Market Paperback)
SS Sturmbannfuhrer Erich Kaempffer has just received a promotion and a plum new assignment. After a year's tutelage at Auschwitz, learning how to run an efficient concentration camp and implementing the Reich's final solution, Heinrich Himmler has rewarded him with a death camp of his own. Romania's new Division of Race and Resettlement is going to be busy for the next year or so, rounding up Jews, gypsies and other undesirables to transport to the facility, now under construction in Ploiesti, north of Bucharest. It is April 1941.
Then word comes through that Kaempffer is to make a detour. A small regular German army detachment is stationed in an ancient castle called the Keep, in the Dinu Pass, a remote area of the Transylvanian Alps. The location is of interest to the Germans because of its strategic position to nearby oil fields. The captain, senior officer in charge, had sent a communique to Headquarters in Berlin: "Request immediate relocation. Something is murdering my men." The SS major must make the inconvenient trip to investigate, along with a contingent of his einsatzkommandos (SS goons).

Kaempffer and his men arrive and soldiers continue to die, both army and SS now, each in a more gruesome manner. Clearly something supernatural is involved. Some heinous creature is sucking the life from living souls. The Keep's occupation by foreign soldiers, and their continual tampering with the castle's structure while searching for hidden gold, have released an evil entity - the MOST EVIL entity. When a message is found, written in blood in an unknown language, it is decided an expert must be called in to assist the investigation. Unfortunately for everyone, the SS major refuses to abandon the Keep, as this may look like a failure to his superiors in Berlin. An elderly, sickly Jewish scholar from Bucharest, knowledgeable about Romanian history, folklore and extinct languages, is ordered to the castle. Accompanying him is his lovely daughter, Magda.
Meanwhile, in Tavira, Portugal, a red-haired man awakens from a nightmare with a sense of foreboding. Grim-faced, he suddenly understands. He had hoped this moment would never come, but he is ready and immediately begins a trip across the 2300 mile length of Mediterranean Sea, through Turkey to Romania. Soon another war will begin, one which will rival even Hitler's war.
Parts of "The Keep" are extremely scary, horrifying actually. A fantasy element is also present in the explanation of the evil "entity's" history, along with the story of the building of the Keep. I found this to be fascinating stuff. During these segments, the novel is fast-paced and riveting. However, there are areas of the narrative which plod, and while I enjoyed the romantic subplot, I am pretty sure hard core horror fans will not. The gratuitous gore, is just that - unnecessary, and becomes almost comical at times - especially since the gore belongs to Nazis. Overall though, I did enjoy "The Keep" enormously. It will hold you spellbound!
JANA
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES..., 12 Feb 2005
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Keep (Mass Market Paperback)
I first read this book over twenty years ago, when it was first released and loved it. I decided that it was time to give it another go around to see if my original opinion of it still held. Well, time has certainly not diminished the power of this book to hold the reader in its thrall. I still love this book, and it remains my favorite book by this author.
As far as horror stories go, this one is definitely up with the best of them. The author has written a riveting page turner with this tautly written, inventive tale. The author has taken some vampire folklore and given it a new twist. In the hands of this master of the horror genre, the quintessential battle between good and evil takes on a new dimension.
In Romania, deep in the heart of the Transylvanian Alps, lies the Dinu Pass. In April of 1941, a small squadron of German soldiers has been ordered to occupy a small, deserted, five hundred year old castle keep at the Dinu pass. From the beginning, Captain Klaus Woermann senses that there is something unusual about the keep. Looking as if it had just been built and inlaid with brass and nickel crosses in every corridor, crosses that the caretaker for the keep exhorts the Germans not to touch, the keep is an architectural oddity.
Soon the games begin, as an unseen force begins murdering his men. Captain Woermann sends a message to the high command. To his dismay, they respond by sending a Nazi squadron of einsatzkommandos under the leadership of SS Major Kaempffer to quell whatever local guerilla activity is, undoubtedly, responsible for the murders. Soon, these death's head troopers begin succumbing to the same fate as their German Army counterparts, and all hell breaks loose.
Enter the ailing Dr. Theodor Cuza, a Romanian Jew and former professor at the University of Bucharest. Although suffering from the ravages of scleroderma, he is ordered by the Nazis to the keep, as he is an expert in the history of the region. It is hoped that he will be able to shed some light on the mysterious keep and enable his hosts to defeat their unknown adversary.
Accompanied by Magda, his daughter, they find themselves confronted with the cruelty of the Nazis, the unexpected kindness of Captain Woermann, and something from their worst nightmares that has them call into question their deepest beliefs. Then, a mysterious red-headed stranger with piercing blue eyes also appears, and nothing is ever the same again.
This is one of the premier horror stories of all time. Bravo!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A horror novel that works, 6 Dec 2001
This review is from: The Keep (Mass Market Paperback)
We all know Nazis are evil. So reading this book about a group of German soldiers who have to look after a castle (or 'keep') that harbours a monster is enjoyable for that reason. Nazis get killed by a monster.
But there is more to it. F. Paul Wilson has all the cliche's here: the rugged hero, the frigid nursemaid who happens to be a playboy bunny under her heavy clothes, the old teacher in the the wheelchair. But somehow Wilson writes it all so confidently that you believe these characters are real. Plus, like all good horror writers, he leaves the monster in the dark for the first half of the book.
A movie was made of The Keep, directed by Heat's Michael Mann and starring Ian Mckellan and Gabriel Burn. The movie seems to have vanished off the face of the earth despite critical raves. It is probably worth tracking down (which I am currently trying to do) purely to see how they filmed it.
If you're a fan of Stephen King then you will love this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES..., 26 Nov 2004
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Keep (Mass Market Paperback)
I first read this book over twenty years ago, when it was first released and loved it. I decided that it was time to give it another go around to see if my original opinion of it still held. Well, time has certainly not diminished the power of this book to hold the reader in its thrall. I still love this book, and it remains my favorite book by this author.
As far as horror stories go, this one is definitely up with the best of them. The author has written a riveting page turner with this tautly written, inventive tale. The author has taken some vampire folklore and given it a new twist. In the hands of this master of the horror genre, the quintessential battle between good and evil takes on a new dimension.
In Romania, deep in the heart of the Transylvanian Alps, lies the Dinu Pass. In April of 1941, a small squadron of German soldiers has been ordered to occupy a small, deserted, five hundred year old castle keep at the Dinu pass. From the beginning, Captain Klaus Woermann senses that there is something unusual about the keep. Looking as if it had just been built and inlaid with brass and nickel crosses in every corridor, crosses that the caretaker for the keep exhorts the Germans not to touch, the keep is an architectural oddity.
Soon the games begin, as an unseen force begins murdering his men. Captain Woermann sends a message to the high command. To his dismay, they respond by sending a Nazi squadron of einsatzkommandos under the leadership of SS Major Kaempffer to quell whatever local guerilla activity is, undoubtedly, responsible for the murders. Soon, these death's head troopers begin succumbing to the same fate as their German Army counterparts, and all hell breaks loose.
Enter the ailing Dr. Theodor Cuza, a Romanian Jew and former professor at the University of Bucharest. Although suffering from the ravages of scleroderma, he is ordered by the Nazis to the keep, as he is an expert in the history of the region. It is hoped that he will be able to shed some light on the mysterious keep and enable his hosts to defeat their unknown adversary.
Accompanied by Magda, his daughter, they find themselves confronted with the cruelty of the Nazis, the unexpected kindness of Captain Woermann, and something from their worst nightmares that has them call into question their deepest beliefs. Then, a mysterious red-headed stranger with piercing blue eyes also appears, and nothing is ever the same again.
This is one of the premier horror stories of all time. Bravo!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More twists in the plot than a really twisty thing, 27 July 2003
This review is from: The Keep (Mass Market Paperback)
Yes, it's a truly great horror story. Yes, the idea of pitting one monster (the Nazis) against another works well but for me what really bowled me over when I first read this was the number of times I changed my opinion of what was going on as the story unravelled.
On the other hand the film was a major disappointment, not the author's fault but something to do with the film industry I suppose. This book sold me on F. Paul Wilson and and I have never been disappointed in any of his work since. Why he is not as publicly "up there" as Stephen King I cannot understand. Oh yes, King is great, a giant in fact, but in my opinion so is F. Paul Wilson
One last point, read Wilson's other books and delight in the way the seemingly seperate threads all come together!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Original? yes. Flawless? far from it., 13 Jan 2010
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This review is from: The Keep (Paperback)
The strength of Paul Wilson's The Keep is undeniably in its concept. The setting and time period are wonderfully realized, and are guaranteed to transport you back to ww2. The idea of the evil Nazis coming against far older and purer malice is incredibly inventive - and it is for these reasons why I picked up the book and read it right the way through...

...despite some of the story's short comings.

The greatest of these had to be the lack of action in the book. After reading the blurb you'd expect to find plenty of gun fights, stalking menaces, fountains of blood and thrilling chases - and where as the beginning go's a way to delivering some of these promises, the story soon drops a gear, and becomes stuffed with too much romance and a little too much emotion. There is not a lot of action at all through the greater middle of the book, and for this reason I found myself getting a little bored and impatient.

When the climax finally does offer up some action, its not bad reading. What becomes of the Nazis is perhaps the greatest part of the book.

Interesting, but rather slow in parts. Leave it or read it. You'll probably be none the better or worse for it.
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