Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars GReat read
Took this book and 2 other Shaun Hutson books on holiday. The only downside is they only lasted me 4 evenings, couldn't put either book down. Brilliant as usual
Published 15 months ago by sjb999

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depressingly average
The last time I read a book by Shaun Hutson I was eighteen years old. The book was called Victims, and I remember that at the time I loved it. It was gory and brutal, but thoroughly entertaining. Of course I was eighteen, and a lot of things we like in our teens, make us wince when revisited in later years. Would Hutson's morbid pessimism, and brutal no-nonsense style,...
Published on 12 Oct 2010 by Bāki


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depressingly average, 12 Oct 2010
By 
Bāki (London - UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Epitaph (Hardcover)
The last time I read a book by Shaun Hutson I was eighteen years old. The book was called Victims, and I remember that at the time I loved it. It was gory and brutal, but thoroughly entertaining. Of course I was eighteen, and a lot of things we like in our teens, make us wince when revisited in later years. Would Hutson's morbid pessimism, and brutal no-nonsense style, still have anything to offer me? Honestly, I had my doubts that it would. To an extent these doubts have turned out to be valid, but not as completely as I suspected.

Epitaph is still very clearly the work of the same writer I remember from my days of feasting on Literary Horror's 1980's excesses. It's stark, grim and very fast paced. In fact this story of grief, despair and retribution is really easy to read. Not comfortable to read, or even necessarily entertaining, but the chapters are short, and the writing to the point. As I remembered, there's nothing verbose about Hutson's writing style, that's for sure.

The first character we are introduced to - in what we soon learn is a past narrative - is Laura Hackett, an 8 year old school girl, who we know is going to die, because of the jacket blurb. Then we meet a chap called Paul Crane, just as he's been informed he's lost his job in an advertising agency. Finally we are introduced to the parents of Laura Hackett, Frank and Gina, and we are quickly made aware that Gina is cheating on her hardworking, but poorly paid husband. These four characters, basically make up the whole cast. For part of the book, I was left wondering what connected the Hacketts to Paul. Then when Paul wakes up - after a night of drinking away his woes - trapped in a coffin, and we learn that Gina and Frank Hackett have placed him there, thinking he murdered their daughter, I began to get a sense of where it was going.

The story that unfolds is really depressing. It deals with a very unpleasant subject matter, namely, child abuse, and the desire for revenge from a family torn apart by devestating loss. Paul's story is also depressing. What depressed me more, however, is that it uses its themes in a way that I found almost voyeuristic. That is to say, there is a sense of entertainment being derived from the fact that the lives of each of the characters is truly screwed up. The book feeds off human misery, and revels in it. What it doesn't do is offer any insight or humanity in the face of darkness. It's just entertainment based on misery, despair and human failing. I'm not suggesting it should have some uplifting Disney ending, but some discernible meaning behind the narrative other than, life is really terrible and people do messed up things, might have made for a more substantive tale. Without giving anything away, the ending didn't really conclude in a way I found entirely satisfying either.

Despite these gripes, I read this really quickly, and I was hooked for part of it. So I cannot say it's a terrible book. It's rather like a Torture Porn Horror Film. As you watch it, you're gripped by the desire to see if anyone escapes. Knowing it unlikely, you wonder what horror the next victim will suffer. You know the story doesn't really have much substance. You know there are better films you could choose to watch. At the end you leave feeling a little bit grubbier for the experience, but when the next one comes around, there's a chance you'll go through it all again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Epitaph, 5 Sep 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Epitaph (Paperback)
It began like vintage Shaun Hutson and I was quickly turning pages eager to find out what happened next.
Unfortunately the initial spark began to flicker and before the book reached a climax the flame was extinguished and I was left to merely turn pages to reach a conclusion that I had long ago guessed at.
If you haven't read Shaun before it is not a bad read and should whet your appetite for his older much better books. Compared to his earlier books such as Assassin this book would come in as PG
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not on Form, 21 July 2011
This review is from: Epitaph (Paperback)
This book seems different from Hutson's earlier stories, even down to the lack of rambling dedication and "Let's Go!" which always came just before the story started.

It is far too drawn out and slow, and the ending seems pointless after having waded through the whole book.

It's not that the idea is poor, or even the characters, I just don't think there is enough of a story to make it worthwhile.

Incidentally, the treatment of the identity of the actual killer seems a major loose end, as if the writer forgot about it?

The writer may be trying to change style, or has a very different editor?

Not a success.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars From a die hard SH fan - disappointing, again...., 17 Nov 2010
This review is from: Epitaph (Hardcover)
I started reading, and enjoying Shaun Hutson's books right from the unforgettable "Slugs", through the superb "Sean Doyle" novels, and upto five or six years ago, could really recommend his books - especially if your enjoyed readable, horror-thrillers !

Every year (until 2010) I would eagerly anticipate the August/September release of his one and only new book every year. In 2010, for the first year ever, I didn't buy on the release date. I chose to buy from Apple's BookStore in e-format, so I could read it on my iPad.

Sadly, my fears were confirmed - disappointing to say the least, very strung-out story, as another reviewer said, "should have been a short story, not a full novel".

I have to say, for the first time ever, the only SH novel that I could quite easily put down before reaching the end.

Don't know how much he got paid for it, but wish my 10.99 had stayed in my pocket.

Let's hope 2011's effort will be back to his old winning style....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, worst book I have read in ages, 3 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Epitaph (Kindle Edition)
Having been a fan of Shaun Hutson's previous books from years ago I looked forward to reading this book, unfortunately I was most disappointed and whilst I know horror is meant to scare you I found this book quite shocking.

Without revealing the plot to any potential readers I found the level of details describing some incidents as nothing more than SICK and made me question what goes through an author's head when they write this.

Will probably never read a book of his again and I can see why his popularity has diminished over the years now.

Horror books for me are to entertain and shock you but this has just left me shocked and bewildered that this even got published.

I'm surprised the other reviews of this book are not of the same nature as mine and I would gladly give this negative stars if I could......................
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars GReat read, 1 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Epitaph (Paperback)
Took this book and 2 other Shaun Hutson books on holiday. The only downside is they only lasted me 4 evenings, couldn't put either book down. Brilliant as usual
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Acceptable but predictable, 6 Oct 2010
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Epitaph (Hardcover)
Shaun borrows heavily from films such as Last House on the Left as the parents of a murdered child seek vengeance upon the perpetrator. However whilst this sounds pretty descent the major problem with the title is that the reader will more than likely latch onto the twist a lot earlier than the author intended which, to be honest, really lets it down. This eventually leads to a damp fizz of a conclusion, which really left me feeling that I had wasted my time. Parts were a tad graphic with Shaun trying to shock the reader but unfortunately Shaun is showing his age as a writer and with adding parts that really weren't required or in character left me feeling it was more about satisfying his own expectations rather than listening to the players of the tale.

Overall, it is OK, it is readable but personally I'd recommend picking this up as a paperback as you will save a few quid.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish, 20 Oct 2010
This review is from: Epitaph (Hardcover)
Absolute rubbish.

The last couple of Shaun Hutson's books have been poor, so much so that I said that I wouldn't buy another. However I fell for it and gave the guy another chance, desperately hoping that he would be back on track. Wrong, this one reaches new lows, it is truly dire.

Don't expect anything to happen until the last few pages. That's right, NOTHING happens until the very end, an ending that was entirely predictable from half-way through.

Yet again we have short chapters, large font size and plenty of page space to pad out what should have been a short story on his website into a novel.

Do yourself a favour, borrow it from a library.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved every page, 30 Oct 2012
By 
Ms. K. Crawford (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Epitaph (Hardcover)
As always Shaun Hutson keeps you gripped with the storyline, another real page turner - I read it from cover to cover in one hit.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read, 1 Jan 2012
This review is from: Epitaph (Paperback)
Speaking for myself, I enjoyed this book immensely and couldn't put it down.

I like Hutson's style of keeping you hooked with short chapters and this did serve to speed up my reading also.
The story itself is typically one with a twist and although I guessed the ending, I was still intrigued to keep reading to the end.

In summary, I have found it of quality and enjoyed its content. It was time well spent, and I look forward to Hutson's next book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Epitaph
Epitaph by Shaun Hutson (Paperback - 5 May 2011)
£6.43
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews