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4.1 out of 5 stars165
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 22 May 2002
This was not the first James Herbert book I read so my love of the novel cannot be attributed to the excitment that often comes with reading an author for the first time. Right from the unconventional and original beginning through to the dramatic, frantic, and rather disturbing end it is a perfectly paced ride that unveils the story at rate that will keep you satisfied while simutaneously leaving you pining for the next twist or revelation. The central charactor, Nicholas Dismas, is excellently portrayed and I found it easy to him like regardless of the both the physical and mental flaws which have plagued his life. Great charactors, great story, great book!
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VINE VOICEon 8 October 2012
Two stars for this feels a little generous, but in some respects "Others" is better than most of the previous books by James Herbert I have read over the years. It comes at things from a slightly different angle, and anyone who can sustain a story for something like 500 pages deserves some praise. But as a piece of writing, "Others" is, as usual for Herbert, abolutely diabolical in terms of writing and fluency.

Told through the eyes of a disabled private investigator, "Others" can be viewed - as some have chosen to see it - as a wider piece of fiction on how society treats people who are different from the norm. For me, that's giving the book too much in the way of a message. Make no mistake, this is largely a gory, horrible story, building to a sustained but ultimately dreary conclusion, which goes on for too long and needs serious editing. Much of the action feels padded and written because the length was needed, where a shorter book would have at least kept the pace and reduced the awfulness of the clunky writing style.

Brighton and Windsor are the main locations for the book but James Herbert never worries too much about attention to detail, so in reality it could be set anywhere. The horror is, as usual, gratuitious and extremely unpleasant, but the fabric of the story itself is poor, and has a juvenile, predictable feel to it as it clunks along.

However, for Kindle readers, the good news is that this is one of the rare examples of an e-book I've so far come across that seems to contain no typos or formatting errors whatsoever, so it can be done. Other publshers take note! I think I downloaded this when the offer price was 20 pence. Still a little steep for the quality on offer here, but still better value than the charity shop - which is where books like this belong.
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on 11 August 1999
The public revered him for his good looks and good deeds. However that public icon hid his ugly soul very well on Earth. Now he is just another lost sinner residing in hell until angels visit him with an offer of redemption. Failure to accept or succeed will condemn in hell for eternity. The former movie star jumps at the opportunity.
With no memory of his previous life, he returns to earth in a different body. Nicholas Dismas is a private investigator with a thriving practice in England. Still, he is an unhappy soul. In his own eyes and that of the world, Nicholas is monster and his misshapen body leaves people staring in stunned horror.
A client hires him to locate her missing son that she thought died during childbirth. Nicholas goes through the motions of an investigation, but does not believe there is any chance of success. The client introduces Nicholas to a clairvoyant who becomes his ally by warning him of imminent danger. He finds danger in Perfect Rest, a nursing home that allows its elderly patients to hide a horror that is capable of allowing to surface the dark nature in Nicholas' soul.
James Herbert is one of the recognized masters of the horror genre. Though OTHERS centers on efforts to regain Paradise Lost in the face of extreme adversary, the horror of this tale lies in the brutality humans inflict on less fortunate beings. It is the beauty of the physical form that matters. A handsome person freely walks the earth with admiring glances even if their inside rivals that of Lucifer. On the other hand, those with hearts like Mother Teresa but in deformed bodies will probably be treated as freaks. Could Mr. Herbert be Stoker bound?

Harriet Klausner
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on 16 February 2011
Having read other James Herbert's books I knew not to be surprised if I came across any dark and disturbing aspects in the novel, and true to form Herbert did not fail to deliver the sheer horror experienced by deformed detective Nick Dismas in The Others.

The novel follows protagonist detective Nick Dismas, coping with the abuse endured by living with his severe physical deformities. Written from a first person perspective Herbert portrays Dismas's character harbouring deep emotional complexities but very much a likeable character. Dismas is hired to solve a mystery regarding a missing baby taken at birth, which pulls him into the world of the supernatural, learning of horrific medical experiments, witnessing disturbing nightmares and finally discovering more about himself and how he came to be.

This book can be upsetting in places where it tackles difficulties living with deformities in a society driven by looks and vanity, however Dismas's good nature outshines his flaws and I was eager to find out what becomes of him. Although shocking and disturbing in places, The Others was definitely a pleasure to read, very well written and the pace was upbeat, rendering The Others a good page turner!

The Others has a mixture of romance, horror, mystery and a slight psychological thriller added to it. If you liked other James Herbert novels such as Nobody True and The Secret of Crickley Hall, I would definitely recommend adding The Others to your reading list.
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on 15 January 2013
Having read a few of James Herbert's novels this for me is by far the best he has ever written.

A totally absorbing (and disturbing) tale based upon a partly true story about the way people less fortunate are treated.

The characterization is superb and lead character Nick Dismas is brilliantly written, the story itself is very well paced and keeps you reading well into the small hours.

Dark, disturbing, frank but above all thought provoking.............. wonderful book .. treat yourself if you haven't read this and get it now!!!
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on 14 August 2002
Although this is certainly not a great novel, it needs reading. Based on a true story it will provoke a morbid curiosity in nearly everyone that reads it. I can certainly see the H.G. Wells reference and my other problems with the book are that a) Herbert thinks he is funny when he is actually irritating and b) Despite being the best character in the book Dismas mentions his own deformities far to often.
I'd recommend reading this, but it isn't going to match King in terms of spinning together a great story with an exciting thriller
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on 23 February 2012
I'm not really a fan of first person novels but i was drawn in with this one. I just couldn't put this book down.
The main character is flawed and not a hero at all but that's the good thing, it's a change from the usual perfect character.
I love horror and I've read all but one of James Herbert's books- he never disapoints.
I got to a point in this book I just had to stop reading, it being late and the book getting very freaky. I don't usually get scared but this writer is brilliant.

The thing that got to me was that the 'others' were based on real medical histories, if you read the author's note at the end it tells you. After reading the climax bit of the book and then that I went to sleep hoping not to have nightmares.
I don't understand why this book has had bad reviews but everyone id different. It's freaky, it's based on truth, it's believable character and a story which is based on truth- that makes it all more horrfying. It's a first person novel you can actually read and the character comes through in the style of the book.
If you like horror then read this, if you're a Herbert fan why are you reading reviews? Just read it, buy it.
I've read a lot of horrors this beats a lot, different and disturbing.
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on 31 May 2000
This is probably one of James Herberts best books. He reels off yarns and yarns of exciting explosive reading. You will be hanging onto the edge of your seat as the private investigator deals with the evils of the world. A very unpredictable story that is not typical of most which always have 'a live happily ever after' notion. A very sad story in parts. But very good. You won't be bored often. Write on James Herbert.
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on 14 December 1999
I read the synopsis on this book and knew I had to get my hands on one. I've never read anything by James Herbert and I'm disappointed I hadn't discovered him sooner. Others is a book which contributes to what I already believe in, whether or not we are judged when we die and whether we are reborn life after life (perhaps to redeem our past sins). Perhaps who and what we are is because of our sins from previous lives. What about those that are reincarnated and actually remember who/what they were (and some of them with more than enough prove)? This chilling story is quickly paced and written with much clarity that it keeps you glued to every page. And when Dismas eventually discovers the truth behind "Perfect Rest", James Herbert decribes all the gory details so strikingly well I could really see them come alive, with each picture in my mind churning my sensitive stomache. I've seen something along the line of that in a hospital lab years ago and the images James Herbert sent through his words only fed on my memory bringing every creature he described more horror. Is it science or sin that can be used to explain such sad monstrousity?
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on 17 July 2000
Never read a horror book before, never really wanted to, wound up in hospital, nothing else to read, blew my mind, gave false readings to my heart monitor, still shaken. As far as I know, it's extremely original, and although it is slow to start with, it's worth sticking with. If this book doesn't scare the bejesus out of you, book yourself a room in PERFECT REST. Cheers.
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