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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 16 March 2017
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on 2 September 2001
Yup, he's managed to make me pretty much read a book from cover to cover in one sitting (not quite, but damned near). Pretty different to his previous works this one, but still with the same style. I really did want to jump into the book and throttle the kids.
A word of warning though. I've always been able to read his books without a problem, but don't eat anything while you read this one. You'll choke a couple of times. There's some pretty good twisty bits, and it's as dramatic as hell. Shaun Hutson will never win a Pulitzer, but his books are good eye candy. My eyes now have to get a filling. enjoy.
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on 17 August 2001
After picking up Compulsion on the 14th of August, I was a little sceptical on what to expect as I wasn't too impressed with Exit Wounds (Shauns previous novel), sorry Shaun!
Compulsion is about teenage crime. It follows a group of young adults in their bid to make everyone's life around them a complete and utter misery. This includes violence, vandalism and harassment.
As everyone knows, in real life, the police do absolutely nothing to stop these situations, other than perhaps slap their hands, or send them to the Bahamas for "rehab".
Imagine yourself being terrorised by a group of youngsters until you reach breaking point, they hurt people you love and they damage your property. The police cannot and will not do anything to help and still their harassment continues. Then, one day, you catch the culprits. What would you do? How would your anger manifest itself?
Everyone loves to see scum get they're comeuppance. Compulsion gives you the opportunity to experience the primitive, sweet human emotion of revenge.
Shaun's style of writing is as usual very fast moving. I love the short action packed chapters. The characters are well defined and the scenario is different to any other I've read before.
The moral of this story: respect your elders.
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on 14 August 2001
This book is extremely hard to put down once you start reading because the story captivates you from the first chapter. Hutson describes some of the gory parts to great detail which makes it a bit squeamish in places but still a good read. I can recommend this book to anyone who has a taste for horror or thriller because Compulsion contains both. Another excellent title from an interesting author.
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on 6 September 2005
Compulsion was the first (and at the time of writing the only) Shaun Hutson book I've read. What more can I say than it won't be the last!
Square up the sides, the youth of today - that corrupted bunch of thieves and thugs intent of causing misery as if it were a joyous game - against the residence of an 'old peoples home' - those stalwart folks that lived through the last great war, and in the case of one of the residents suffered immensely in the terrors of that conflict.
It is really that definition of the old people that sets the tone of this book. Having seen what they have seen would they put up with the terrorising youth who believe that they need to teach these old folks some respect. Well the answer is no, and so the battle is waged and the results are horrifying and may make you come out thinking that there really wasn't a side in this conflict that was worth taking. Yet it is likely find yourself sympathising with the old folks, I now I did.
Compulsion is a great book. It is dark and dreadful and yet disturbingly accurate in the portrayal of the corruption of youth. Any of us who have spent time living on a counsel estate in the UK in recent years would find those children disturbingly familiar and the attitude of the police ('sorry we can do nothing') extremely accurate.
Now let the blood flow and let the battle commence and draw us all towards the final solution. A great piece of work that I read in a single day-long sitting. I really couldn't put it down. I predict I'm going to be seeing a lot of Shaun Hutson's work in the future.
I couldn't recommend it more.
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on 24 March 2002
Tension mounts when a small gang of teenagers, out of parental control and playing truant from school, target the residents of an old people's home. At first they have the upper hand, terrorising the occupants and supervisor. However, they hadn't reckoned on one of the residents having good reason to fight imposed imprisonment by them, and his ability to rally his friend's support. The tables begin to turn, leaving the supervisor in the middle of some very nasty deeds. A very dark look at teens on the edge of society, well written and giving pause for thought. How would you retaliate in the same situation?
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on 10 April 2002
Being a great fan of Shaun's novels I couldn't wait to get to grips with his latest offering(may I just point out that is was up to the old standard of bloody scary!!!that the last couple didn't quite manage in my opinion) -BUT -and there's always a "but" isn't there- I was quite disturbed about the awful incidences concerning animal cruelty.I've noticed that in most of Shaun's novels that there is usually an animal or two that cops it but this time I found the graphic details(one whole chapter describing torturing and eventually killing a young cat) very upsetting and not really necessary.Yes ,I am aware that it is just fiction -but these days I have more respect for animals than I do of people and in my opinion I think it went a bit too far. Otherwise,a fantastic book and I can't wait for the next one- I'll have to get my husband to vet it for me first though!!!
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on 20 September 2015
I usually tend to associate Hutson exclusively with horror, so this was something different. A reality check if you will! It's all centred around an old people's home, or should I say assisted living quarters? Or sheltered housing? In these politically correct times, it's important to choose the least offensive term possible. Anyway, it's about a group of teenagers from hell, whether out of boredom, or attention seeking purposes, having caused trouble all over town, from vandalism to burglary, decide to aggressively target the home, and its equally vulnerable residents. However, they soon get a lot more than they bargained for when the residents fight back, big style! It all goes a bit Reservoir Dogs in places, and gets more than a little unsettling when you discover what kind of behaviour ordinary, inoffensive people can be capable of when provoked! Towards the end of the book, you get a feeling of uneasy calm, but no hope of a solution to this long term problem, that teenagers left to their own devices will get up to mischief. I think this would make a brilliant one off drama, as it reflects reality, but the violence would have to be toned down a bit! It's like Home Alone, where Macaulay Culkin says 'This is my house, I have to defend it!' And this is the sentiment echoed by the residents! Ronni, the boss of the place, doesn't like the idea of this at all, but there's always a Buzz Killington out to spoil the fun, isn't there? And the residents take her out! Out of the equation, not out, out! If you like the idea of Grannies and Grandpas kicking ass Quentin Tarentino style, then this is for you!
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on 30 September 2005
After reading an article recently about how a remarkably high percentage of adults dont read, i felt horrified as i was one of those people, i asked a friend to recommend something for me and so i was given Compulsion. After many years of not reading i have become a book worm because of this book i read it from front to back in the day, i was so gripped i was unable to put it down, i have now orderd copies for friend's, who i know also dont really read, all i can say is that this book has helped me find my literacy feet again, many thanks to Shaun Hutson.
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on 2 December 2014
I purchased this book as a means to tasting Hutson's work and I have to say I'm not disappointed. I had looked through all his novels and chose this one as it had a strong focus on revenge and vigilantism ( a passion of mine).Hutson writes dark but beautifully, using short,snappy sentences and minimalistic paragraphs that work well the story told.

Unlike other readers, I didn't have a problem with the graphic violence or animal cruelty (he's not called the master of gore for nothing), but I wish some aspects had been taken care of in a different way.

To begin with, I felt it took too long for the action to kick in, and there's too much unneccesary dialogue. 60-70 pages could have been easily taken out. But that's just nit-picking. However, I do think there's a real problem with the way the old people start taking the law into their own hands when things get ugly. It's true they had been through a lot, but in my view that behaviour is over the top and could not possibly happen in real life.

Still, a solid page-turner that delivers
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