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161 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first author to come near Stephen King's position as my favorite author
A lot of the other reviews discuss story details and plot. What I want to talk about is the writing itself.

I'm 43 years old and I started reading Stephen King over 30 years ago. He's been my favorite author my whole life, and no one has come close to being comparable in my eyes. Until now. Blake Crouch has hooked me from the first page of every single one...
Published on July 10, 2011 by Luther M. Warneke Jr.

versus
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There is potential! It's just not realized here...
This is the second Blake Crouch book I've read and while the first one didn't blow me away it was interesting enough and a quick enough read that I didn't hesitate to pick up Abandon when I came across it. The premise of the story promises at least in the beginning a spooky journey into an deserted old mining town isolated in the mountains of Colorado. The group is a...
Published on October 4, 2012 by Tracy Kusmierz


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161 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first author to come near Stephen King's position as my favorite author, July 10, 2011
By 
Luther M. Warneke Jr. (Arlington, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Abandon (Kindle Edition)
A lot of the other reviews discuss story details and plot. What I want to talk about is the writing itself.

I'm 43 years old and I started reading Stephen King over 30 years ago. He's been my favorite author my whole life, and no one has come close to being comparable in my eyes. Until now. Blake Crouch has hooked me from the first page of every single one of his books.

Where another reviewer complained about the description of the weather, I will praise it. Sitting by the pool in 105 degree heat, I could feel the cold on my skin. I hoped and prayed that the snow would stop so that our protagonists could find their way to freedom and safety. Rather than just writing about how white the snow was and how cold the wind was, Crouch managed to turn the storm into just as much a villain as the actual villains in the book.

Some say it was too gory. I say hogwash. Again, King has long been my favorite author. I don't mind gore. In this book, there are two or three graphic descriptions of bodily injuries, but the way they are carried out goes to show more about the frame of mind that the characters were in than any other words could do. There are reviews that say it was hard to care about the characters? In the final showdown, one that I never saw coming, I literally held my breath and turned the page as fast as I could because I was so worried that it would not end well for the character on the run. And let me tell you, when that ending came, I just... Well, I'll let you see for yourself.

In short, Blake Crouch may not be as polished and experienced as those he's help up against in comparison, but I have no doubt that it won't be long before his name WILL be mentioned alongside Stephen King and other great writers. While the genre is a little different than Stephen King (King being more about horror, while Crouch is more about thrillers), Blake Crouch is as riveting and masterful a storyteller as King.

I've read a few of Crouch's stories, and Abandon is the one that finally pushed me to want to spread the word about him. Give it a try. I think you'll be glad you did.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!, August 13, 2009
By 
grumpydan (Andover, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Abandon (Hardcover)
Blake Crouch has written one captivating mystery with "Abandon". In 1893 the entire town of Abandon disappears under mysterious circumstances and then 116 years later, a team of explorers go to the town to do some research and take photos. When two of the guides are attacked in front of the rest of the group, the mystery becomes even more mysterious. Alternating between the two time periods, Crouch has the reader watch as events unfold in the past, and how the tension builds up as we discover what the real reason these people are here. I, at first, was skeptical, thinking this was a supernatural type of story but was completely and happily surprised that this was as suspenseful thriller based on greed. Great book.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There is potential! It's just not realized here..., October 4, 2012
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This review is from: Abandon (Kindle Edition)
This is the second Blake Crouch book I've read and while the first one didn't blow me away it was interesting enough and a quick enough read that I didn't hesitate to pick up Abandon when I came across it. The premise of the story promises at least in the beginning a spooky journey into an deserted old mining town isolated in the mountains of Colorado. The group is a historian, survivalist, a journalist and two paranormal photographers...I'm thinking ghost story! Unfortunately what you get is a rather bland hostage wilderness survival story populated with nothing but throw away characters...and it seemed to go on forever. I did like the historical flashbacks, they were a nice break for the present day story. I'm not giving up on Blake Crouch, he can certainly create and environment and feel of a story he just needs to work of the character parts!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Horror at All..., December 23, 2013
This review is from: Abandon (Kindle Edition)
I really did not care for this novel. I didn't actively dislike it, but I certainly didn't enjoy it.

I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but I'll say up front that my biggest gripe is that this story is absolutely not horror. Initially, I assumed that Amazon had simply incorrectly categorized it as such, but the author and publisher do a lot to give the impression that it is more than just a suspense/thriller - the abandoned town, the missing inhabitants, the paranormal investigators, etc. If you go in expecting horror, you'll probably be disappointed like I was. I kept hoping that maybe, just maybe the zombie townsfolk or ancient evil in the mine or *anything* would show up forcing the heroes and bad guys to work together... but it never happened.

With the story itself, I felt the storylines between the past and present just had way too many coincidental parallels and similarities. I often felt like I was reading each portion of the same story twice - once in the past and once in the present. Bouncing back and forth to reveal the backstory as the protagonist and the other members of her party made their discoveries was a nice touch, but things just seemed too much the same between past and present.

As far as the characters, they really just didn't seem to have much... well, character. Many times, I had to reread passages to determine who was speaking during dialogue exchanges because everyone sounded essentially the same. Abigail, the protagonist, was simply so bland and vanilla and had so little impact on the story that she seemed to just be cruising through. She never really had or used any knowledge or insight into anything going on and simply followed directions and guidance given to her by other characters who popped in and out of her story. The remaining characters also just seemed like cookie-cutter figures - often similar or identical and interchangeable. Oddly, the closest the author came to actually describing or exploring any of the characters seemed to be in describing what physical characteristic of each the protagonist found attractive.

Physical injuries and condition of the party members often seemed to vacillate wildly. One minute, we would be told that a character had a "wrecked" ankle only to have them hike and run and explore the rest of the story. Another character might be bleeding out and on the verge of collapse only to be blazing a trail through chest-deep snow shortly after with no medical attention between. At one point, the protagonist is so weak and injured that she can only crawl, but she's sprinting through streets and diving for cover in no time. I can understand trying to convey the idea of a serious and life-threatening situation, but it just made the injuries seem exaggerated and trivial - like the characters were just whiny and complaining about scrapes and boo-boos.

Lastly, the entire premise just seemed artificially contrived, to me. It's not giving too much away to share that things essentially start falling apart when the party decides to stay in the ghost town of Abandon during an approaching storm because (get ready...) it's too difficult and complicated to obtain another permit to visit the ghost-town. If that were truly the case, shouldn't the guides and members of the party have been better prepared for adverse conditions and unforeseen circumstances that might arise?

It may sound that I'm being too harsh, and I honestly can't say that I hated or couldn't stand this book as has been the case with some others (*cough* Under the Dome *cough*), but it was honestly a struggle to complete and when I reached the predictable ending (and I'm not one to usually unravel twist endings), I was just skimming the last few chapters...
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47 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars what the hell happened here?, July 29, 2012
By 
Amazon Customer (Warner Robins, GA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Abandon (Kindle Edition)
I normally love everything I have read from Crouch (a fellow North Carolinian). This release however left me feeling a bit dumbfounded... It was ridiculously slow and at times very difficult to try and figure out what the story was about.. As it ended, it got no better. The characters were all over the place, and at times apparently bullet proof and invincible, oblivious to what it is actually like to have exposure to elements for extended periods of time... and we are supposed to believe that through all this there is a hidden stash of gold in a gold mining town that is not a secret, but nobody has ever bothered to find it despite it being behind a metal padlocked door on the side of a hill in town... more holes in this story that a sieve... I hope this is not a sign of things to come; enjoy most of his work too much to go down this road.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Ending, September 5, 2013
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This review is from: Abandon (Kindle Edition)
I have read many of his books. The ending seemed rushed and not satisfying at all. Just kill people and end it quick and have it make no logical or legal sense. Seems like he got tired of completing the story.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst book I have read in a long time!, October 22, 2013
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This review is from: Abandon (Kindle Edition)
This book was about 3 times longer than it needed to be. The book was filled with misery from start to finish. There is no way anyone could have such rotten luck over and over and over. The amount of detail and exaggerated speech was really annoying. I absolutely loved Blake Couch's last two books, the Wayward Pines series, but this one was awful. Unless you really love pain and suffering and endless, needless details, skip this book!
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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's All About the Weather, September 9, 2009
This review is from: Abandon (Hardcover)
Other reviewers here have already given the gist of the book's plot so I will spare a reader that. My reason for 1 star is two-fold. First, the book was basically a 400 page weather report. By 100 pages, I was so sick of reading about snow, I nearly put the book aside. The motive for going to Abandon in the present could have been put off until spring thaw. I mean, how stupid can a person be? Besides the weather, the book was a study in greed with murder and mayhem thrown in for good measure. Second, when one writes fiction, a cardinal rule is that the protagonist, at the very least, must learn and grow by novel's end. This never happened. Not one character in either time period was sympathetic. They were just stupid or greedy or both. I did not like any of the characters. The ending was disappointing and anti-climactic. Save your money and don't buy this.
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103 of 134 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, unnecessarily violent, August 16, 2011
This review is from: Abandon (Hardcover)
I picked up this book from the library and was eager to read it after reading the inside cover. But honestly, after getting through chapter 1 it occurred to me...this is not going to be a good read.

The author's pace is very slow. There are painstakingly detailed descriptions of things that aren't important at all to the plot (like the brand of freeze dried food they take with them on the trail). None of the characters are developed thoroughly. The dialogue is trite and/or unbelievable. The author never builds a sense of compassion in his characters, so we really never come to care about them. The author's style alternates between 4 days in 2009 and 4 days in 1893. As you get to know characters in one time period, you realize that the author has (quite annoyingly) made their exact situation and even personal pasts parallel each other. This is an unsophisticated way to structure a novel, and felt forced and contrived.

Other reviewers mentioned the violence and gore. Really, this was unnecessary in the book, and didn't add anything to the plot. (ex. entrails are draped over a chair in one scene.) For all the gore this book conjures up, there is never an appropriate emotional response from the characters. The author can't seem to get into the head of his characters in any kind of meaningful way, can't open up their mental journals. His commentary on how they're thinking and feeling about very traumatic situations is at best trite.

The plot of this book was compelling at the onset...but come on, it took me about 5 minutes of thinking after I read chapter one to figure out where the town of Abandon ended up. It's really not a trick question where the population in a mining town could be. Anyway, save yourself the trouble and find yourself another book that tells a good story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Conflicted Three Stars God & Bad Mix, April 29, 2013
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This review is from: Abandon (Kindle Edition)
Not what I expected. It started off feeling like a ghost story but turned into more of a thriller. Nice twists at the end and some very tight writing. I loved the parts of the novel set in 1893. Cool stuff. I liked many of the characters that Mr. Crouch built in that part of the story.

However, despite its positives, it had several negatives as well. First of all, I felt a little cheated. I really wanted more from the ghost part. In the end, NOTHING came from it except for a feeling that the two characters (Emmett and his wife) who were to serve as the Gothic part were just emotional pawns for the author. We get sucked into their story about the loss of their son. Their reason to be in Abandon was the only pure motivation. Everyone else was there for selfish reasons, even the main character.

**SPOILER ALERT**
As for the Old West side of the story, the deaths were excessive. The spiraling health and mental stability of the minister was predictable and overwrought. It struck me as strange that the author explained a ton of other medical, geographical, and weather-related nuances in detail to the point of feeling a little didactic, but only faintly skimmed over the details of the poisoned water. Which, by the way, comes up over and over again. Ok, we get it, people drink the water and die. The minister's gums become blue. Just as the Doc is 'splainin' his diagnosis for the reverend, his head explodes. (ANOTHER minor irritation for me: the range of pistols. VERY unrealistic.)

The last problem I had was with the main character and her no-good, dead-beat father. I suppose we were supposed to feel there was some character development with him. Not so much. In fact, I think the author gave up on him as well, based on his demise. The modern side of the story suffered from from cardboard characters.

Would I recommend this book? Most definitely. Especially to people who like to read horror-thrillers. The gore level is pretty high. The cursing can be predictable. The bad guys are over the top and completely unbelievable (except for the final two--nice twist, btw). But, if one looks past these nit-picky foibles, then they will find a great tale told by a master writer. Most of the characters from 1893 practically jump from the page. Again, I would have loved to give this book 4 stars. It is as good as most of King's classics.
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Abandon
Abandon by Blake Crouch (Hardcover - July 7, 2009)
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