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Creepers Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Paragon Hotel, built in the heyday of Asbury Park, NJ, is now rundown and abandoned, like much of the city itself. But it's no ordinary relic-the hotel's former owner was a rich eccentric, making it an ideal location for urban explorers ("creepers") to investigate. One group of creepers finds more danger than they bargain for. Morrell's writing is tight and suspenseful as always, and his attempt to tell a secular haunted house story works extraordinarily well. Lawlor narrates with clear, precise diction, and adeptly alters his voice to give life to the different characters, but his tone and style are all wrong for the book. Where the novel is creepy and atmospheric, Lawlor's narration is over-the-top and cartoonish-it's too much Scooby-Doo and not enough The Haunting. The overall production values are very good; the sound effects used during walkie-talkie communication are a nice touch. But this audiobook cannot overcome Lawlor's terrible miscasting, which rendered an otherwise fine horror novel into a campy mess.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Frank Balenger is a New York Times reporter doing a Sunday magazine profile on urban explorers, better known as creepers. It's an illegal activity but a very popular one, in which adventure seekers invade crumbling old structures in search of thrills and perhaps a glimpse of the past. Frank joins a team of four as they prepare to enter the long-shuttered and mysterious Paragon Hotel. They surreptitiously enter as darkness envelops the city, planning to emerge before dawn none the worse for wear. At least that's the plan. Initially they encounter the expected assortment of crumbling furniture, magazines, and rats, but soon they realize they are not alone, and their counterparts are not friendly people. It turns out that Frank's group has a hidden agenda involving treasure, and their rivals are after the same loot. Throw in an even more unfriendly kidnapper and his captor, and you have a nightmare in the making. Veteran thriller writer Morrell gleefully and shamelessly cherry picks from several genres (crime, horror, adventure, western) and blends them into a violent, claustrophobic nightmare. There's the survive-the-night-in-a-haunted-house plot starring a Norman Bates villain; there's a Treasure of the Sierra Madre cast that would rather die than give up the loot; and there's a version of the classic western in which the outlaws and the homesteaders join forces to battle the Indians. An unabashedly entertaining thriller that has blockbuster movie written all over it. Wes Lukowsky
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593153570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593153571
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Morrell is the author of FIRST BLOOD, the award-winning novel in which Rambo was created. He holds a Ph. D. in American literature from Penn State and was a professor in the English department at the University of Iowa. His numerous New York Times bestsellers include the classic spy trilogy that begins with THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSE, the basis for the only television mini-series to premier after a Super Bowl. The other books in the trilogy are THE FRATERNITY OF THE STONE and THE LEAGUE OF NIGHT AND FOG. An Edgar, Anthony, and Macavity nominee, Morrell is the recipient of three Bram Stoker awards and the prestigious Thriller Master award from the International Thriller Writers organization. His writing book, THE SUCCESSFUL NOVELIST, discusses what he has learned in his four decades as an author. His latest novel is the highly praised Victorian mystery/thriller, MURDER AS A FINE ART.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on August 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As you get older, it's reassuring to note that your favorite writers are maintaining the high standards that attracted you to their work in the first place. Writers who fall into this category, folks like Elmore Leonard, Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake, continue to produce quality work book after book, story after story. Another member of this elite club is David Morrell, who, with the publication of Creepers, shows that he still has what it takes to satisfy even the most demanding thriller reader.

Morrell's latest chronicles eight hours in the lives of five "creepers", urban explorers who break into abandoned or condemned buildings to experience their historical and architectural delights first hand. This particular group, comprised of Professor Robert Conklin, high school teacher Vincent Vanelli, graduate students Rick and Cora Magill, and reporter Frank Balenger, has chosen the Paragon Hotel in Asbury Park as a target, accessing it via a series of underground tunnels. Once inside, the situation deteriorates rapidly as the group discovers the Paragon is not the abandoned building they thought it was. The perils presented by others in the building, and by the decayed hotel itself, place them all in mortal danger. Before the night is through, some inside the Paragon will discover hidden depths of courage and resourcefulness; some will be revealed as liars and imposters; some will die.

Morrell does an excellent job of accounting for almost every second of the eight hours of his story, as, in fact, it will take most readers about that long to read it. The immediacy of the book is one of its greatest strengths--readers quickly start to feel as if they are looking over the shoulders of the team, almost like a sixth member.
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57 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Mel Odom VINE VOICE on September 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Frank Balenger claims to be a journalist interested in the urban art of "creepers", people who break-and-enter into old, abandoned buildings to see what they can see. Operating under the same constraints as professional cavers and with much of the same equipment, "creepers" invade an abandoned structure with the intent of taking pictures and leaving only footprints to mark their passage. Only the building Frank and his five new collegues invade is the Paragon Hotel, a luxury experience designed and built by a hemophiliac trapped within his own world that wanted to experience as much of the outside world as he could. Frank's lie about being a journalist is only the first of several that fall apart during the eight hours of hell and horror waiting for the "creepers".

David Morrell is known around the world for creating the character John Rambo. Author of over 30 novels, several of them feature or television movies, Morrell used to be an English professor that turned professional thriller writer. Many claim with his creation of Rambo that he invented the modern male action adventure novel. He writes from experience, from the literary field as well as hands-on training in hostage negotiation, evasive driving, firearms, and combat maneuvers.

The novel is a slam-bang adrenaline rush to the finish line that knocks the reader for a loop every time the plot seems clear. With simple, cutting prose, Morrell introduces readers to the urban art of "creeping", a mysterious millionaire who built a hotel to satisfy his own cravings, and more twists and turns in character relationships than a toboggan ride down an Olympic run.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Jon Khoury on November 16, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You walk up to the paperback rack, you see a book in paper from an author you've enjoyed, you see a title that catches your interest, a cover that bodes thrills and mystery and maybe a touch of horror, you read the back synopsis, nodding your head like, "I think this sounds REALLY good." You tuck it under your arm while breaking out your Barnes and Noble discount card, looking forward to getting into your comfy chair at home and being engulfed by a great story.

Finally, you arrive at your reading destination and enter the world of Creepers. 40 pages, "Ok, I'm with ya'." 80 pages, "Alright Dave let's get going now." 120 pages, "I don't think I can read another word of this." 160 pages, "I'm out 8 bucks and couldn't care less about any of these people." You shake your head, boot up your computer, head to Amazon and hope you can find something that's actually worth your time. Frankly, this book might qualify as a young adult mystery, but even there, if Creepers were the only option, I'd go buy a new video game for my kids.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul Weiss on November 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Morrell's novel begins with such promise! Five "creepers", urban archeologists who indulge their passion for history and the (definitely less than legal) investigation of abandoned derelict buildings, gather to break into the Paragon Hotel for a night's exploration. But, in a twist somewhat reminiscent of James Dickey's "Deliverance", our intrepid group of explorers encounter much, much more than they bargained for and the outing becomes a bloodied, gory nightmare with the team's survival hanging in the balance!

The sidebars on the culture and techniques of this extra-legal urban archeology are interesting, informative and even provocative. Morrell's history of Asbury Park, his recounting of the historical details of the linkage of gold to currency, the passage of the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 in which it became illegal for private US citizens to own gold bars or coins and the quirky intricacies of art-deco architecture and furnishings are positively fascinating. But these admittedly strong points are only window dressing and fail to rescue a weak, melodramatic story that is rife with stilted writing, B-movie dialogue and cheesy effects such as feral albino cats. Even the violence seems contrived and insipid as is the predictable romantic entanglement with which the novel ends.

A lightweight diverting read but certainly not memorable and with little to recommend it over so many other superior thrillers. A weak two stars from this reviewer!

Paul Weiss
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