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Mannheim Rex [Kindle Edition]

Robert Pobi
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)

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Book Description

After the sudden death of his wife, famous horror writer Gavin Corlie retreats from New York City to a secluded house on Lake Caldasac. But his new life in the country is far from idyllic; when a thirteen-year-old wheelchair-bound boy named Finn Horn nearly drowns in the lake, Gavin discovers a startling secret: people in this peaceful lakeside community keep vanishing. Is the corrupt, Benzedrine-fueled town sheriff to blame? Or is Finn’s account of a lake-dwelling monster more than a near-death hallucination? Racing against time and Mother Nature, Gavin and Finn embark on a quest to catch a nightmare that seems to have evolved with a single frightful purpose: to feed on human prey.

An homage to the blockbuster Jaws and the classic American novel Moby-Dick, Mannheim Rex is a deep dark thriller that switches seamlessly between heart-warming friendship and heart-stopping action.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A book that tries to one-up Peter Benchley’s Jaws (1974) is always going to be a tough fish to land, but Pobi uses a full tackle box of tricks in this valiant effort. Horror author Gavin Corlie, who hasn’t written a word since his wife’s death, moves on impulse to the small upstate burg of New Mannheim and a house perched alongside the cold black waters of Lake Caldasac. Soon Gavin befriends 13-year-old fishing fantatic Finn, a kid dying of cancer who has one wish before he dies—land the big one. Meet the big one, a gigantic fish at least a century old that, in the book’s opening scene, takes its time dismembering a man joint by joint and even rips the face off the decapitated skull for good measure. Add a Liverpudlian antiques dealer to the monster-hunting mix, and you have a trio straight out of Jaws (or, even closer, Benchley’s Beast, 1991). Pobi even hat-tips with a familiar line, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” The page-count alone should warn you that Pobi has a lot to say about everything, but his long-windedness is generally forgiven thanks to a Stephen King–like congeniality that keeps the pages flipping. Pobi’s characters, in fact, seem plucked straight from a King casting call, including a successful writer; a spunky, wheelchair-bound kid; and a psychotic, drug-addled sheriff who acts as chief antagonist. Though the leviathan itself never develops into the kind of mythic force Pobi is grasping at, the cynical Gavin and relentlessly cheery Finn make for a fun, unconventional team. This creature feature does not disappoint. --Daniel Kraus


“Robert Pobi gives Stephen King a run for his money in Mannheim Rex….This is a wicked page turner that veers between human drama and emotion, to bloody horror, to heartwarming story about friendship and back to terror. It is full of deeply rich characters that readers will enjoy cheering for and both "monsters" are terrifying.” -Amy Phelps for Graffiti Magazine

"Readers who are fans of Stephen King (especially his early-mid career work) will find Pobi’s work to be very readable." -Novelnaut

Praise for Robert Pobi's Bloodman:

"A very suspenseful novel." -O, The Oprah Magazine

"A Sixth-Sense-like take on Thomas Harris in his prime" -Sarah Weinman for The National Post

"Pobi boldly announces his arrival as a cunning novelist" -Publishers Weekly

"A fantastic new voice in the thriller genre" -New York Review of Books

"There's a new gun in town; A deft combination of edge-of-your-seat terror and heartbreaking pathos, Bloodman is one of the strongest debuts I've seen in a very long time." -Spinetingler Magazine

"Bloodman should come with a halogen nightlight. This Stephen King meets Michael Connelly thriller is scary, creepy, page turning, original, bloody." -The Mystery Site

Product Details

  • File Size: 1468 KB
  • Print Length: 513 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (November 20, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007O2MK78
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,560 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not JUST a Monster...*Slight Spoilers* November 6, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
To be clear, this isn't just a monster story, there's more here than that.

Gavin Corlie is a broken man. His wife was killed in a horrific car crash, and the traumatized horror writer is having a hard time moving forward. In a flash of clarity, he asks his assistant to find him a house. He needs to get away, to regroup and find him a house she does!

Gavin moves five hours away to a tiny hamlet near the town of New Mannheim. It is here that he meets Finn Horn, a 13 year old boy, who's body is being ravaged by bone cancer.

The two form an unlikely, but surprisingly believable, friendship. Finn believes there is a monster in the forbidding depths of Lake Caldasac, and Gavin chooses to believe in Finn.

The friendship between a man emotionally broken and a young boy that is physically breaking is the heart of this book.

This long book, clocking in at over 500 pages, there is a lot to digest. Author, Robert Pobi, is adept at character formation. He created one character so foul, that I actively wished for something horrific to happen to him! The idea that monsters aren't just from out nightmares is nothing new, they can take a human form as well, and Pobi does a good job of giving his characters some depth.

We get a payoff, but not until the very end, and I had no problem digesting the sub-plots and the development of the story. Though it is a long book, it went by very quickly for me.

Pobi left the ending wide open, adn I'm curious to see if there is/will be a second book with Gavin and Finn.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fish On! November 19, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It took me two weeks to finish this book. That may sound normal to most readers who actually have better things to do... but I usually blast through a book in three days or less. But I don't want to blame the book for this, okay maybe a little. I knew it was about fishing and that all I know about fishing is watching Jeremy Wade yell `fish on!' when he hooks a good one. And maybe I'm not watching River Monsters for the right reason. But I thought I could hang if there was a monster involved.

But a book about fishing is going to obviously have moments of patiently waiting for the fish to do what you want them to do... apparently even fish monsters don't make themselves available when you want them to. So I probably would have cut approximately 100 pages out of this book. Sorry, but spare me from perfect dead wives and precocious sick children. Yes, I'm a meanie. I did spend most of the book dreading that the cat was going to get eaten by the mysterious monster.

Gavin is a famous writer, who after losing his aforementioned wife and becomes the standard issue suicidal drunk. He realizes that a change is in order and moves to a small town perched (heh) on the edge of a mysterious lake where strange things have been happening though luckily (?) it also has what I assume is a lazy medical examiner who is more than happy to wrap up cases with the proverbial boating accident as cause of death. Just to keep things interesting, there is also a crazy sheriff running the town who I don't think could be more crazy and/or evil if he tried. Him, I don't understand, but I tried.

Luckily Gavin soon becomes friends with the magical sick child who seems to perform amazing feats of daring do even though we're constantly reminded of his limitations. Not too sure about that either.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fish Tale That Will Lure You In October 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Best selling horror author Gavin Corlie flees the memories of his deceased wife by moving to an isolated community in upstate New York. The lakefront property is rumored to be haunted and the lake itself sems to be harboring some incredible monster. For years, mysterious deaths and disappearances have been covered up by the corrupt sheriff and the medical examiner. When a wheelchair bound boy narrowly avoids becoming the next victim, Corlie becomes involved in an epic monster quest that could be the death of him.

This book successfully incorporates all the ingredients necessary for a good story: appealing protagonists, villianous villians and a totally inhuman monster. Gavin is believable, likeable and human as is his love interest, the beautiful Dr. Laurel. Finn, the young boy is terrifically drawn. Even though confronted with his own mortality, he is still all kid. The pill popping sheriff is more monstrous than the monster, lethal because he can be, no because he musg to survive. The book is well written and infused with a warmth uncommon in this genre.

The biggest downside to the book is that it is overly long. Not all of the 532 pages were necessary and the book would have benefited from paring it down. Overall, I enjoyed this book. It is a fun fish tale with engaging characters that make you care.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Calling All Editors - April 12, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wanted to like this story and at times I did. Back in the day, I enjoyed Peter Benchley for a good creature thriller (Benchley, not a great writer, but could tell an exciting story). Mannheim Rex has a good base. Gavin Corlie, horror writer extraordinaire, grieving over the loss of his wife, moves to Mannheim and fixes up an old house at the egde of a bay that connects to the small town's lake, Lake Caldesac, (meaning dead end). His old house is supposedly haunted, but that's only alluded to, not fleshed out, but some detail involving a haunted house may have added to the spookiness that is lacking in this thriller. Anyway, he accidentally scares away a lone boy fishing in his bay and the child, Finn, almost dies in his efforts to get away from Corlie, who's frightened the boy by calling to him from his, formerly deserted dock. Finn has had bone cancer and lost the use of his legs so he has a special chair bolted to the boat that allows him to do what he loves most, fish. But, in his rush to get away from Corlie, his boat is attacked (by something in the water) and he barely makes it out of the lake alive.

Corlie and Gavin become friends when Corlie buys a bunch of fishing stuff and a new boat for Gavin, because he is very, very wealthy. To take his mind off things (and perhaps gleen material for a new horror novel), Gavin Corlie and Finn make it their mission to catch whatever is in the water.

In the interim, people are killed by the monster in the water, and there is a very strange, drug addicted sheriff running this town (consider every cliche about an evil sheriff, and you've nailed this character). The women in the book are not too bright as well. For example, the love interest of Corlie is Lauren, a bright doctor at the hospital.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Astoundingly good book
Astoundingly good book
Published 2 months ago by mathman
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this story more than I thought I would
I really enjoyed this story more than I thought I would. A few different themes going on which were nicely woven into the story. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I did not get this book
Published 3 months ago by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Umm...a side of fries with this human???
Mannheim Rex
In the book "Eaters of the Dead" Michael Crichton admits he was challenged to reinvent the Beowulf legend. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Old Monster Story.
An obvious tribute to Jaws and all that came before it and at the same time a story of redemption, endings and new beginnings. Read more
Published 4 months ago by AConstantReader
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A Ilittle wierd, but entertainig
Published 4 months ago by Ed Rollman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters and excellent suspense
Major Page turner. Great characters and excellent suspense.
Published 5 months ago by John Snell
4.0 out of 5 stars Great audio book.
I enjoyed this book all the way through. Solid history, it keeps your attention and yet if you put it down for a bit, you won't forget the characters. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Judy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A bit crazy but loved the characters.
Published 6 months ago by Gail.L.SMith
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Great cast, beautiful scenery, and phenomenal plot. Enjoyed every minute. I guess the author couldn't let go of what makes him happy, and finally decided to share. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jane V Stephens
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More About the Author

Robert Pobi dealt in fine Georgian antiques for thirteen years before turning to writing full-time. He has fished for everything that swims - from great white sharks off Montauk to monstrous pike in northern Finland. He prefers bourbon to scotch and shucks oysters with an old hunting knife he modified with a grinder. In warm weather he spends much of his time at a cabin on a secluded lake in the mountains and when the mercury falls he heads to the Florida Keys. The critical response to his first short story (written when he was twelve) was a suspension from school. Now he writes every day - at a desk once owned by Roberto Calvi.

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