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Mannheim Rex Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Length: 513 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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


"Pobi invokes American classics Jaws and Moby-Dick in this cinematic, old-school suspense tale worthy of King and Koontz...Pobi's full-bodied characters, keen sense of place, and ear for realistic dialogue make for an engaging read." (Publisher's Weekly)

Praise for Harvest


Publishers Weekly

“[Hemi’s] struggle—against both internal and external demons—makes this a story for those who can stomach the carnage and existential questioning; they will be spellbound.”

Publishers Weekly

“Delivers a frightening, Nietzschean horror show composed of equal parts hubris and unintended consequences. Fair warning: expect to sleep with the lights on after you turn the final page.”


“Not for the faint of heart nor the weak of stomach [… ] A gritty mystery about the stomach-turning acts of a serial killer who makes Hannibal Lecter seem almost benign.”

New York Journal of Books

Praise for Eye of the Storm

“An author to watch.”

The Globe and Mail

“Pobi boldly announces his arrival as a cunning novelist with this grim and gory debut thriller … a tight, macabre plot.”

Publishers Weekly

“A very suspenseful novel.”

—O, The Oprah Magazine

“A fantastic new voice in the thriller genre.”

—New York Journal of Books

“This sparkling first novel has an ending few readers will see coming.”

—The Gazette (Montreal)

Product Details

  • File Size: 1468 KB
  • Print Length: 513 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (November 20, 2012)
  • Publication Date: November 20, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007O2MK78
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,621 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
1 Comment 18 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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Comment 11 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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