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Quake Paperback – September 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 567 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Book Publishing; New edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747248060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747248064
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 4.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this above-average disaster thriller, Sheila Banner is looking forward to a long, relaxing bath when a massive earthquake hits southern California, trapping her in the tub, naked but intact under two fallen beams. Meanwhile, Sheila's husband, Clint, is stranded at work, his car sitting behind a pair of powerless electronic security gates, while their daughter, Barbara, along with three classmates, is caught in a speeding car with a panicky teacher at the wheel. Through alternating chapters, Laymon (Savage) tells these three tales of survival in his customary speedy, whip-lean prose, eschewing descriptions of fallen bridges and highways to focus on the disintegration of humanity, the violence and predation unleashed by the quake. The imagery is graphic-roving gangs stripping and mutilating the bodies of the living as well as the dead-but, as in the best of Laymon's work, like The Stake, there's an edge of black humor to the proceedings, a faint cackle in the background. Still, this is strong, disturbing fare, not for the thin-skinned.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Stanley Banks is not the neighbor one would want when Los Angeles is hit by "the Big One," the earthquake that destroys the sprawling city. In the quake's aftermath, the thin veneer that keeps the savages civilized crumbles almost as fast as the real estate. The Banner family is scattered when it hits, and Sheila Banner is trapped in a tub under the wreckage of her house when Stanley, her psychopathic admirer, finds her. Meanwhile, Clint and daughter Barbara are separately struggling to get home to Sheila, walking through Los Angeles while fleeing and fighting gangs that rob, rape, murder, and mutilate. Laymon (Savage, LJ 12/93) expertly lays on the horror here, and at times his Los Angeles seems to have been invaded by aliens, so quickly have the residents turned savage. Horror fans will find this hard to put down. Strongly recommended for public libraries.?Robert C. Moore, DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. Information Svcs., N. Billerica, Mass.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Richard Laymon's works include more than sixty short stories and more than thirty novels, a few of which were published under the pseudonym Richard Kelly. However, despite praise from prominent writers from within the genre, including Stephen King and Dean Koontz, Laymon was little known in his homeland -- he enjoyed greater success in Europe, though, particularly in the United Kingdom -- until his affiliation with Leisure Books in 1999. The author largely viewed much of this as a product of the poorly re-edited and reconstructed first release of The Woods Are Dark, which had over 50 pages removed. The poor editing and unattractive cover art ruined his sales records after the success of The Cellar. The original and intended version of The Woods Are Dark was finally published in July of 2008 by Leisure Books and Cemetery Dance Publications after being reconstructed from the original manuscript by his daughter, Kelly.

His novel Flesh was named Best Horror Novel of 1988 by Science Fiction Chronicle, and both Flesh and Funland were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award, as was his non-fiction work A Writer's Tale. He won this award posthumously in 2001 for The Traveling Vampire Show. His win was used as an answer for a question on the syndicated Jeopardy program.

The tribute anthology In Laymon's Terms was released by Cemetery Dance Publications during the summer of 2011. It featured short stories and non-fiction tribute essays by authors such as Bentley Little, Jack Ketchum, Gary Brandner, Edward Lee, and scores of others.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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A quick fun read for any Laymon fan.
A. C.
Laymon's writing has such great pacing that it's hard to put a book down for very long - especially the last 100 pages or so of this novel.
coachtim
It has instantly become one of my top Laymon books.
marky77

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By helen seward on January 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Having read Laymon previously, I knew what to expect. Horror, gore, and phycotisism! Quake contained all of this, but the characters were so strong, you almost felt part of the terror. The story focusses around the Tanners, and invites you to see the devastation of the quake through their eyes, as they desperately try to to save themselves from the danger which has been unleashed by this natural disaster. Heroisism, innocence and sheer passion is dealt with superbly,(as in all Laymon books), and the plight of Stanley will keep you hooked right through, as you wait with baited breath to see if his dreams and fantasies finally do come true!Read this above all others. You won't be able to put it down.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This was one of his best. I loved the characters and I couldn't wait to find out what would happen to the woman in the bath! Some of Laymon's characters are so perverted, you just can't believe the things he comes up with. I find his books are fast paced and well-written. He isn't overly descriptive as Dean Koontz (another favourite) has become. He sticks to the point of his story throughout. I would definitely recommend this book to any Richard Laymon or horror reader fan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Koppel on April 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Another fine offering from Richard Laymon. This time we see a family struggle after a devastating earthquake disrupts the entire city.
As with any disaster, looters and worse rear their ugly heads. But central to the fear is lonely Stanley, a former peeper who now has an opening to actually pursue his desires. After all, in the madness following the quake, who will notice some premeditated violence. His goal is the family's daughter and his drive is relentless. He knows that once the city has recovered, he will have lost his chance to pursue his perverse fantasies.
Laymon once again shows us the dark heart of people when civilizations restraints have been removed. A fine read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Baron Von Cool on June 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard Laymon can write, I'll give him that. He's never boring, but that doesn't mean what he writes is consistently good. It's frequently lurid, juvenile, and unbelievable to the point of ridiculousness. And his characters frequently do incredibly dumb things just to serve the paper-thin plots. Which sucks, because he has a habit of making his readers like his characters and expecting them to behave a certain way, then pulls the rug out from under us with no natural progression for the radical change in their behavior. Quake is no exception.

Here, the author is clearly ripping off Rudolph Wurlitzer's Quake, along with James Herbert's The Fog (he even has one of his characters reference Herbert's novel twice!). Unfortunately, like every time he gets "inspired" by another author, his attempt to recreate it and put his trademark stamp on it results in in his usual junk food style. If you want a good version of a world-gone-mad earthquake novel, read Wurlitzer's Quake. If you want a good version of people going homicidally insane and doing inexplicable acts of sex and violence almost instantly after an earthquake, read Herbert's The Fog. Both those novels will stick with you in ways Laymon's never will.

At well over 500 pages, the book's page count is bloated. He's got three different stories going on that could have been resolved faster and more believably. The Banner family (daddy Clint, mom Shiela, and 16-year-old daughter Barbara) are trapped in different locations around Los Angeles when the Big One hits.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By marky77 on March 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
WOW! Now I am a massive Richard Laymon fan. I have read almost all his books now and find they range from very good to AMAZING. I have to say I was blown away by Quake. It has instantly become one of my top Laymon books. One of his very best, in my opinion.

At the very start of the book, a massive earthquake rips apart Los Angles causing disaster and chaos. The story is told from the viewpoints of 3 different characters. First we meet Stanley (described as a "fat pervert" on the back of the book) who wants the use the earthquake as an opportunity to rape his neighbour, Sheila, who was trapped naked in her bathtub when the quake hit. The second person we meet is Clint, Sheila's husband, who was in an office at his work at the time of the Quake. He soon meets up with Mary and Em who join him as he tries to make it home across town. The 3rd protagonist is Barbara, Sheila and Clint's 15-year-old daughter who was on a driving lesson with 3 friends when the quake struck.

All three storylines are equally riviting and as usual with Laymon you get a mix of loveable charcaters, disgusting charcters and truely bizzare charcters.

I thought that the book was fantastic right from the start and the last 100 pages or so were brilliant. I would very highly reccommend this book to anybody.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TimB on March 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is not a book you want to read if you are easilly disturbed by anything. Laymon writes like a man with no conscience. I found myself shocked several times by the taboos he was willing to violate. A ton of shock value. Definately fun.
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