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Survival Games: A Novel Hardcover – August, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Pr; 1st edition (August 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871136848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871136848
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,248,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Two Boston couples' weekend getaway to New Hampshire quickly turns into a nightmare in this thriller by the author of Stay Hungry and Pumping Iron. Bill Joyce and Dray Hurley are old college friends who built a company based on a backwoods capture-the-flag odyssey called "The Survival Game." Their hunting and tracking skills are suddenly put to a real-life test when their wives are kidnapped by Red Sizemore, a laborer with whom Bill's wife, Clair, once had an affair. Red takes the women to his northwoods hunting camp, where he hopes to live out a survivalist fantasy. Bill and Dray follow in a relentless manhunt toward the Canadian border. A fiercely elemental drama in the manner of Deliverance, this is recommended for public libraries.
-?Lawrence Rungren, Merrimack Valley Lib. Consortium, Andover, Mass.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Bill and Claire Joyce and Dray and Portia Hurley have been friends for more than 20 years, through business ventures, family crises, and personal tragedy. Bill and Dray have recently grown rich by franchising the "survival game," a variation of capture-the-flag played with paint guns. During an idyllic fall getaway to New Hampshire, a local named Red Sizemore kidnaps Claire and Portia, forcing Dray and Bill to focus their survival-game knowledge on a life-or-death matter. Gaines' first novel in 15 years offers unsettling, nonstop suspense, relentless pace, well-drawn characters, vivid landscape, and crackling dialogue. Even though the character of Red Sizemore is not completely developed, the other characters are morally complex; none of them, not even Red, are cardboard cutouts representing good or evil. More than a violent, action-packed woodland thriller, Survival Games effectively warns readers of the dire consequences of neglecting family and loved ones. John Rowen

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By M. H. Bayliss on September 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If this book had Stephen King's name instead of Charles Gaines, it would have sold a million plus copies. I haven't read a thriller this engaging in quite awhile. Since I spent a good deal of time around the New Hampshire area he writes about, I enjoyed it even more. On the surface, this novel is a suspense thriller, but farther down, it has a lot to say about couples, friendships and relationships. Red Sizemore is one sick character, but we understand why he is the way he is from Gaines' characterization. The author spends more time on Bill and Claire than he does on Dray and Portia, but I don't think that detracts in any way from the book. Survival becomes the central point of the book as the two male characters made their fortune by starting a survival games company years before the book opens. When two men kidnap their wives, they have to call upon these wilderness skills to get them back. While a bit gory in parts, the stalking parts of the book are fascinating. I can't believe this was not made into a movie -- it would be easy to capture on film. A thoroughly enjoying read from cover to cover.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was difficult for me to read not because it wasn't compelling, it was. I found myself getting more and more angry and wanting to jump into the book and take on Red Sizemore myself. As an avid outdoorsman it was very interesting to read the observations of the woods, the different "survival" skills that the characters employ. This is not a feel good, but certainly worth the read.
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Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be very entertaining. Red is an interesting villain with almost supernatural abilities. I began to wonder if he was going to be like Jason and not be able to be killed. The interaction of Bill and Claire is good, especially when he watches her after she has been kidnapped by Red. The book has a little bit of everything, romance, sex, violence.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By huntvernco@idcomm.com on October 3, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Stay away... go watch the USA network movie of the week instead. This bomb of an adventure novel starts low (stalked women) and sinks lower (blowing away the bad guys private parts). How creative! Come on, I've read some really bow wow books in my time but this doesn't even attempt to be the least bit creative in its narrative. I've read more involving writings in the classified sections of travel magazines. Stay away, spen your money on the Everest non-fiction adventure "IN THIN AIR" instead. Compared to this "Survival Games" truth IS Stranger Than Fiction......
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