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The Beast Paperback – June 1, 1994

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The Last Ever After
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In the stunning conclusion to the bestselling School for Good and Evil trilogy, everything old is new again, as Sophie and Agatha fight the past as well as the present to find the perfect end to their fairy tale. See more | School for Good and Evil Series
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About the Author

"Where do you get your ideas?"

That's the question that R. L. Stine is asked most often. "I don't know where my ideas come from," he says. "But I do know that I have a lot more scary stories in my mind that I can't wait to write."

So far, he has written nearly three dozen mysteries and thrillers for young people, all of them best-sellers.

Bob grew up in Columbus, Ohio. Today he lives in an apartment near Central Park in New York City with his wife, Jane, and fourteen-year-old son, Matt.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

I shut my eyes as a shrill scream escaped my throat.

Bouncing hard, I opened them in time to see the trees fly by in a jarring blur. "Whoa!" I was tossed forward as I roared straight down into darkness.

A sudden spin made me cry out again. The car tilted hard to the left and I slammed into my cousin, Ashley Franks. She was screaming, too. Her blond hair flew out wildly behind her head.

We swooped down once more, a sharp dip. I yelped in surprise as I felt myself fly up from the seat. The trees whirred by, shadowy in the dark night light. The car clattered noisily as it began to climb again.

"This is great!" I screamed to Ashley.

Her face was bright red. Her blue eyes were wide, staring up to the top of the track. She grinned at me and started to reply. But instead, she let out a startled whoop as our car plunged down.

Down, down with a deafening roar.

The wind battered my face. I gripped the bar tightly with both hands. Down, down -- and into total darkness.

"Huh?"

A tunnel. We whirred through the tunnel, then back out into the dim light filtering through the dark, leafy trees. Then a jolting turn pushed me into Ashley again. My cousin was screaming too hard to notice.

Another tunnel. Another climb. Another swooping, roaring spin that made the car squeal.

And then we slowed to a stop.

Over my thudding heartbeat I could hear screams and laughter behind us. Ashley and I had been riding in the front car.

I turned to her. She was still breathing hard. Her hair was wild, standing almost straight up. She was trying to brush it down with both hands.

"You were right, James!" she exclaimed. "The Beast® is awesome!"

"It's the best! I told you!" I cried breathlessly. I climbed out of the roller coaster car onto the platform. "Hey -- I'm dizzy!"

"You're always dizzy," Ashley teased, following me out. She staggered for a few steps, then grabbed my shoulder. She laughed. "Whoa! I'm a little dizzy, too, I guess."

We staggered off the platform and followed the exit path. I turned back to stare at the enormous roller coaster, the wooden tracks rising up darker even than the night sky.

My heart was still racing. As Ashley and I walked, we were surrounded by laughing, shouting voices. "I -- I thought the ride was over," Ashley said, still trying to untangle her hair. "But then we started to climb again."

"That has to be the longest roller coaster ride anywhere!" I exclaimed. "Other roller coasters last only a minute or two. But this one takes over four minutes!"

I'm an expert on roller coasters. I ride them whenever I can. And I never ride just once. I always go back and ride again and again.

The third time is usually the best. By that time, your screaming muscles are limbered up and you can howl like a pro all the way.

I'd been to Paramount's Kings Island twice before. And I had ridden The Beast at least half a dozen times. But this was Ashley's first time.

She's twelve and I'm twelve, but I think I look older. She's about four inches shorter than me, even with all that wild blond hair. She's skinny, too. I guess she's kind of pretty. She has great blue eyes and a nice smile.

People always tease me because I don't smile much. I've got dark brown hair and dark eyes, and I just look serious, that's all.

Ashley and I don't get to see each other very often. Our families live about three hundred miles apart. But when we do, we get along pretty well.

We like to tease each other and get on each other's case. Sometimes we play pretty mean tricks on each other. But I guess that's normal.

We stopped at a food stand and bought sodas. All that screaming can make you thirsty.

After gulping down half her cup of soda, Ashley glanced up at the dark sky. A pale halfmoon had risen above the trees. "It's getting pretty late," she said. "Past your bedtime, James."

"Ha-ha," I replied, rolling my eyes.

She took another long gulp from her cup. Some of it trickled onto the front of her sleeveless blue T-shirt, but she didn't notice. She pushed her hair off her forehead with her free hand.

"What do you want to do now?" I asked. We had been at the park since early afternoon. We had already been on most of the other roller coasters.

"Let's ride The Beast again!" Ashley cried. Her eyes lit up as an excited grin crossed her face. "Come on!"

"The line is pretty long," I told her, motioning to it. I glanced at my watch. "And the park is going to close soon."

"Come on!" she cried, not listening to me. She tugged at the sleeve of my T-shirt. "Hurry!"

I pulled back. "No. Really. There isn't time, Ashley," I insisted.

"Please! Let's just try -- okay?" she begged, tugging at me again. "Let's get in line again. Please?"

"Well...okay," I agreed.

And that was when all the trouble began.

Copyright © 1994 Parachute Press, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Paperback: 131 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin (June 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671880551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671880552
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Why is Tim Jacobus R.L. Stine's favorite illustrator? Maybe because they've done so many scary books together. Tim did the cover paintings for more than 80 Goosebumps books, as well as the six amazing Amazon books. Recently, the two of them got together and asked the questions they've always wanted to ask each other...

~~~~

TIM (the illustrator) asks R.L. STINE (the author):

TIM: When I illustrate, I can "see" the image in my head before I start to draw. Do you "hear" a story when you write?

R.L.: I hear kids when I write. I try to hear the voice of the boy or girl who is telling the story. I visit schools a lot and talk with kids so I can keep up with what they are saying these days and what real kids sound like. Then I try to hear their voices tell the story as I write it.

~

TIM: You've written so many books I can't do the math, but I bet you've used millions of words. What's you favorite word?

R.L.: Someone once got in an elevator with a very witty author named Noel Coward and said, "Say something funny." And Coward said, "Kangaroo." Kangaroo has been a favorite word of mine ever since I heard that story. But as a horror writer, I guess my favorite word is SCREAM!

~

TIM: Where is the strangest place you have come up with an idea for a story?

R.L.: An empty movie theater. My wife and I went to see a scary movie in a big, old movie house-- and we were the only ones in the theater. It was kind of creepy. Then about halfway through the movie, I turned around and saw that the back row was filled with people sitting straight and still. Suddenly, I thought-- They are zombies! I'm trapped in a dark zombie theater! And that's where the idea for the book Zombie Town came from.

~

TIM: If you couldn't write-- and you possessed all skills-- what would you like to do for a living?

R.L.: I drew comic strips from the time I was in 4th grade, and I always dreamed of being a cartoonist. You can imagine my shock when the other kids told me how bad my art was. They were right. I stunk! I got over my extreme disappointment by starting to write. But if I had the skill, I would love to do what you do, Tim.

**********

R.L. STINE (the author)asks TIM (the illustrator):

R.L.: If you couldn't be an artist what would you like to be?

TIM: I would like to be a "Snowmaker" at one of the big ski resorts, out west, like Mammoth Mountain in California. You work at night when everyone goes home. Set up the snow guns, cover the slopes, and groom them with the Sno-Cat track machine. It's kinda like a snow tank! Then, you get to ski for free! I love that snow!

~

R.L.: When we were kids, my brother and I used to go to a horror movie every Saturday. We loved them all. The covers on our six Amazon books look like movie posters to me. Were you also influenced by horror movies? If so, which ones?

TIM: I was a complete "chicken" as a kid. I couldn't sit through any horror movie. The first scary movie I saw was on TV. It isn't really a horror movie. It was the Hunchback of Notre Dame-- the black-and-white version with Charles Laughton. That movie freaked me out! The mutant, Quasimodo, was something that REALLY could exist. Black-and-white movies, black-and-white photos--they all seem more "real" than full color to me.

~

R.L.: You have painted so many great covers. I think your scariest Goosebumps cover was for The Barking Ghost. And the black cat on The 13th Warning is really creepy. Do you have a favorite cover? Is it a scary one or a funny one?

TIM: It's hard to pick a favorite. But you gotta love the blue bathroom blobs in Monster Blood IV. That one is a little creepy and WAY funny. For just outright scary, I love the ticket taker in Zombie Town!

~

R.L.: What was the weirdest thing someone ever asked you to draw?

TIM: Oh, I have drawn a lot of weird stuff. One time, I had to paint a pimple! You know... acne! It was a medical illustration. Gross. When I first started illustrating, I painted pictures of food. My food illustrations were used in the Sunday newspaper for the local supermarket. I painted every food you can imagine. I can draw a pretty mean potato!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
ok I have moved on from reading rl stine books but when I was younger I read all the goosebumps books (not the 2000 series) and I must say the beast is the best r l stine book I ever did read. Its not one of those books were you have to wait till the 10th chapter for the book to pick for me after I read the first few pages I was hooked.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes r l stine.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Beast® was the longest and wildest roller coaster at Kings Island. Ashley and James was riding the last ride of the night when two teenage boys told them about the ghost who rode the roller coaster at night after the park closes. So when Ashley and James was accidently locked inside, of course they decided to see if the ghost was real. He was.
His name was P.D. Walters and he had tested the roller coaster since he died in a tornado back in 1931. The unexpected tornado had killed many people who were attending a carnival. When a couple of security guards saw Ashley and James, P.D. put them on the roller coaster to escape. When the roller coaster stopped, they found themselves in 1931 on that fateful night. Now they must try to make everyone believe a tornado is coming and find P.D. to help them get home.
***Exciting! I loved the string Stine kept dangling for a sequel. This one is perfect for anyone 8 - 16 or those ages above who just want a creepy read without the gore.***
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robin M Goffinet on June 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
Curious about the story of a ghost haunting the roller coaster, Ashley and James decide to stay in the park after hours and see for themselves. Little do they know that this ride will be very different. They find themselves back in time circa 1930's trying to warn everyone about an approaching disaster.
The only complaint I have about this book is that the author had obviously never been to King's Island, the park where the story is set.
And yes, the Beast is a real ride. My favorite!
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By Gabriel Fernandez on December 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
This Book is great. James and his cousin Ashley rides in THE BEAST only to find out out that they were sent back at the pass. There, They meet Paul. One day a carnival wrecked down and James And Ashley was not able to save their friend because of the tornado. If you want to find out more, Order this book
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By A Customer on October 25, 1998
Format: Turtleback
It was an incredible book of twists and turns.I'm 11 and very picky about books especially these kinds!This book was exciting and when my teacher would say it was time to stop reading I wanted to keep on reading!Buy this book!It's great! Steven J. Antonie (:|||]
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