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The Burning Hardcover – March, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lloyd Denman of San Diego has everything--the love of a beautiful woman, a thriving restaurant business and money in the bank. But even such bliss is prey to the forces of evil as this horror novel by the author of The Manitou recounts in stunning detail. When Denman's fiancee immolates herself shortly before their wedding, he learns that she was a disciple of cultist and former Nazi kingpin Otto Mander, who grants immmortality to his followers (who are known as Salamanders) if they burn themselves to death. Denman discovers Mander's plan to use the Salamanders--who are resurrected as human torches and can incinerate others at will--to found a Fourth Reich and take over the world. To thwart him, Denman enlists the aid of a 12-year-old Pechanga Indian shaman with 20th-century street-smarts and ancient magic. The duo struggle to outmaneuver Mander, but Denman fears that the insect-eating fascist is himself an acolyte of some omniscient malevolence. Social responsibility, as outlined in this savvy tale, is the foundation of a civilized society and our first defense against chaos.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (March 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312851219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312851217
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,152,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on July 29, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What type of world do we live in when books like this are out of print? I ask that question often when I think about Graham Masterton's gripping horror novel, "The Burning." Masterton is definitely one of the undervalued horror novelists in recent times, a slightly obscure writer who has written numerous spooky thrillers over the years that combine great gore sequences, engaging characters, and bizarre plotlines that would falter in anyone else's hands. This is only the third Masterton novel I've read in recent months, but I'd like to read all of his stuff at some point. The problem with doing so is that most of his books are out of print. It's not like publishing houses don't know who he is; his new books find mass-market release with regularity. What us horror fans need is for Leisure to start reprinting his back catalogue. I know I would snatch up every one of Masterton's old books.
"The Burning" builds itself around one of the strangest plots I've ever encountered in horror fiction. What's great is that Masterton makes it believable. What we have here is a story combining Richard Wagner's lost masterpiece "Junius," ancient pagan rituals concerning immortality, the Third Reich, Native American spirituality, and reanimated humans called Salamanders who can burn people at will. Now does this book have potential or what? Even better, the author doesn't skimp on the Salamander's ability to set people on fire. There are numerous examples of people torched by these evil beings, told in intricate detail in page after page of cringe worthy descriptions. I don't find anything remotely amusing about people on fire in real life, as I can't think of anything as painful as suffering burns.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cj.snyder@internetMCI.com on October 25, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Lord Denman is stunded when informed that his fiancee is dead. The circumstances are grotesque: she calmly immolated herself in a parking lot ... and smiled as the flames leaped up. Celia's is just the first bizarre death by fire. A busload of people bursts into flames in the desert. The passengers die .... calmly, waiting for the fire to reach them.
Celia and the passengers have become Salamanders - immortal beings, fire made flesh. Followers of a cult whose rituals were set to music by Richard Wagner, they have sworn to serve Otto Mander and the fourth Reich he intends to found"
I just could not put this one down. I could not go to sleep till i read it cover to cover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Gumm on May 13, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Wow!" That's how I felt when I finished The Burning. I wholeheartedly agree with the review posted here which asked, "What kind of world do we live in where books like this are out of print?" That's a very good question, and if you enjoy horror and happen to get your hands on The Burning, you'll understand why.

Because the other two reviews laid out the story in great detail, I'm not going to rehash the plot in this review. What I will say is that the book has a lot of elements that kept me riveted to the page and had me reading late into the night to finish off the book. There's history, the arts, suspense, police drama, and of course, horror, sprinkled throughout the text. Though Masterton definitely takes liberties with German history and the Nazi era, this is a work of fiction, so that is to be expected, and his speculations as to the demise of the Third Reich and the fate of those involved in that evilest of empires made the story that much more intriguing.

If you do find that you enjoy The Burning, I would also strongly suggest Walkers and Death Trance, two other Masterston books definitely worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Santeria on April 18, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is just a little preface before I do a proper review for a new re-read. The basic warning is that this book is the same as HYMN. The advantage for me is that I can get this in Hard Back and hopefully it will be in good condition. All I can suggest for Masterton Collectors is that you consult mastertons UK web site that gives an authoritative listing of the multiple printings. At least I will have a Paperback and Hardback of the same text( yeah I know, weird, something collectors understand I think), I just wish it was the same title ( on the spine and front). It is a bit like the BONNIE WINTER/TRAUMA duplication where one is paperback and one is hardback ( at least when I bought the items).
Anyway, I will get back, and do a redo of the review. i just wish Amazon had some sort of warning that "this title may be available or here under another name", or something similar. Anyway, it has been more than 20 years since I read the title as HYMN, and I enjoyed it then, so I hope I will enjoy the re-read, as I have with other Masterton titles ( many Masterton titles should, I agree, be available in print, and in my view, in Hardback, or at least in high quality paperback).
***
Elementals are a common theme in Masterton's books.In BURNING you can find three layers of myths and the end
product works superbly. I have come back to this title after more than 20 years and I am glad I got a hardback copy of BURNING, my first copy was under the title HYMN. My most recent purchase from Masterton was the paperback
SEPSIS from Cemetary books. I checked this book up from masterton's UK website and discovered the Story of ERIC THE
PIE, a story with a rather strong and scarey pedigree.
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