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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You can't leave home again
This book is actually quite good, yet it is also the very book that turned me off of John Saul years ago. My memory told me this book was rather boring and drawn-out, and that it was just too much like other Saul books. Unquestionably, Saul has been known to address the same themes across several novels, and The Unloved features a hackneyed family history, young people...
Published on October 26, 2002 by Daniel Jolley

versus
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Evil and Creepy
I have to say that certain parts of this book made my skin crawl. And I am use to reading some wacked out stuff. Dean Koontz, H P Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe, just to list a few. But the way Saul describes death or the way some of the characters meet it is quite remarkable.
The story itself wasn't bad, in some ways it wasn't complex and some ways I had no idea what...
Published on August 22, 2001 by The Straw Man


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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You can't leave home again, October 26, 2002
This review is from: The Unloved (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is actually quite good, yet it is also the very book that turned me off of John Saul years ago. My memory told me this book was rather boring and drawn-out, and that it was just too much like other Saul books. Unquestionably, Saul has been known to address the same themes across several novels, and The Unloved features a hackneyed family history, young people having to react to a crisis no one else seems to see, and the same type of madness that dates back to Saul's first novel Suffer the Children. Having reread it again now, I was much more impressed than I expected to be. Saul really pulls no punches on this one-if you like happily ever after endings, this book is definitely not for you. There is plenty of misery in these pages, and Saul spreads it out widely among the characters.
There is nothing strikingly original about the basic plot. Kevin Devereaux escaped the world of his hated mother at eighteen and never planned to return to his old home off the coast of South Carolina. Still haunted by nightmares from his youth, he nevertheless does go home again, taking his wife, son and daughter with him, when he receives word his mother is dying. Helena Devereaux is a thoroughly cruel, self-centered, frightening woman, and the way she heavily cakes her face in power and makeup makes for a startling first impression on her son's family. Determined to regain control over her prodigal son even in death, she draws up a will that basically constrains Kevin to stay in the family home for the sake of his sister Marguerite. Separated from the mainland by a causeway that is impassable during stormy weather, the lonely mansion soon becomes a completely isolated house of horrors. Saul does a good job of placing a hint of doubt in the mind of the reader halfway through as to who exactly is to blame for the developing troubles on the island, but the truth becomes pretty clear as family secrets are slowly revealed.
The novel is perhaps a little longer than it needed to be. Saul seems to love showing his main characters fret and worry about things to come, always hesitating or refusing to recognize the truth of what is happening around them, and it can get slightly tiresome and frustrating at times. When I reached the point where the whole story seemed to be approaching a resolution, I was quite surprised to see well over a hundred pages left. I had no idea how Saul was going to be able to fill that many pages, but fill them he did-and how. To his credit, Saul packs a real punch into those last hundred pages, slowly turning the screws and ratcheting up the reader's interest, discomfort, and personal involvement. I should mention the epilogue, however, being careful to give nothing away. Saul goes a step farther than I would have gone, but I greatly admire this author's confidence in ending the novel on his own rather than on the reader's terms. At first glance, this novel may not look all that interesting, but it slowly sinks it claws into you and compels you to keep reading in morbid fascination.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was my #1 fave book by Saul! (Old School Fan), October 6, 2009
This review is from: The Unloved (Mass Market Paperback)
Except for Suffer the Children & Punish the Sinners, I have read the majority of Saul's books. However, after Blackstone Creek Crossing, a major disappointment, I decided maybe I need to take a break or move onto to other authors for a while. I will eventually read his newer books but after reading his reviews here, I thought I would do a better job of contributing my own perspective for new readers.

Comes the Blind Fury was my 1st at age 13...awesome, couldn't put it down, emotional, creepy, sexual undertones, full of revenge, no happy endings here, but loved it! As a starter Saul book, this book definitely will strike a chord with younger readers.

The Unloved was my 2nd, a year later, and this still remains my favorite! I have read it three times! As a novel, it is definitely longer so most readers will feel that it drags but, personally, I couldn't put it down. I also think this novel is more adult and reminds me a lot of V.C. Andrew's Flower's in the Attic Series (by the way, her new books suck but this is by far her 1st and most original series...I recommend it as a read). Back to the point..both Flowers and Unloved have strong characters, a good plotline and story setting, climatic ending, a haunting family history which, in turn, leads to nightmarish consequences. In Unloved, Saul did a good job of isolating his characters, especially the devastating Marguerite Devereaux. Though she is the villain you can't help but feel saddened by the events that contributed to her madness. There is definitely a big body count in this book and it all leads to a frightening revelation for the conclusion followed by the character's demise and a chilling but good closure in the epilogue.

My third favorite I read at age 15 on a family vacation....Second Child...I also couldn't put this down and have read it twice. The main antagonist is just plain evil and she is only 16! You feel incredibly sorry for the good girl character Melissa. Although you know early on that Teri is the villain, her ability to manipulate and deceive all in the name of revenge and the "rich life" makes your emotions pulse for sure. This story is good also for a memorable "car accident" death scene, the ghost storyline character who is responsible for Teri's getting her last desserts, and a great closure...there is somewhat of a happy ending to this book...but then again, that epilogue is just creepy!

Other Great Ones from Saul:

BrainChild...Really Good!...Sci-Fi Scary!
Shadows...Really Good...Lawnmower Man-Ish
The God Project....Sci-Fi Scary
Creature...Creepy
The Unwanted...Creepy
Cry for The Strangers...Creepy
Hellfire.....Creepy...(this one kinda reminds me of Second Child..tale of two sisters...that sort of thing....also, his other other novel, Where the Wind Blows reminds me of the Unloved.....it's funny how some of his books parallel each other...However, I preferred Unloved and Second Child to these two)
The Homing...Creepy due to all those damn insects...yuck!
Darkness....Voodoo is creepy plus what happens to the villain at the end sounds like a horrible death to me

Hope this helps the newer readers! I will try to write more reviews if I can think of any I missed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! Wonderful!, May 10, 2000
This review is from: The Unloved (Mass Market Paperback)
I bought this book three days ago and from that moment on I couldn't put it off. I have just finished the book and I am still in shock! It's one of the best books I have ever read! It's full of frightenin' at the same time creepy events! It was like my hands nailed to the book! I recommend it to everyone who loves horror! It also has a very good ending! Something very different from what I thought! It was brilliant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Not My Favorite, August 6, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Unloved (Mass Market Paperback)
"The Unloved" (though unoriginally named and oftentimes confused with his other book, "The Unwanted"--what next, "The Unneeded"?) is a pretty good thriller by John Saul, though it doesn't fit his typical supernatural fare. This one takes place on a South Carolina family plantation (Sea Oaks), which is located on Devereaux Island. It's here that 40-year-old Kevin Devereaux has returned with his wife and two children (15-year-old Julie and 8-year-old Jeff), to visit his cruel, dying mother.
But shortly after their arrival, the grandmother dies, leaving an odd twist in her will that forces them to remain at Sea Oaks or they won't inherit anything. However, that doesn't seem to be a problem, seeing as how someone intends on making sure they cannot leave the island either way--dead or alive.
As one reviewer mentioned, "The Unloved" does have a slight V. C. Andrews/"Flowers in the Attic" feel to it in more ways than one. For starters, Marguerite Devereaux (Kevin's older sister) has an odd similarity to the deceased author--she lives with her elderly mother, is slightly crippled and interested in ballet--not to mention two common threads seen in most V. C. Andrews books: a Southern setting and abusive home life (though none of Andrews' incest exists here; Saul exchanges that for blood and violence).
I did like this book--the setting was particularly descriptive--however, it was rather obvious who the killer was halfway through it, so no major surprise there. Even though it's been years since I've read this book, it's not one I'd necessarily re-read by Saul (unless I was really, really bored)--but it is one I'd recommend to horror fans.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SINGULARLY SUSPENSEFUL READING, April 9, 2004
This review is from: The Unloved (Audio Cassette)
Leave it to gifted voice performer Sandra Burr to deliver an appropriately chilling, suspenseful reading of this enduring tale by a master of the thrillers, John Saul.
On what could be but definitely is not an enchanted island off the South Carolina coast is a once prosperous plantation. It is now inhabited only by the family matriarch, Marguerite Devereaux, and her middle-aged daughter who has discarded her personal dreams to care for the troublesome and sometimes frightening older woman.
Suddenly Marguerite Devereaux summons Kevin, the son she has not seen in many years. Accompanied by his wife and two children he returns for the first time in two decades to see a mother for whom he feels nothing but acrimony.
The older woman had said she was ill, but it begins to appear that was not her real reason for asking Kevin to return.
When Marguerite Devereaux dies a dreadful death long held secrets are revealed which may shatter once tranquil lives forever.
- Gail Cooke
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another One Of John Saul's Fast Reads!, September 2, 1999
By 
Nancy C. (Queens, New York USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Unloved (Mass Market Paperback)
As usual, John Saul doesn't disappoint with this particularly chilling fiction! I see it being made as a movie of the week and it would be made AS IS---no changes would need to be made! There's no slow start whatsoever---it gets into motion from the first page and keeps you going until the hair-raising ending!! I totally recommend this book to anyone who likes the idea of sleeping with one eye open!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Unloved, September 3, 2011
This review is from: The Unloved (Mass Market Paperback)
Kevin Devereaux awakens from a recurrent nightmare that his cruel mother is about to kill him. At that, the phone rings calling him home to his dying mother. Kevin had not been to the majestic southern estate in years, and his mother has never even met his wife and children. Now he is faced with having to return.

Thus begins our story, and thus begins a wonderful tale filled with the usual Gothic horror images. The forces of nature combine with the human psyche to mirror and intensify the inner turmoil of the characters. Although the story is a little predictable, it is a wonderful experience, nonetheless. The images are crisp and clear, although horrific, and the characters are vivid and exact. This is one scary book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a book you can't stop reading..., August 22, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Unloved (Mass Market Paperback)
As all other John Saul books, The Unloved is a book that you simply can't stop reading and before you'll notice, you're through... John Saul has the instincts to drag you in his books and make you part of his stories. Reading this book is living a wonderful (and scary) experience...
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Evil and Creepy, August 22, 2001
By 
The Straw Man "J.E. Hoppock" (Aloof October on April's Birthday) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Unloved (Mass Market Paperback)
I have to say that certain parts of this book made my skin crawl. And I am use to reading some wacked out stuff. Dean Koontz, H P Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe, just to list a few. But the way Saul describes death or the way some of the characters meet it is quite remarkable.
The story itself wasn't bad, in some ways it wasn't complex and some ways I had no idea what would happen next. The one problem I did had was the antagonist. I really don't want to say anything without giving the story away. But besides that it was a good book. I read it rather fast.
I would recommend this book and I will also read another John Saul book again, in fact I plan on reading Punish the Sinners next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, January 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Unloved (Kindle Edition)
This was a decent book, but definitely not scary. Though it did keep me intrigued enough to keep reading. And I thought the ending was implausible. But overall I rated this book a three as a good mystery thriller.
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The Unloved
The Unloved by John Saul (Mass Market Paperback - June 1, 1988)
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