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on December 18, 2001
I've been reading a lot of Graham Masterton lately and with each book, I've turned the last page with more appreciation and wonder at his talent and imagination. I finally got around to reading WALKERS recently and it blew me away. Masterton really outdid himself with this one. It is one of the fastest moving novels he's ever done and in some ways, his most outrageous. I felt like I had jumped into a moving car when I sat down to read it... Jack Reed comes across his life's ambition in the woods of Wisconsin: an old derelict building that was once a sanitarium known as The Oakes. Abandoned for almost 60 years, Reed sees potential in it as a future resort or country club. He learns very quickly, however, that it harbors dark and dangerous secrets and it has chosen him to open it's Pandora's Box of horrors. 135 patients vanished inside the place in the 1920's and they have been living inside it's very walls. Not behind the walls, mind you, but IN the walls. They will stop at nothing to free themselves, including kidnapping Reed's own son. And once they are free of the confines of The Oakes property, they go on a bloodthirsty spree across the city and state... Masterton pulls no punches with WALKERS. It is unapologetically bloody and fast moving, (almost, but not quite, to a fault.) Highly recommended for horror fans who think they've read it all...
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on March 15, 2003
When it comes to horror, Graham Masterton has done it all, and quite successfully. Walkers is considered by many to be one of Masterton's most entertaining and most horrific efforts. And entertaining it is. Written at the end of the 1980s, when the big horror boost of that decade was waning, Walkers is a hold-no-barrels horror story that is all about pace. And blood.
The story gives us Jack, the All-American father who stumbles upon an old building on a dark, rainy night. He falls in love with the building and decides he wants to buy it to turn it into a resort hotel. Only, the building is still inhabited, and the people living there aren't quite ready to give away their home.
Ghosts? Not really. They are walkers, people who are trapped between two worlds. They come to the surface by merging into walls. But when they are accidentally set loose, the world itself will be faced with the most dangerous kind of monsters. And even worst, they kidnap Jack's son in the hopes of sacrificing him. A high body count ensues, and a race against time begins.
Is the book fun? Yes, brainless fun. Is the book entertaining? Yes. The suspense is great, the horror is original and the premise is quite fun. But don't expect a masterpiece out of Walkers. The characters are one-dimensional. And every time a secondary character comes into the story, it's not hard to guess what will happen to them. They all end up the same.
But what the book lacks in plot and plausibility, it gains in pacing. The whole thing can easily be read in one sitting. It's the kind of book where you just have to let go of all your notions of realism and just go with the flow. If you're capable of doing that, then you'll probably end up having a good time reading Walkers. It's not Masterton at his best, but it's still very entertaining.
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on July 21, 2002
Walkers is one horror novel that rivals anything written by Stephen King or similar authors of the horror genre.Graham Masterton does it again with this chilling novel.Masterton is known for his candid brand of horror writing without getting the reader lost or sidetracked. The first story of Masterton I read back in the 70's was The Manitou (story and movie about an evil ancient Indian spirit entering the world through a tumor in a woman's neck !). The major difference in Walkers is the story and action move at an alarming rapid pace without ever losing the reader or the reader's interest!
The central character Jack finds himself yearning for a greater prospective goal in his midlife. He thinks he finds this realization in an old abandoned 60 year old building which once housed 137 criminally insane patients. He soon discovers the building's horrific secret when his only 9 year old son suddenly vanishes. What is the link between his son's enigmatic disappearance and the abominable secret hidden in the structure of the sanitarium's walls? You must read the book to find out !
I highly recommend this title based on it's author's incredible and otherworldly imagination. This is not a novel about ghosts, nor about a haunted house (in the typical sense). The novel almost echoes a resemblance to a late 80's to early 90's film called People Under The Stairs (or vice versa)... What the reader discovers is that for every fear or phobia he or she might have or think they have, this novel by Graham Masterton will surely instill yet another one ! Do not read this novel alone at home near a brick wall...In fact, you may never look at any of your walls, ceiling, or cellar the same way again !...
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on January 31, 2000
I picked this book up from the library without knowing anything about it beforehand - the blurb on the back and the cover image enticed me, so I picked it up. This is not my usual way of going about reading books but I cannot express how glad I was to have laid my hands on this one. I'm pretty hard to scare or impress but this book scared the absolute s--- out of me. It stayed with me for weeks, months. I tell you: after reading this you'll never look at the walls the same again. Half way through reading it I had to go outside because I was too terrified to keep my back to the wall; but then, after reading a bit more, I realized that leaving the house wasn't enough: this book stay with you no matter where you are. Gives you nightmares. I'd only recommend reading this if you are a true horror fan; otherwise, prepare to be tormented. And because it had such an effect on me, it was brilliant. Once a book affects a person it has achieved its purpose.
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on October 23, 2014
Jack Reed has a mishap in the country while driving and believes he may have injured a child. He follows the strange shape through the woods and happens upon an old abandoned building called The Oaks. Wanting to do more with his life rather than just own a muffler shop, Jack sees potential in the place and thinks he can fix it up into a resort. But all that quickly changes when his son is abducted and dragged into the wall by a sinister lunatic who has resided within the bricks for the past sixty years. Now Jack must try to save his son and stop all the patients from the insane asylum that have been trapped within its walls by a Druid curse from escaping and going on a killing spree. A great book cover that instantly pulls you in. Another enjoyable and fast-paced book by Masterton.
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on February 29, 2012
This is a very well paced page turner with a surprising plot. Good horror and action. This book deals with the occult and undead with the ability to travel through the ground and in walls. Sounds a bit odd, I know, but Masterton really knows how to make horror work. Pulls you into the story from the very first chapter. This is one of my favorites so far from Masterton.
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on March 31, 2012
WALKERS contains plot elements that I've seen in other Masterton novels.

There's the protagonist's obsession with a piece of spooky real estate that we saw in The House That Jack Built. There is the mythology from House of Bones. There's the strategy of pursuing the villains by going into their supernatural domain that we saw in Mirror,Prey, and Spirit (and probably a lot of others).

And there's also that element of the protagonist engaging in some behavior that many readers may find just too stupid, like leaving your child unattended in a spooky house (similar to the stupid behavior of the protagonist in Prey and Picture of Evil).

But the book that WALKERS reminded me the most of is the aforementioned House of Bones because of the shared mythology that provides the basis for the story, and my biggest problem with WALKERS was that it suffered by comparison. HOB had the better laid out plot and more compelling characters, and relied less on gore to provide chills.
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on November 21, 2015
- "The concrete is me and I am the concrete" p. 232. What do the sudden disappearance of 137 lunatic maniacs back in 1926, druidic lore, ley lines, and the fable of the Pied Piper have in common? To find out the reader has to follow the ordeals of Jack from Wisconsin, determined to save the life of his 9-yo son.
The prolific author's present mainstream horror novel offers a well paced, albeit somewhat predictable, fairly exciting story full of grisly actions (victims being dragged under the surface and ground to pieces) and a couple of clichés (the general use of holy water in battling evil or the university expert coming to the aid of the protagonist, for instance). To my slight dismay, Masterton drops hints at titles that simply don't seem to exist: one Nestor Druggett's "Druidism and the Significance of the Megaliths" (p. 253) and "Ritual and Magic in Pre-Christian Times" (p. 242) by an unnamed writer. Nor was I able to verify the use of a triangle shaped sacrificial rack by ancient Celts (p. 260). Similarly, the following claim should be taken with more than a grain of that proverbial salt: "Right up until medieval times, divining [dowsing] rods were used to track down murderers. Apparently, killers have measurably more natural magnetic charge in their bodies than the rest of us" pp. 249-50. Hmm…

"...the ocean's tides were controlled by the gravitational pull of the moon. But the vibrant patterns that ran through the soil were equally strong, if not stronger. They were capable of turning him from a man of flesh to a man of rippling soil; they were capable of dragging him along with all the force of a major river…Jack understood now why so many legends claimed that man had been formed out of soil...It was a transformation as ancient as the world itself; a transformation that defined man's bond with God and with the earth that God had created" p. 301.
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on January 24, 2016
Of all the horror novels I have read by Graham Masterton "Walkers" is the probably the only one that gives me "the creeps" even nowadays.
The idea of 135 homicidal maniacs all trapped in the walls of a long defunct lunatic asylum, each of whom can only escape from the earth by killing 100(or is it a thousand) living persons by pulling them into the Earth is pretty terrifying. Most sinister of all is these maniacs leader, Quintus (so named for the"Quintessence" or the highest form of something and to boot he believes that he is the only true son of the Druids' god Awen). But without providing any spoilers, evil(in the shape of both Quintus and his followers) is vanquished, although not without a terrible cost in human lives- although that is nothing compared to what would have happened had they been able to free themselves!
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on November 7, 2011
I got this book shortly before Halloween -- I was looking for a good thriller for the season, but it was just okay. It started kinda slow, and I didn't really feel any sort of attachment towards the characters, but the plot and the action picked up pretty well about 1/3 of the way through. I liked the story well enough, it had some interesting ideas, but it didn't have the "oompf" to make me care much about the characters, and it was sort of predictable. All in all, not bad, not great.
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