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Abandon Hardcover – Bargain Price, July 7, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 2,261 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of this bloated thriller from Crouch (Desert Places), Abigail Foster, a Manhattan freelance journalist, reluctantly agrees to accompany her father, Lawrence Kendall—who abandoned her as a child—and paranormal photographers Emmett and June Tozer, to the remote remains of Abandon, Colo. The inhabitants of Abandon all vanished without a trace on Christmas Day 1893, and Abigail thinks she'll write an article on the Tozers and the ghost town's history. The present-day hikers face a number of obstacles, starting with an unexpected blizzard and including the arrival of ex-Marines intent on finding millions of dollars worth of gold supposedly stashed somewhere in Abandon. Despite the book's intriguing premise, the action soon devolves into a Rambo-style melee, with enough blood and guts to put off weak stomachs. By the time Abandon's fate is revealed in the overly drawn-out climax, few readers will care. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


On Christmas Day 1893, the tiny, remote gold-mining town of Abandon, Colorado, ceased to be. No trace of the population was ever found. More than a century later, a historian, a journalist, and two paranormal investigators trek into the ghost town with varying purposes. Crouch tells his tale in alternating chapters, but the reader ultimately learns that the story of both the residents and the latter-day visitors is one of gold, greed, and murder—and a pinch of madness. Abandon is an ambitious and largely effective suspense novel. The portrayal of life in Abandon is rich with details of brutal hardship, suffering, and a gnawing sense of creepiness. The modern investigators are tried by cold, a blizzard, avalanche dangers, rotted buildings that may collapse at any moment, and the eeriness of the derelict town. But Crouch has two sets of characters, and nearly all have a backstory. Some work; some are strained. Even so, the palpable suspense just keeps building, and many thriller fans—especially those who like a touch of horror—will lose sleep to find out how it all ends. - Booklist

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312537409
  • ASIN: B0041T4P5C
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,261 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,552,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Luther M. Warneke Jr. on July 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
A lot of the other reviews discuss story details and plot. What I want to talk about is the writing itself.

I'm 43 years old and I started reading Stephen King over 30 years ago. He's been my favorite author my whole life, and no one has come close to being comparable in my eyes. Until now. Blake Crouch has hooked me from the first page of every single one of his books.

Where another reviewer complained about the description of the weather, I will praise it. Sitting by the pool in 105 degree heat, I could feel the cold on my skin. I hoped and prayed that the snow would stop so that our protagonists could find their way to freedom and safety. Rather than just writing about how white the snow was and how cold the wind was, Crouch managed to turn the storm into just as much a villain as the actual villains in the book.

Some say it was too gory. I say hogwash. Again, King has long been my favorite author. I don't mind gore. In this book, there are two or three graphic descriptions of bodily injuries, but the way they are carried out goes to show more about the frame of mind that the characters were in than any other words could do. There are reviews that say it was hard to care about the characters? In the final showdown, one that I never saw coming, I literally held my breath and turned the page as fast as I could because I was so worried that it would not end well for the character on the run. And let me tell you, when that ending came, I just... Well, I'll let you see for yourself.

In short, Blake Crouch may not be as polished and experienced as those he's help up against in comparison, but I have no doubt that it won't be long before his name WILL be mentioned alongside Stephen King and other great writers.
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Format: Hardcover
Blake Crouch has written one captivating mystery with "Abandon". In 1893 the entire town of Abandon disappears under mysterious circumstances and then 116 years later, a team of explorers go to the town to do some research and take photos. When two of the guides are attacked in front of the rest of the group, the mystery becomes even more mysterious. Alternating between the two time periods, Crouch has the reader watch as events unfold in the past, and how the tension builds up as we discover what the real reason these people are here. I, at first, was skeptical, thinking this was a supernatural type of story but was completely and happily surprised that this was as suspenseful thriller based on greed. Great book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second Blake Crouch book I've read and while the first one didn't blow me away it was interesting enough and a quick enough read that I didn't hesitate to pick up Abandon when I came across it. The premise of the story promises at least in the beginning a spooky journey into an deserted old mining town isolated in the mountains of Colorado. The group is a historian, survivalist, a journalist and two paranormal photographers...I'm thinking ghost story! Unfortunately what you get is a rather bland hostage wilderness survival story populated with nothing but throw away characters...and it seemed to go on forever. I did like the historical flashbacks, they were a nice break for the present day story. I'm not giving up on Blake Crouch, he can certainly create and environment and feel of a story he just needs to work of the character parts!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really did not care for this novel. I didn't actively dislike it, but I certainly didn't enjoy it.

I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but I'll say up front that my biggest gripe is that this story is absolutely not horror. Initially, I assumed that Amazon had simply incorrectly categorized it as such, but the author and publisher do a lot to give the impression that it is more than just a suspense/thriller - the abandoned town, the missing inhabitants, the paranormal investigators, etc. If you go in expecting horror, you'll probably be disappointed like I was. I kept hoping that maybe, just maybe the zombie townsfolk or ancient evil in the mine or *anything* would show up forcing the heroes and bad guys to work together... but it never happened.

With the story itself, I felt the storylines between the past and present just had way too many coincidental parallels and similarities. I often felt like I was reading each portion of the same story twice - once in the past and once in the present. Bouncing back and forth to reveal the backstory as the protagonist and the other members of her party made their discoveries was a nice touch, but things just seemed too much the same between past and present.

As far as the characters, they really just didn't seem to have much... well, character. Many times, I had to reread passages to determine who was speaking during dialogue exchanges because everyone sounded essentially the same. Abigail, the protagonist, was simply so bland and vanilla and had so little impact on the story that she seemed to just be cruising through. She never really had or used any knowledge or insight into anything going on and simply followed directions and guidance given to her by other characters who popped in and out of her story.
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