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The Hunger Hardcover – March 6, 2018

4.1 out of 5 stars 2,532 ratings

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Popular Highlights in this book

Editorial Reviews

Review

Winner of the 2019 Western Heritage Award for Best Western Novel 
A Bram Stoker Award Nominee--Superior Achievement in a Novel 2018
A Finalist for the Locus Award 
Suspense Magazine Best Book of the Year

And one of...
Kirkus Reviews's "Summertime Cravings" 
The Observer
's Best Books of 2018
NPR’s “100 Best Horror Novels”

Forbes's "The Five Best Horror Books of 2018-2019" 
PopSugar
’s “31 of the Best New Books You Should Read in March”
Vulture’s “13 Great Horror Books Written by Women”
BookRiot's "15 Favorite Historical Thrillers" 
io9
’s “28 New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Well Worth Checking Out”
PureWow’s “20 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018”
NerdMuch’s “20 Best New Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books”
SyFy Wire’s “Out of This World Book Releases”

“Supernatural suspense at its finest...It is strangely ethereal, yet gritty...But the best thing about 
The Hunger is that it will scare the pants off you....Enjoy the journey, one so entertaining that you almost don't mind feeling queasy at dinner.”The New York Times Book Review 

“Katsu shows an acute understanding of human nature.…[She] is at her best when she forces her readers to stare at the almost unimaginable meeting of ordinary people and extraordinary desperation, using her sharp, haunting language.”—
USA Today

“A reimagining of the ill-fated Donner Party but with an eerie supernatural twist.”—
New York Post

“Combines meticulous historical research and a keen understanding of human nature with a monstrous original metaphor to reimagine the ill-fated Donner-Reed party as a haunted endeavor, doomed from its first mile.”—Salon

The Hunger is being described as ‘the Donner Party with a supernatural twist,’ and it sure delivers on the spooky premise.”—Bustle

“[
The Hunger] is as rich in history as it is disturbing.”—Vulture

“Much like Dan Simmons's
The Terror, Alma Katsu's accomplished, engrossing novel weaves a cocoon of supernatural horror around historical tragedy....The atmosphere of doom becomes as thick as the snow that eventually halts the pioneers' progress. It's a beautifully intense read.”—The Financial Times (UK)

The Hunger by Alma Katsu takes the tragic tale of the Donner Party and infuses it with hints of witchcraft, vampirism, lycanthropy, cannibalism and zombiism in a tale that is fated to become the latest Donner Party-inspired horror movie.”—True West Magazine

“Katsu injects the supernatural into this brilliant retelling of the ill-fated Donner Party....Fans of Dan Simmons’s
The Terror will find familiar and welcome chills.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“For fans of historical fiction and the supernatural, Katsu’s goosebumpy and spooky plot makes for an original and surprising read.”—
Library Journal (starred review)

“A suspenseful and imaginative take on a famous tragedy.”—
Booklist

“An inventive reimagining...Westward migration, murder, sensation: the story of the Donner Party has all this....Katsu creates a riveting drama of power struggles and shifting alliances....The tensions [she] creates are thrilling.”—
Kirkus Reviews

“Grips readers from the opening paragraphs and doesn’t let go. Full of richly drawn and fascinatingly flawed characters, this is a story that is respectful of the history it relates, but doesn’t shy away from the sins, mistakes and bigotry of the past, to impressive effect.”—
RT Book Reviews

“The isolation is anxiety-inducing and the tension is perfect....Well-written and gripping with a strong conclusion,
The Hunger is an inventive take on an already morbidly fascinating historical event. Recommended.”—Historical Novel Society

“Escalating terror and excitement, leading to an ending that's beyond unsettling... Katsu does a remarkable job of transforming a true story into a hard-to-put-down work of fiction.... Unique, literary and entertaining.”—The Oklahoman 
 
“Take the already gruesome Donner Party story, add a wagonload of frightening supernatural elements, and you have the ingredients that animate this chilling novel….A compulsively addictive retooling of historical fact.”
Brandeis Magazine
 
“An unsettling and slow-burning tale that combines history and the supernatural that sure to please anyone with interest in either.”
SF Reader

“It's a testament to Katsu's skill as a writer that she creates characters so compelling that we can't help hoping they will escape the fate we knew was hurtling toward them the moment we opened the book. She ends the novel with an image of sacrifice and an image of reconciliation, each of them powerful and affecting. They give the book a melancholy resonance. It's a fine novel.”—Locus Magazine

“Alma Katsu has taken one of the darkest and most chilling episodes in our history, and made the story even darker, even more terrifying. I swear I'm still shuddering. A fantastic read!”—R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series

“Like 
The Revenant but with an insistent supernatural whisper. The setting and the story are utterly chilling. And the telling of it is so well done.”—Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes

The Hunger is a terrific historical novel with a thrilling, bloody twist. Alma Katsu’s brilliant reimagining of the Donner party’s fate is rich with character, laden with imminent doom, and propelled by chilling mystery. A novel that book clubs and dark fiction fans should devour with equal relish.”—Christopher Golden, author of Ararat and Snowblind

“If you think the story of the Donner Party can’t get more horrific, think again.  In this gripping, atmospheric reimagining of that dark tale, Katsu has created a deeply unsettling and truly terrifying masterpiece.”—Jennifer McMahon, author of
Burntown and The Winter People
 
“An uneasy, nauseous, slow-burning tale that marries historical fiction with a hint of the supernatural. Great detailing; colorful characterization; some supremely ominous stuff, but always reined in at the final moment to rack up the tension even more. Loved it!”—Joanne Harris, author of
Different Class and Chocolat
 
The Hunger is a bold and brilliant novel, heavy with foreboding and dread, and with a rich vein of humanity at its core. I challenge you to read it without experiencing your own hunger pangs.”—Tim Lebbon, author of Relics and The Silence

“In an audacious twist, Alma Katsu has made something new and suspenseful from the legendary story of the Donner Party.
The Hunger is filled with terror, pity, and grue.”—Keith Donohue, author of The Boy Who Drew Monsters and The Stolen Child

About the Author

Alma Katsu is the author of The Taker, The Reckoning, and The Descent. She has been a signature reviewer for Publishers Weekly and a contributor to The Huffington Post. She is a graduate of the Master's writing program at the Johns Hopkins University and received her bachelor's degree from Brandeis University. Prior to the publication of her first novel, Katsu had a long career as a senior intelligence analyst for several US agencies and is currently a senior analyst for a think tank. She lives outside of Washington, DC, with her husband.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition (March 6, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0735212511
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0735212510
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.28 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.25 x 1.28 x 9.31 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 2,532 ratings

About the author

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"Deeply, deeply disturbing. Hard to put down, not recommended reading after dark." -- STEPHEN KING

"Supernatural suspense at its finest" - NY Times

One of the Most Celebrated Horror Books of 2020

Oprah Magazine, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Book Riot, the NY Times and many more

WINNER Best Novel (Translated) of 2019, Celsius 232, Spanish festival of science fiction, fantasy, and horror

Twice nominated for Stoker Award for Best Novel and Locus Magazine for Best Horror Novel

One of NPR's 100 favorite horror stories

2018's Best Books - The Observer, Barnes & Noble, Powell's Books

Winner 2019 Western Heritage Awards Outstanding Novel

One of the 21 best horror novels written by a woman - Unbound Worlds

“Katsu shows an acute understanding of human nature. … [She] is at her best when she forces her readers to stare at the almost unimaginable meeting of ordinary people and extraordinary desperation, using her sharp, haunting language.” - USA Today (3 1/2 out of 4 stars)

"[A] blockbuster.... Combines meticulous historical research and a keen understanding of human nature with a monstrous original metaphor to reimagine the ill-fated Donner Party..." - Salon

"The story she writes of human failings and despair is so powerful and so well-written... Hauntingly good." - The Times (UK)

(Starred review) “A wildly different take on the historical tragedy of the Donner Party…. For fans of historical fiction and the supernatural, Katsu’s goosebumpy and spooky plot makes for an original and surprising read.” - Library Journal

(Starred review) "Katsu injects the supernatural into this brilliant retelling of the ill-fated Donner Party... Fans of Dan Simmons' The Terror will find familiar and welcome chills." - Publishers Weekly

"Like The Revenant but with an insistent supernatural whisper. The setting and the story are utterly chilling. And the telling of it is so well done."- Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes

“Equal parts unputdownable and must-put-it-down-or-I-am-going-to-have-a-heart-attack… You travel into this book and there is no escape. Katsu is an exceptionally gifted writer and the dread-soaked pages are with me every day as both a writer and a scaredy cat.”” – Author of YOU Caroline Kepnes on TODAY.com

“Uneasy, nauseous, slow-burning tale that marries historical fiction with a hint of the supernatural. Great detailing; colorful characterization; some supremely ominous stuff, but always reined in at the final moment to rack up the tension even more. Loved it!”- Joanne Harris,

author of Different Class and Chocolat

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of March: Atmospheric horror meets the Donner Party in Katsu's retelling of the doomed pioneers.- Omnivoracious: The Amazon Book Review

“The Hunger is a bold and brilliant novel, heavy with foreboding and dread, and with a rich vein of humanity at its core. I challenge you to read it without experiencing your own hunger pangs.”- Tim Lebbon, author of Relics and The Silence

"If you think the story of the Donner Party can’t get more horrific, think again. In this gripping, atmospheric reimagining of that dark tale, Katsu has created a deeply unsettling and truly terrifying masterpiece.”- Jennifer McMahon, author of Burntown and The Winter People

“The Hunger is a perfect metaphor of our times, a study in the best and the worst of human nature, our propensity to see evil in those on whom we depend, and the terror that comes when community falls apart. Beautiful, lyrical, utterly grounded in the wagons, the land, and the people, this is the best--and scariest--story I’ve read this year. Don’t start late at night and expect to sleep!”- Manda Scott, author of Hen's Teeth

"The tension is perfect: the novel is a model for how to construct the slow build... Well-written and gripping with a strong conclusion, The Hunger is an inventive take on an already morbidly fascinating historical event. Recommended!"- Historical Novels Review

“Katsu’s latest novel…grips readers from the opening paragraphs and doesn’t let go. Full of richly drawn and fascinatingly flawed characters, this is a story that is respectful of the history it relates, but doesn’t shy away from the sins, mistakes and bigotry of the past, to impressive effect.”- RT Book Reviews

"We think we know how the story will end [but it] ends with a twist that I certainly didn't see coming."- Criminal Element

Ms. Katus's debut novel, The Taker, was selected by Booklist as one of the top 10 debut novels of 2011. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Program and Brandeis University, where she studied with novelist John Irving, and an alumni of the Squaw Valley Writers Conference. Like many writers, she has a day job, too: for over 30 years, she was an intelligence analyst for the federal government and RAND, and is currently a consultant on emerging technology.

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
2,532 global ratings

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SausageRoller
5.0 out of 5 stars Experience the true American pioneer spirit by joining the wagon train heading to hell
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 6, 2018
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BetterNameThanBefore
1.0 out of 5 stars Don’t believe the hype...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 19, 2021
10 people found this helpful
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Terry Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - terrifying, sinister - so much so that it didn't need the zombie flesh eaters, too
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 1, 2019
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Alan Williams-Key
1.0 out of 5 stars Gives historical fiction a bad name.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on December 27, 2018
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aredbeardeddwarf
2.0 out of 5 stars Well what was the point of that?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 26, 2019
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