Mr. Shivers Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 15, 2010
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- ASIN : B005SN44HE
- Publisher : Orbit (January 15, 2010)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.25 x 8.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,904,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I find this book somewhere reminiscent of The Stand by Stephen King, but set within its own unique universe with Bennett’s surprises. Great ending...
That's basically the plot of Mr. Shivers. In the hands of a competent first-time novelist like Robert Jackson Bennett the story could have made a mildly interesting take on the serial killer genre. But Mr. Jackson had something different in mind.
Instead of the usual plot devices that go into the hunt for a killer type of stories, Jackson invests his story with something far different. He gives the story a mythic feel. It's as if Odysseus, rather than sailing around the Mediterranean after the battle of Troy, found himself riding the rails as a Depression Era hobo.
Jackson pulls off a daring piece of writing here, layering each new character or setting or revelation with mythic qualities until by the end of the book, the struggle between Connelly and his followers and the titular Mr. Shivers becomes both epic and mythic. It's not a story for everyone. Many readers prefer their serial killers grounded in the world of man and not the realms of gods and demi-gods. For me, half the fun of reading Mr. Shivers was in pairing the characters with their mythological counterparts.
This novel is an astonishing debut and I'm definitely looking forward to what Mr. Jackson will produce next!
I simply had to own this book after checking it out at the library. Society, race, love of country, horror and mystery with a delectable build-up all reside within these pages.
Top reviews from other countries
The story revolves around a group of disparate and desperate individuals who band together to chase 'Mr Shivers' across 1930's dustbowl America to avenge those who he has murdered.
There are positive aspects to this book: firstly, the author has created what I feel would have been an accurate snapshot of the time and place; desperation, unemployment, drought, lawlessness and hard people. The book also reminded me of the Gunslinger and Of Mice and Men (as others have mentioned) and while it's inferior to both, at least the author attempted to convey a cautionary tale which is pretty well explained and illustrated; I found the ending satisfying.
However, even though the book is short - just over 300 pages- it's very boring and repetitive at times. There's a fair amount of characters but none (and I mean none) have any depth, show any growth or are at all likeable. Terrible things have apparently happened to them but it was difficult to feel any empathy for them. Each character was simply an interchangeable mouthpiece and used to respond to or ask questions of the dour and dull (and horrible) main Character Connelly.
That said, there was something about the writing that made me feel this author might improve over time so I'll give him another chance.
I understand the dreadful conditions that people had to withstand during the depression and it's relevance as the backbone of this book, but I really felt the author overplayed it. It became repetitive and tedious - a bit like the literary version of wading through treacle.
I enjoyed this one and it's well written but it feels hugely...predictable.
Still, one for Bennett completists.