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The Woods Are Dark by Richard Laymon
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The Woods Are Dark (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Richard Laymon

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3312047,675 (3.48)20
Member:Skaidon
Title:The Woods Are Dark
Authors:Richard Laymon
Info:Leisure Books (2008), Mass Market Paperback, 215 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Woods Are Dark by Richard Laymon (2008)

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English (18)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
"The woods are dark" and bears shit in them. That was my first thought when I read the title to this book. I picked this up mostly to look at different styles of horror writing. Several things struck me about this story. The ending was very poor. It gave the impression of being a book that is sold in airports, where the author has three hours to tell you a story then has to end mid-sentence because the plane is landing in Hawaii.

Ignoring the ending for a moment, the first thing I noticed was that all the women in this book were fondled, raped or generally eye candy thrown in for glamour value. I don't mind reading about all that in context, but it did strike me as a strange approach to take. The language itself - which is mostly what I was looking at - was pretty good. There were concise descriptions and parts where I said to myself "Yes, I need to learn how to do that." and there were places where I thought "Has an editor actually read this bit?" In general the language and style wandered from excellent to corny and back again. One of the first scenes is a good example of this, it starts out really well, and frightened the hell out of me, then a moment later it became ridiculous and I laughed out loud. It wasn't supposed to be funny.

The story itself flew along at a good pace. It was entertaining in a rapid-fire, air-flight-entertainment, type of way. The start of the book was frightening, then afterwards it wasn't anymore. It's still a good book but it lacks the finesse of Dean Koontz's flowing prose and seems a bit random at times.
( )
  peterjameswest | Nov 21, 2014 |
I'd only previously read the cut version and this fully restored and uncut version is better. It now rates as one of Laymon's best I think. Makes me want to go back and read all of his other books. He was a genius at writing horror and is sadly missed. ( )
  nwdavies | Aug 21, 2014 |
Ordentlich und kurzweilig geschrieben aber sehr „strange“. Die Charaktere sind nicht unbedingt nachzuvollziehen und bleiben recht farblos. Beispielhaft wäre hier der ehemalige Pazifist zu nennen, der innerhalb kürzester Zeit zum immergeilen Rambo mutiert.

Mit viel wohlwollen könnte man die Entwicklung des Menschen anhand seiner Situation und entsprechend das Einstellungsvermögen der inneren Haltung im Sinne des Darwinismusses interpretieren. Nicht unbedingt der Stärkere sondern der Anpassungsfähigere überlebt.

Auch könnte man das Buche als Spiegel auf die Entwicklung von Parallelgesellschaften sehen, die sich trotz sämtlicher kultureller Eigenheiten (in diesem Fall Kannibalismus) in Struktur und Habitus und dem folgenden modus operandi immer der ursprünglichen Form angleichen.

Aber ob dies alles die Intention des Autors war, möchte ich bezweifeln.

Zusammengefasst: kurzer Splatter Horror in Form einer wilden Verfolgungsjagd inmitten eines Waldes im Nirgendwo der auch in der süddeutschen Provinz sein könnte. ( )
  peterde | Jan 26, 2014 |
I read "The Woods Are Dark" sometime back in the '90s and vividly remember how intense and visceral the book was. It was my first foray into the world of Richard Laymon and lead me down a path of spending many hours reading the novels of this horror master over the past two decades. I haven't been disappointed by many of Laymon's books and that is particularly true with this novel. This copy of the novel, by the way, is the unedited version of the book written prior to its original 1981 publishing.

"The Woods Are Dark" grabs the reader from the first page as Laymon plunges his characters into an unknown world inhabited by inbreeds known as the Krulls. You see, the good people of the nearby town of Barlow understand that in order for the cannibalistic Krulls to leave them alone, they must supply the creatures with a steady supply of unsuspecting travelers. It a murderous symbiotic relationship.

Laymon's story revolves around the kidnapping of two different groups of travelers who are subsequently offered to the Krulls. Once dropped into the woods, each group is able to fend off the Krulls in various ways and then spend the bulk of the book fighting for their lives. Laymon's standard formula of copious amounts of gore, sexual encounters, and interesting characters is present in spades, in this, one of his first novels.

Laymon fans more than likely have read "The Woods Are Dark" early in their encounters with his work, but for those new to Laymon's style of horror, this book is a definite read. ( )
  coachtim30 | Oct 19, 2013 |
Laymon rewrites Ketchum's [b:Off Season|179734|Off Season|Jack Ketchum|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1321733068s/179734.jpg|584847] as a comedy porno and it's a rocking good time.
Read the whole book in about 3 hours. Very much like watching a crazy batshit insane horror movie. Really not so much horror as pure insanity. This book might be the original "Wrong Turn" as it's very much in a similar vein and tone, and even though an earlier work it's still full of Laymon's signature WTF delights.
Loved it, and highly recommend that if you haven't read it yet, get it - check your brain at the door and run screaming naked through the woods for a few hours with this one.
Make sure it's the restored and uncut version - can't imagine this book any other way. ( )
  Evans-Light | Sep 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Laymonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Clark, Alan M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Neala O'Hare slowed her MG as the narrow road curved
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Book description
Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, this reissue of Laymon's second horror novel (first published in 1981) restores the editorially butchered text to all of its gory glory. In gleefully gruesome fashion, it recounts the ordeal of three different groups of people-hikers Neala and Sherri, vacationing teacher Lander Dills and his family, and local yokel Johnny Robbins-as they attempt to defend themselves against the cannibal Krulls, a forest-dwelling family of inbred savages who for centuries have demanded that the citizens of the nearby burg of Barlow provide them with waylaid travelers for their feeding and breeding. In their desperation to survive at all costs, the seemingly civilized victims find themselves stooping to behavior as beastly as that practiced by their predatory pursuers.
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In the woods are six dead trees. The killing trees. That's where they take them. People like Neala and her friend Sherri, and the Dills family. Innocent travellers on vacation, seized and bound, stripped of their valuables and shackled to the trees to wait. In the woods. In the dark.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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