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Fear [Paperback]

L. Ron Hubbard
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Paperback, February 1998 --  
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Book Description

February 1998 Classic Series
Professor James Lowry didn' believe in spirits, or witches, or demons. Not until a gentle spring evening when his hat disappeared, and suddenly he couldn't remember the last four hours of his life. Now, the quiet university town of Atworthy is changing - slightly at first, then faster and more frighteningly each time he tries to remember. Lowry is pursued by a dark, secret evil that is turning his whole world against him while it whispers a warning from the shadows: If you find your hat you'll find your four hours. If you find your four hours then you will die...
--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Product Details

Product Description

From Library Journal

Ethnology professor Jim Lowry publishes a study explaining modern superstitions as the remnants of the primitive delusion that demons were the cause of disease and misfortune. Now it seems that demons may have begun a campaign of revenge for Lowry's skepticism: he awakens on a sidewalk, his clothes torn and stained, with no memory of the past four hours. In dreams he is told that if he finds the four hours, he will die. The publisher has adjured reviewers "please do not reveal the startling ending." There is indeed a twist, which is mildly clever though not "startling." According to the publisher, Fear first appeared in 1940 in the fantasy magazine Unknown and received praise from fantasy master Ray Bradbury. Though Fear may have been groundbreaking in 1940, the development of fantasy and horror fiction in the last 50 years means that the novel, unfortunately, seems a bit convoluted and curiously bland now. However, Hubbard's works are in demand, and Fear provides an interesting look at horror/fantasy of the 1940s.
- A.M.B. Amantia, Population Crisis Committee Lib., Washington D.C.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

L. Ron Hubbard's legendary writing career spanned more than half a century of enduring literary achievement and creative influence, encompassing more than 250 published novels, novelettes, short stories and screenplays in every major genre. Among his best-selling and classic speculative fiction trendsetters are "Battlefield Earth," "Mission Earth" and "Final Blackout." --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Lost Time Jan. 8 2003
By A Customer
My objective, to read the 100 greatest classics, I absolutely hated this book "Fear", not in the least bit scary or interesting. The classic novels voted by literary experts, on the other hand, each spoke something immensely valuable to me. I am currently reading "Varieties of Religious Experience" by William James, in just the first twenty or so pages, I already have something of meaning or value. Like James, I have an educational background in Psychology. I think throughout this book "Fear", Hubbard was alluding to principles set forth in his Dianetics concepts, is my guess. Dianetics was another huge disappointment, I gave it a second chance and couldn't get past page 100 or so, the contradiction, that he violated his own promise: no fancy words that the reader couldn't understand. It was thick with difficult to understand lingo and I could see where it was going, you will need help [auditor], where I think it should be completely mechanically self-help if it is valid. I get far more help and relaxation from simple meditation and living in the present. Anthony Robbins material has some good premises, at least. I lost four hours, at least, reading this book though, a waste of my time. I got nothing of value here. Steps that disappear from your front door, no big deal, that happened all the time when I was a repair technician at customers' homes. Something dark following behind. No big deal either for any of us who have to deal with the IRS. That's about the extent of things, leaving here with some light humor, and some lost time. I don't recommend this book for anybody, and I consider that I have good taste in things, in general.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An intellectual exercise in suspense Feb. 1 2002
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
At the risk of seeming dim-witted, I have to admit that I initially didn't really "get" this book. This is not to say that Fear isn't a good book. I enjoyed reading it, and the strange journey of Lowry was presented strikingly and richly, giving me a great sense of the growing mania afflicting the protagonist, inspiring my sympathy and inculcating my own dislike for Lowry's friend Tommy Williams. Lowry's surreal journey down a disappearing staircase outside his door was a little overblown for my tastes, but the more tangible effects of Lowry's situation, from the sublime to the overt, struck me as very well done. I wanted to know what happened to Lowry's missing four hours almost as much as he did. My problem was that I just could not reconcile the ending with the story as I had read it. I understood the ending, although perhaps not at every level the author intended, but I just didn't find it fully acceptable. It was like a splash of cold water hitting your face, awakening you to the realization that everything you just experienced was not quite real. Perhaps it is this sudden splash of "truth" that makes this book so wonderful to many readers (including the likes of Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and Isaac Asimov), but I initially found it disappointing.
A day later, I have found my thoughts returning to this little tale, and a new sense of appreciation has begun to take root in my mind. Bits and pieces, particularly the oft-repeated frantic calls of Lowry's wife interspersed throughout the action, have begun to coalesce and make more sense to me. I must say that the ending is no longer so unsatisfying as it was at first.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Have no fear! March 28 2001
By Alex
James Lowry, Atworthy's Professor of Ethnology, is paying dearly for having written a scathing article about witchcraft. First of all, he is dishonorably discharged from the college for writing such demagoguery. Then he loses four hours - with no recollections whatever. Worst of all, the entire realm of the supernatural is out to prove him wrong...
Fear is devastatingly boring. It introduces its hero, catch, and premise in the first twenty pages or so, then hems and haws for about a hundred with no plot development whatever while the unfortunate Prof. Lowry has episodic run-ins with the supernatural, finally gets a bit interesting in its final thirty pages by introducing some fairly original concepts, and then ends as abruptly as possible by putting everything on its head and cutting it down with a big rusty axe. Its Final Twist feels contrived, if crudely ironic.
"Fear" is terribly dated and its characters are cardboard-flat. Its protagonist is a perfectly upright fellow, logical, caring, with an academic background to boot: in other words - hard to identify with. "Fear" doesn't even have a defined antagonist. The story consists of a single catch which is revealed in its entirety on the very last page - for the remainder of the book Lowry jumps at shadows, shivers in the dark, sees strange things, and slowly goes mad (though, being so shallow in the first place, he doesn't have much of a personality to warp). Supposedly, he is out to find the four missing hours, but he has neither clues nor leads, nor any faint, sinister memories - he literally goes out at night and "looks" for his loss. The narrative lacks sophistication, and uses lots of exclamation marks and eye-grabbing sentences ("It was an inch deep in blood!").
Hardly worth the while to read.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget all you know: this book is scarier
I bought this book because my favourite bookshop didn't receive the one I ordered and I didn't have anything to read. Started it at 11pm... Couldn't sleep for 2 days. Read more
Published on March 9 2004 by Vincent
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Audio Book version
1) Roddey McDowall is such an enjoyable reader of books. His voice inflections appropriatley matching the fear, excitement, etc of the character is so well done. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2002 by Erik1988
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives Up to Its Title And Then Some!
I consider Fear one of the best-written, most spellbinding books I have ever read. And I am not generally an avid reader of Thrillers or Sci-Fi or fiction in general. Read more
Published on May 15 2002 by Michael D. Kittell
3.0 out of 5 stars Trippy, but scary?
This supposed horror book isn't a horror book. It's more like a description of an acid trip than anything else. Read more
Published on March 31 2002 by sporkdude
4.0 out of 5 stars Not scary, but imaginative and fun
I enjoyed reading this book because it takes on a strange journey. Reading it from the "victim's" perspective adds a real feeling of fright and nervousness to the events... Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2002 by Retesh D. Shah
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
I really like mistery and horror books, I always did - why, I don't know, since a lot of them gave me nightmares! This book was different. Read more
Published on Jan. 14 2002 by Elisa
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic of Psychological Terror
This is a small, quite famous short novel by the controversial Ron Hubbard. I must say that I found an exaggeration the high number of comments about the chills that this novel... Read more
Published on Dec 4 2001 by Pablo Iglesias Alvarez
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my thing, but enjoyable enough
I'll keep this review simple and state that this type of book is not really my thing. It starts off normal enough, but then a Professor Lowry loses his job over an article and,... Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2001 by Steven Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Fear - an insightful experience, not just a story
This novel did an excellent job of taking the reader along with the main character down into a cavern of madness. Read more
Published on May 11 2001 by Don Barzyk
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling tale of horror
This is a chilling, well-written novel. The outstanding use of cliffhangers keep you frightened and on the edge of your seat. Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2001
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