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Hexes [Mass Market Paperback]

Tom Piccirilli
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars characterization is weak Sept. 18 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is dreadful, and not in a good way. I read it with high expectations, having enjoyed his short story "Voice C" in Cemetery Dance. The short story works, but in a novel, unlike a short story, you need to flesh out the characters. Tom can't seem to do this. His female characters, espcially, show about as much depth as a soap opera housewife. They smile a lot, then frown, then they smile some more. Also, the dialog stinks. I just think that if people talked the way they talk in Hexes, I would shoot myself out of sheer annoyance.

Going along with the simple-minded characters is a simple-minded plot. Mostly it's just this farcical build-up towards a awful climax. He might as well have written in all caps at the begining of each chapter, "THE CLIMAX IS AT THE PARTY!" I think he wanted it to be shocking. Instead it's dumb and as annoying as getting a parking ticket. It is truly the most unbelievable party setting ever. All it was missing was maybe a pharoh and the wolfman.
AVOID AVOID AVOID!
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By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This isn't your run-of-the mill horror novel; it doesn't employ a simple plot or try merely to unnerve you with atrocious acts and agents. There is gore to be found in Hexes, to be sure, but it almost came as a surprise to me each time. As I read the tale, I found myself enveloped in a murky, fog-enshrouded atmosphere, moving back and forth across time viewing events and people I struggled to understand and come to terms with. If you do not commit yourself to reading the entire book, you may bow out early because it does not really reach out and grab you. Matthew Galen comes back home when he learns his old friend A.G. is suspected of murder and is being detained at the mental institution that Galen's own father once oversaw. As Galen and A.G. converse (telepathically), we begin to get bits and pieces of the history of the town. Increasing references to the seemingly living scars on Galen's chest and to "the Goat" offer murky clues as to the diabolical forces at work here. As Galen seeks out the evil in his home town, the author serves up a series of flashbacks to Galen's strange history--what happened to his friends, how he learned the arcane arts (hexes, sigils, etc.) he uses to protect himself, and just what the Goat really represents. It is not until the conclusion that we find out the biggest pieces of the puzzle, and even then I never felt comfortably sure of my knowledge of the whole business. While the ending does offer up one important surprise, I found it somewhat disappointing and, in one particular detail, a little too convenient.
I think the complexity of the novel, in addition to the author's decision to withhold the most crucial bits of information until the very end, is a weakness of sorts. It is hard to immerse yourself in, and it becomes rather confusing at points.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Better the Devil............... Feb. 10 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Firstly, I like many other reviewers of this book, picked it up as I was convinced by the glowing reviews by critics and the public alike. Also, as understood from readers comments, many like myself are fans of the horror genre and thought it sounded like a fresh angle on an old familiar formula. Secondly let me explain why the King's and Rice's of this world are familiar house hold names and Piccirilli is not. Hexes for the most part has enough narrative power to guide you to the anticlimatic finale. However once at the end, a time when you recap over the book, you realise that not a great deal happened in terms of plot and the character development was non existent. His writing is not bad but can leave you confused at times as he has a habit of adding random sentences or comments (Debbie is dead) leaving you going, 'eh?'...'errrm what'....'rrrrrrigght???' etc throughout the tale. There are a couple scenes of gibbering horror that will knock the breath out of some readers but I refuse in my experience of this kind of writing to let this be an accalaid; I think any body with half an imagination can do that or if not just watch the news every day!! I am glad I read it in a way as I will now stick to what I know is good horror writing and leave this kind of 'try hard horror' to the small time critics/2nd rate horror writers who have peppered it with overblown praise in an attempt to get this failed colleage of thiers off the ground.
.....You Know!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Better the Devil............... Feb. 10 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Firstly, I like many other reviewers of this book, picked it up as I was convinced by the glowing reviews by critics and the public alike. Also, as understood from readers comments, many like myself are fans of the horror genre and thought it sounded like a fresh angle on an old familiar formula. Secondly let me explain why the King's and Rice's of this world are familiar house hold names and Piccirilli is not. Hexes for the most part has enough narrative power to guide you to the anticlimatic finale. However once at the end, a time when you recap over the book, you realise that not a great deal happened in terms of plot and the character development was non existent. His writing is not bad but can leave you confused at times as he has a habit of adding random sentences or comments (Debbie is dead) leaving you going, 'eh?'...'errrm what'....'rrrrrrigght???' etc throughout the tale. There are a couple scenes of gibbering horror that will knock the breath out of some readers but I refuse in my experience of this kind of writing to let this be an accalaid; I think any body with half an imagination can do that or if not just watch the news every day!! I am glad I read it in a way as I will now stick to what I know is good horror writing and leave this kind of 'try hard horror' to the small time critics/2nd rate horror writers who have peppered it with overblown praise in an attempt to get this failed colleage of thiers off the ground.
.....You Know!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars storytelling is hexed
First the good news-- Piccirilli has a unique writing style that gives an otherworldly feel to the events unfolding in the novel, a mixture of matter-of-factness mixed with a... Read more
Published on April 17 2004 by David Group
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly powerful occult horror
A friend of mine recommended this book to me and I'm glad she did. HEXES is one of my new all-time favorite books. Read more
Published on Sept. 21 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars An occult masterpiece
Piccirilli's particular style of horror is one of the most interesting I've ever come across. It's a witches brew of action, atmosphere, and literate affectation that works on so... Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars 'bad attempt'
This is very confusing book, are we suppose to know all about black art and all? 'Debbie is Dead' is irritating. What is the meaninig of it? I dont know. Some secreat clue? Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars 'bad attempt'
This is very confusing book, are we suppose to know all about black art and all? 'Debbie is Dead' is irritating. What is the meaninig of it? I dont know. Some secreat clue? Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Occult Novel
Tom Piccirilli is one of those authors that's at least two steps above most everyone else out there. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2003 by "urthfireair"
4.0 out of 5 stars A REAL PAGE TURNER !!!!
Hexes is an dark, suspensful descent into a world where demons walk the earth...and men wield dark magic to protect the innocent. Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2002 by Samurai6
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome novel of occult horror
A couple of friends of mine recommended this book to me and I'm so glad they did. This is a top-notch horror novel. It's the first one I'd read by Piccirilli, but not the last! Read more
Published on Nov. 9 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine fantastic fun
I finished this novel in two sittings. It's a fast, bizarre, phantasmagorical read that has some truly creepy situations. Read more
Published on Dec 22 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible occult novel
This one is poetry in motion. HEXES is literate, stylish, powerful, and rises above most ordinary horror to claim its own niche as a dark fantasy masterpiece. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2001
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