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Stinger [Hardcover]

Robert R. McCammon
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1994
In the remote Texas town of Inferno, a creature of evil beyond anything the world has ever encountered descends. He traps the town and ravages the land with grisly executions and horrible mutations . . . until the people rise up in a final, desperate battle. From the author of Swan Song.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The "stinger" is an alien bounty hunter that remains ominously hidden for most of the book, but appears to be an enormous wicked mixture of centipede and scorpion. The bounty it's after is the "good guy" of the tale--a waif-like being who invades the mind of a small girl to make its presence known. They both arrive in a hot, desolate West Texas town surrounded by the alkali dust and sagebrush of a flatland between mountains. And the battle begins. An unpretentious horror novel with memorable imagery, Stinger is this reviewer's favorite of Robert McCammon's. It has appealing characters. It has feuding motorcycle gangs. It even has a bit of a West Side Story romance between Anglo guy and Hispanic girl. Sure, it's a B-movie romp, but McCammon is earnest--he doesn't play it for laughs. The action is scary and horrifying, making for a long, satisfying read. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A master who keeps his audience spellbound with every sentence." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The sun was rising, and as the heat shimmered in phantom waves the night things crept back to their holes. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sting me Robert Oct. 7 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read several of McCammon's books and though I feel this one isn't as good as the others it is still extremely enjoyable. If I don't compare it to the others than it is fantastic and deserving of the 4 stars. It is an alien encounter like no other and originality is a must for me. We have seen so many aspects when it comes to alien invaders and Robert succeeds in adding something new.
It is very important to me as a writer to add something new to an old topic otherwise it is not worth doing and it is apparent that Robert feels the same way.
I also recommend Swan's Song and They Thirst.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best April 6 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There's no doubt that Mccammon is a great storyteller but after reading Swan Song (I'm reading his books in chronological order) this is certainly a let down. I think it's best to describe Stinger as a 'noble experiment' because it does deal with a subject that is certainly 'beyond' what he usually deals with. In simple terms, there's something just not quite right with this book, even though it is fun to read and the characters are certainly interesting. Infact, the main character is really the town (Inferno) itself. Let's face it, you KNOW that by the end of the book the alien bad guy will be, surprise surprise, defeated. And I think Mccammon knows this-he even admits to the formulaic nature of the genre, and therefore trys to put a slightly different spin on the 'alien invasion' story by playing up certain elements. This leads to my 'noble experiment' description. It's no secret that by this time in his career Mccammon was trying to move on to bigger and better things (e.g. Boys Life) and I think this was his springboard. Nevertheless, a good book and worth picking up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ya'll Best Watch Out For Stinger! July 22 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have been reading an awful lot of these types of books lately. I've taken a couple of trips to the underworld, witnessed time travel, seen vampires chew up their victims, read about diseases that threaten the entire world, and visited the twisted worlds of serial killers. Ah, the life of the mass-market paperback reader! Usually, that life leaves a lot to be desired. Oftentimes, character development is minimal, the prose is turgid, or the plot is left loose ends flapping in the breeze. Not so with Robert McCammon. McCammon knows how to write a story with fascinating and well-developed characters, with an atmosphere that is both chilling and spooky. He also knows how to deliver a plot that is tied up in a neat little ball, to be neatly placed on your lap at the end of the book.
"Stinger" is just such a novel. It is the story of a little Texas town named Inferno. Inferno is dying, slowly and painfully. Since the mine closed down, there is little work and a lot of rusting dreams. The people that are left behind to witness Inferno's gasping death are a hardy lot. They need to be tough, because something terrible is about to happen that will change the people of Inferno forever. Early one morning, a spacecraft of unknown origin crashes outside town, quickly followed by another spaceship that lands outside Bordertown, where Inferno's Mexican citizens live. What follows is a roller coaster ride of sheer terror, as the occupants of the two spaceships aren't exactly friendly with one another. By the end of the book, dozens of people have died in extremely unpleasant ways.
At the center of the story is Daufin, a friendly alien running from an intergalactic bounty hunter called Stinger.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad, But He's Done Better July 17 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Robert McCammon is an author everyone should read at least once. He is a master at manipulating a reader's emotions, a great storyteller, and the imagery he describes lets his tales play out like movies in your head. Stinger is not one of his best pieces, but it still works well as pure horror entertainment. The characters are believeable, their reactions to a terrifying alien invasion of a tiny Texas town well done, but I found some scenes lacking-such as the "big surprise" the antagonist called Stinger unveils to wreak havoc on the poor Earth people he calls "bugs", and there were even a few chunks of text describing minor events that could have been ommitted from the story entirely without disrupting the continuity. McCammon's flow is fast, his books hard to set down, and this one was no exception. It just seemed at times he was wandering dazed through the wreckage and chaos like one of his own characters, looking for the next clue to help him wrap up the story satisfactorily. Read Stinger, but be sure to check out the author's other titles, too. The man can entertain!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I CAN ONLY SAY GOOD THINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK June 21 2002
By Jack
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book starts out a little confusing. McCammon uses part of the actual story for the prologue; this is nothing new to me, Mary Higgins Clark does it all the time but it did catch me off-guard.
The first actual chapter is beautiful, describing the wonders and dangers of the dusty Texas landscape, from the point of view of Cody Lockett, one of the main characters. Inferno is a small Texan burg that's population is dwindling. Add to that two rival gangs, the Renegades, led by Cody, and the Rattlesnakes, led by his nemesis, Rick Jurado, a corrupted town sheriff, and a miniscule police force, and you there you have it.
The events of the book only span a little under 24 hours but that time is enough for horror master Robert McCammon to take the reader on a wild ride through the cosmos of terror. What astounded me most perhaps, was the author's ability to combine horror with science fiction. The scene where Daufin explained to Jessie and Tom Hammond about the hostile takeover of her planet was mind-blowing. That chapter left an indelible mark of alien imagery in my mind.
The actual story is very well paced and never seems long or drawn out, which helps because this tale of an alien bounty hunter come to exact revenge on another civilian alien who escaped the prison world and crashed on Earth is over 500 pages.
I don't think I've ever read about any villian(s) as evil and cunning as STINGER!
Read this story if you like science fiction; read this story if you like nail-biting horror and suspense; read this book if you like reading at all.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What a blast!!!
STINGER is just a flat out fun book to read. To sum up the plot by calling it a good alien vs bad alien story doesn't begin to cover it. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2002 by T. King
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced read
As usual McCammon manages to give warm characters, that are easily liked, and still managed to create a fast paced action sci/fi book that entertains and never bores the reader. Read more
Published on July 10 2002 by Marjorie
4.0 out of 5 stars FOUR AND 1/2 STARS TO ME...Much fun!
I won't go into the story line I think there are enough reviews for that.
This is the first book by R.R.M that I've read, and it will not be my last. Read more
Published on May 24 2002 by Daniel Vullo
5.0 out of 5 stars Texans kick [rear]!
What a fun story, it has just the right amount of humor to break the rollercoaster tension. A completely original idea and villain. Read more
Published on April 8 2002 by P. Craig
1.0 out of 5 stars pulp fiction
I read a lot of books. This one is "pulp fiction" and
poor pulp fiction at that!
Published on Feb. 18 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars McCammon Triumphs Yet Again
I have yet to be disappointed by McCammon. I have not read all of his books, but the 6 I have read have all been excellent. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2002 by opy666
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping! One of the best!
I am a HUGE horror novel fan and I just had to place my input in for this book. I absolutely loved it! Stinger is one of my favorite books of all time. Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2001 by Brett
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining
Well... i read this book awhile ago, and i must say it was pretty
good. It's making me appreciate McCammon's style, and it had lots
of action. Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2001
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