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The Dark [Hardcover]

James Herbert
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 1 1988
First published in 1980, this horror tale from the bestselling author of "The Fog" begins when 37 mutilated bodies are found inside a Victorian house. The house is knocked down but there remains a terror which spreads to invade the minds of men and drive a whole city into a frenzy of destruction.

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Product Description

From the Publisher

These audiobooks from Macmillan UK offer abridged readings of some of the world's most popular authors. Handsomely packaged, they feature readings by eminent actors of the stage and screen, including James Fox, Martin Shaw, Tim Pigott-Smith and David Rintoul. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

James Herbert is not just Britain's number one bestselling writer of chiller fiction, a position he has held ever since publication of his first novel, but is also one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three foreign languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his twenty-three novels have sold more than forty-eight million copies worldwide.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A CHILLER THRILLER... Sept. 24 2006
By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This British author is immensely popular for his horror fiction. Having read a number of his other books and enjoyed them, I delved into this one with much anticipation. I was not disappointed, as it is similar thematically to another of his books, "The Fog", which is one of his best books. While in that book, a fog sweeps across the United Kingdom, causing those it touches to commit insane acts of mayhem, here, a dark entity, best described as infinite blackness, does the same.

Initially confined to Beechwood, a mansion on Willow Road and the site of mass murder and suicides, it feeds on those whom it touches and causes them to perpetrate acts of horrific violence, releasing man's most primal fears and instincts. When Beechwood is demolished, this darkness ventures out beyond the parameters of the house, causing those with whom it come into contact to act out their basest instincts and destroy those who remain unaffected. This novel engages the reader, as the protagonists in the book try to sort things out and defeat this evil entity. Well-written and interesting, devotees of the horror genre, as well as fans of the author, will enjoy this book.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was given 'The Dark' to read by a friend who told me that I would start sleeping with the lights on, and half way through I thought this was going to be the case. Not many books I have read have had such an enticing start.
The characterisation and settings are excellent, and having never read any of James Herbert's books before, I was intrigued. The premise that he uses for the basis of this book is something that seems very tangible.
But, once past the first half of the book, it seems that the inspiration was lost, and the generalality becomes too much for me. I carried on reading hoping that the atmosphere of the first half would return, and despite this happening in parts, it never fully returned, and it seems like the ending was rushed to meet a deadline, or there just was no idea of how to really end the book...
But despite this, the fact that I was sneaking reading it at work tells me that this book is a fine read, and well worth reading: maybe I am being too hard on it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars "The Dark" is good, but not great Nov. 23 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I stumbled across this book while browsing in the "Horror" section of a used-paperback store. At first it looked like schlock, but after glancing through it, I thought it would be worth the all of one or two bucks it would cost me.
I had never heard of James Herbert before, so I did not know he was, in fact, a best-selling author, and one of the few in the genre to be succesful in both England and the US. After reading "The Dark", I found that I liked Herbert's style; I will definitely read some more of his work in the future.
"The Dark" contains a rather unique premise, unless one considers that it is very similar to that of Herbert's eariler novel, "The Fog". A bizaare cult conjures up a kind of spiritual force that compels people to act on their darkest, most evil impulses, gradually turning the city of London into one giant riot. A small group of parapsychologists tries to stop the force, but it grows and grows, triggering a state of emergency.
This novel is very intriguing, and contains some of the most frightening, most disturbing images I've read in any horror novel. Herbert is able to avoid the temptation to be hideously gory just for the sake of it; the story never seems gratuitous or overdone. The novel's cast of characters are also interesting and even believable.
The thing I didn't like about the novel is that it seems unfinished; the ending is unsatisfying, as if either Herbert intended a sequel or just plain got tired of writing the novel and decided to wrap it up quickly.
Above all, however, I would recommend "The Dark" to anyone looking for a good horror story. Just don't expect a classic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Be afraid... July 29 2001
Format:Audio Cassette
The premise of 'The Dark' is whether madness and extreme actions are triggered by external forces or whether they are emitted from the very soul. In this novel, Herbert has determined that the impulses are wholly voluntary and come from the characters who become one with 'The Dark'. Of the two sides of their personae, they have freely chosen to embrace the dark side and ignore 'The Light'. As with all good Herbert novels, the premise is expanded. In The Dark, London eventually becomes a killing ground for the cult of 'The Dark' and, when a small group of parapsychologists fails to stop the force, a state of emergency is declared. The Dark contains some of Herbert's most frightening and disturbing images. As usual he manages to avoid gratuitous blood and guts, but there's still no shortage in this novel.
The ending seemed a little rushed, hence four stars. But still worth reading
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic and gruesome horror epic. March 6 2002
By Jim Lay
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A cult unleashes humanity's most ancient and feared enemy in a bizarre murder-suicide in an old house. It is The Dark incarnate and it reaches out from the basement of the house, spreading madness and depravity. A chosen few, including a washed up parapsychologist, recognize it as a demonic and physical entity and fight against it as the living fog-like darkness grows exponentially... As a lifetime horror fan, I have read this novel several times and it never ceases to amaze and terrify me. It is unapologetically gruesome, absolutely harrowing, and will have you gasping out loud as you turn the pages. If you appreciate horror, this book is a must. It's slightly dated and Herbert employs a few horror cliches in the telling, but it doesn't hurt the story in any way. A horror classic of the first order. Highly recommended for horror fans who think they can't be scared anymore.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Herbert's The Dark is The Fog redux.
James Herbert largely repeats himself with this tale of darkness, instead of fog, driving Londoners to madness and murder. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2002 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
4.0 out of 5 stars True to it's Genre
The Dark by James Herbert is a true horror novel in its premise, development and description. This novel capture you from the get go and never let's up. Read more
Published on Jan. 14 2002 by Colin Willey
4.0 out of 5 stars Grisly horror
Whoa, baby. You want horror, here, you got it. This is a book that attempts to do actual physical violence to you. Read more
Published on July 22 2001 by Chris Ratcliff
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable.
As the title suggests, this is a story which explores the darker side of human nature. People coming into contact with a dark force carry out their innermost longings. Read more
Published on March 19 2001 by G.Spider
4.0 out of 5 stars creepy and fantastic
This is my first James Herbert novel and I must say that I loved every page of it! There is a lurking creepiness to the story, and it reminds you how savage people can realy be. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2001 by Paul Greatrix
2.0 out of 5 stars KEEPS YOU IN SUSPENSE FOR AN ENDING, BUT THERE ISN'T ONE!!
James Herbert is one of my favorite authors because of his grisly detail, and the book I read before this was the Fog. Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2000 by Nick AGER
2.0 out of 5 stars Good but alot like 'The Fog'
I thought that this book was very good, although it was very simliar to the Fog, which made it a bit boring. But none the less, a good gory book!
Published on Oct. 10 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Dark" is Herbert's best.
Short and sweet. James Herbert is a best selling author due to his many apocalyptic horror novels. And this is his "best" by far, in my opinion. Read more
Published on July 9 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Violent and shocking!!!
This is my all time favorite James Herbert book. It starts out on a `Bright, Sunny day' and has one heck of a death toll. Mass suicides, mass murders, rape, shootings, gore galore!
Published on Dec 1 1998
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