5.0 out of 5 stars It will keep you at the edge of your seat
Nightshade is one of the best books I have ever read. It just caught my attention right from the moment I opened the book. It is full of suspense and mixed emotions. As any other book the first few pages are descriptions of the setting and everyone's life but don't let this fool you or prevent you from reading it because soon John Saul will get to the really good part and...
Published on Oct. 29 2003 by Claudia
3.0 out of 5 stars Ghosts of the past destroy a once happy, loving family.
When Joan Hapgood's mother Emily, who is suffering from Alzheimer's, nearly burns down her home, Joan thinks she has no choice but to take her mother into her own home. It is a decision she will come to regret. It seems that Emily, who can no longer tell reality and memory apart, is obsessively attached to her deceased first daughter, Cynthia. The woman is convinced that...
Published on Jan. 26 2002 by Chadwick H. Saxelid
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4.0 out of 5 stars good reading,
This review is from: Nightshade (Mass Market Paperback)This was a good reading. John Saul always grabs your attention right from the very beginning of his books.
Matt is a normal teenager who has a lot going for himself. Hes popular has a girlfriend and his mother joan and stepfather bill love him dearly. Then his grandmother moves in after a fire. She insists on decorating the room next to hers as a memorial to her daughter cynthia who died over ten years ago. Him and his mother then start to feel the presence of his aunt cynthia in the house and his life is turned upside down. After an accident with his stepfather every one turns against him. Things get worse after his grandmother and girlfriend go missing to. Matt keeps having blackouts and losing track of time...could he have possibly done the things he was accused of?
Though the book was kind of predictable, it was good. This book will have you on the edge of your seat. I started reading friday night was finished saturday afternoon. Its fast paced and doesnt lag at all. I never look for a happy ending when reading john saul, so i wasnt surprised with all that happened. The only thing i wanted was to know exactly what happened between joan and her father. Was it really how her mom said or was it just a figment of her imagination. Also i was disappointed with the way that cynthia died. After all the trouble she's caused joan growing up i was just waiting to read how joan gave it to her. But no it wasnt what i expected. Poor becky though and her mother got EXACTLY what she deserved. And i agree with cynthia. After everything her mother did to joan she still managed to love her.
But pick up the book and you wont be disappointed.
4.0 out of 5 stars Frightening,
This review is from: Nightshade (Mass Market Paperback)I've never read Saul before, but I am pretty certain that I'll read him again. This was a terrifying book full of suspense and twists that kept me turning pages. Unlike many suspense novels I've read, this book doesn't waste much time before it starts getting creepy. Things happen early often in this book. And each time I was sure I had it figured out, Saul blindsided me with a new wrinkle. Great book. Highly recommended for suspense/horror fans.
1.0 out of 5 stars A scary, disturbing book,
This review is from: Nightshade (Hardcover)I thought this book was creepy and disturbing. How could it end up being the person it was?? I won't give the book away but I was deeply disturbed and the ending wasn't that great. I don't think I will read any of his other books!
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Pleasure,
This review is from: Nightshade (Mass Market Paperback)I got this book from my Aunt, who gives me "bags of books" to read. Usually I don't find many I love but this grabbed me. I was expecting your usual ghost story but instead, got a thriller that kept me reading all night. It is rather dark, but I didn't "figure it out" until almost the very end, which is unusual for me! Everytime I thought the book was ending, something else popped up to surprise me.
5.0 out of 5 stars It will keep you at the edge of your seat,
This review is from: Nightshade (Mass Market Paperback)Nightshade is one of the best books I have ever read. It just caught my attention right from the moment I opened the book. It is full of suspense and mixed emotions. As any other book the first few pages are descriptions of the setting and everyone's life but don't let this fool you or prevent you from reading it because soon John Saul will get to the really good part and you will never want to put his book down. The story is about the Hapgoods family. This American family is quite perfect. There is a mother and a father and only one child. A boy named Matthews. In this story it was stunning to see how a young boy's life can change all of a sudden, from having it all, a family that adores him, a stepfather who he sees as a real father, and a mother who cares for him, to having nothing but tragedies one after another. His unhappiness begins when an unexpected fire burns his grandmother's house and they are forced to take her home with them.
From the book we learned that his grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer, after many years, couldn't accept the fact that her dearly beloved daughter, Cynthia, was dead. His grandmother is not able to face the truth about Cynthia's death, so she decides to think that she is on a trip and soon she will come back home. Meanwhile she keeps Cynthia's memory alive by visiting Cynthia's bedroom and leaving all her belongings intact. When her house burns down she decides to move into Matt's house and she took an empty room and recreated Cynthia's room there. Then Matt is brought back to his childhood fears, he starts having horrible and perverted dreams in which his aunt Cynthia is involve just like when he was a kid. Matt is not the only one that suffers; his mother Joan can also sense the presence of her dead sister. Matthews becomes a victim of his aunt, and he is forced to do horrible unimaginable things that lead everyone, including his mother to doubt him, and finally he is left alone. His real father abandoned him and his stepfather who he had known since he was a baby was now dead; murdered, and many think Matt did it. Now Matt feels like he has no mother, and no friends. He is also blamed for the disappearance of his grandmother, and many other tragic events that will change this charmed boy into a teen full of fear and instability.
Find out why Matt's life all of a sudden changes by reading this incredible book, which will leave you wanting to read more and more. It is absolutely thrilling and absolutely recommendable. The twisted ending would have you at the edge of your seat. Don't miss out on what may be John Saul's most famous masterpiece. Get your copy of Nightshade right away and also find out the reason why it was given its title. You will not regret it.
1.0 out of 5 stars What is wrong with this guy?,
This review is from: Nightshade (Mass Market Paperback)I have read a couple of John Saul books now and have noticed a certain pattern. It goes like this; start with a happy family. Something happens to happy family. They have to move in with an irritable or evil extended family member, and a ghost appears, attacks the pre-teen child, and absolutly destroys the nice life they had. Did Mr. Saul have an unhappy childhood? He has explored this "idea" with "Nathanial", "Second Child" and now "Nightshade" Many of the charactors are so bigited that they are hard to understand and impossible to like, and the victoms are so slow to catch on to what is happening that they are hard to identify with. Was there anything in this book I liked? Yes, the lawyer, Mr. Wayneright seems like a perfectly normal and level headed man. But the whole book is so dark and depressing that I can't recomend it to anyone. Sorry guys.
5.0 out of 5 stars horror in the family,
This review is from: Nightshade (Mass Market Paperback)at first i thought: ok. a bit slow. not much descriptions, but ok. heh! actually, JS was setting the stage to make the psychological horror greater. and he was waiting for the descriptions untill later, wanting development first. when the descriptions came, they were great. i liked the plot. enjoyed the suspence. enjoyed the ending too. the psychological horror was really good. most horror writer fails when it comes to The Family. it gets tedious, irrelevant, even mushy. JS makes the family his strength here. the sudden insecurity. the unsaid. the tension. The Family makes the story better, which i find uncommon. a mother with alzheimer burns down her house. she comes to live with a family of her daughter the husband and the son (sort of). she insists on witing for her other dead daugher and arrange a room for her. after a while, mysterious things occur. the tension grows. disaster strikes. i cannot say more without giving away something. let's just say that there is an act of violence treathening to destroy, some strange sightings. this was plot-driven and loaded with suspence, and i found it to be great just one note: DON'T READ THE EPILOGUE. the ending is good enough. THE EPILOGUE IS AWFUL. it's a robert bloch-cliche of the worst kind. you don't NEED to read it. it tells you nothing. it's just stupid and awful to read. tear it out or ignore it. i'm serious. if you read it, you WILL be disappointed, i GUARANTEE it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Spooky!,
This review is from: Nightshade (Mass Market Paperback)1) Lee Merriweather does a great job with reading this audiobook. She had the voice of Emily Moore matching exactly with my imagination that I got chills.
2) Saul has all the parts working well together in this story. Wonderful plot twists, engaging characters, and great scenes of suspense. He stays consistent with using children/teens as major sympathetic characters with a mix of the supernatural.
3) I've read a couple other Saul books and have always thought they were fair reads when you have nothing else available. This one I would say is much better than a fair read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying Psychological Horror,
This review is from: Nightshade (Mass Market Paperback)John Saul proves once agian with this book just how intimatly he understands the human mind. He's always known what makes us scared and with Nightshade he shows just how terrifying the past may be. This excellent horror novel starts off as seeming to be nothing more then your average ghost story, but by the end of the book the reader realizes that it is much more then that. By the time I finished I realized that in this terrifying story there really isn't anything supernatural at all. I don't dare to say more out of the possibilty of ruining it for those who haven't read it. I think this book has somethign important to say about dealing with the past before it fully conquers you. Although I haven't read many of John Saul's novels I believe this is by far the best out of all that I have read. I highly reccomend it for anyone who's in the mood for a scary book but would like a different sort of ghost story.
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful novel of psychological horror,
This review is from: Nightshade (Mass Market Paperback)With Nightshade, John Saul gets back to what he does best, giving birth to a story almost as chilling and compelling as his premier masterpiece Suffer the Children. Forget biomedical experimentation, genetic manipulation, and all of the other external forces that often lie behind Saul's plots; this book marks a return to good old-fashioned madness and horror. Of course, we start with the perfect all-American family-Joan Moore Hapgood, her son Matt, and husband Bill who has always thought of his step-son as his own true son. Suddenly, Joan's grim, bitter, nasty, Alzheimer's-afflicted mother almost burns her own house down and comes to live with the Hapgoods. Emily Moore is obsessed with her daughter Cynthia, the perfect child whom she refuses to believe is never coming back home to her. Immediately, Matt's nights are filled with the horrible nightmares he had not experienced since leaving Emily's home as a child to move to the home of his new step-father. Watching his mother-in-law tearing his happy family apart, Bill simply leaves his wife and son to the misery of Emily's company. A series of tragedies unfolds, affecting not only the family but the entire close-knit community. Matt changes into a haunted young man, seeing suspicion and dislike pointed toward him from everyone he has ever cared about. Misery turns to the ultimate tragedy, and the reader is left to ponder just who is responsible. Is it Matt, who looks guilty in the eyes of everyone else? Is it his aunt Cynthia, whose presence comes to permeate the house and exert an unhealthy influence on Matt's life in spite of the fact that she is long-dead? Or could it be someone or something else?
Saul hits a home run with this novel. Whatever suspicions the reader entertains, the truth is never truly known in spite of its foreshadowing, not until the ultimate conclusion. As the plot progresses, Saul slowly but surely increases the tension, drawing the reader further and further into this fascinating story. One is never really sure what to think about the action as it unfolds. Even when the true source of the horror is revealed a couple of chapters before the end, the heightened sense of expectation and worry for the characters so well-presented and seemingly real continues unabated. To some degree this is a ghost story, but it is better described as psychological horror. Madness makes for a much more compelling villain than outside entities, and that is why Nightshade stands as one of John Saul's most compelling novels. Filled with insanity, ghostly impressions, terror, murder, a bit of blood and gore, and a surprise or two at the end, Nightshade reveals the true talent that resides in the mind of an author too little appreciated by the horror community.
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Nightshade by John Saul (Mass Market Paperback - May 29 2001)
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