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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. This is a top-notch horror novel that will claw its way under your skin. There are some wonderfully chilling scenes in here, but there's also a light, playful air about much of the story as well. There's a real sense of poetry here as certain scenes just...
Published on Sept. 21 2003

versus
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 skewed view of reality that evokes a combination of vintage Bradbury and Ramsey Campbell. On the negative side, both the story and the characters are somewhat unfocused, the writer assumes the...
Published on April 17 2004 by David Group


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3.0 out of 5 stars storytelling is hexed, April 17 2004
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This review is from: Hexes (Mass Market Paperback)
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 skewed view of reality that evokes a combination of vintage Bradbury and Ramsey Campbell. On the negative side, both the story and the characters are somewhat unfocused, the writer assumes the reader has a fair amount of knowledge about magick (which, I believe, he writes as *magik*), and the ending degenerates into the usual bloody massacre in which numerous characters meet an ugly death. In short, he has an intriguing writing style which, once I warmed up to it, I really liked. Too bad the story fell short of expectations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly powerful occult horror, Sept. 21 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Hexes (Mass Market Paperback)
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. This is a top-notch horror novel that will claw its way under your skin. There are some wonderfully chilling scenes in here, but there's also a light, playful air about much of the story as well. There's a real sense of poetry here as certain scenes just sing off the page. There are many funny characters stuck in strange situations, and there's one of the most memorable dogs in horror fiction this side of Dean Koontz's Einstein from Watchers. An odd mixture of thrills, chills, and tongue in cheek satire. I can't wait to also read A Lower Deep, The Night Class, and A Choir of Ill Children, which has one of the most amazing titles I've ever seen.
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1.0 out of 5 stars characterization is weak, Sept. 18 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Hexes (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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5.0 out of 5 stars An occult masterpiece, Jan. 30 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Hexes (Mass Market Paperback)
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 many levels I'm still boggled. He's one of the most ambitious of all the new horror wave of stylists. He writes with a burning passion, the sorrow and pain of his characters bleeding through on every page. Good and evil aren't portrayed in terms of black and white--all of the characters are human and filled with interesting faults that make them authentic even in the most bizarre and supernatural situations. A chilling novel with some of the finest dark milieu you're likely to ever come across.
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1.0 out of 5 stars 'bad attempt', Jan. 28 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Hexes (Mass Market Paperback)
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? and people use hexes as if they are firing bullets! laughable. Even kids wont be afraid. And how the main guy talk to his friend in prision without talking? were they talking telepaty kind of ? NO way, dont read this book. Is this his first horror book or? hopefully last!
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1.0 out of 5 stars 'bad attempt', Jan. 28 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Hexes (Mass Market Paperback)
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? and people use hexes as if they are firing bullets! laughable. Even kids wont be afraid. And how the main guy talk to his friend in prision without talking? were they talking telepaty kind of ? NO way, dont read this book. Is this his first horror book or? hopefully last!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Occult Novel, Jan. 19 2003
By 
"urthfireair" (St. Louis Park, MN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hexes (Mass Market Paperback)
Tom Piccirilli is one of those authors that's at least two steps above most everyone else out there. His writing goes down like fine wine as he pulls you into his dark tales of love and evil; as you start out laughing, then gasping, then cringing in fright. And finally sated and in awe of his language skills.
And this book has one of the coolest fictional dogs as a character!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A REAL PAGE TURNER !!!!, Nov. 25 2002
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Samurai6 (Westchester,New York United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hexes (Mass Market Paperback)
Hexes is an dark, suspensful descent into a world where demons walk the earth...and men wield dark magic to protect the innocent. A cross between Silece of the Lambs and It, the book keeps you interested in the whole chain of events that takes place (both past and present).
My only complaint about the book is that it's too short for the story. If Tom Piccirilli wrote about 100 more pages, and gave more information about the backstory I would have given it 5 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome novel of occult horror, Nov. 9 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Hexes (Mass Market Paperback)
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! There are some serious chills in here, but there's a playful air about a lot of the story as well. Weird, funny characters stuck in strange situations. An odd mixture of thrills, chills, and tongue in cheek satire. Also recommended: A Lower Deep, The Night Class, and The Deceased
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4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly different but not completely satisfying, Sept. 20 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hexes (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. For those with little knowledge of this type of horror, hinging on arcane magic, ancient grimoires, and demonic manifestations, the book may prove daunting. For those with a passion for horror, you will find that the story is not at all Lovecraftian, despite the similarities in theme, so you can be assured that the plot and finale will not reveal themselves to you through the seemingly familiar signs you will meet upon different occasions. Piccirilli definitely has his own style, and different readers will react to it differently. I enjoyed his writing, but I never found myself swept away by it. This is the kind of horror fiction that tries to lull you to sleep and then suddenly lurch upon you when you least expect it--the atrocities witnessed by the reader are described deftly, even poetically, but every last detail is included for the reader's repulsion and/or glee. I just can't help but feel that the author held back a little at the end, that he decided not to tell me something important that would help me truly understand the book. By and large, though, Piccirilli is a talented, refreshingly unique type of horror writer, and that makes him a rare commodity in the horror field.
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Hexes
Hexes by Tom Piccirilli (Mass Market Paperback - 1999)
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