The Woods Are Dark Paperback – 1991
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Top Customer Reviews
Set in a small isolated town and deeply wooded area, two best friends set off on a road trip to Yosemite. When they encounter a strange deformed man like creature on the road, they decide to stop in at the local town restaurant and regroup. Little did they know they would never make it to Yosemite, yet alone out of the eerie town.
Shortly there after the two girls are joined by a family of four who are joined by the same fate as the girls.
Some chapters are quite graphic however.*
Twists and turns in this book keep you wanting more! Delightfully written and easy to read. My only complaint is I wish the ending would have been explained in more detail.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I won't write a synopsis of the story, you can read the dust jacket for that. I will say that The Woods are dark, has the feel of a cross between Off Season and Deep In the Darkness. There's nothing creepier than deformed cannabalistic Inbreeders! It's well written and contains twists and turns that are unexpected. I would like to have had a little more back story revealed but it doesn't diminish the story at all.
I don't know how I missed these guys as a teen-ager. I guess the American world of horror literature was too jammed up with King and Barker. No room was left for Laymon, his style must have been just a little to edgy for mass-marketability. It's true what they say about getting your hands on the UK prints of his books. It's worth it. The US editions are hacked to pieces, no pun intended.
This is the best Richard Laymon I have read. So compelling that I literally could not stop reading. It's an erotic thriller that will have your heart racing from the first page to the last.
There's this weird small town that's been capturing strangers that pass through and feeding them to cannibalistic savages that live in the woods. Two college girls that stop in the diner find themselves chained to a tree along with a couple that stopped at a local motel, their teenage daughter, and her boyfriend. They escape with the help of one of the townspeople and the rest of the book involves them running around the woods trying to stay alive. The father really goes off the deep end, and his story ends up being kind of clever.
My biggest complaint about this book is the gratuitous sexual content. Almost none of it was relevant to the plot or plausible in any way. This seems to be a staple of the mass-market paperback, but one would think that the murderous cannibals would be enough to hold our attention. After a while, it became really stupid and offputting. At the end of the book, there are a couple chapters from Laymon's other book, "Beware," and it looks like this book follows along the same lines. I found myself thinking, "Wow. Dude writes an awful lot about rape."
The interesting thing about this book is that it was originally published in the 80's as a much different book. In the introduction, the author's daughter explains how her father's book was heavily changed by the publisher to the point that it didn't even make sense anymore. Richard Laymon always lamented that the manuscript had been revised so much that he would never be able to put it back to the way it was. His daughter did a whole lot of digging, and was able to piece it back together, and here it is. From how the original is described, it certainly sounds like this is an improvement.
If this is your first Laymon book - I guarantee it won't be your last! Fun and easy reading, and written in Laymon's classic innocent style.
The 1981 edition from Warner Books was wrecked by the editor.
Richard Laymon ignored all of the changes from the US edition when his British publisher offered to publish the book.