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The Losers

3.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,283 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Raphael Taylor was a golden boy--blond, handsome, charming, a gifted athlete and a serious student, an angel in every way. Damon Flood was a scoundrel--a smooth, smilling, cynical devil, as devious and corrupt as Raphael was open and innocent. The day Raphael met Damon was the day he began his mysterious fall from grace. And the golden boy fell very fast and very far....
Mass Market Paperback, 295 pages
Published August 4th 1993 by Del Rey (first published 1992)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,137)
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Jan 12, 2008 Clackamas rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Social work majors
Recommended to Clackamas by: That friend who always tells you what you don't want to hear.
Okay, I know this is fiction, and it's by an author who write mostly fantasy, so I'm a little embarrassed by how much this book meant to me.

I was a third-year social work major in college when this book was recommended to me by a friend who thought I was making a terrible mistake with my life (I'd started out as a Chemistry major and always intended to end up in research but got a wild hair stuck somewhere and changed to the social sciences). While this book didn't have much, if anything to do
Nitin Arora
Dec 10, 2013 Nitin Arora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I'd read a third of the book, I found it decelerating to a point, that it became hard to continue to read it, but I soon realized that there was a a good reason for it. The author makes the reader understand the characters in a great details, which makes a lot of sense later on. The book picks up pace soon and its hard to stop reading it after that :).

The story is an excellent narrative about two friends, who are very different from one another. Nothing is predictable about the story ,and r
Sep 14, 2007 Nathan rated it really liked it
Shelves: random-interests
One of Edding's best efforts. The dialog and characters here are much deeper then in his Fantasy novels. A much more adult story.
Nov 04, 2012 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: _on-hand, z-ebook
The various blurbs floating around are accurate enough in terms of describing the plot without spoilers. In terms of theme, however, there are two things perhaps worth knowing about this book before jumping in.

The bulk of the story is set against a background of chronic poverty: the incidental characters are the sort of folk one sees in virtually every episode of the old reality-TV show Cops. The view of them through the eyes of the principle characters is not flattering.

The principle theme, how
Simon Mcleish
Nov 05, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it it was ok
Originally published on my blog here in April 2001.

Apart from his debut novel, thriller High Hunt, The Losers is Eddings' only attempt at something outside the fantasy genre. Interestingly, it has aspects in common with the much earlier novel, including the Washington state setting (though that is where Eddings lives) and a plot incorporating ideas about sibling rivalry (less literally here).

Raphael Taylor is bright, good-looking and athletic - a high school American football hero. When he goes
Crippled American 'golden boy' comes to terms with injury: The star suffers from a horrific car accident, leaving him unable to walk without crutches. He retreats to small town America to come to terms with his injury, and gets in to the habit of watching the local 'losers' from his roof top retreat. Becomes more involved with them over time, comes to terms with new life etc. etc.. Actually quite a disturbing book - some of the images really stay with you, and the accident is dealt with without ...more
Jan 08, 2012 Patrick rated it really liked it
This was a hard book to enjoy. Eddings is very well-written and it shows here. This is much better written then either his Belgariad or Malloreon series, which while I enjoyed immensely, always seemed to parallel the Lord of the Rings just a little too much. With the Losers we are presented with a lot of drudgery. It's well-crafted but its a very dark and depressing book. Its that much more of a depressing read, because I'm a Spokane native where this book is primarily set. While Eddings does a ...more
Ryan Curry
Jul 06, 2016 Ryan Curry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Holy Crap. Eddings was one of the first authors I truly fell in love with. And I can confidently say that Pawn of Prophecy was the book that started my lifelong love of fantasy literature. I've never read his stand alone fiction before, and holy shit was i missing out. The Losers was incredible! I couldn't put the book down! Book has definitely reaffirmed my love for the author, and I highly recommend it to any fans of Eddings' work who have yet to pick it up!
Jamie Haddigan
Sep 16, 2015 Jamie Haddigan rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. You always hear about the American dream, and this is reflected in the TV shows and films, mainly all good looking people, all with happy endings. This book showed a different side to the country. Where the lack of welfare means life can be pretty bleak if you hit misfortune and it can be tough to get back up once you're kicked down. David Eddings really fleshes out the characters in his books as well as establishing a plot so you can really relate to the people in the ...more
Matt Hart
Jul 14, 2015 Matt Hart rated it it was amazing
It's been a while since I read The Losers, but I still remember it all. It's a big, massive, colossal departure from Eddings' usual genre, but it shows just what an amazing writer he is.

The story is that of a young man, struck and disabled, living on disability. He observes the residents of the run down area that he must now call home, showing the desperation and hope in their lives: the excitement of "social security check day" and despair of poverty.

I don't usually read this genre, and only pi
Trinsec Trua
Feb 01, 2008 Trinsec Trua rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: About anyone
Shelves: society
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 05, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: liked
This is the second non-fantasy book of David Eddings I have read. Then first I took it in my hands I didn't feel like I might like this book and after starting to read the book this feeling just became stronger. It was hard getting into the characters as they felt like a bunch of spoiled brats and was actually thinking that I might not finish this one. But after the (view spoiler) in the book I found it was getting easier to get into the shoes of the main character and I ...more
Mar 19, 2016 Allison rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-adult
This book is nothing even remotely resembling Eddings' other works, and the storyline was nowhere near as good. However, it presented a very interesting perspective on the social welfare system, and has prompted a good bit of consideration and discussion between my husband and me, which is always appreciated. :-)
Mar 22, 2012 Darth rated it it was ok
This started out as a morality tale about how you get way over punished if you do the least thing wrong. And it turned into a social commentary on the state of poverty and welfare in America in the 1970's.

Funny thing, when I was a child I lived in a project, and my parent got welfare and it was in the 1970's. So this was a little bit of accurate stereotyping, and nostalgia, and a lot of gross oversimplification for the sake of fitting it into his story.

It wasnt easy to read. The story is largel
Jun 27, 2008 Kathryn rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
If I could talk to David Eddings about this book, I’d ask him just one question: Why? Why social workers as the symbol of all evil in modern society? I mean, obviously the main character is going to be bitter about what he goes through. And a formally independent person isn’t going to LIKE being thrown onto government support. All that I can understand. But to say that ALL social workers, by their very nature, are dedicated to draining people’s souls and FORCING them to go on welfare, well that’ ...more
Tim Gray
Feb 16, 2015 Tim Gray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is quite simply the best book about social work I have ever read. Who knew the Edding's could be so insightful about this? I love their fantasy - but this book is something special, and unique.
Jesse Powell
Dec 03, 2013 Jesse Powell rated it really liked it
I read this when I was about 15 or 16. I really liked it because it had a super-star jock has-it-all guy become a wheel-chair bound "loser" like everyone else.

My grandmother probably got it so I would learn a "lesson" in my snarky teenage ways, instead I found the story more applicable for the "winners" of my school.

I did actually find a fallen star though. She had been a volleyball player/cheerleader unit her BF got in a car accident. The accident left her with a smashed hip, causing one leg t
Tamara Catlin
Jan 20, 2016 Tamara Catlin rated it really liked it
I've always enjoyed his books.... But this is a gritty urban piece ..... So very different to his other work.... Worth the read if you can find it!
Suzie Quint
Oct 03, 2011 Suzie Quint rated it really liked it
Eddings is well known for his fantasy so I read this expecting at any moment there's going to be some element of fantasy. There isn't. Instead Eddings provides an up-close look at the dark side of our welfare system. He points out, quite accurately, that it's not in the social workers' best interest to get the clients off the system because, without the client, the social worker is superfluous. Having worked in the system, I recognize the accuracy of this. I've seen enough therapists who are no ...more
Jan 26, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
A young man lives a golden life until he goes to college where he falls in with a very bad boy. His life comes crashing down around him and eventually he must choose whether to continue falling or to pick himself back up and start all over again. Set in Portland, OR it is very gothic in feel, but though it threatens on several occassions it never actually crosses over into the supernatural. This is very deftly done.

Eddings is a little heavy handed in his social criticism, and I don't agree with
Oct 26, 2015 David rated it liked it
strangely compelling look at the darker side of the human condition
Jul 09, 2016 Lindsay rated it did not like it
If I could give this book zero stars, I would. I hated it.
Jul 21, 2009 Matt rated it it was ok
Eddings is my fav fantasy author. This however is not fantasy but one of his earliest works of 'regular' fiction. Has a runnign commentary on the 'social welfare society' of USA as he saw it at the time of writing which was around 1992.
The book was readable and flowed well but the story wasn't as engaging and the message a little hollow.
Interesting fact that the settings for the book, being Reed College and Spokane, Washington, are from Eddings own life as he was born and educated/taught in the
William McDuff
Jul 27, 2012 William McDuff rated it really liked it
One of the few books that I have a 'relationship' with, I seem to pick it back up every few years to continue the argument I have with it. It's well written, it's interesting, there's a clear point of view about welfare and disability and the system behind it...and I disagree with it, but I can't figure out why and how exactly. I can't claim it's the best book ever written, but it's my favourite. I'll have to pull it out again soon, I think.
Jan 20, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok
Maybe I'm prejudiced by the likes of the Belgariad, the Malloreon, and his other Fantasy series; it would explain why I was not impressed with what Eddings did here. I was too impatient for a hero to emerge, instead of all these fallen angels that people this dreary and all-too realistic world. Read it if you want - especially if you haven't read his Fantasy works first.
May 29, 2010 Darya rated it it was amazing
This was an unexpected surprise as I've read so many scifi/fantasy of Eddings and kept wondering where the sf/f was. He captures the essence of welfare, poverty, physical handicaps, social workers and societal attitudes of modern society in a surprisingly revealing, enjoyable, and profound (in its own way) novel. Totally unlike anything I've read of Eddings.
E.E. Blake
Aug 02, 2010 E.E. Blake rated it really liked it
Despite the cover and back description of the novel being savagely misleading (and more metaphorical than anything), I really enjoyed The Losers. Not Eddings' best, but also not his worst -- The Losers is proof that Eddings could write more than "Swords and Sorcery" High Fantasy. It's a shame he didn't explore the contemporary genre more.
Mar 28, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I know that part of the reason I really liked the book is because some of the events and people mirrored events and people in my life so perhaps that biased me in its favor. Perhaps it is because David Eddings characters often speak to me. This book has stuck with me even beyond that because of the observation of people.
Chris Meger
Jun 03, 2008 Chris Meger rated it liked it
This book is just tragedy piled on. The main character has what could be easily characterized as the worst year fucking imaginable. All the way to the end, awful things keep happening to him, and apparently he just barely gets over it to be maybe a shadow of the person he was. Need a good cry?
Nov 24, 2010 Dayna rated it it was amazing
Very different from Eddings' fantasy stuff. This book offers an interesting look at what happens to the privileged when they are no longer privileged by taking a stroll with Raph Taylor, who loses everything and has to figure it out on his own.
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David Eddings was an American author who wrote several best-selling series of epic fantasy novels. David Eddings' wife, Leigh Eddings, was an uncredited co-author on many of his early books, but he had later acknowledged that she contributed to them all.

David Eddings' first books (which were general fiction) sold moderately well. He later switched to writing epic fantasy, a field in which he achie
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“I want to set the record straight."
"The record's never straight, you idiot! Haven't you ever read 1984? They rewrite the record anytime it doesn't suit them. You're spinning your wheels and exposing your bare fanny for nothing.”
“Raphael watched, and gradually he began to understand them. At first it was not even a theory, but rather a kind of intuition. He found that he could look at any one of them and almost smell the impending crisis. That was the key word—crisis. At first it seemed too dramatic a term to apply to situations resulting from their bumbling mismanagement of their lives or deliberate wrongheaded stupidity, but they themselves reacted as if these situations were in fact crises.” 1 likes
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