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Terminal ( The Play)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  678 ratings  ·  35 reviews
From award-winning author Brian Keene comes a darkly suspenseful tale of crime and the common man–with a surprising jolt of the supernatural…

Tommy O’Brien once hoped to leave his run-down industrial hometown. But marriage and fatherhood have kept him running in place, working a job that doesn’t even pay the bills. And now he seems fated to stay for the rest of his life. To...more
Hardcover, Limited signed and numbered
Published 2008 by Morning Star Press (first published December 28th 2004)
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Also reviewed at Shelf Inflicted

25-year-old Tommy O’Brien learns he has terminal cancer and has only a month or so to live. He has no health insurance, is deep in debt, and recently lost his job. Desperate for cash and wanting to provide for his wife and son, he and two best friends, Sherm and John, plan to rob a bank.

The main character is very well drawn, his suffering and desperation very real. This story accurately portrays depressed US industrial towns and their inhabitants who have lost j...more
Brian Keene needs no introduction. Needless to say, I've read much of his work, novels and novellas, short stories, and eloquently written, informative, and sometimes in-your-face postings on his website. The man can fucking write, period. I will admit to having this novel for years in my collection, and knowing a little about it, and somehow not getting around to reading it. Talk about hidden gem. A very dark one, at that.

Twenty five year-old, Tommy O'Brien, married and father to a little boy,...more
This was a great book, very well-written with an intriguing protaganist who you feel as conflicted about as he does. Totally satisfying ending which elevated the story even higher. Keene is becoming a favorite. Highly recommended.
A thriller that initially packs an emotional punch, before giving way to more typical Keene fair, Terminal is a thought-provoking exploration of the lengths one everyday man will go to when he is told he has less than a month to live. Keene does a fantastic job of making the reader empathise with protagonist Tommy O'Brien, so that when he decides to rob a bank, he remains a sympathetic character and one most will root for. Of course, when a boy with healing abilities is unveiled and heads start...more
Possibly the most depressing book I've ever read, but also one of the best. You really put yourself in Tommy's shoes, and wonder what you would do. I can't recommend this one enough
Tom Bensley
Here's the thing about Brian Keene's Terminal. The beginning of the story is fantastic. It's tragic, beautiful and the characters leap off the page and nestle themselves in your heart. It's around the half-way point that things change.
I'm assuming you've read the synopsis, so I'm not going to outline the story. When the bank robbery began, I was filled with giddy excitement. I was already crazy about the book and now it was really kicking into gear. A man with terminal cancer (growing at an ala...more
"Terminal" is not your typical Brian Keene novel. It is however, typical Brian Keene, simply brilliant! "Terminal" is the type of story that keeps morphing into something different. From the outset the set up grabs you and demands that you turn the page. It's been awhile since I've been forced to turn the pages like this.

The story is simple. The prose is real and raw. The words clearly flow from the proverbial pen of Keene. The story keeps twisting. Evertime you think you know where it's going i...more
** spoiler alert ** Brian Keene always finds a way to tie his books together, I have owned Terminal for some time but i figured i would re read it with full attention as i have finished all his other books. It was nice to notice the ties to the rest of his universe, some small and others large. The story is pretty straight forward at first but slowly turns a bit to the sci fi side of things in which i very much enjoyed. The ending was good as most all of his works but i must say this one didnt c...more
Tommy is married and has a son and he recently got laid off. The billings are stacking up and now, he has no way of paying them. On top of all of that, Tommy finds out he only has one month to live.

He's worried about leaving his wife and kid, worried about how they will take care of themselves. But he comes up with an idea. It's crazy, very crazy and not something he would ever do if he weren't sick. But he feels his family deserves better than he has been able to give them and he wants them to...more
Kirsty Bassett
I have really mixed feelings about this book.

In some ways it was mind blowingly amazing. But I just have a sort of niggling feeling that the two halves of the story dont really mesh well together.

Apart they are really good, especially the first half. But together, something sort of gets lost in translation.

Maybe its that the supernatural element is completely missing in the first half, and yet its a massive part of the second half.
And the kid with the healing hands did seem pret...more
Michael Timlin
You have grown up hating the town you live in and want to get out as soon possible. Yet as with a lot of people’s dreams, some just don't come true. Life happens or so it does for Tommy O’Brien, Keene’s main character.

O’Brien is living the life most folks fall into, marriage, children and the usual 40 hour grind. As if life isn’t hard on it’s on merit, O’Brien is faced with several life changing events one so devastating it leaves him literally on the edge of death. He’s not only lost his job at...more
I rather enjoyed the shit out of this book. It was a fast read for me and very well written. The story is told through the eyes of the main character, Tommy, who has just discovered that he has terminal cancer. He works a poor job, doesn't get paid enough, has no medical benefits and he and his wife and kid are struggling to get by. In a month, he'll be dead. He and his friends get laid off from their job, plunging him into further peril. With the help of his friends, he decides upon robbing a b...more
Tommy O'Brien is in his mid-twenties, married to his high school sweetheart, father to a boy named T.J., and, well, broke. His employer, the local foundry, is in financial trouble and Tommy finds himself laid off. Then he gets the really bad news...he has less than a month to live. Feeling he needs to do something to keep his wife and son out of debt after he has died, Tommy decides his best plan would be to rob a bank (I guess a benefit in his honor to collect money would be unreasonable?) So,...more
Tommy has cancer - it's terminal. He gets laid off from work. So, what dies a guy do to secure his family's financial security when he's gone? He's going to rob a bank with his two best friends!

But this isn't's better. This is crime fiction in the hands of one of my newest favorite authors, Brian Keene. Hey, isn't Keene a horror writer?

Yes. So know that the book you'll hopefully soon have in your hands isn't going to be easily pigeon-holed as having a home in any one genre. Rathe...more
Dwayne Baird
Nice crime drama. When desperation drives you. Reminiscent of reservoir dogs and dig day afternoon. Very enjoyable.
I normally love Keene's work, but I found this book to be a bit of a dud. I felt it would have been better if the last third of the book had been expanded, and taken up about two thirds of the book, with the first two thirds compressed into one third. The early sections seemed belabored, and I nearly put the book down multiple times. I was glad I slogged through it when the end came around, but then it seemed too rushed. It's a shame--Keene's a better writer than this book makes it seem.
3 1/2

La comparación con Stephen King resulta, en este caso, de lo más acertada. Uno de los personajes (secundarios) es claramente deudor de uno de los del de Maine en 'La Niebla', lo cual tengo que decir que fue uno de los aspectos que más me desagradó, pues el paralelismo resultaba, aunque tal vez no intencionado, demasiado evidente.

(view spoiler)

No obstante, en conjunto es una buena novela, de rápida lectura.
Jul 24, 2008 VanHalen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror fans, with children.
Recommended to VanHalen by: Tim D.
Now this.
This is the excellent book.

I was drawn into this book of Keene's with all of the skill he could muster, like a rat to the peanut butter.
Or in his parlance, like the crack whore to the pipe.

Wonderfully written, engaging and twisty.

This book will give you the taste of his self-described "gangsta' style" horror the best.

I believe well worth the time investment for the fan of new horror.
This might very well be my new favorite Keene novel. The characters are compelling, the situation suitably tense, and the resolution apt--to say the least. The supernatural elements at play aren't my favorite, per se, but they ultimately work in conjunction with the conclusion, even though they're accepted by the characters a tad too easily. Definitely recommended to anyone considering checking out Brian Keene.
I only got a few pages into this... I can't stand the narrator. Too many 90s hip-hop culture name drops and "Yo dawgs." Maybe I'll pick it back up when I have more patience.

What. A. Disappointment.

The characters annoyed the hell outta me, the constant hip-hop/pop culture references made me cringe, and the storyline was tiresome. I enjoy Keene's horror, but this was lame.
This one certainly seems atypical of most of Keene's other novels. The supernatural element is slight and I wouldn't really consider it a horror novel at all. It's a kind of refreshing blend of "The Mist" and "The Breakfast Club" told in the format of a traditional crime drama/suspense novel. The characterizations are excellent, and it was a fun, fast-paced read.
First, I'll say right up front I really like Brian Keene, he writes blue collar characters and children really, really well, but this was not a strong book for him. It was a little too Stephen King lite, one of the characters, MArtha was too stereotypical, and the action should have started much sooner than it did in the book.
Pretty good. Kinda depressing. It's about a guy who is diagnosed with terminal cancer, loses his job, and decides to rob a bank to help his wife and kid be set when he is gone. Things don't go according to plan though. Also has a supernatural aspect to it as Brian Keene is a horror writer. Interesting book.
Dramatic irony all the way. The nightmare mentioned in this book still haunts me and i was depressed for three days, and even talked out my feelings to a friend over tea and eggs in a Chinese restaurant. Great book, and if i ever want to make it into a film, id probably do away with some parts.
I have read this book 2 times. There is something about it that really speaks to me. I would say that this is Brians best book to date. He could and should write more books in the style. This book if marketed right and with a better cover would be big hit in the urban/Street Lit world.
Mary Ford
Surprisingly creepy. This book made me fall in love with Brian Keene's writing. I read it a bit back and the creepy simplicity of the story still sticks with me.
What started out as what I thought would be a sort of "good guy makes some bad decisions" morphed into a real thriller. Liked this a lot!
A good novel that appears to be about dead-end life and a bank heist but is actually something much, much more.
Terminal isn't a gory horror like other Brian Keene novels that I have read, but it is just as intense.
Jay Krow
Great book. No happy endings here, just a dark gritty story that ends as sadly as it began.
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BRIAN KEENE writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies. Keene’s novels have be...more
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