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Johnny Gruesome

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  218 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Johnny Grissom—nicknamed "Johnny Gruesome" by his high school classmates—is a heavy metal hellion who loves to party, watch horror movies, and get into fights. One winter night, Johnny's car, The Death Mobile, is discovered submerged beneath the icy surface of Willow Creek, with Johnny's waterlogged corpse inside. The townspeople believe that his death was accidental. But ...more
Kindle Edition, 357 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Medallion Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 651)
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11811 (Eleven)
A revenge from the grave novel with little rationale for the events that take place. If a teen could come back from the grave just because he was angry, the world would be crawling with adolescent zombies. It wouldn't be an isolated incident. Perhaps I shouldn't let a detail like this bother me in a a heavy metal horror story but it irritated me anyway.

Other than that, it was decent. Recommended for people who don't care if the story doesn't make any sense.
Adam Light
Sep 20, 2015 Adam Light rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice and gruesome revenge tale. Johnny is murdered and has the chance to go on to heaven, but he is hellbent on taking down the people responsible for his untimely demise. as a matter of fact, he wants to take out his whole town! Well written, with plenty of gore and get wrenching action. The characters are all pretty well drawn, as well.
Carl Alves
Sep 05, 2012 Carl Alves rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Johnny Gruesome is a heavy metal horror novel, while not especially gory, manages to be quite gritty. In Johnny Gruesome, the lead villain is Johnny Grissom, an angry young man who has a vendetta against the world. He is best friends with Eric Carter, who is a bit more clean cut and lacks Johnny’s bitterness. Despite his anger, Johnny is a likeable character and Lamberson does a good job of crafting well-developed characters throughout the novel. On one fateful night, Johnny is murdered by one o ...more
Dec 02, 2013 Kaisersoze rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Much like its titular character, Johnny Gruesome is a bit of an odd beast. It's both a horrific "revenge from beyond the grave" story and a coming of age tale; whereas Johnny is initially painted as a Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club type anti-hero, only to become a hybrid zombie-ghost that gets off on maiming and murdering anyone who has ever wronged him, however thin his reasoning behind this. The tonal shift that occurs after about 25% of the book was quite jarring for me. One second I found ...more
Becky Stephens
Oct 25, 2013 Becky Stephens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Gregory Lamberson’s Johnny Gruesome is … well, gruesome. Lamberson does a terrific job of crafting a haunting tale of teen revenge. The pace is set on the very first page, where the characters begin to take shape immediately.

The setting envelops you. You can feel the bite of the frosty air on your cheeks, see the sparkle of light on the icy snow, and smell the stench of decay filling your nostrils as Johnny’s hijacked and decomposing body invades your personal space.

The scenes are perfectly craf
Dec 20, 2007 Jennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror Fans
Shelves: horror
It’s always good to find a horror novel that knows what a fan likes, jumps right in, and keeps you entertained across each page. For your reading pleasure, check out Bad Moon Books’ latest release, Johnny Gruesome, by Gregory Lamberson. The fun days of high school return complete with bastard jocks, metal stoners, and kids that don’t quite fit. Fights are had, beers are gulped, drugs are consumed, and loyalties shift. “Bad kids” like Johnny Grissom are kept in their place when they fight with th ...more
William M.
Jun 29, 2011 William M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This book really reads like a great horror film from the eighties, with author Gregory Lamberson directing it like one of the masters. While the story might seem a bit familiar, it's Lamberson's economy of words that rockets the reader forward in this classic revenge tale. There is no fat to be found in this story, anywhere. You're immediately propelled back into the good old days of high school peer pressure, only this time, you get to experience the dishing out of brutal punishment through the ...more
M.P. Johnson
Jan 04, 2013 M.P. Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Straightforward Headbanger Horror

This is not a novel with nuances. This is exactly what it claims to be: a novel about a headbanger who rises from the dead and gets revenge. As long as you're into that sort of thing, you're going to have fun.

Lamberson does a great job of crafting Johnny Gruesome into a character who really straddles the line between hero and villain. Most of the people he's going after are scumbags, so it's okay to root for him tearing their heads off and conducting appropriatel
Jul 28, 2015 Kimmyh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Johnny Grissom is a Hellion, so, it's fitting that upon his death he rejects the White Light and opts to stay in the world of the living as a not-quite zombie, or, ghost and take his revenge on everyone he feels has ever done him wrong. That group includes his friends, who know what really happened on the night of his, supposedly, accidental death. The problem is the only body he can find for his spirit to possess is his own, rapidly, decomposing corpse, but, working with what he's got Johnny ma ...more
Jan 19, 2009 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun horror novel by a very talented author. It's also a lot of fun to read, ideal summer beach reading (if I lived at the beach, and if it were summer). Don't look for any grand themes or deep hidden meanings. Who needs those? This is great, gory entertainment, and one can imagine the author having a grand old time writing it.

I do have a few quibbles, but they are nothing major, though they probably did prevent a five-star rating. Lamberson wisely keeps the plot simple, the characters
Douglas Castagna
Oct 28, 2013 Douglas Castagna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Metal, rock and roll and vengeance from the grave. The trifecta of a cool horror novel comes in the name of Johnny Gruesome. Murdered in his senior year of HS, his best friend and girlfriend help cover the crime. Johnny is all about loyalty, and he doesnt take kindly to how he was treated in life, or in death. Most of all, he doesnt like the fact that his girl and BFF didnt do anything to help him when he needed it most. The police rule his death a suicide. That really pisses Johnny off, and not ...more
Johnny Gruesome kept me reading late into the night. This is a fast paced horror novel that reads like an 80's slasher film. Johnny Grissom, dubbed Gruesome for his love of death metal is a hard rocking headbanger with a souped up ride called the Death Mobile. After Johnny is found dead in his car which was submerged in an icy river the police are unsure whether it was an accident or a homicide. What follows is a series of grisly murders that terrorize Johnny's hometown. This book was fast paced ...more
Nicholas Morgan anderson
A fun story about a down and out rocker... that dies... :)
Jul 05, 2014 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Johnny Gruesome reminds me a lot of movies like Trick or Treat or Zombie Nightmare - revenge tales of misunderstood headbangers using supernatural means to turn the tables on their tormentors.

The story follows a group of teens in western NY state who are set upon the reanimated remains of their friend whom they accidentally killed during a night of partying. As the pressure mounts, more and more people who the revenant has deemed to have wronged him fall into his crosshairs. Those left, includin
Sam Qualiana
Feb 03, 2014 Sam Qualiana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My personal favorite.
Sep 17, 2008 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I'm not sure if this book is even actually out yet - I got a free, signed ARC from the author at Fan Expo in Toronto this year.

This was an interesting book - it strongly feels like an 80s b-horror movie, both in plot and execution. It's part slasher film and part zombie movie; in terms of atmosphere, I would say that it reads sort of like a novelization of one of the Return of the Living Dead films. If you liked those, this would be a good book for you to check out
May 14, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is like one of those classic b-movies that we all love so much. This teenager slasher/zombie revenge story is really great. When Johnny gets killed, Johnny gets mad and comes back from the grave to tear apart the town, and a few residents in the process. This is a real fun book that makes for a great escape from the everyday. Just turn off the brain and plug in for a screaming good time.
Nov 08, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i could not put this book down. i loved every minute of it. it was funny and had serious moments too.
Apr 09, 2011 Ken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The scene in the funeral home still haunts me. Don't read before going to bed !
Elizabeth Hall
May 18, 2012 Elizabeth Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun, horror kind of comedy book that I just couldn't put down.
Jun 24, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
John Grissom is a high-school senior, a headbanger who doesn’t fit in. One night, he’s murdered by his assumed friend, a drug dealer, whilst his best friend Eric and girlfriend Karen look on helplessly. So starts “Johnny Gruesome” by film-maker/writer Greg Lamberson (who I’ve known for some time now, though various online forums), a gory, occasionally amusing and touching, often violent tale which could easily be a (well-constructed) novel from the 80s horror boom. even though it’s set in the pr ...more
Michele Lee
Johnny Gruesome is what you might get if you took all the emo out of J O' Barr's The Crow and replaced it with hardcore, attitude-filled metal. Johnny Grisson is not a good person. He's your familiar wayward angry youth with an alcoholic father, a dead mother and a serious problem with the way life is treating him. So when he ends up dead Johnny's determined not to take it laying down and instead he decides to make a mark on the world by kicking the ass of the little town of Red Hill where he li ...more
Elizabeth Hall
Jan 02, 2016 Elizabeth Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I read this about 4 years ago and it's still good. It's definitely not for everyone, none of my friends liked it but I for some reason couldn't get enough.
It's definitely a "teen book" but awesome nonetheless.
E. Kahn
Oct 18, 2014 E. Kahn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reads like a novelized script to an 80's low budget slasher flick. Not really my thing but it may be yours, I guess.
Dec 04, 2014 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Was fooled by cool cover art. Avoid.
John Ivey
Jan 30, 2015 John Ivey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can say I enjoyed this book. It reminded a lot of the early Stephen King work. I'm a big horror movie fan a this book read just as though it was.
Apr 18, 2011 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I read from our little towns library. It's a teen book but it was still a good read. I'm in my twenties but I still like reading teen books, so if you like teen books as well read this one.
Aug 21, 2013 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly my style of horror, but Johnny earns his name returning from the dead and wreaking gruesome havoc on his small town. Some of it is not for the squeamish. Gore-fest loves will feast on this one.
Tim Dunn
Really good horror/slasher/b-movie story. As you read it, you can actually picture it on a screen at a Drive-in. Not some great literary work, but a helluva lot of fun anyway!
Stephanie Lowry
Aug 01, 2013 Stephanie Lowry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good action, afterlife, revenge type of book. Was a little predictable towards the end as to what the out come was gonna be. But I was overall satisfied with it.
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Gregory Lamberson is an author and filmmaker who specializes in horror entertainment. He is a two time winner of the IPPY Gold Medal for Horror and a three time Bram Stoker Award finalist. Fangoria magazine called him "the hardest working man in horror."

Lamberson is the author of two ongoing supernatural action series, "The Jake Helman Files" (PERSONAL DEMONS, DESPERATE SOULS, COSMIC FORCES and TO
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