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Relic (Pendergast, #1)
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Relic (Pendergast #1)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  51,645 ratings  ·  1,775 reviews
LENGTH -- 13 hrs and 1 min

Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human. But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.
Audiobook, Audible Audio Unabridged Edition, 13 pages
Published June 15th 2011 by Brilliance Audio (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike (the Paladin)
This is another book (series of books) I was introduced to by my late wife (we were married 34 years before she passed so there were quite a few books we ended up sharing, sometimes to the surprise of each of us. I introduced her to things like epic fantasy she "introed" me to things like, well Preston/Child or Koontz). I am surprised not only that I liked it (them) but that I decided to give it 4 stars.

This is a surprisingly absorbing read and the Pendergast character while he could have ended
Dirk Grobbelaar
Some thoughts.

Now, this isn’t really a review, simply because too much time has passed since I actually read the novel to form any objective and cohesive opinion on its literary merit. What I would like to focus on is what remained with me.

I’m sticking to my original rating. This novel is one of the few that my wife and I still discuss on a rather regular basis, even after all this time.

Relic ticked quite a few of the right boxes. Such as:
(1) Atmospheric setting. In this case, the museum.
I'll be damned! This silly book turned out to be one big, over the top, cheesy, load of fun! I enjoyed it quite a bit.

I’ve read some reviews where people called The Relic a mystery horror (and I guess in some ways it is) but I tend to look at it as a crazy, disaster, monster film. If you took The Position Adventure, threw in a furry, brain-eating, velociraptor, and then had a total nincompoop in charge of the rescue mission -- that would be this book. Yes it’s that crazy. There are lots of WTF

3.5 stars. This was a great mystery/thriller that was raised above the norm by two elements. The first was the inclusion of a very interesting SF/supernatural element into an otherwise straight-forward crime drama. This may have had a more positive impact on me since my reading tastes tend to run towards speculative fiction and so the "X-file" element was very welcome.

The second was the character of Aloysius Pendergast, the charming, brilliant, FBI agent with a Southern accen
This was recommended to me by several visitors to my site, but I'm sorry folks, I simply couldn't finish it. Cardboard, cliched characters and a monster on a rampage in a museum don't quite add up to a great read. I gave it a good effort, the quick readability of it got me halfway through it but I don't care how it ends or who lives or dies. I'm moving on.
MINI REVIEW: A chilling thriller that takes place mostly in a colossal museum in NYC. Don't be fooled if you hate museums. It's still very interesting with a combination of horror, sleuthing and melodrama.

Characters are mostly vivid and while one could argue several plot points were predictable they were still satisfying. BTW, the movie is a terribly poor representation of the book.

David Sven
Scientist goes to Brazilian rainforest. Finds cursed tribal idol.
Relic finds it's way to a New York Museum.

“...In local legend, the Kothoga tribe was a shadowy group, a witchdoctor cult. They were supposed to be able to control demons. There was a creature—a familiar if you will—they used for vengeance killings. That was Mbwun, He Who Walks On All Fours. Then, Whittlesey came across this figurine, and some other objects, packed them up, and sent them back to the Museum.

Carnage ensues in the co
Surprisingly good...I thought this was an airport type book..you know...amusing enough for the moment and then you leave it somewhere and never think about it again.
It did really draw me in. I kept thinking that it would make a great suspenseful horror movie. It has all the elements...good characters, hateful antagonists and pretty Hollywood boys and girls playing smart historians and scientists and most importantly ancient curses and horrifying deaths.
What is up Hollywood? Here's your next Jur
Con ‘The Relic (El ídolo perdido)’, Douglas Preston y Lincoln Child inauguraron la Saga de Pendergast, protagonizada, como su nombre indica por el agente especial del FBI Pendergast. Sin embargo, en este primer título, pese a su importancia en la trama, no aparece tanto como esperaba.

La historia, narrada de forma coral, comienza en la selva amazónica, con el descubrimiento de una extraña estatuilla de la tribu de los kothoga por parte de la expedición de Whittlesey. Pero todo se complica ensegui
I picked this up because I never read this kind of book. I can't say it's 100% a 4-star book, but it's a great adventure romp, and for the change of pace I bumped it up.

Something mysterious is in the NYC museum, it's hunting people, there's lots of blood and magic and murder and I really had fun with the plot. Very B-movie fun. I LOVED the details about the Museum of Natural History, it feels very well researched and made me want to go snoop around the basement of that building next time I'm in
The books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are my guilty pleasure reading because they don't pretend to be anything more than thrillers with some interesting characters and plot twists. With all the more serious literature and scholarly material that I read, do research on, and teach, it's a welcome relief to just sit back on a weekend and take what I know will be a fun ride with these two authors.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book, actually; it was the first of their many books that I
Nov 10, 2013 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the fans of the Pendergast series
Recommended to Mark by: the movie
I admit honestly having seen the movie first and I liked it in a B-movie monster show. By coincedence I found a 1st edition Hardback at a flea market and decided to buy it to read it on one of my daily traintrip from and to work. And suddenly I found that the writers of this novel were very shortchanged by the movie. However I do hope some folks discovered the writing of messieurs Preston & Child because in my humble opinion they are the current best writers in thriller/adventure/fantastic n ...more
Riju Ganguly
Long ago, in the days of "Jurassic Park" craze, my imagination had been caught by a couplet that was (supposedly) the sure-shot formula at that time (maybe even now) to produce a best-seller: "techno-thriller". Any reader of James Rollins (and Matthew Reilly, before he abandoned writing novels and started composing video-games through words, a highly praise-worthy process, but not entirely suited to my tastes) would know the essential ingredients that go into making of these books: some exotic t ...more
Jane Stewart
Good entertainment. Good fun.

There were a few stupidity parts (below). But I was willing to accept them because overall it was a good read.

1. The good guys know the beast has an acute sense of hearing. They are hiding behind a door which has an opening covered in cardboard. The beast is on the other side of the door. Why are they whispering? The beast can hear them.

2. There have been murders. All museum employees are told never go anywhere alone and leave the building at 5 pm. So why does one fe
A very enjoyable thriller. It was predictable, unbelievable and silly scary – exactly what I want from this type of book. The authors here know their genre and do not aspire to reach beyond it, and it works. I pick these books up because I want a well-written, entertaining thriller and that is exactly what I got. It is like going on a roller coaster - I know what is going to happen but it is still scary and fun. This book made for a very fun weekend read.
Pretty good novel with an old school creature feature vibe going on. Have I seen the movie? Probably. Obviously, it has been a while since I have seen it and/or it didn’t leave much of an impression. I am going to look it up.

The writing was nothing spectacular, but the story itself was more than adequate to pull me through to the end. (view spoiler)
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
I read this in my late youth, or, early middle age?.. okay, late youth...

It's a good read, fun, with a scary monster a great setting (Natural History Museum in NYC) and a believable (if a little brainy) action Heroine mixed in with a cast of strong supporting characters.

It should be noted that this is really "Pendergast #1 but, in my opinion, Pendergast comes across as one of the very active strong supporing roles here, the real star is our sexy hot scientist lady. The Pendergast series doesn't
May 11, 2014 Angie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror and thriller fans
Recommended to Angie by: Steven
I loved this, from start to finish it was entertaining and exciting. It also was more gruesome than I expected which was really good. The book follows some mystery additions to be sent to the natural history museum in NewYork city but there are murders following in there wake. I loved all the different characters from the museum curators to the tough city police men. And Agent Pendergast wasn't anything like I imagined he was going to be. The creature itself was awesome, and when it starts comin ...more

Monster shenanigans at the New York Museum of Natural History!

It's a bit hammy and OTT but it works really well. The science bits lend authenticity to the plot and the characters are great.

Love the dynamic between Pendergast (alternative FBI agent - think Mulder) and D'Agosta (tough New York cop) and the 'evil' Dr Wright (old bloke in complete denial) who tries to protect his museum at the expense of people's lives and the police investigation.
Margo is a bit of a wet fish to start with bu
I enjoyed Cabinet of Curiosities so much I decided to go back and read all of Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child's books featuring the charmingly weird Detective Pendergast. The very first one was Relic and I was not disappointed, although Pendergast was a secondary character in this one. Still, I found myself turning the pages and reluctant to put the book down until the end. What a twist--I was expecting some kind of weirdness with the killer character but certainly not what happened! A very ...more
Something sinister is about the Museum of Natural History in New York City. A major exhibition is scheduled to open but people are being gruesomely murdered in the museum and it isn't clear if it's by man or beast. FBI Agent Pendergast comes to investigate from his current base in Louisiana as he's seen something similar to this case a few years past.

There was quite a bit of history provided at the beginning of the story and I wasn't certain where it would lead. It was all very interesting and
Sue Smith
Oh my Gawd! What a book!! Totally riveting and crazy tension that just builds and builds.... there were times I was sitting on the edge of my seat utterly engrossed and appalled!!! I mean, when you think it couldn't get any more intense or complicated - it does. In a big way. And the ending is just the beginning.....proving the point that A) once that first domino falls, it starts a chain reaction of events that can't be stopped and B) don't mess with unknown drugs. (OK - I know that doesn't sou ...more
OK, OK, I guess this thriller area may actually be my all time favorite type of books to read. I have always loved mystery/romance, etc. But they all kind of fit into thriller. Anyway, I love Lincoln and Child, and wait for their next book to come out. It started with this one. I like the characters and the way you get to know them and like them. Even if they are a little weird! This book was one of the scariest books I had read, at least up to this point. Many books you just can't put down when ...more
Nick Pappas
Apr 15, 2008 Nick Pappas rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of fun quick reads.
Recommended to Nick by: Sean Kreycik
Shelves: pop-fiction
This was one of those books that was a fun quick read. I enjoyed it from start to finish. Just don't get hopes up for something that is far to "literary." That being said, I'm glad I pulled my head out of my own far to self important ass in order to read this mass maket fiction book. Because of it I was introduced to one of the most compeling characters I've read in a long time, Agent Pendergast. This character alone is worth the price of admission, and I'm intrested in reading more of him in th ...more

This book is a very fast and entertaining read. Apart for occasionally too detailed depictions of characters' actions, it is more than a good way to have fun.

The whole series is named after a character who doesn't have a leading role in this story. Pendergast is neither a central nor minor character here. There isn't a character you could say he or she is a major character in the novel. Aloysius Pendergast and Margo Green and to a lesser degree NYPD Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta, Dr. Frock and
Jaime Contreras
This is a good monster novel with a twist on the tragic creature's existence. There are plenty of chills in this book. Mr. Child has wisely populated his novel of terror with science and myth. The result is a first-rate horror-fantasy novel that stands above the rest. I recommend this novel to the lovers of fantasy, horror and science fiction.
Jess Cattanach
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I went into it not really knowing what is was about: someone here on Goodreads had recommended it to me, I made a mental note to check it out, and when I saw it for $5 on an Audible sale I thought, why not? Best decision ever.

I suppose I was expecting a stereotypical cop-murder-detective story, maybe with better than average writing to explain why it was suggested to me. I was very wrong there. As the story unfolded, other elements showed th
At first I had a hard time getting into it, but after a while I thought it captivating.

Something strange is happening at the Museum of Natural History. People disappear or die. At the same time, a new exhibition, "Superstition", is being set up, which involves objects from the Kothoga tribe - a mysterius tribe connected to a very strange myth.


Despite dead bodies, the director doesn't want to postpone the exhibition and the very night of the premiere, another gruesome murder makes hund
Nancy Oakes
The Relic is a fun and suspenseful story that is set at the Natural History Museum of New York, yet begins with an expedition to find a tribe known only through myth. Explorers are seeking the remnants of a lost tribe, then change their mind and begin to seek the tribe itself, as it looks like the tribe is still around. Specimens are crated up and returned to the US, specifically to the above-mentioned museum, where later, all hell begins to break loose. Savagely-attacked bodies begin to appear ...more
Edward (The Book Pusher) Lorn
This one is a re-read for me. I read the book right after the movie came out because I loved the film so much. I found Chuck Palahniuk and Thomas Harris the same way. Fight Club and Silence of the Lambs were both movies I had no idea were originally books. As with most film adaptations, the books were much better. Which brings me to Relic. Not only is the book better than the movie, but it makes the movie look stupid by comparison.

Note: I still LOVE the movie, so I don't say that lightly.)

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Pendergast series by douglas preston and lincoln child 9 59 Nov 26, 2014 06:58PM  
Are the rest of the Pendergast books worth a read? 46 322 Jul 26, 2014 09:24PM  
Desperate BookJun...: The Relic Discussion (Spoilers) 3 11 May 16, 2014 08:03AM  
Pendergast Task F...: the mentalist 1 32 Nov 30, 2011 03:14PM  
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Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1956, and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley. Following a distinguished career at a private nursery school--he was almost immediately expelled--he attended public schools and the Cambridge School of Weston. Notable events in his early life included the loss of a fingertip at the age of three to a bicycle; the loss of his two fr ...more
More about Douglas Preston...

Other Books in the Series

Pendergast (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Reliquary (Pendergast, #2)
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, #3)
  • Still Life With Crows (Pendergast, #4)
  • Brimstone (Pendergast, #5; Diogenes, #1)
  • Dance of Death (Pendergast, #6; Diogenes, #2)
  • The Book of the Dead (Pendergast, #7; Diogenes, #3)
  • The Wheel of Darkness (Pendergast, #8)
  • Cemetery Dance (Pendergast, #9)
  • Fever Dream (Pendergast, #10)
  • Cold Vengeance (Pendergast, #11)
The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, #3) Reliquary (Pendergast, #2) Brimstone (Pendergast, #5; Diogenes, #1) The Book of the Dead (Pendergast, #7; Diogenes, #3) Still Life With Crows (Pendergast, #4)

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“What we have here is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” 17 likes
“palimpsest,” 0 likes
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