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Hunted Past Reason

3.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  709 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
The bestselling author of such classic novels as I Am Legend and What Dreams May Come, Richard Matheson is one of the twentieth century's acknowledged masters of suspense. Hunted Past Reason is a major literary event: Matheson's first new novel in seven years-and a gripping tale of madness, paranoia, and murder.

It's supposed to be just an ordinary camping trip, two old acq
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 5th 2002 by Tor Books (first published 2002)
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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThat Night Filled Mountain by Skitz O'FuelThe Gunslinger by Stephen KingNemesis by Agatha Christie
On the Run
86th out of 135 books — 51 voters

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(showing 1-30 of 1,211)
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Mike Green
Apr 09, 2011 Mike Green rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction
This book was a real disappointment for me, I think because I am a backpacker and being a Matheson fan I was really excited to read it when I discovered it in a used book store. The story is unrealistic and full of of holes.

The one that stood out to me the most was the whole premise that it is illegal to hunt in a national forest, which is totally untrue. Anyone who spends anytime in the wilderness should know that. I would go so far as to call it common knowledge that hunting is perfectly lega
Carmaletta Hilton
Apr 09, 2010 Carmaletta Hilton rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jarrod Scarbrough
Sep 01, 2013 Jarrod Scarbrough rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
This was a great book! Matheson was a master of the craft, for sure! This is the story of two men, a writer and an actor, who go on a hiking adventure. Writer is needing the experience so he can write a hiking novel, actor is an expert hiker who offers to take him and show him the ropes. Their superficial relationship turns sour, and we end up with actor tracking and hunting writer, trying to kill him. This was an excellent page turner, I really had a hard time putting it down!
Forrest Black
i love the way Richard Matheson writes, and a story about two men hiking in the remote woods of northern california, whose isolation from society forces them against each other, has me interested. i've heard from two people about this book, as well. one person hated it, and one loved it.. so i'm not too sure anymore. we'll see.
Oct 03, 2007 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A new Richard Matheson novel is a literary happening. Especially when it is his first new novel in seven years. Hunted Past Reason marks the return of the most influential horror writer of the 20th century.

For those new to this grandmaster—How I envy you; oh, to be able to read his works again for the first time!—Richard Matheson is the author of some of the seminal works of horror/dark suspense including I Am Legend, The Shrinking Man, Stir of Echoes, Hell House, Bid Time Return, What Dreams Ma
Dec 23, 2012 Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This one was pretty disappointing. We know from the back page blurb that a wilderness hike with two men ends with one being hunted by the other. However, the first 166 pages of the book consist of the two men arguing and sniping at each other but with no overt violence. When the action finally starts the book gets pretty interesting, and very violent, but then comes the ending, which features so much repeated stupidity on the part of the hero that you start to hope for him to die. I was glad to ...more
Zachariah N. Allison
Hunted Past Reason is another triumph for Richard Matheson, a man who sits high in the pantheon of story-tellers. Ever the master, Matheson paints the ultimate portrait of impending terror with flawless strokes. Much like the antagonist, Matheson is relentless in his pace as he sends us into the unknown wilderness of California and a sociopath's psyche. Matheson has crafted a piece that not only causes us to think of what we would do in the same scenario, but also how we view the world as a whol ...more
Jun 01, 2009 Julia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sure you'll love it if you're into whiny guys running around in the woods.
Aug 01, 2014 Shob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Two men enter the woods. But only one emerge alive. That's the blurb on the cover, and pretty much sums up the story. Ok, given that's not the most accurate synopsis, but that's basically the bare-bones version of this novella. You've probably read a version of this already, it's been re-hashed so many times since the biblical depiction of Cain and Abel.

What should have been left better as a short story, Matheson somehow manages to expand it to a novella that uncovers the psyché of two very diff
Aug 07, 2011 Aaron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although it was well written - easy to read, fast paced, and engaging - I found that I couldn't believe many of the plot twists. Spoiler: The main character can talk to animals??? That's just too ridiculous. And the bad guy came back one too many times - just kill 'em off already! I thought there was going to be something a little deeper to it - too many references to re-incarnation, but in the end that had nothing to do with it. We never got to see inside the mind of the villain, and there were ...more
Kris Pitzler
Three words here...Graphic homosexual rape. Written with such descriptiveness and fury that it made me truly disturbed. I noticed a lot of editing errors in this sequence of the book so I got the idea that the author kind of lost himself during the writing of this chapter and the editor just didn't want to pay close attention. Creepy.

The book succeeds in keeping you this way for the better part of the story. On edge and stomach in knots. All the way until the anti-climactic ending where the prot
Dan Roth
Aug 06, 2013 Dan Roth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This could be one of the best Matheson novels he’s written in a number of years. Bob Hansen who is an author and screenwriter goes on his first ever hike with semi-successful actor, Doug Crowley. Crowley is an expert hiker and doesn’t let Hansen forget it. When the adventure starts Crowley starts to antagonize Hansen, who has no experience in hiking, over little things. In fact you really start to feel sorry for Hansen who just wanted some inspiration for his new novel. Crowley has some other id ...more
Bill Walton
Jun 02, 2013 Bill Walton rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh come on...does this book really deserve only one star??

Yes, but only because I can't give it zero stars.

If you don't believe me, give it a read. I double dog dare you ;)

But seriously, speaking of dares, I have a feeling the author wrote this on a dare. How else can you explain an experienced and skilled writer sh*tting out such a steaming pile of literary fail?

I honestly don't know how I made it all the way through. It was quite a journey. At a certain point I told myself to read it as a come
Anthony Kufner
Oct 06, 2014 Anthony Kufner rated it really liked it
I read "Hunted Past Reason" by Richard Matheson a couple of years ago and loved it. I was just a a book fair and picked up the hard cover version. I first want to say that I enjoy Thrillers, Horror and Mystery books and I enjoy many of them. This book however is extremely good because it really evokes emotion from the reader. Not many books really have you on the edge of your set and concerned about the characters like this book. Once you start reading this book you wont want to put it down and ...more
Jul 04, 2015 Audrey rated it it was ok
Do not read this book. I really loved hell house, but weirdly didn't like the protagonist in that book. And right from the beginning I did not like bob, protagonist in this book. He is whiney and pathetic. He is in a race for his life, and stops to eat a cheese sandwich and make coffee. He's irritating, and I almost wanted him to die. This book weirdly focuses on afterlife and religious beliefs, a bizarre animal protection and doctor Doolittle sort of thing, and also a weird fixation with bowel ...more
Jan 27, 2010 Melissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is hilariously bad. Inner monologues repetitious to the point of hypnosis. A strange fixation on bowel movements. Incongruous sodomy. Richard Matheson's hallmark casual misogyny. A whole lot of "I want to give up but I must not!" over & over again. There is something quite chilling about the thought of being in the woods with someone who's really unstable when you yourself know nothing about finding your way out. But rather than build on this, Doug abruptly turns into some ridiculo ...more
Sep 07, 2015 steffy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cody Lakin
This could be added to the list of books I've read that I wanted to like, very much, but couldn't. And the fact that this comes from the legendary Richard Matheson makes it that much more unfortunate.

Hunted Past Reason has a very traditional type of premise, which, while not too original (think Deliverance), still has the potential to be a great story. And there were some things to like about this book, but the cons far outweigh the pros.

The story follows two friends who decide to take a trip th
Jan 22, 2014 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction, garbage
James Dickey would be rolling in his grave if he had read such a blatant (and unfortunately poorly written) rip-off of Deliverance. There's many reasons this is a book to avoid, but let's start with the three key scenes that jump straight from the pages of Dickey's brilliant novel:

1. The Rape Scene: All that's missing here is the "Squeal like a pig" line. What made the scene from Deliverance so disturbing was the fact that the atrocity was being committed by a complete stranger. What makes this
May 13, 2010 Lee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was bad....two guys on a hike, so Bob can experience it so he can write a book. Doug, who supposedly knows everthing there is about the great outdoors, wildlife, survival...etc.Then Doug goes pyscho & Bob has to try to get to the cabin alive...argh! I'm sorry that this is the same author that brought us, "Hell House", "I Am Legend". Sad, real sad.
Aug 15, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly disappointing work from an amazing author. Not sure what he was thinking here. It seems like Deliverance (a bit too much so) crossed with a Richard Laymon novel. It's not a terrible book but it just doesn't seem like something Matheson would write at that stage in his career.
Aug 29, 2008 Tressa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I was hoping for a tense thriller, but got a formulaic story with no surprises whatsoever. There was no tension because I knew halfway through the story the psycho was going to snap, and the ending was banal and predictable.

A really disappointing read.
Choose your camping companions very carefully. Two friends set off on a trek through the wilderness. One man becomes the hunter, the other the hunted. Matheson is one of the best out there. This IS NOT one of his best.
Jul 22, 2009 Randy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two friends hiking deep in the forest. old rivalries emerge causing a battle between the two men. Good thriller.
David Sabala
This wasn't a masterpiece by any means, but it was entertaining for me. Just a couple of guys on a backpacking trip, right? It starts out quietly and ends with chaos. If this were a symphony, it would be one long crescendo. There were several times I had to stop and shake my head, thinking that a lot of the scenes were impractical and simply not realistic. However, I still found myself cheering Bob on, and hoping for his success. Worth a read for sure, and it reminds me of that situational horro ...more
Jul 06, 2015 Kit★ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, paperback
This book was picked for my 2015 First Quarter Pick-It-For-Me pick over in Bookworm Buddies. I'd picked it up on a bookhunting trip somewhere along the line after I had read and really enjoyed I Am Legend & Hell House and The Box: Uncanny Stories by the author. My start and end read dates here make it seem like it took forever to get through, but that's just because I'd started it, got a couple chapters in, and then got interrupted by real life. It wasn't because the book was bad, just to ge ...more
This is my first Richard Matheson book that I've ever read even though I had quite a few on my shelf to pick from. I don't really care for the description of "two friends set off on a backpacking trip". They had only seen each other in social setting about a handful of times before they had set out of this adventure together. I enjoyed the book but a lot of this is very unbelieveable. Their professions and how they intertwine. Who would really agree to just go walking in the rough woods with pra ...more
Sep 22, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
In order to present a more convincing novel, author Bob Hansen decides to do some research and accompany an acquaintance on a backpacking trip. But as Bob and Doug, a failing actor, hike deeper into the woods, it becomes clear that Doug has some troublesome feelings towards Bob. And, even more troubling, it becomes a question of whether both men will make it out of the forest alive.

I'm kind of torn on how to rate this one. Matheson has presented a suspenseful and compelling story. However, some
Apr 17, 2013 Mindi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I like Richard Matheson, but this book was just bad from page one.

Some easy takeaway lessons are 1)never go backpacking in a forest with a person that you only know as a casual friend and 2)certainly don't do it if you have no training or even the slightest idea of what you are doing.

The friend,(Doug), is a jerk from the very beginning. He's smug, and there is absolutely nothing likable about his character. The protagonist, a writer named Bob, has engaged Doug to lead him on a 3 day backpacking
Matt Daly
This is my 3rd Matheson novel, after having read I am Legend (c. 1954) and Hell House (c.1971). I avoided reading reviews of this one before reading it myself and I am asking myself what Matheson has in store for me after almost 30 more years (Hunted Past Reason c.2002). Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly as satisfying.

The novel revolves around a successful author/screenwriter and a struggling actor/Bear Grylls. The author wants to rough it for a few days out in the wild to get some experience for
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Born in Allendale, New Jersey to Norwegian immigrant parents, Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married in 1952 and has four children, three of w ...more
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