Hunted Past Reason
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Hunted Past Reason

3.09 of 5 stars 3.09  ·  rating details  ·  584 ratings  ·  81 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...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 5th 2002 by Tor Books (first published 2002)
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Carmaletta Hilton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike Green
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...more
Rick
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...more
Jarrod Scarbrough
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.
John Buckler
Richard Matheson's gripping novel about two "friends" going on a backpacking trip through a forest. Matheson is a genius when it comes to working on developing characters. What I like about him the most, is the way he works with only a few characters, as in this book and in "I am Legend." Not many people can flesh out characters and environment working with such a small cast of people, yet Matheson is the best I've ever read at doing it.

This book is gripping in it's matter, and kept me enthralle...more
Melissa
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
Adam Howells
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...more
Lee
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.
Tressa
Aug 29, 2008 Tressa rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Trudi
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.
Randy
Two friends hiking deep in the forest. old rivalries emerge causing a battle between the two men. Good thriller.
Julia
I'm sure you'll love it if you're into whiny guys running around in the woods.
Krysjohn85
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
Aaron
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...more
Sarah
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...more
Mindi
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...more
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...more
Adrian Lilly
The first two-thirds was psychological terror and character complexity with a growing darkness in one of the two main characters. I enjoyed this part of the book immensely. Little happened, but the characterizations were strong and believable, and it kept me reading -- and wondering -- who would really be the bad guy.

When the book took a sudden, brutal turn, I was disappointed. The antagonist descended into such madness, it was hard for me to believe that he could ever appear sane. For me, this...more
Dan Roth
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
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...more
Mike
The first half of the book was interesting in my opinion. The second half not as much and the ending was just kind of silly. Overall I would say it had some good moments and I don't regret reading it but just wish the ending had been more realistic. I also had a hard time believing the villain, Doug, was such an invincible superman. It just wasn't realistic in my opinion. Also, the villain constantly telling the protagonist he's going to kill him in long speeches instead of just killing him alwa...more
Matt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Pitingolo
Getting through this novel was more difficult than an off trail hike
Leah
I couldn't decide between two or three stars. The story is well-written, suspenseful and compelling but...I don't know quite what bothered me about it. Maybe it was that I didn't really like the main character until he was knee-deep in trouble. Or maybe it's that it didn't seem realistic enough. Both men are given ample backstory and development. The tension was palpable. And the one scene, if you've read the book you know what I'm talking about, made me squirm in my chair. Overall, I'd say if y...more
Kaleena
Dec 23, 2007 Kaleena rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror Readers
Richard Matheson is a good writer. I enjoyed reading his style of work. Now that does not nesscerily mean that I enjoyed the context of the book.

I found myself trying to read passages quickly so that I could finish quicker.

When Doug finally breaks and goes insane, I just couldn't accept his behavior and I was angry at Bob for defending himself more and for not exerting his own manhood at times.

I would only recommend this book to readers of horror, but I myself do not know if I will read anoth...more
Charles
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
Peter Molnar
I love Richard Matheson and I bow at his altar but this was certainly not one of his shining moments. His writing has become simplistic to the point of near-zero character development. I also thought the ending of this novel just did not satisfy because it had characters doing and saying things I don't think they would have actually done. I wil have to revisit his older works, circa "The Twilight Zone" to remind myself what it was that makes this man great.
Joey
Can I give half a star? I didn't finish it, but gave it more time than it deserved. I heard good things about Richard Matheson, but what I got was cliched characters, a hackneyed premise, stilted dialogue, and a plot that didn't move an inch until halfway through the book. I read the last few pages and the ending was as bad as the rest. Thoroughly unpleasant - don't waste your time.
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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
More about Richard Matheson...
I Am Legend and Other Stories I Am Legend Hell House What Dreams May Come A Stir of Echoes

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