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Meeting Evil

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  200 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
When John answers a knock at his front door, he thinks nothing of giving the man outside a hand in starting his car. John's charitable impulses then lead him to offer to guide the man as far as a nearby petrol station - but then begins an extraordinary journey into darkness.
Paperback, 220 pages
Published April 22nd 2003 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1992)
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(showing 1-30)
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Apr 25, 2009 Joshua rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2009
Sometimes I'm baffled by the average scores on goodreads--this is one of those times. I only finished this awful book just to unleash a rare one star review!

This was just terrible, from start to finish, which was kind of a surprise because I've read a few other Berger books (Being Invisible, Neighbors, Little Big Man) and enjoyed those a lot. Same direct Berger style but the story of a man who is accidentally drawn into a hellish day of crime he can't get out of absolutely drove me crazy.

Aaron Martz
Dec 05, 2012 Aaron Martz rated it it was amazing
A freaky, disturbing thriller about an everyday man who is kidnapped by a seemingly cold-blooded and thoughtless maniac who eventually reveals his intellectual stance on his behavior. This book, which takes place over the course of a single evening, is gut-wrenching, unbearable to read in places, but nonetheless captivating and thoroughly engrossing. Berger is an author of almost unequal intelligence gifted with a supreme high brow humor which he often employs to skewer middle class values. It's ...more
Jasun Horsley
Dec 09, 2014 Jasun Horsley rated it really liked it
I read this in one sitting ~ or lying ~ which is pretty unprecedented for me these days.

Berger has a knack for creating ambiguous characters and scenes and for pulling you into the action.

The story is about the worst day of one man's life and it takes place in "real time" ~ that is there's no time lapses, just a steady, relentless journey down the rabbit hole of misfortune.

The title is a bit misleading or histrionic; it's not so much about meeting evil as it is about making a series of serious m
Nancy Sirvent
Aug 21, 2011 Nancy Sirvent rated it really liked it
Recommended to Nancy by: John Cotter (Open Letters Monthly)
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2011
This is part 2 of my descent into literary psychopath stories. Berger is a top-notch writer. I plowed through the book in a day. It's also darkly funny, in a way that surprises. At first I thought the main character was idiotic in an extreme way that I found unbelievable. But as the novel progressed, he started reminding me of a few people I have know. Idiotic and believable.
Sep 15, 2011 Christie rated it liked it
According to Jonathan Lethem, Thomas Berger is “one of America’s three or four greatest living novelists.” I’d never heard of him when I added Meeting Evil to my tbr list, then shelf – where it languished for several years before I finally got around to reading it.

Meeting Evil is the story of John Felton, a young real estate agent suffering through the downturn in the American economy. He’s married to Joanie, father to Melanie and Philip and his life is about to get very complicated. It’s Monda
Nov 15, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
It’s a normal morning when John Felton answers a knock at the door of his family’s home. Standing on the doorstep is a stranger who claims that he’s having car trouble and would like help pushing his car down the road towards the nearest service station. John, a middle class Real Estate agent with a wife and 2 children likes to think that he is a nice, helpful, and polite guy so he agrees to help the stranger. This decision is the first of many that make John’s day go totally off track into ...more
Aug 17, 2016 Alexander rated it it was ok
This was an OK read to me. My 8 y.o. daughter bought a copy of this for me at the local dollar store and kept asking if I'd read her book yet -- so I finally read it. I've never read anything by Thomas Berger before. He clearly has a good grasp of storytelling and plotting. While this story takes place mostly over the course of a single day, he does a good job of continuing to keep the plot moving forward. This book reminded my of Kafka. In reading it, written 3rd person voice that follows one ...more
Jan 17, 2012 Reggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meeting Evil is a breathless, suburban horror story, in which husband, father, and Real-Estate salesman, John Felton finds himself suddenly "the best friend" of Richie, a man with a decidedly bent sense of the way the world should be. In one very long day-from-hell, John goes from feeding his children and folding laundry to making life-or-death decisions, all the while contemplating his motivations for his life.

Presented in what amounts to acts, Meeting Evil is a thrill ride. The white-knuckle
Chris Cangiano
Apr 23, 2014 Chris Cangiano rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Mild-mannered realtor and family man John Felton makes the mistake of opening the front door and agreeing to a stranger with car trouble. Unbeknownst to John, the stranger Richie is a total sociopath and John will spend the rest of the "worst day of his life" being dragged, sort of, along on Richie's crime spree. Berger effectively builds the novel's momentum and the relentless dream/nightmare logic upon which the action is premised. However, you will best be able to appreciate Meeting Evil if ...more
Michelle (tinyturtle88)
It took me such a long time to read this book. I read it in spurts. It was disturbing in the sense that you're annoyed at everything that the main character does, doesn't do, says, doesn't say...everything snowballs and you're watching (reading) it all happen and want to say 'I told you so, stupid'. I thought this book would be a little creepier than it was, and I would say that it was not a page turner.
Jul 19, 2015 Kris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I've ever read a more painful book. It's not just boring and I despise the character, John. He's worse than Richie because he was willing to turn the other cheek while Richie was going to rape the boy and when the female character was trying to fight him off. His personality is nauseating. Etc. Richie is the truest form of a**hole though. I'm actually only half way through and want to, not just quit but, throw it into traffic so it gets run over.
Oct 12, 2010 Trisha rated it liked it
Just like that annoying song on the radio that you can't help singing along to, this novel is truy infuriating yet totally compelling. I wanted to reach into the pages and wring the neck of the main character who stumbled from one bad decision to another. Berger did somehow catch the flawed thinking, vulnerability, and self-doubt that we all experience at times quite masterfully. You will have to judge this one for yourself!
May 12, 2013 Jorge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una novela de Berger llena de una tensión que no termina hasta la última página. Rivalidad, brochazos de emociones encontradas, frialdad y calidez, deseo incontenible y miedo de actuar. Una narración que contiene lo necesario para tener al lector en una montaña de expectativas, ilusiones y desilusiones. Mayo 2013
Sep 06, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it
Disturbing yet compelling. The only problem for me was that once the protagonist's day of tragic misfortune began is was pretty clear that it would snowball in predictable ways until the last few pages. The only mystery was how it would be resolved. Still, four stars.
I hadn't realized that the author, Thomas Berger, (Little Big Man, et al.), died just a little over a month ago.
Lew Serviss
Jul 18, 2013 Lew Serviss rated it it was amazing
I went to bed with about 40 pages to go and had to get up and finish this dark tale. Unnerving book that can make you uncomfortable, but will you ever turn the pages! Berger is a master. Addendum: They turned this into a dreadful movie that massively rewrote the original. It was as if Richie went at Thomas Berger's manuscript with a meat cleaver.
Kyle Yadlosky
Sep 04, 2015 Kyle Yadlosky rated it it was amazing
What a sweeping and riveting tale that makes a reader feel every minute of this day from hell, and makes you feel a little mad from hearing such good sense coming from a killer for so long.

Also, really good if you read all of Richie's dialogue in Samuel L. Jackson's voice--but what can't you say that about?
Adam Rosenbaum
Jul 21, 2013 Adam Rosenbaum rated it really liked it
Approaching Jim Thompson's masterpiece Pop 1280 for its horrifying look at the evil that lurks around us, but not quite as pulpy. Sometimes looking at ourselves with a true objective eye reveals truths we don't want to see. It seems realtors make quite a suitable protaganist in todays fiction (see Richard)Ford.) Wonder why that is so..I'm a realtor.

Mariahkay Callahan
Feb 27, 2012 Mariahkay Callahan rated it did not like it
From the very beginning my basic reaction was just, "really?...really?...REALLY?". I haven't read a book that I have disliked more in a long long time and regret even spending $2.99 on it at a used book store. If this review was too vague to deter you from wanting to read 'Meeting Evil' then refer to the first review on the page.
Jul 14, 2008 Greg rated it liked it
I'm excited to read something else by the author, but I just couldn't commit 100% to Meeting Evil. It's like the movie Very Bad Things, except not quite as believable. Maybe I needed to read it differently, but I didn't buy all the motivations. Even still, it was entertaining and a fast read.
Jun 08, 2010 Tim rated it liked it
Berger's story of an ordinary man pulled into a series of criminal misadventures by a rogue he tries to help is generally involving and entertaining. It's nothing extraordinary — it's no "Little Big Man," to be sure — but I was not disappointed.
Michele Sanders rosette
Mar 23, 2013 Michele Sanders rosette rated it did not like it
This book was awful. The premise was beyond ridiculous and the writing was terrible. I read it because I heard it was made into a Sam Jackson movie and I'm a fan. Sam should've passed on this stinker.
Oct 01, 2013 Bastet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
(reseña completa)

Es un libro que me ha gustado mucho y me ha tenido enganchada de principio a final. Cierto es que el protagonista, en ocasiones, da mucha rabia por como actúa.
Nov 16, 2013 David rated it liked it
This is not one of Berger's best, the main character is just a little too feckless for the book to be compelling. Also, the relationship between the wife and husband seems way off to the way normal couples interact.
Aug 03, 2016 Anie rated it really liked it
The book is a comedy of errors. It shows how a good albeit weak person can be twisted by evil. Sometimes extremely aggravating, but worth reading to the end.
Glennh rated it really liked it
Apr 20, 2011
Kevin rated it it was amazing
Jun 18, 2012
Dan rated it it was ok
Oct 16, 2012
Kristen rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2013
Brenda Geraldine
Brenda Geraldine rated it liked it
Feb 15, 2016
Ari rated it liked it
Sep 14, 2015
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Thomas Louis Berger is an American novelist. Probably best known for his picaresque novel Little Big Man and the subsequent film by Arthur Penn, Berger has explored and manipulated many genres of fiction throughout his career, including the crime novel, the hard-boiled detective story, science fiction, the utopian novel, plus re-workings of classical mythology, Arthurian legend, and the survival a ...more
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