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The Light at the End
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The Light at the End

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  831 ratings  ·  62 reviews
An adrenaline-charged tale of unrelenting suspense that sparks with raw and savage energy... The newspapers scream out headlines that spark terror across the city. Ten murders on the New York City subway. Ten grisly crimes that defy all reason -- no pattern, no m.o., no leads for police to pursue. The press dubs the fiend the "Subway Psycho"; the NYPD desperately seeks the...more
Mass Market Paperback, 385 pages
Published 1986 by Bantam
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Plot-wise--great book, clever story arc and a fantastic ending. As a vampire story (ie was the vampire sufficiently evil, nasty, unromantic and fear inducing?) excellent. Characterization--so so. My main complaint was that the writing style was quite juvenile at times. Overall I gave it 4 stars but would have trimmed it a bit and liked a more polished writing style.
Wayne Simmons
John Skipp & Craig Spector’s THE LIGHT AT THE END is a vamp novel first published in 1986, but don’t let that put you off. This is awesome stuff and a delightfully far cry from Anne Rice.

And a million miles from Stephanie Meyer.

The story’s set in 80s New York, where a serial killer (who turns out to be a recently sired vampire) is rampaging around the underground. The action plays out mostly during night time, lending the book a real Noir feel. The characters are as hard boiled as you like;...more
Johnny Virgil
I read this book back in the early 80's when I idolized Skipp and Spector -- they were in all the small horror mags I read, and desperately wanted to appear in. They wrote horror flash fiction, and basically created the genre called "splatter-punk."

I recently stumbled across the audio version so I picked it up for my commute and to see how well it held up. I guess sometimes wine turns to vinegar if you leave it sitting for too long. Unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy it all that much. There's...more
comes quickly
in the night.
Sinister intent.

in the end,
inevitably accepts.

by Nikki

Free on Amazon 4-11-13

I get it; The Original Splatterpunk-ers. I don't get the mediocre writing or over-easy characters. They're practically running all over the pages. There were times when I wanted the story to move on and end. Joseph was hulking it up constantly and really needed to be medicated. Stephen, was an annoying snot. None of the cast were likeable. The story was not as tight as it should have be...more
As a voracious reader, I always try to explore fringe genres, but my heart is forever with the well-written books with believable and fleshed-out characters, human drama and serious choices both characters and readers have to make.
Horror is one of those borderline cases when an exceptionally well-written novel with flawed but interesting characters and an insight into the psyche of a human mind cam enthrall me. Unfortunately, I believe this is not a case. I gave this novel three stars, but th...more
Jun 20, 2011 Bracken rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of vampires who DON'T sparkle
When I first read this 25 years ago I really enjoyed it. Rudy Pasko, the villain, is still a wonderfully developed and lasting character--equally an object of fear and contempt. The book remains a vanguard in (at that time) the burgeoning Splatterpunk literary movement and is worth a read for the pull-no-punches horror imagery and the very well-paced final third of the story. I found myself wishing that the subplot with the homeless in the tunnels was expanded and the character list was thinned...more
The Light at the End is an excellent, rip-roaring novel that serves up a classic horror novel creature the way it should be portrayed: as insidiously, viciously evil.

I only docked the book one star because of the ridiculously clichéd 1980s homophobia underlying the story.
I wanted to like this, but I just couldn't. It felt disjointed and very choppy. And really...."faggots"? Was that necessary?
Not something I would recommend.
The Light at the End haiku

Rudy, punk vampire,
chased by a band of dorks to
poetic justice.

After hearing about The Light at the End's claim to be the first 'Splatterpunk' novel, I was definitely excited to give it a try. The book had some interesting scenarios and plot twists, but overall there were some pacing issues, and the characters ranged from unlikeable to indifferent. There were also a handful of descriptions and pop-cultural references that confused me. I wish I had written them down.

Sam McCanna
A total blast of the 80's, and the best vampire novel I've yet to read.
I should say that I was not previously very interested in vampire stories, nor did I know what this book was about when I started reading it.

John Skipp just showed me, with no time to argue, that vampire stories can be really really good.

A good run through a great horror story, told from the viewpoints of several different characters, including the vampire himself... A vampire just recently turned, unaware of how to best util...more
The Light at the End was first published in 1986; and I read it @ 25 years ago. I LOVED it. I don't remember exactly why I loved it, but I 5+ stars LOVED it. I still have the paperback on my "keeper" shelf.

Recently I saw it for $.99 for kindle and thought this would be a good opportunity for a re-read and easier on the older eyes. I don't know what happened, but I didn't love it anymore. I couldn't get into it. There was a whole slew of characters thrown at me, one after another, somewhat one di...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book in all it's horror and ugliness. Though the book was written in 1986, it still seems very current with the exception of the dependence on pay phones. The book had a number of characters but the authors meshed them together very well. The vampire Rudy was not a nice human and in no way is he a nice vampire. The rag tag bunch of people who are thrown together by circumstances beyond their control are also not exactly what you would call likable. They come together to...more
-Si quieres conocer el verdadero carácter de alguien, dale poder y observa-.

Género. Narrativa Fantástica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Un mal tan antiguo que hasta el propio Vlad trató de ganarse sus favores, se toma unas breves y traviesas vacaciones en Nueva York que dejan como resultado una carnicería y un nuevo vampiro, Rudy, que irá descubriendo sus capacidades sin ningún tipo de guía y que actuará en función de su malsana personalidad. Pero sus actividades llamarán la atención de varios personajes.

Andrew Arbow
This book is completely innovative and holds up where it counts and dates itself where it counts as well. I saw in interview with Craig Spector where he talked about the pitching the book and how he said the idea of a vampire in a black leather jacket was unheard of at the time and now it's hard to think of vampires not in black leather jackets. This started the whole Slpatterpunk movement that brought the same esthetics to horror that Cyberpunk did for Sci-Fi .I'd call this book scary but it's...more
A vampire in New York, and the people who fight it. It was a good story, but the writing was not so good. While the techniques work, they were not done well. 3 stars for story, 2 for writing.
This is often regarded as one of the first splatterpunk novels. Sounds right to me. Nice mixture of grungy city life, punks, junkies, and...what else?...vampires.
S.P. Durnin
Easily, the best work of vampire fiction/horror I've ever had the pleasure to read. Utterly entertaining and satisfyingly visceral. Wonderful work!!!
This was terrific. Kicked ass. Very gusty, realistic, raw sort of writing that reminded me a bit of Teresa Hawk. An ancient vampire, passing through New York, vamps some random victims on the subway, one of whom is a skeezy wannabe punk/goth who enjoys his newfound status as an undead killing machine *way* too much. The entire book is him versus our heroes, a classic pack of 80's D&D-playing 20-somethings who call on every Lost Boys trick in the book to take on the growing tide of monsters....more
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This novel, the first by the groundbreaking 'splatterpunk' pioneers John Skipp and Craig Spector, was written in New York City, 1986. It really is a New York novel, the city's grim 80s atmosphere is brilliantly used as an urban Gothic backdrop for the horrifying events that take place herein. The story concerns a vampire. A vampire in the subway system of New York. In these days of vampire-everything, and especially vampire as heartthrob, or even good guy , this book might not attract fans of t...more
KV Taylor
So when I started reading this I was really, really in love with it. The beginning is sick, sick magic, and at first, the characters feel both real and like you'll want them to win... and be sad when they die, as about half of them must, considering. I tore through the first half.

I slowed down by the time I got to 2/3 in, though. A lot of things nagged at me that I couldn't really get past, and ruined my enjoyment of what should've been a perfect vampire story. The last 1/3 was the most intense,...more
J.H. Kimbrell
Although I have read this book, it has been a long time and I am about to embark on another read of it all these years later. It was in the summer of 1988 that I first read it, stretching it out over many relaxing afternoons in my room, so it has a great sense of nostalgia for me and while I loved Anne Rice's romantic vampires, I also enjoyed the ferocious punk Rudy (yes, I still remember that name). I'm sure that a fresh read will be every bit as enjoyable as the first.
James Jr.
This is what vampires are supposed to be: scary, cold-blooded killers. Rudy, the monster, is a perfect depiction of what Bram Stoker's Renfield might have been had his transition been completed.

Having grown up in the 80s, I appreciated the dated technology the hunters use in this story. The tale itself is a good time, regardless of which decade your adolescence calls home.

My lone complaint about this edition of the novel are the numerous formatting issues in the Nook version, which happen to in...more
I was in the mood for some retro cheesy horror and Light At The End did the job. Gritty, bloody, punky and VERY 80's. How this was not made into a movie -- starring the lovely Molly Ringwold -- I do not know.
An 80's horror story using the endless dark of the New York subway system - okay, I'm liking the concept. A fair amount of the story is told from the vamp's POV, without ever romanticizing or redeeming him - that scores major points with me. The monsters are monstrous, the death scenes are gruesome.

The homophobia detracted. So did the authors' tendency to end particularly dramatic scenes. By writing. In sentence fragments. Like this. And the vampire Rudy becomes less horrific and more pathetic a...more
It was okay. I wouldn't call it Splatterpunk though. Not enough splatter not enough punk. Too much black arts.
The "splatterpunk" aspect of this one hasn't aged well. What was shocking in the mid-80's pales to what is available now. Luckily, it is still a great story with plenty of thrills.
Lisa Godina
I have read very few Vampire books so I don't have a wide basis of comparison. That being said this book was captivating. There were several Adult Situations so I wouldn't recommend this to a preteen or younger.
The characters showed both the strength and weaknesses in human nature. The vampire was more in the Dracula persona than the modern Edward persona. So Twilight fans will be disappointed as Rudy, the vampire, is no hero/loverboy.
There was a couple surprises that I didn't expect which made...more
This book was great....messengers hunting a vampire through the streets and subways of 1980s NYC.
Dustin Reade
A great retelling of the Vampire story: gory, intense, and not-to-serious. It was a bit of a slow start, though, and at times it read a bit too much like Stephen King (how many characters do you really need to tell ONE story?), but all in all in was a good book. The second half was far better than the first, so if you make it past the first fifty pages, you are in for a treat. Parts of it were genuinely funny, and the dream sequences were off the hook. Anyone who likes a good horror read should...more
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Crossroad Press: The Light at the End by John Skipp & Craig Spector FREE 4 15 Apr 11, 2013 04:36AM  
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