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The Hollower

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  163 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Something alien is stalking residents of Lakehaven, New Jersey. It can't see them, hear them, or touch them, but it knows them — their fears, their insecurities, and their secrets. It knows how to destroy them from the inside out. And it won't stop until each of them is dead. Dave Kohlar has never felt like he was good for anything. But when his sanity, his life, and the ...more
Hardcover, signed limited to 85 numbered copies, 300 pages
Published 2011 by Thunderstorm Books (first published August 28th 2007)
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Jon Recluse
Jan 26, 2015 Jon Recluse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A fast, fun horror novel that offers an fresh spin on the boogeyman mythos, transforming the closet lurker of childhood into an active predator of adults, bringing forth their hidden fears to feed upon.
Character development could have used a bit more fleshing out, but otherwise a solid first novel.
Jan 01, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Hollower is a fast-paced, phantasmagoric horror novel that starts off with a bang, literally, and doesn't let up until the climax, which ties things up neatly but leaving readers with a nifty ending that begs for picking up the sequel, Found You. The protagonist, Dave Kohlar, a small-town newspaper reporter and caretaker of his mentally-disturbed younger sister, begins to have troubling and frightening incidents, where he glimpses a mysterious figure dressed in black, wearing a black ...more
Feb 22, 2009 Unapologetic_Bookaholic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of terror reads
Recommended to Unapologetic_Bookaholic by: author Brian Keene
I read this some time before finding Goodreads and being able to post an accurate and heart-felt review.

When I love a book or when a book affects me enough to haunt my memory, even some time later down the line. I want to be able to capture that moment when I turn the last page.

Mary Sangiovanni evokes a powerful response in the reader. If you like your horror served up where the ordinary band together to try and defeat the supernatural. When glimpses of something leaves you so shaken and terrif
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Jun 20, 2015 ᴥ Irena ᴥ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The Hollower reminds me of It, only on a much smaller scale and with only one kid.

Something is following people dredging up their hidden fears creating hallucinations that will disturb them most. It seems to know everything. The story starts with one of those poor people giving up. But the thing just moves on to someone else.
A group of people, each with his or her own guilt and fear, will be forced to confront this faceless horror.

The characters aren't as developed as I'd like but the story ha
Jul 01, 2015 Karl marked it as to-read
Shelves: thunderstorm-own
This is copy 80 of 85 signed numbered copies.
Feb 02, 2010 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Another worthless novel from the folks at Leisure. Maybe it's a little unhelpful to criticize an imprint for a random, small selection of titles, but these Leisure Horror books have been literally the worst novels I have read in my life.

Sangiovanni's writing fails on a number of levels. She can write a clear sentence, sure, but her action is always passive and her characters and setting are never described in any concrete way. As an MFA holder she's probably been told to use as few adjectives an
Matt Garcia
Jul 03, 2016 Matt Garcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stellar read. It initially reminded me of the invisible man, hollow man, Beware by Richard Laymon and even IT by Stephen King a tiny bit. Terrific writing, very human characters, and straightforward/conversational yet poetic writing make for several genuinely eerie and chilling scenes throughout the novel. I actually thought to myself: "damn that's creepy" at certain points. Great concept and idea from SanGiovanni. Taking a little inspiration from other novels, authors, and films and making it ...more
In the introduction to Mary SanGiovanni’s debut horror novel The Hollower, author Brian Keene poses the question to the reader: What is fear? Is it truly the gore-streaked movies that we flock to night after night, the shock-factor exposés of gruesome torture and brutal dissection which we have all but become numb to and abuse as idle amusement? Or does true fear quicken from the anticipation of what we cannot see or control, that liquid darkness spawned of our own subconscious that seeps into ...more
Billy Vazquez
Jul 19, 2014 Billy Vazquez rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror

My first book from Mary SanGiovanni was The Anathema Cell. This chapbook is the best horror short story I have read in a long time. Therefore, I picked up The Hollower and let me tell you, this horror story is really good.

It reminds me of Stephen King's It. Which was my first scary horror book I ever owned and read. The book starts with the introduction of the characters and their relationship with The Hollower. The characters are believable run of the mill people. The characters flaws
Mar 01, 2008 Nelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Hitchcock
Recommended to Nelson by: Janrae Frank
Mary SanGiovanni’s The Hollower is a very impressive debut novel.

The cast of characters includes a journalist named Dave, his psychologically fragile sister, a policewoman, a former drug addict, a bartender and an 11 year-old boy. Their lives intersect when they discover that all of them have seen a shadowy apparition that looks vaguely like Bogart on the runway in Casablanca, but with no facial features. The first two-thirds of the book reads like a psychological thriller; from there, the creep
This was an okay novel. Pacing was nice, the novel hummed along, but at the sacrifice of character development. I never cared about any of the characters.

Until the end, the book was less a coherent whole and more of a series of stand-alone scenes that followed a predictable course: The Hollower scares someone, then goes away. Rinse and repeat until the characters grow tired of the act and storm The Hollower's hideaway with no plan or clue how to kill it. If you think that sounds implausible, yo
Mike Mehalek
Jul 26, 2014 Mike Mehalek rated it it was amazing
Mary SanGiovanni's debut novel was a real treat to read. Technically well written and written more skillfully than many other debut novels in this regard. The story flows well and was a realtively fast read. Critics will also make the claim that the body count is too low, but horror is more than blood and gore, and this book does have its share. The opening scene is superb in its description of all five senses. The plot runs like a roller coaster, slowly building...building...building until ...more
Dec 27, 2011 Kasia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considering that this is the author's first novel I was very impressed with the quickness of the action and professional tone of the book. However the more I read it the more the action felt like a movie on TV, it would fit perfectly on the Sci-fi network as a late night flick. Fast and to the point no time was wasted to introduce all the troubled characters who by a miracle find each other, they all have a problem and don't now how to solve it, what it will cost them will be their lives and ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Kristin rated it it was amazing
This was a great read. I felt sucked into the world almost immediately, thanks to SanGiovanni's vivid prose. I loved the monster-without-a-face, and how even without a face, it could emote. Unlike a lot of horror novels/movies, where I find myself rooting for the evil, I wanted Dave and the rest of the characters to succeed. Awesome debut!
Mar 23, 2011 Bandit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty fun read, very good premise. There is a sequel to it, Found You, but I haven't read it yet.
Blow Pop
Apr 08, 2015 Blow Pop rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2015
Content warnings: mentions of childhood sexual assault, ableism (calling mentally ill people broken and damaged), mental torture, childhood abuse, and drug use/recovery.

This was....quite different from any other horror book I've ever read. I've mostly only read Barker (but occasionally listen to King). I like it. I also like that it didn't have a happy ending. They think they have a happy ending but they don't really.

And I have a hunch that the Slenderman mythos was based on this book (especiall
Brooks Yelverton
First time authors, take note. As the unofficial debut novelist reviewer for, I feel it is my duty to impart a few tidbits of wisdom upon those of you that will send your books my way. First, do NOT self-publish. (Insert long rant here…). Second, be original, creative, and exciting. Third, have at least some level of talent and competence in your writing. And fourth, believe in yourself and your book and make sure that attitude comes across to your audience (whether online or in ...more
Mike Brendan
Feb 21, 2008 Mike Brendan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students of the horror genre and writing. Dedicated horror fans
Pay no attention to Nickolaus there, good reader, as one cannot review a book one hasn't read.

The Hollower is San Giovanni's first novel. It's a basic monster/haunt novel, which while it's a standard trope, it's handled in a more unique way. The faceless creature in question feeds off our insecurities and doubts by antagonizing them, which is different from most psychological feeders that typically drain something from a victim (e.g. "Wildwood Road").

The book starts out strongly with a very dist
Mar 17, 2008 Zoe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dave Kohlar and his sister Sally have a problem with a phantom. Dave believes only he can see it, and his sister is instead projecting his problems into her own deluded fantasies, but after the suicide of a friend of Sally's, Dave begins to learn how many other people have seen the strange man without a face. The other people who have come to know the chilling voice of the Hollower gather together in search of a way to kill something which seems ageless, and whose only desire is to feed on them ...more
The Hollower is a thing. It can change its appearance and even change the world around it. It can sense weaknesses and will hurt its victims however it can. Dave, Sally, Cheryl, Erik and Sean are about to find out how just how horrible this thing can be.

This is my first book by this author. This Saturday I am going to a book signing in which Mary SanGiovanni and others will be there. I found this author after reading some books by Brian Keene and thought I would give her books a try.

The Hollowe
Feb 21, 2008 Janrae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First novels are often flawed. Writing long fiction is a hard learning curve. However, I think that this novel transcends both the usual dangers of first novelists and those of the genre to which it belongs.

I am a big fan of Mary's short fiction and my favorite story by hers is "Ossibus."

In this novel about a group of young people who encounter a supernatural being that feeds upon despair, Mary does her usual outstanding job of characterization. She makes you connect with and feel for her charac
Jan 02, 2012 Martin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whilst I'm not against the writing itself,I just found that I did not care what happened to the characters...

There were moments when I could not read fast enough but all of a sudden I'd feel like I was just thrown out of the plot because the Hollower would just repeat his actions with a new character.

Sadly, the Elm Street franchise is also brought to mind and that hinders the novel too.

The bottom line is that its a good starting point for those new to the horror genre in both books and films.

Dec 21, 2011 Shara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-longer-own
It's a good book, but definitely feels like a debut, in a good way. It didn't scare me, but then again, it takes a helluva lot to scare me, and while I wish there was more backstory, I like the concept of the Hollower. I definitely want to seek out SanGiovanni's collection of short stories, Under Cover of Night, and I look forward to seeing what she does next.[return][return]For a full review, which DOES INCLUDE SPOILERS, please click here:
Somer Canon
Aug 19, 2016 Somer Canon rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic "boogeyman" story. Of course, the monster isn't quite a boogeyman, but that generic term will satisfy enough until you actually read it.

I think that leaving so much unclear about the creature works really well and I'm very much looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.
May 07, 2015 Shawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I loved the premise of this novel, a faceless entity stalking people. A great boogyman like horror. This book was fine in the sense that it built up the anxiety and horror over the course of the novel. The novel is fine, it just didn't pull me in. It wasn't a disappointment but it didn't thrill me either.
Oct 14, 2009 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was briskly told, with quickly drawn characters and worked well - though the ending could have been a bit shorter. Very good for a first novel though and it'll be interesting to see what Mary does next.
Ramon Dearmas
Yes I am thinking about becoming more as opposed to ambitous on this genre? We will see this was good starting place, but I have read better Roberts, and Keene but the book was not bad. It did grab my attention at moments...
Jul 01, 2013 Monica rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the first installment of the Hollower series. Very creepy and suspensful. I look forward to reading the rest of the series!
Damian Grimes
Damian Grimes rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2012
Patrick Lacey
Patrick Lacey rated it it was amazing
Jan 30, 2016
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Mary SanGiovanni is the author of the THE HOLLOWER trilogy (the first of which was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award), THRALL, CHAOS, and the forthcoming CHILLS (aka THE BLUE PEOPLE), and the novellas FOR EMMY, POSSESSING AMY, and NO SONGS FOR THE STARS, as well as the collections UNDER COVER OF NIGHT and A DARKLING PLAIN. Her fiction has appeared in periodicals and anthologies for the last ...more
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