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The Pariah

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  794 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
The quaint little seaside town of Granitehead seemed like a perfect place for John and Jane Trenton to start their life together. But disaster strikes and Jane and their unborn child are killed. John's grief is total, so when he starts to see the ghostly apparition of his wife he almost welcomes this supernatural phenomenon. Yet all is not what it seems, and this sinister ...more
379 pages
Published (first published 1983)
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The Pariah by Graham MastertonThe House That Jack Built by Graham MastertonMirror by Graham MastertonA Terrible Beauty by Graham MastertonWalkers by Graham Masterton
Graham Masterton's Best
1st out of 75 books — 27 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Stand by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram Stoker
The Definitive Horror Book List
435th out of 1,000 books — 1,379 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,489)
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Jack Tripper
Jan 11, 2016 Jack Tripper rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
For nearly the entirety of this novel, I thought there was no doubt I’d be rating this 5 stars. Unfortunately, the ending was a slight letdown for me, but that does not change the fact that this is top-notch pulp horror.

The opening 50 or so pages are some of the freakiest, most spine-chilling I’ve ever read. 30-something John, newly widowed after a tragic car accident claimed his wife, and living in an old cottage on the coast of Massachusetts near Salem, one night begins hearing strange whisper
Mar 28, 2011 Maciek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, read-in-2009
The Pariah is an obscure horror novel from 1983, a good time for horror fiction. Phantoms, Floating Dragon and Pet Sematary were all published that year; so was The Pariah, but hardly anyone heard about it.

Being a British author, Graham Masterton has somehow never gathered a big following in the USA, despite being as prolific as the two titans of terror, King and Koontz. In his native Britain and Europe he remains a strong figure, publishing a new novel or two every year. Being prolific certainl
Mar 28, 2016 Chris_P rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Before I say what I thought about The Pariah, here's a piece of info about yours truely. I used to be a horror buff. In my teens and afterwards, I would watch and read tons of horror movies and books and always aim for getting scared. For example, I would always read a horror novel at night often with candles or low lighting and watch a horror movie with no lights at all and preferably with headphones on. I was always going for the full horror experience. Otherwise, why bother with horror, right ...more
Constance Lapsati
Feb 02, 2013 Constance Lapsati rated it it was amazing
Οι βραδινές σκηνές με την κούνια που πηγαίνει μόνη της πέρα δώθε, είναι από τις πιο ανατριχιαστικές που έχω διαβάσει.
Θυμάμαι πως το ξεκίνησα βράδυ αυτό το βιβλίο και με κάθε βεβαιότητα ήταν η πιο spooky νύχτα που έχω περάσει με βιβλίο του Μάστερτον. Το συγκεκριμένο ήταν πραγματικά απολαυστικό. Διότι όταν μπορείς με μία μονο κούνια, τί κοινότυπο αλήθεια!, να γεννήσεις στον αναγνώστη τέτοια συναισθήματα, τότε τοχεις καταφέρει !
Sep 06, 2007 Mark rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Horror Fans
Shelves: horror
I enjoy Graham Masterton's novels.

He does a great job of extending the Lovecraft Mythos in his writing.

In this case, setting is modern day Salem Massachusetts; an appropriately creepy venue.

The novel starts up pretty scary as the protagonist, a man whose wife has recently died in a car accident, becomes haunted by the ghost of his deceased wife. He does some research and realizes that the recently dead are rising in ghostly form to haunt and kill their living relatives.

The reason for the imperfe
Oct 04, 2011 Bill rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This is the second book by Masterton that I've read but even though there were a few things I didn't like about it, it certainly won't be the last I read of him. This was an earlier publication by him. A few months ago I read Trauma, which was a more mature effort, in my opinion.

But, there was a lot to like about Pariah, as well. This guy really knows how to move a story along without any needless bogging down. And
atmospherically, there were moments, especially early on in the story, where he re
Jane Doe
Mar 17, 2011 Jane Doe rated it it was amazing
What a great book! The myths, legends, witchcraft, scuba diving, marine salvaging, antiques and area where he lives is written with wonderful detail to keep you interested without getting boring, he keeps you engaged in how it will all fit together. All the characters are well fleshed out with real life traits, some likeable some not so much. How he deals with the ghost aspect of the story is thought provoking (certainly not Casper). There is out right horror but the subtle horror reaches out sl ...more
Apr 07, 2012 Sabrina rated it it was amazing
One of the most chilling books I've ever read. I will put this book up against any horror book anytime. It is as perfect as the creation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The author spares no detail and spins a tale so creepy and so macabre that you will not sleep a wink but you can not put this book down. If you have not read it add it to your library. It is a keeper and great gift for anyone who enjoys the tales of Salem, ghostly visits and hauntings. This is an unforgettable book I read in high ...more
Λίνα Θωμάρεη
Ποιος Stephen King και βλακείες... Όταν λέμε Λογοτεχνία Τρόμου εννοούμε Graham Masterton. Πρώτη φορά διάβασα βιβλίο που φοβόμουν να γυρίσω την σελίδα!!!!
Υπεραγαπημένο βιβλίο από έναν υπεραγαπημένο συγγραφέα!!!!
Sep 06, 2015 Belinda rated it really liked it
I am not sure why I had this particular Masterton marked as read, but in my obsessive quest to own all of his books, I assume I made a mistake early in my Goodreads career. Mistake corrected.
I stayed up waaay past my bedtime last night as I had hit the "rolling downhill point" in the book and had a really hard time putting it down. There are very few authors that have that particular trait for me--normally if I really love a book I might slow down my reading so as to make it last longer (I tend
Gareth Pengelly
Jul 02, 2013 Gareth Pengelly rated it it was amazing
As a young teen, my reading experience had consisted mostly of Reader's Digest; the young me sitting, absorbing, learning by torchlight long after I should have been asleep. As this was how I was used to reading, when my friend lent me The Pariah, by Graham Masterton, I waited until the sun had set and the room was cast into spectral shades of grey before I opened to the first of its musty pages...

Big mistake.

The Pariah was my introduction to the horror genre. I had never read anything like it
Feb 11, 2013 Susanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly impressed with the way the author has melded actual local history with his own mythology. Also, the descriptions of Salem and Marblehead (Granitehead in the book) are spot on.

You want to see an example of the location becoming a fellow character in the story? This is how it's done.

And the excitement/tension/impending terror will keep you on the edge of your seat, not wanting to put the book down.

It's very much like a Poe story -- it may start slow, but you'll find yourself completely cree
Maria Thomarey
Nov 05, 2015 Maria Thomarey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Η πιο ανατριχιαστική αρχη που εχω διαβάσει
May 03, 2015 Anthony rated it really liked it
Old school Masterton. Enough said! I love the picture taken from The Shining movie of Shelley Duvall screaming on the cover.
Mar 22, 2014 Joe rated it liked it
Can you see dead loved ones after they die? In this small Massachusetts town, you can, and no one knows this better than John, who wakes up one windy night to hear the creaking of the swing in his garden. Apparently, it’s a town-wide phenomenon, but few are willing to confess to it and even fewer know about the evil force behind the apparitions.

Maddening. That’s the only word I can think of to describe my first experience with Masterton. He’s clearly an awesome writer, but several elements kept
Jan 19, 2016 Kinksrock rated it really liked it
This is another Graham Masterton novel that I would give 3.5 stars (but because of the limitations of the star system, I've bumped it up to four).

THE PARIAH is a great, old-fashioned ghost story set in a spooky New England sea town. A man is visited by his recently deceased wife, who seems more malevolent than she did when alive. I loved the setting and loved the creepy visitations.

But, as often happens with Masterton, I thought the third act went a bit haywire.

********** SPOILER ALERT *********
Michael Brown
Dec 11, 2012 Michael Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
You can debate the Lovecraft comparisons, which I tried to avoid as I can't bear Lovecraft. (Pause here for the thunderclap of discontent amongst the Lovecraft fans.) You can even dissect the plot if you like (prefer it if you didn't mind you!) But you'll be forgetting the most important fact of all - It's just such bloody good fun to read.
Bob Cantrell
Apr 01, 2015 Bob Cantrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you just want to slap'em

I have read other stories by Graham Masterson and enjoyed them greatly. This time I was not disappointed by him either. Although it started out seemingly just a ghost story that changed quickly. You begin to feel that something isn't right in Granitehead but just what it is you can't put your finger on. For me this was a fast paced story and I got to like the characters in it. Although there were times I just wanted to reach over and slap so sense into them, tha
Rafał Ossowski
Mar 23, 2016 Rafał Ossowski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Książka napisana w 1983 roku; bliżej początku niż końca jego kariery pisarskiej; a jednak jest to, moim zdaniem, jedna z najlepszych i najbardziej przemyślanych książek tego autora. Praktycznie każdy jej element zagrał idealnie swoją część koncertową. Jest tylko jedna drobna rysa, ale o niej później.

Na 399 stronach Masterton dokonał prawie wręcz idealnego podziału na wszystkie elementy które sprawiają, że dana książka jest dobra i czyta się ją lekko, z ciekawością i z zapartym tchem.

Sep 04, 2007 L.L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Zdecydowanie kocham. Jest to druga książka Mastertona (po "Zarazie"), która jest moją ulubioną. Znów ten główny bohater był mi pod wieloma względami bliski. Chyba się nawet wzruszyłem przy tej książce ;)
Oct 19, 2015 Etienne02breton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Graham Masterton est vraiment un des grands auteurs d'horreur. Ce livre, écrit dans la plus pure tradition de l'horreur des années 80 (il fut publié en 83) est un des rares livres m'ayant donné des frissons par moment. L'ambiance est très bien réussit, l'intrigue et l'histoire nous tiennent du début à la fin et les personnages nous semblent terriblment vrais, malgré la présence de quelques clichés. La fin est un peu décevante, car elle me semble facile et n'est pas à la hauteur de l'ensemble du ...more
Feb 11, 2016 Sonya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jusqu'à la moitié du livre, j'ai cru que c'était le meilleur G.M que j'ai lu jusqu'à présent. La fin est néanmoins décevante, le dénouement très prévisible et presque ennuyeux. N'empêche, les 100 premières pages étaient un pur délice, ce qu'il y a de plus haletant et pas qu'un peu terrifiant. Sensations fortes garanties
Jan 20, 2014 Andy rated it liked it
Graham Masterton is not as successful as messrs king and Herbert but is more than capable of producing 1st rate creepy horror which is what the pariah is.
May 24, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was slow to start but soon picked ups. Not just a good read but a great one. xx
Feb 05, 2013 Jen rated it it was amazing
I read this book when it came out and it has always stuck with me, so much so that I found a copy online recently and bought it.For me it's a book that I take out every so often and read it again. I've read quite a few GM books and this is my favorite. I love a good ghost/supernatural thriller and this one delivers! GM has a way of creating a very atmospheric read, which to me is the hallmark of a good book and this book has atmosphere in spades!
Arxontia Moustaka
Dec 06, 2013 Arxontia Moustaka rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the book. I did not find it very scary but i liked the characters, the plot and the fact that although it has to do with paranormal entities, the acts of the main characters are realistic and not too heroic. In that way we can easier relate to them.
Apart from that, the writing was good, and given the time the book was written i think its is a very good story of the kind.
Sep 15, 2013 Martyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horrorified
It is a great macabre tale. I read it about twenty years ago but it is one that lingers in the soul. Stephen King wrote Duma Key

which is also about a Pariah and a fantastic book in its own right.

two for the price of one, you can't go wrong.
Jun 16, 2013 NancyHelen rated it did not like it
I am afraid I can't even find words to describe how terrible I thought this book was. It was far-fetched, poorly constructed and the whole premise was just silly. I'd actually probably rate it 0 stars if I could.
Dec 03, 2011 Jonathan rated it really liked it
This is my 3rd book of Masterton, he is my all time fav along with Straub & King , this story really reminded me of Lovecraft. Despite a "rushed" ending, i really enjoyed this book, i highly recommend it.
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Graham Masterton was born in Edinburgh in 1946. His grandfather was Thomas Thorne Baker, the eminent scientist who invented DayGlo and was the first man to transmit news photographs by wireless. After training as a newspaper reporter, Graham went on to edit the new British men's magazine Mayfair, where he encouraged William Burroughs to develop a series of scientific and philosophical articles whi ...more
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