Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Survivor” as Want to Read:
The Survivor
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Survivor

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  1,531 ratings  ·  57 reviews
It had been one of the worst crashes in airline history, killing over 300 people and leaving only one survivor. Now the dead were buried and the town of Eton tried to forget. But one man could not rest. Keller had walked from the flames of the wreck, driven on by unseen forces, seeking the answer to his own survival. Until the town was forced to face the shocking, dreadful ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Pan Publishing (first published 1976)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Survivor, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Survivor

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,287)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
My fourth Herbert read, after THE RATS, THE FOG and OTHERS. This is the weakest yet and despite an intriguing Australian film adaptation with Robert Powell it's a pretty uninspiring and familiar story.

This slim novel begins with an impressive plane crash and loses momentum from there. A slow storyline involving the gradually returning memories of the sole survivor marks for familiar reading material, and each section is interspersed with ghost/horror sequences - seemingly random at first - of th
The sole survivor of a huge plane crash finds those who perished want him to deal with their unfinished business and get to the root cause of the disaster.
Quite action-packed with some good gory descriptions and demonic entities, but a little thin on character development. Still an enjoyable quick read.
Telesni horor ti je specijalnost Dzejmse, mani se duhova.
Despite being a big fan of Herbert, this is a novel that I had never read, so I was looking forward to a new story. I wasn't disappointed, as this was a return to the likes of 'The Rats' and his earlier work ... a chapter following our 'hero', followed by one describing a horrific, terrifying incident for some poor character just introduced to the reader, and then back to the action.

Yeah, the story doesn't always hold together. A plane crashes, hundreds die, and only one man survives. He can't r
Enkele minuten na de start vanaf het vliegveld Heathrow, nabij Londen, vindt er in een Boeing 747 een explosie plaats en stort het vliegtuig neer op een terrein vlak bij het plaatsje Eton.
Het lijkt absoluut uitgesloten dat er overlevenden zijn.... totdat David Keller, de tweede piloot, als de mythische vogel Feniks, zonder één enkel schrammetje uit de as en de brokstukken van de Boeing verrijst.
Hoe is het mogelijk dat juist hij op zo'n wonderbaarlijke wijze aan de dood ontsnapt is?
De onde
Matt Douglas
This is by far the weakest James Herbert book that I've read.

The premise for the story is a promising one, but it's poorly executed and somewhat muddled and confusing. Deceased aircraft passengers become killers for reasons that are not entirely convincing or properly explained, and the same applies to much of the story.

Weak, cardboard characters and dialogue, and a very bizarre climax to the story that left me hugely disappointed.

James Herbert was a much better author than this.
James Herbert’s third novel, The Survivor blends plausible manmade horror with the supernatural, with the result of a fast-moving, intriguing and thoroughly entertaining read.

They say third time’s the charm and that may well be true here because as much as I like The Rats, The Survivor is a far more skilfully crafted story with noticeably more confidence in the telling. More multi-faceted and maintaining mystery to the end, Herbert is definitely in charge of his craft by this book. He doesn’t e
Rebecca tedder
A 4* for me on this that should have been a 3.5 as I had a fair few niggles with the book.

The concept was great. The mystery riveting but the conclusion of the who-dunnit came as an anti climax and the reasoning behind The Survivor was well explained and hurried through at the end. I liked the rounding up and the final scenes although I had a fair idea of the final outcome from the outset.

Much of this tale was predictable, overall I found this enjoyable to read wanting to get to the next part o
I enjoyed this tale. It's subdivided mostly into alternating chapters of main protagonist, contributing character or sub-plot, main protagonist again. While being primarily a ghost story, it touches upon, James Herbert's other usual themes of "Dark", "Unseen" and "Manipulative" forces.

The plot was probably fairly original when first written, but I'm sure I've seen or read similar since, which enabled me to guess the main twist fairly early on. However, it's quite well written and easy to enjoy,
My Inner Shelf
Du même auteur j’ai déjà lu La conspiration des fantômes, et Fog, le second nettement mieux que le premier. Là, on retombe au niveau de La conspiration des fantômes. L’histoire semble plutôt bien de prime abord, mais on plonge dans une impression de déjà-vu. L’histoire d’innocentes victimes qui reviennent hanter les vivants pour se venger, ce n’est pas nouveau, mais là, ce n’est pas spécialement bien traité. Tout ça me semble très scolaire, prévisible, sans surpris aucune. La présence parmi les ...more
I found this book quite scary.

A pilot walks away from a plane crash that kills 300+ people. His search for the answer to the reason of the crash takes him on a journey that involves a conspiracy...oh, and a malevolent spirit.

Well written, fast moving. I enjoyed the darkness.
It's all in the name; the survivor of a massive plane crash tries to discover why he is the only one to make it out alive. It is a quick read and not Herbert's best, but the bits with the maniacal doll scared the pants off me!
In the process of revisiting the author's novels, I last read this book-this very copy, thirty three years ago (!) and having a vague recollection of the ending did not spoil it for me. Good, early Herbert.
Pat Gerber-Relf
Not bad. At first it seemed to be a familiar James Herbert plot, but the ending surprised me and it needs a lot for an ending to surprise me, as I usually sense what will happen half way through the book.
Benjamin Stahl
Nothing amazing here, but nothing bad either. Just some atypical pulp horror fiction by a writer who writes beautifully and knows how to pack a scare when he wants to. This was not as good or scary as 'The Ghosts of Sleath', but it was better than its predecessor 'The Fog'. The concept of a cursed country village has been done to death by Herbert, but since this was his third novel, I guess this can be forgiven. But most importantly, is it scary? Well, not really,not half as much as it could hav ...more
Titus Hjelm
I liked The Fog, hated Fluke, and thought The Spear was good fun despite all the silliness. This one has a feel of an assembly-line novel to it. Not the worst I've read, but really takes off only half-way through and then stops abruptly with a downer ending (a medium just 'knows' where to find the source of all evil and then we're introduced to a whole new guy--baaaaaad...). Nice little twist at the end, which unfortunately doesn't save the book. The horror never really takes off, probably becau ...more
Clare Dee
I read this years ago, but it was really gripping, one of my favourite James Herbert books.
Simon  Grant
Classic horror come ghost story with a great twist at the end. Read it, herbert at his best
Uh...this one just didn't click for me, pretty much ever. Maybe somewhere toward the end it picked up, but then went right back to not working again. The big twist? called it from probably the first few pages. It was also just a tad too spiritual for me, I'm completely non-religious, so I couldn't connect to that sort of feeling. That lack of connection just intensified my inability to get absorbed into the story.
But it wasn't painful to read, and I didn't want to hit anyone afterward, so it's t
Sean Randall
I don't know what I was expecting but I didn't come away feeling very much. I think the overly mystical nature of things dampened it for me somewhat, though several scenes were fairly chilling for me, particularly the eighth and twentieth chapters. I also liked Keller's eyes opening to religion and, were I to ever find any sort of faith as unlikely as that may seem, I'd want it to happen in that way.(it's near the opening of Chapter seventeen out of interest).
Matthew Hodge
James Herbert's third horror outing has an intriguing premise: a plane crashes outside a sleepy English village and everyone is killed except for the co-pilot Keller who walks away without a scratch. As Keller tries to find out why the plane crashed and why he survived, increasingly creepier hauntings and nasty things happen in the village ...

This is not a great piece of work, but the concept is entertaining enough to make it readable.
Very short (fast readers could finish this in hours) but Very chilling. This was the first Herbert book i ever read and was a fantastic introduction to the man.
The use of religion adds to the power of the evil force that is lurking and Herberts use of language makes for some suitably cold and atmospheric scenes and settings, some of which have stayed with me long since i read this years ago.
overall, great creepy short story.
After the worst air crash in history, the co pilot Keller walks away completly unscathed.After the crash the town of Eton becomes gloomy with a black atmosphere & deaths occur, also several people go insane. Keller has no memory of the accident but deep down wonders if it was a fault of his. Plenty of goings on to keep this novel interesting. A good spooky novel from James Herbert.
Colin Skinner
I first read this book 37 years ago. I had never been much of a reader but from the first chapter of this book I was completely gripped. I carried this book with me and at every opportunity I took it out and read another chapter. I had never before been so captivated and it was this book that lead me to reading more books in this genre and by this author. Brilliant read.
This is a quite a good James Herbert book, not one of his best I would say, but readable nonetheless. The story revolves around the survivor of a horrific plane crash and the subsequent grisly goings-on in the town of Eton, where it crashed.

The book is similar to other Herbert novels, but the conclusion was disappointing and didn't live up to expectations.

David Kelly
A well written story about the sole survivor of a plane crash that is genuinely creepy and chilling. Definitely one to read with the lights on

I read this book several years ago and still remember the hairs standing up on the back of my neck in several places. Herbert can make even the commonplace seem strange, mysterious and downright scary.
Not terrible but not great. Saw the twist coming and the ending in general was a let down. The supernatural aspect seemed to fake and forced and the details of scenes almost seemed forced and like they were trying to appear as disgusting as possible. Was a quick read and I could see a (better) movie out of it if the plot was changed slightly.
Personally, I didn't go for the generic ghost story feel of the set-up. But I like the method that Herbert uses to advance the story - just like in The Rats, published before, he draws vignettes with new almost-incidental characters/victims. I think the resolution suffered from a reliance on ghost magic instead of clever investigation.
The sole survivor of a plane crash starts hearing murmurs and strange things start happening in the town closest to the crash.

Quite a classic haunting story but still very well written and enjoyable. The ending is really not all that surprising and you wish it would be more than just that. But still, I liked this book.
Stephen King recommended author and book.

Book noted as "important to the genre we have been discussing" from Danse Macabre, published in 1981. Author discussed in chapter 9.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 76 77 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Nemesis
  • To Wake the Dead
  • The Pet
  • Breeder
  • Nailed by the Heart
  • Queen of Blood (Leisure Fiction)
  • Possession
  • Creatures of the Pool
  • Ghoul  (Special X, #2)
  • Midnight's Lair
  • Ritual
  • Cold Moon Over Babylon
James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his nineteen novels have sold more than forty
More about James Herbert...
The Fog The Rats (Rats, #1) The Dark The Secret Of Crickley Hall Haunted (David Ash, #1)

Share This Book