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The Spear

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  1,894 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
When Steadman agreed to investigate the disappearance of a young Mossad agent, he had no idea he would be drawn into a malevolent conspiracy of neo-Nazi cultists bent on unleashing an age-old unholy power on an unsuspecting world - power rising out of a demonic relic from man's dark primal past to threaten humanity with horror from beyond any nightmare... Remember with fea ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Pan Publishing (first published 1978)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ashley Brown
Jul 08, 2013 Ashley Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must admit that I've only got into Herbert since he very sadly passed on earlier this year, I started by reading The Rats and enjoyed his style. I think in a way I prefer him to King as he isn't quite so anecdotal and rambling (although I am still a big king fan). After reading the rats I searched for another Herbert book to order and the synopsis that I saw for The Spear struck me and so I ordered it.

Harry Steadman is a fairly standard private detective who has been mixed up with various poli
Jun 26, 2013 Bandit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun read. Classic Herbert. Nazi's fascination with occult has always made for interesting stories and this one's no exception. Herbert created a pretty wild plot, but there is so much going on and it's so action packed with some genuinely freaky scenes. It is of course dated, but not distractingly so, since really it only worked that well because of the setting's chronological proximity to WWII. Equal parts action thriller and a horror novel with a strong hero fighting the good fight ...more
Lynne - The Book Squirrel
Just a couple of James Herbert's novels left to read
Stephen McQuiggan
A fanatical arms dealer is intent on resurrecting Himmler using the spear that pierced Christ's side; he will then lead a new world order and purify the human race. Given that said arms dealer - Edward Gant - has no nose, it is unlikely he will smell the strong aroma of bullshit wafting from this idea. We are treated to a beautiful hermaphrodite, a rather excellent first meeting with Himmler's corpse, a bizarre crucifixion scene, and a couple of disturbing flashbacks to the war. As usual, the fi ...more
Alexander Draganov
Far from the best by James Herbert. Banal plot, slow moving and low tension book. Some good creepy descriptions elevate it to two stars, but I can't give more
May 17, 2009 Dreadlocksmile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in 1978 we saw the release of James Herbert’s fifth novel to be published, entitled ‘The Spear’. Following on from the likes of ‘The Rats’, ‘The Fog, ‘The Survivor’ and ‘Fluke’, Herbert’s next publication was highly anticipated by a growing audience.

The tale follows the principal character of Harry Steadman, an ex-agent for Mossad (the national intelligence agency for Israel) who now works as one of two partners within a private enquiry agency (similar to a private investigator’s). Steadma
Dark Recesses
THE SPEAR by James Herbert
Review by Nickolas Cook

When Herbert is on, he’s one of the best horror writers in the world. And I’m not just saying that. For anyone who’s ever read “The Rats”, “The Fog”, or “The Dark” can tell you he writes splatter horror like no one else in the business. But he has been known to write a quieter horror as well, as evidenced by such books as “The Magic Cottage” and “Fluke”. “The Spear” falls into that quieter category, as he tells the story of Harry Steadman
Jul 19, 2009 F.R. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So there I was just the other day, criticising Ian Fleming's Goldfinger for being ridiculous - and then I came across this. James Herbert's The Spear - which also includes the secret service - makes Goldfinger resemble Le Carre at his most gritty. In fact it makes Goldfinger look like the spy novel as written by Alan Stillitoe.

The plot: A London private detective is hired to track down a young Mossard agent. Following various escapades - including a crucifixion on a London street and a tank with
Nov 09, 2013 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok this is a mixed review - confused maybe - James Herbert along with Stephen King were some of the first authors I read back at school while I was getting in to reading - and as such I have strong sense of loyalty and nostalgia for the author and his books - (along with Stephen King) and I guess to a similar extend they have both developed in their writing styles over the year - don't get me wrong I am not favouring one over the other (new verses old that is) as I have favourites with both - bu ...more
Brian Deegan
Apr 11, 2013 Brian Deegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: full-price
Jun 11, 2017 Steve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I did not overly enjoy this book. The build up took too long and the ending was quick and unsatisfying. The protagonist was well developed, but his nemesis reminded me of an old Bond villain outlining their entire evil scheme prior to some elaborate death scene that they escape from anyway. The theme of this book was very appealing, but I just felt like it lacked. My apologies if this seems harsh.
Benjamin Stahl
After reading so many James Herbert novels, you tend to familiarize yourself with his style.
With this being the fifth Herbert book I've read, I'm beginning to find that things I once loved about his writing are just getting old and overused, to the point of being laughable.
Was this a bad book? No, not at all. The writing is as fluent and stylish as always, and the pacing leaves nothing for complaint. It's just that the characters, and the story itself, are so damned boring and familiar. It's h
Ian Pattinson
This is one odd book. It starts as one of those low-key seventies thrillers, veers into bizarre campy Bond territory, then ends with some icky supernatural nonsense that feels tacked on.

Steadman used to work for Mossad, doing wet work on former Nazis and other enemies of Israel. Now he's a private investigator in London. Approached by an old accomplice he refuses to get involved- until his business partner ends up tortured and crucified, nailed to his front door.

Now, he does get involved, and th
Antonio Rosato
Qualche mese fa ho trovato questo libro, scritto nel 1978, abbandonato in un angolo a casa di un mio amico e, incuriosito dalla dicitura "1.200 lire" (ah, la cara e vecchia lira) ho chiesto di poterlo leggere... cosa che ho fatto solo adesso. Romanzo scritto davvero bene, la lettura scorre fluida e veloce, merito anche dei capitoli abbastanza brevi. La trama, che mischia avventura e fantasy, condite sul finale con un po' di horror, è davvero elementare ed ha un finale ampiamente prevedibile: un ...more
Alles wie erwartet: Herberts universelle Unfähigkeit bietet viel Vergnügen auf der ganzen Strecke. Die Geschichte hangelt sich an Plotpoints entlang, die auch wahllos anders verteilt genauso wenig funktioniert hätten; die Motivationen der Figuren müssen ausdrücklich beschrieben werden, weil sie weder aus den Dialogen, noch aus den Reaktionen hervorgehen; gut die Hälfte der Dialoge enthalten den Kernsatz „Begreifen Sie denn nicht, dass X vollkommen wahnsinnig ist?“ bzw. dessen Abwandlung „X, begr ...more
Devilyn (Emily)
At first i wasn't sure i was even going to like this book, as the edition i own doesn't have a blurb and i was reading it as a recommendation from my mom, but i did like it. I was told that alot of Herberts book were chilling and that he is a highly recommended horror writer, and this book did give that impression. During the first few chapters i was slightly annoyed as i was told the book was chilling as i hadn't really found anything to back that up, but by the end of the book there was a bit ...more
Pasi Rahko
Sep 26, 2012 Pasi Rahko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-fantasy
Powerful occultist neo-Nazis society has sinister plans to revival of Nazi Germany and unite all the radical right-wing political parties under swastika flag in Europa. The very secret inner circle of this group is attempting to contact the evil spirit of Heinrich Himmler, none other than the Reichsführer-SS himself, one of Hitler's most loyal men and incarnation of evil. This ghoulish abomination should then aid and lead them to conquer first the Europe and then the whole world. Herbert's writi ...more
Jan 11, 2012 Mars rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nazis research occult stuff. Our intrepid hero, Indiana Jones Harry Steadman, is... ah whatever, the plot is predictable beyond words, I've accurately foreseen each and every plot twist attempted, and this book undisputedly earns the top prize for the single most boring graphic sex scene ever written.

I'd recommend skipping this one, and just playing Wolfenstein over again (whichever version you prefer)
Titus Hjelm
More of a supernatural detective story (with the odd gory moment a la Herbert) than 'horror'. Many have commented on the slow start and abrupt ending, and they're mostly right. There are slips of mediocre writing as well, with point of view changing between sentences at places. I was surprised since The Fog was pubslihed before this and was quite solid in ways which this one wasn't . Well, even Stephen King isn't always great.
Mar 06, 2012 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With its Mossad agents and antagonists' plot to exploit the political divide between left and right and bring about a 'counter-revolution', 'The Spear' is very much of its time. For all that, however, it's engaging enough and Herbert knows how to write a good chiller - which this most certainly is. Some bits made me smile, but, on the whole, it was an enjoyable read.
Vaughan Wyn
I don't normally go in for this type of genre as reading horror doesn't work for me but the vaguely historical subject matter was on a theme that interested me. Unfortunately after a promising start it degenerated into an overblown & almost comic affair. I will, however repeat that this genre is not something I'd normally read, if you're into fantasy/horror I'm sure you will love it
This was a slightly different novel to the others I have read by Herbert. This is more of a spy mystery and less of a supernatural tale, although it does have a little in it. I wasn't sure I'd like it at first but it soon got my interest. It is quite dated now but I would imagine at the time it was before its time. At times it was very predictable but was an entertaining read none the less.
Apr 29, 2012 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I swayed between two and three stars for Spear. The narrative is certainly well conceived if a little predictable though actions and motivations of the characters seem questionable at best, completely illogical at other times. Overall not as satisfying a read as the magic cottage but not as bad as chart throb, my last book to get two stars so it gets a three.
Feb 04, 2017 Zophas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started out liking it but almost ditched it toward the end. The ending just seemed a little over the top.
Mar 05, 2015 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think I just rolled my eyes around a lot and then a relentless Nazi zombie started chasing Steadman around and the spear. Some parts were predictable, for me. Still a nice read. First Herbert book I've ever read, and I'm looking forward to 48.
Jan 03, 2014 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boring
Definitely not as bad as The Secret of Crickley Hall, or The Magic Cottage, but not that great either. None of the characters were likable, the surprise villain was pretty obvious, and the action was quite dull and slow-paced. But, it wasn't a bad novel for all that, it just wasn't that good.
Feb 26, 2014 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't seem like the usual James Herbert as the supernatural element didn't really have much of an impact until pretty near the end, was more like a typical spy thriller which was quite enjoyable. Gotta love a bit of Nazism, even 70 years later it is still powerful stuff.
Jun 01, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
I found this a really enjoyable book. As always James Herbert has added in just a little of a supernatural twist (just to juice things up).

I liked the historical background and content the spear had.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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Stephen King Recommends This? 3 20 Feb 04, 2014 04:34PM  
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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 19 novels have sold more than 42 million
More about James Herbert...

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