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The Dark

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  4,863 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
It came like a malignant shadow with seductive promises of power. And somewhere in the night...a small girl smiled as her mother burned...Asylum inmates slaughtered their slimy tunnels once-human creatures gathered. Madness raged as the lights began to fade and humanity was attacked by an ancient, unstoppable evil... Remember with fear...
ebook, 448 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Pan Publishing (first published 1980)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Randolph Carter
It's pure candy. We know it's not good for us but we crave it anyway. This book is pure horror candy. Monsters and zombies. Mediums and ghosts. A post apocalyptic world. A cliffhanger at the end of every chapter like the old penny dreadfuls and the deus ex machina riding in the back seat to keep it all going. Herbert is a master at gore and he lays it on thick here along with plenty of unnatural sex acts.

In the end it was like fudge, the first bite is great, the second and third just okay, and b
Jul 19, 2013 Bandit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was quite possible one of Herbert's best books, the one that really showcased what he was capable of. It reminded me of The Fog with the way he wrote some of the epic horror scenes, sheer awe ispiring macabre, but with this book there were many more such scenes. Startingout with a terrific opening scene, armed with the original premise of evil as a tangible psychic force, the story takes the readers on a really dark (pun intended) scary journey. It did get a tad slow in parts and the climax ...more
Mar 25, 2008 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of H.P. Lovecraft, Clive Barker, Stephen King
Recommended to Don by: Ada
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenn Green
Jul 20, 2012 Jenn Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well Damn, where do I even begin?!? This Author was recommended to me by another Fabulous Author Mr. Tim O'Rourke & I owe him a huge thank you for that!! This book was non-stop chills, thrills & action with more than one moment of just pure terror right from the start. I was gripping my Kindle wanting desperately to read on but afraid to at the same time, scared of what was to come. It was horrific bliss & I loved to fear every second of it!! I never saw the end coming!!! I look fowa ...more
Don Woods
Oct 30, 2012 Don Woods rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely BRILLIANT book ! What a story ! And what a twist ! Completely took me by surprise! Herbert at his best here !!
James Adams
Jan 03, 2016 James Adams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vintage-horror
A good, solid read, with a few of Herbert's trademark tableaux of grue. The characterization is good, the pseudoscience enjoyably pulpy (we're talking '50's b-movie here), and the tension palpable. The ending is disappointing and pat, but other than the last ten pages, a good read.

Note: The gender politics are odd, as this is firmly a book of it's time, but it never quite indulges the sexism that was prevalent in splatterpunk a few years later. However, there are a few scenes of gore that are st
May 10, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
James Herbert's The Dark is a creepy horror novel that is unfortunately mired by a lackluster ending. The novel contains some truly creepy scenes and setpieces. The entire novel builds up the air of desolation and makes the reader feel that there will be no end to the problem in the book, what makes the ending feel cheap is that the problem is resolved within a mere few pages. Which is a shame since the author had spent the rest of the novel building and building.

Overall I liked the novel even
This has to be one of the creepiest books I've read. The book starts with a mass suicide/murder of a group of people in house. In true Herbert style this is explained in all its brutal, sadistic glory. The story goes on to be basically about the battle between good and evil that all people face, just with a more paranormal scary twist.
The idea in the book as good and evil being an energy force that can be controlled is an interesting one that raises many questions as you progress through the boo
Teressa Michie
Aug 19, 2010 Teressa Michie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the freakiest books i have ever read. I really couldnt put it down because i was scared out my wits. Read in record time as i couldnt turn my light off before i knew how it ended. Must re-read to see if it has the same effect.
Rebecca McNutt
James Herbert's books are some of the creepiest I've ever read, and not because of the dangerous entity featured but because of the way the society within the story reacts to the threat. The Dark is no exception and Herbert exceeds at psychological terror and sinister elements.
Alan Toner
Jan 07, 2014 Alan Toner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Dark is my fourth favourite James Herbert novel after The Rats, Lair and The Fog. Very similar to The Fog (evil force sends people barmy and evil), but also rather different in its own way, The Dark is the ideal book with which to curl up on a cold winter's evening. For me, the wonderful highlight of my 1980 reading pursuits!

Further to my previous comments about The Dark, I don't know what happened after that book, but all his subsequent titles didn't seem to have quite the same heart-stoppi
This book was really creepy, heart stopping and mind boggling. Throughout the book from beginning to end, it's filled with gore, bloodshed and massacre. It brings the controvsial "debate" in whether whatever causes the bloodshed is based on scientific meaning or some sort of unknown forces that are trying to get rid of the human or at least the physical part of mankind.

To be honest at the beginning I thought the book was really good. I guess you can say I just lost interest and just finished rea
J.F. Penn
I'm loving the digital re-releases of Herbert's books and they mainly stand the test of time. This is about a horrific mass murder suicide that seems to bind the evil energy of the participants which then starts to spread in the dark, taking more lives and building into a presence of pure evil. This is definitely horror with a number of scenes I had to skip over because I was reading before bed, but it's certainly a page turner with massive body count.
Jan 20, 2016 Mercedes rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to finally give up on this book I've been trying to finish it for over a year and it's just not pulling me in like you want books to. Also some of the vivid imagery is very very disturbing and I did not like that. Don't get me wrong I do like some horror books, but this one just was too gruesome in certain scenes in the book. I'm sure other people who like those types of books they will love it.
Dec 10, 2010 Richard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern, fiction
back in the eighties Herbert books looked like the end of the rainbow for a goth little teenager like me. having read one in my 30's i can happily say MY GOD THEY ARE RUBBISH
Jul 21, 2015 Ria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping novel that will chill you to the bone.
When Bishop goes to Beechwood house to investigate a supposed haunting he gets flashbacks to horrific killings that happened a year earlier.
After leaving he is met by Jessica Kulek who requests he give an audience to her father, Jacob who tells Bishop that a series of bizarre killings are taking place in the neighbourhood, mindless, senseless killings undercover of darkness like the people involved have been infected with a madness that strikes as
Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*
What's that odd smell? It keeps following me. Is it the smelly people on the bus on my way to and from work? But, I can smell it sat at my desk at work. And at home. On the sofa. In bed. Is it me?! I've just finished this vulgar little Herbert romp. Dirty little book, 35 year old yellowing pages, complete with mildew. THATS the smell!! The Dark has been tickling my senses all along. How gross. How fitting. :)
Feb 07, 2008 Thierry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It came like a malignant shadow with seductive promises of power. And somewhere in the night...a small girl smiled as her mother burned...Asylum inmates slaughtered their slimy tunnels once-human creatures gathered. Madness raged as the lights began to fade and humanity was attacked by an ancient, unstoppable evil.
Chris The Story Reading Ape
James Herbert is a truly scary writer with an imagination that should drive him insane, but instead, it lets him present stories like this to make even the most 'macho' man check under his bed before turning out the light....
Jan 20, 2011 Kirsty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well...I finished this book in about 8 hours! i was engrossed! Couldnt put it down. I really enjoyed it although i dont think the ending was as perfectly written as the rest of the book. Would certainly recommend it to someone...infact my aunty has already pinched it!
Ashley James
Glad I read this book. It was the first James Herbert I read. Not the greatest book ever but worth a read. Only 99p on Amazon for my Kindle can not complain too much. Kept me interested enought to finish in a couple of days but did'nt give it to much though once finished. Worth a read.
Kim Rox
May 01, 2015 Kim Rox rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Repetitive, anticlimactic, and inconsistent. It started out well enough but by the last 50 pages or so (I'm being kind) I was bored and couldn't wait to be done with it. It had potential but its potential was lost on redundancy of the prose.
Feb 21, 2015 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
It was so good... til it wasnt. The ending was so flat and boring. It was unexplained and tidy. Too tidy. The reader shouldnt always get a happy ever after.

Would have been a five but the ending was THAT dissapointing...
Amanda Lyons
I'm not a fan of giving up on a book, but I've been dragging with this one and I don't know that I want to keep reading. I'm almost 2/3 of the way in and it just really doesn't have my interest. No judgement on fans of the book. Just not my cup of tea.
Jul 22, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I think this is Herbert's best book, and they even made a solid movie out of it that I liked. Great atmosphere.
Micky Ramjeawan
Jul 11, 2014 Micky Ramjeawan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was a great read. could not put this book down. but there was something missing though i cant put a finger on it i feel that this book needed more. but overall a really good book.
Alexander Draganov
Very good horror novel with strong and inspiring ending, preceded by the trademark splatter of James Herbert. Not quite as good as "The Rats" or "The Fog", but still mighty impressive.
Dec 24, 2016 Jack rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For some reason, I was not really able to get into this book. Almost immediately from the start, I was not completely interested and invested, and then as the book dragged on, any slight hold the book had on me, dissipated. Finishing this book was a bit of a chore. I don't have any real reasons for not being interested in this book. It was written well enough, just didn't peak my interest.

The book starts off pretty quickly with attempts to seemingly be as shocking as possible. There is an overus
Benjamin Stahl
Now see here, you stupid old prick. I think I’ve read enough James Herbert to have a valid opinion. As I sip this wine and battle the demons in my head that insist on believing my girlfriend is an enemy, I wrack my brain regarding this book and its required review. Like shit, it’s the same as all James Herbert’s trite but readable junk. The Dark is basically a better version of The Fog. Same fucking thing. An intangible substance renders people violently insane. Interspersed amongst a boring nar ...more
Valentine Hayward
Jan 14, 2017 Valentine Hayward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Darkness is within us all

Ok have to say I'm a massive fan of James Herbert and when he passed away we lost a massively great writer in the horror genre.
This however is not one of his strongest works. It takes time to get going, again very strong male characters and fairly feeble female one.
A good book but you can struggle with it.
The darkness comes and rakes over people's minds it becomes so strong and science cannot best it but neither can the psychics etc.
The ending is rushed and it feels al
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Contemporary Brit...: James Herbert - The Dark just 49p/76c Kindle edition 3 5 Feb 24, 2013 11:07PM  
  • Darkness, Tell Us
  • Relics
  • Mirror
  • Midnight's Lair
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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