The Lake
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The Lake

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  1,174 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Leigh is young, rebellious and beautiful - and she yearns for a summer of excitement by the lake. Maybe she'll find it in the arms of the handsome boy who rows her out to the abandoned beach house. Or maybe she'll stumble into a legacy of terror which will shatter her life... Eighteen years on, Deana has no knowledge of her mother's troubled past and not that much interest...more
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Published December 6th 2004 by Headline (first published April 5th 2004)
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Matt
I'm seriously hoping that "The Traveling Vampire Show" and "Beast House" are better than this. Granted, I've read that this is Laymon's worst book - I hope so indeed. Characters do completely idiotic things to get captured by the killer... at one point I think Laymon just plain ran out of gas on where to go next. Add in a killer chef (?!?!) and a middle portion that reads like THE BLUE LAGOON!

Matt
Note: This is taken from my review on Amazon.

I've read and own most of Laymon's work. I'm definitely a fan. However, this book didn't do it for me.

For starters, the plot felt very contrived and very loosely strung together. There was too much going on to take it seriously. One after another, improbable events keep happening. There was so much going on, it seems like he could have fleshed it out into two or even three different books. Instead, he tried to tie it all into "The Lake." There were a...more
Kasia
Call me crazy but I loved this book! I walked by it three times, on three separate occasions and hesitated based on the lukewarm and bad reviews it got here but I'm happy I finally got the guts to trust my own instinct and I got it anyway.

Laymon writes some pretty gory, intense and horrific scenes and this book started with one of them. If you don't like that kind of a book, then stick to gentler Dean Koontz, whom I also like and who suits more people's palates. In a nutshell this story is abou...more
James
I can't fairly give this a rating but I will say what I think about it. I won't rate it because I think it clearly remains unfinished. My buddy thinks that Laymon just used this book to develop ideas for other books and I think that may be true. It centers around Leigh and Deana, a sexy-but-stupid mother-daughter combo. Leigh had a bit of a crazy time back in the day at beautiful Lake Wahconda, and now things have come back to bite her in the ass. The story here is a mess, but like I said, I don...more
Sena
I seem to be going back and forth with not knowing if I should rate this book a 2 or 3 star....so I'm just going to be nice and rate it at three stars. It wasn't exactly bad, but there were a few issues that I had with the book. First off...it was highly predictable. You could see the connections a mile off....but for some reason I felt the need to continue reading just in case I was wrong and the author had some final twist to throw out. I was wrong. Secondly, there were several incidents in th...more
Charlie
The Lake is a chaotic and creepy horror that will likely have readers flipping through the pages out of pure curiosity to see what happens next. Laymon’s rumored forgotten tale is packed with a hatchet-wielding chef, a backwater mama’s boy, hormonal teens, a spooky old-folks home and a sicko serial killer hell bent on revenge. On the receiving end of all this terror are a mother and daughter. Yes, they experience an accidental death, blamed for murder, witness a boyfriend’s murder, are beat up,...more
Dan
Really awful. Like really bad. And i have a high tolerance for bad (notice 2 stars, not 1). The background behind this book is that apparently it was found in the desk drawer after the author died. So I can only hope that either 1. it was in the process of undergoing MAJOR revisions when the author passed away or 2. it was meant as a brainstorming, let-me-work-out-some-thoughts piece as a way to get the idea juices flowing and was never meant to see the light of day.

The reason it got 2 stars in...more
Tara Calaby
Apr 03, 2010 Tara Calaby rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one. Please, if you want to try Laymon, do NOT try this.
Shelves: horror, adult-fiction
This is one of three books published after Richard Laymon's death. The other two (The Glory Bus and, to a lesser extent, Amara) are worthy of being saved from his unpublished manuscript pile. The Lake is not.

This is a dreadful book. It's disjointed, confusing, clichéd, uninteresting and just plain bad. It feels like the roughest of rough drafts, but one that was discarded for being too bad to bother editing. Possibly, had a ghost writer been brought in to whip the bare bones into shape, a decent...more
Erin (Paperback Stash)
Richard Laymon has always been a much revered horror author, choosing as his style to employ horror, shock effects, and sexuality in his work. Unfortunately, The Lake is not a book worth praising. Suspense is there, but it’s scarce, and frankly the reader doesn’t really care. I couldn’t get over the bizarre plot, the too unbelievable coincidences, and I could loan even less forgiveness to the hideous characterization.

It’s a rule in the publishing world that the ! sign be kept to a minimum. Also,...more
Christie
This almost never happens to me. I couldn’t finish this book. It was CRAP…I mean, crap in the sense that it was poorly written, unbelievable and stupid…not crap in the sense of lots of fun- the sort of entertainment I generally read quickly in between books. Sort of a palate cleaner.

I bought it on the bargain table and paid very little for it…but 100 pages in I wish I’d saved my money.

So, I went looking for book reviews…and strangely, other people seemed to like it.

"This totally absorbing crime...more
William M.
2 AND 1/2 STARS

While it breaks my heart to give this book such a mediocre review, the laughable plot twists in the last third of the book leave me no choice. Having a police detective disguise his voice to his partner and his lover and get away with it is ridiculous. Coincidences stack on top of each other like hotcakes, and the only real suspense lies in the first half. There's even a scene where the phone line is cut and then a few chapters another character tries to use the phone and, guess...more
Jacobi
Feb 04, 2008 Jacobi rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who stick hot needles in their eyes for fun
Shelves: read-in-08
I wrote a longer review of this, but goodreads stalled on me, and I hated this book too much to do it again.

Let's just say, this book was awful. God awful. Full of convenient coincidences, uneven and false-acting characters, and boring "bad guys".

I'm not going to let this book ruin my love of the Laymon, but I don't think I'll be reading another of his books for a while. Have to let this wound heal. If you're in the mood for some horror/thriller as done by Laymon give Traveling Vampire Show or...more
Stephen
First time reading Laymon's work. I did enjoy his quick writing , no frills no fluff, straight ahead. A little long on the sex scenes. Again why do characters always put themselves in obvious harms way? It was an ok read.
Ashley James
Whilst I understand the people who didn't enjoy this book I think that a lot of the reviews are very harsh granted the story is very far fetched and things come together in a very unrealistic way but at the same time this is a Richard Laymon novel its almost to be expected I think maybe a lot of people are going into this book with the reviews in mind and looking for faults I personal enjoyed it and would put it on par with a lot of his other books to me this is way better than cuts by Richard L...more
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
** Spoilers ahead**

I expected more thrill from Laymon. I love his books and he is one author whose books I pick up whenever I see them at my bookstore. He let me down with The Lake though. I thought it was a horror book but it turned out to be a fictional crime story.

The story is catchy from the beginning but I was getting confused with all of the dreams/daydreaming going on between the characters. Sometimes I had to go back a page or 2 to figure out if this was really happening or i it was a d...more
Kathy Jackson
So I finally finished this book tonight. It is one that was published after Richard Laymon died and I will admit it isn't probably one of his best. Let me share what Goodreads says about it:

one of several unpublished novels left behind by horror master Richard Laymon (iFlesh, Funland, The Traveling Vampire Show,/i et al.) when he passed away in 2001 -- is an unabashedly erotic and brutally violent thriller that follows the lives of a single woman and her wild-child daughter and chronicles the u...more
chucklesthescot
Leigh is an 18 year old looking for fun on her vacation, and becomes involved in a relationship with the handsome, reserved boy who lives there. They have to keep things secret from his strange mother but when disaster strikes, Leigh has to flee home with traumatic memories to suppress. Now years later, she is a mother to a teenage girl and something from her past is coming back to haunt them both.

I was surprised to read that this is thought of as his worst book as for me it was one of his best....more
Kristen
It is my understanding that this book was published after Laymon passed away. I can understand why he would have held this book back from his publishers... there is a lot still to be done to make this a good book.

Short summary: Leigh is the major character here... we follow her both through her escapade as an 18 year old and then again when she is in her 30's and her daughter is a teen. Leigh is a single mom who went through some bizarre events when she was a teen which lead to her single mom-ho...more
Andrew
Well, I must say, this being only the second Richard Laymon I've read, I'm still gonna be coming back for more. Really, it's not fair to even critique this book because the man had been deceased when it went into publication. It was posthumously released, as they say. The story behind me reading this amalgam of strangeness, randomness, uncharacteristically predictable-ness, and stock character mayhem was that my local public library had only two books by Mr Laymon: The Lake and Traveling Vampire...more
Dave
Jack Nicholson played an author in one of his movies. Someone in the movie asked him how he can write women's characters so well. He replied "It's easy. I write a man, then take away all reason and accountability". This author fails in that capacity. I sincerely doubt that women contemplate their breasts as much as this. Out of 56 chapeter, I believe that every one had some mention of breasts; be it clothing clinging to them, surging, pulsing or other. The 56 chapters are actually 28 chapters of...more
Joe Stamber
Other comments have suggested that the manuscript for The Lake was discovered after the great man's death and published despite being in an unknown state of completion. Well it shows. While some of the Laymon hallmarks are here - gory horror, close attention to the female anatomy and characters stupid beyond words, they can't save this pale imitation of what a Laymon novel should be.

The plot wanders off into nonsense, and the thoughts and actions of some of the characters (particularly the two...more
Donald Jodon
Okay, so I like to read Horror books during October. Kind of add that creepy vibe to the month you know. This year I read two, and neither were bad, but neither will stay in memory either. The Lake was the better of hte two. It is a typical supsense novel about a serial killer. Laymon is pretty good at writing interesting characters, however,and his skill at dialogue will keep you reading until the end. The plot was neither awesome, nor yawn inducing . Nether was it surprising. Essentially a by...more
Angela Blanco
I found this book to start out fast right from the very beginning. It was a little difficult to follow until I got to know who the characters were. The author went into excellent detail with everything going on, to the point of making me feel like I was there, experiencing the things he was trying to illustrate.

Towards the middle of the book, I was able to get a good grasp of what was really going on and who was really who. However, towards the end, the author throws in a couple of completely un...more
Nicole
Are you serious? I got about 160 pages in and then read about a killer chef with butcher knife and an eye patch. Closed the book. Unfortunately this was my first Richard Laymon and honestly will probably be my last. Bummer
Sam
Too many themes going on in this book, the impression you get from the cover and the title is a lot different to the context. Very misleading and not very enjoyable.
Rei
A top favorite. Loved it. Great twist at the end, and the flashback chapter was well done too. I liked the characters, bad guy included; the only but that confused me and that I saw no real relevance for personally was the cook from the restaurant part. And the fact f the eye-rolling cliche of the sister who MAGICALLY appeared near the end. That was the other bit that made me go, "ugh." But it wasn't enough to put me off the book, and therefore still receives a full standing from me.

Other then t...more
S
Did not finish--didn't like it.
Sanity Assasin
read it in one of the collection books. had to rate it seperately as it's a different story. the other story was amara and to me the lake is a far better one. i really got into who all the characters were and all their lil pet peeves, regrets over the years and general personalities. richard laymon does what he does best here. he draws you in, entrances you and shocks you a way most horror writers dont. he doesnt do it in every book so is by no means consistent, but this is one of his natural pa...more
Scott
It was a page turner merely due to the fact that I was hoping for more character development and explanations on how these characters all were brought together in the small area of Del Mar. This book has severe undeveloped characters and random scenarios (i.e. the creepy bone-fingered lady lurking in the shadows and that dark retirement home for crones?????) I would have loved more on Sheena, since she is the source of the story's madness. However, I keep getting sucked into Laymon books for qui...more
Lawn2000
I just barely finished this book. In fact, in order to finish I had to skip most of the second half, it was so bad.. It started off rather well for just a fun book to read, but then it was as if the editor quit on him half way through.The book became very disjointed with characters and storylines that did not belong in the time or place. I will try to read another of his works, just in case this was not the norm, but I can not say I enjoyed this one. That is why it received such a low rating.
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Richard Laymon was born in Chicago and grew up in California. He earned a BA in English Literature from Willamette, and an MA from Loyola University. He worked as a schoolteacher, a librarian, and a report writer for a law firm, and was the author of more than thirty acclaimed novels.

He also published more than sixty short stories in magazines such as Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock, and Cavalier,...more
More about Richard Laymon...
The Traveling Vampire Show The Cellar Island Endless Night In the Dark

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