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The Parasite

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  245 ratings  ·  18 reviews
It began with a little game...

...for children to amuse and frighten each other. A seance. In a dark, empty house. Don't tell the grown-ups.

But something unexpected happened that night. Some awful evil awoke in the foul dampness, something each child sensed, and fled from...

All but one.

Poor little Rose, shrieking her terror in that attic room, as some quivering form approac...more
Paperback, 386 pages
Published August 1st 1981 by Pocket (first published 1980)
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Community Reviews

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Steve
This ïs another favorite of mine. When I read it, it struck me as a bit dated with its astral projection stuff. But then things started getting pretty weird. There's a stretch that takes place in Germany, which gets into the occult, Nazis, etc., that just absolutely creeped me out, and goes way beyond Raiders of the Lost Ark in its Evil (big "E") implications. Campbell at his best.
Simon
This is another finely crafted story of horror in which a malevolant spirit, that entered the protagonist Rose when she was a child, gradually starts to make it's presence felt although she can only wonder at first, at her new found psychic powers, but later her nightmares begin to dominate.

There is a really slow build up of unease in this book that may leave some readers impatient for the story to develop but Campbell will not be rushed. There is a most gradual transformation of Rose's characte...more
Joel
Jul 29, 2010 Joel rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Only for the most forgiving horror aficionados
Recommended to Joel by: n/a
Shelves: etheral-horror
I picked this up a few years back after reading an enjoying a few of Ramsey Campbell's short stories in various horror compilations. This is strange to think back on now, as my big problem with this book is that it feels like an underdeveloped short story that was needlessly padded to novel-length. It is a shame, because there are seeds for a good story buried in the mess, but they don't really appear until about 2/3 of the way through the book. By that time, they have been smothered by poorly e...more
Laurie
This is the slowest moving horror story I have ever read. It’s not that slow to start- the odd things begin fairly early on. But the events drag horribly- much of the book is spent in denial of what is happening. Worse, none of the characters is very likeable. Not that they are dreadful people; they are just people I couldn’t care about. Even the protagonist, who I feared for at first, is portrayed too flatly to seem real. One character, who it seems like will be important to the protagonist’s d...more
Jason Hillenburg
Verve and style carry the day here. As always with early Campbell novels, the romping energy of his prose and his frequently visceral depictions of place amply compensate for any deficiencies of plot, devices, and structure. Certainly an evolution from his first novel, The Doll Who Ate His Mother, and well worth reading.
Otis Campbell
The people who have crippled you
You want to see them burn
The gates of life have closed on you
And now there's just no return
Walter
Author should be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Staunch man of science is challenged by a mesmerist his colleague has discovered. So interested in studying her, he doesn't realize he is under her spell. A simple premise, but horribly compelling when written by so great a pen. The end is sudden but flooring. The tension and suspense is fantastic and makes me wish he had been the author of Algernon Blackwood's "The Damned," which had a much more intriguing theme. Still, I like this book much more.
Ray
I agree with several other reviewers on this one. The prologue is outstanding, and on the basis of that as a stand-alone story, I ordered the novel. Unfortunately the whole book doesn't stand up well. Too little happens for far too long to characters who never seemed interesting or engaging. Although the basic plot idea is good, it doesn't really kick in again until the end of the book, and by then it is too little too late.
Steve Goble
While too long and starting off rather slowly, this novel is far more focused than the Campbell book I read before it, "The Hungry Moon." The "Moon" book meandered among a large cast of characters, and there seemed to be some disjointed moments and loose ends. "Parasite" sticks with one protagonist throughout and, once it gets going, moves along quickly to resolve all its mysteries and end in a rather horrific manner.
Franny Burd
This guy creeps me out SO bad!! I know, poor grammar, but there's no better way to state it. This is the one and only book I've read by him, but I also found something of his in a collection of short stories. Ewww, creepy and icky. I don't really like his stories, but no one else has ever weirded me out as much either, so I guess he's very good at this genre.
naeblis

Soporífero.
Podría haberle dado dos estrellas porque a pesar de lo lento y repetitivo de la historia, la escritura en sí no es del todo pedestre (ojo, tampoco es buena, pero hay peores); sin embargo, la segunda mitad se me hizo mucho más lenta y pesada. Prácticamente terminé el libro en piloto automático.
Fishface
How can you not like this one? Combines the features of a horror novel and a bad acid trip. Brr, I hate even thinking about it and have bnever been able to bring myself to read it a second time. But I still have my copy. Make no mistake about that. I won't turn my back on it.
Debra
Jul 16, 2011 Debra marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King recommended author and book.

Noted as "important to the genre we have been discussing" from Danse Macabre, published in 1981. Author discussed in chapter 9.
Ashley
eh,not too much to say about this one.It was my discarded book choice and it wasn't terrible,just a bit predictable.The twists you could see coming a mile away and it was rather slow going.The language I didn't find very engaging and it was hard to get into.
Lara
Didn't finish it. I was having trouble wanting to continue with the book, and then they suggested that the story might take a turn that I was not interested in following. Ditched after I got halfway.
Jessi
Aug 04, 2007 Jessi rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of "Rosemary's Baby"
Shelves: horror
I found an old paperback copy of this book at a used book store in rural Alabama when I was a teenager. I thought it was a fun horror read, and I eventually "released" it through bookcrossing.com.
Matt Durand
The prologue is FANTASTIC, and worth reading by itself; the rest is not very good.
JerryB
Currently rereading this.
Alana
Alana marked it as to-read
Oct 19, 2014
Gef
Gef marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2014
Kirsten
Kirsten marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2014
Nicole Donze
Nicole Donze marked it as to-read
Oct 10, 2014
Ellen Hoevenaar
Ellen Hoevenaar marked it as to-read
Oct 05, 2014
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John Ramsey Campbell is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. T. E. D. Klein has written that "Campbell reigns supreme in the field today," while S. T. Joshi has said that "future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood."
More about Ramsey Campbell...
The Hungry Moon Cold Print Alone With the Horrors: The Great Short Fiction, 1961-1991 Ancient Images The Doll Who Ate His Mother

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