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The Unloved

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,480 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Lush, a deceptively tranquil, the secluded islandbasks in splendid isolation off the South Carolinacoast--as does the Devereaux mansion, a once-greatplantation house now crumbling amidst the ancientoaks. Now, for the first time in two decades,Kevin Devereaux has returned here with his wife andchildren to visit Kevin's hated, and frighteningmother. She said she was ill--but ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 358 pages
Published June 1st 1988 by Bantam (first published 1988)
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The Blackstone Chronicles by John SaulSuffer the Children by John SaulShadows by John SaulBlack Creek Crossing by John SaulThe Manhattan Hunt Club by John Saul
Best John Saul Books
12th out of 34 books — 68 voters
Suffer the Children by John SaulThe God Project by John SaulNathaniel by John SaulThe Unloved by John SaulComes the Blind Fury by John Saul
The Frightful Best Of John Saul
4th out of 18 books — 13 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 11, 2013 Kathy rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror, read-in-2010
This is excruciating to read. I'm so close to finishing, but I feel so done with it! I've never not finished a book, so I'll finish this one as well, despite everything. This book is what makes slasher films so popular....the blood, guts and shock content! I love slasher films, don't get me wrong, but I want my books to be weightier! And when John Saul takes a dream from earlier in the book and we realize it's actually prophetic, he treats us like 2 year olds and explains it till it ...more
Niquole Abram
Dec 29, 2014 Niquole Abram rated it it was ok
Well, this book was good up until the last 100 pages. The town was walking around with blinders on and suddenly everyone was stuttering and stammering every sentence. That and the flaws surrounding one of the characters action were implausible. If someone in their mid fifties has a lame leg and is nearly crippled by it, I can assure they are NOT going to be flitting about killing people younger, faster and stronger than them.

It was like the classic horror movie cliché; victim is running faster
Tanja Berg
Nov 01, 2014 Tanja Berg rated it it was ok
This was not at all as entertaining as I remembered it. I got to page 136 before I realized, with clarity and definition, that I had read this before. I was only 13 years old the first time, back in 1990 or 1991, and this was one of the first thriller/horror stories I ever read. I didn't have anything to compare with, my literary diet at the time consisted of children's classics and horse books.

Kevin Deveraux brings his wife Anne and his two children, Julie and Jeff, to the south for the first
Adam Wilson
Apr 19, 2010 Adam Wilson rated it really liked it
The Unloved is yet another great horror novel by John Saul. The book concerns the Deveraux family's return to a crumbling mansion where Kevin, the father, grew up. At first, Kevin does not wish to stay at the house, but after the death of his mother (whom he greatly dislikes,) he is forced to stay because of his sister, who is damaged in more than just a physical way, and because of his mother's will which doesn't allow any other plausible solusion but for the family to stay in the house. The no ...more
Nov 30, 2015 Sandra rated it really liked it
Kevin Devereaux awakens from a recurrent nightmare that his cruel mother is about to kill him. At that, the phone rings calling him home to his dying mother. Kevin had not been to the majestic southern estate in years, and his mother has never even met his wife and children. Now he is faced with having to return.

Thus begins our story, and thus begins a wonderful tale filled with the usual Gothic horror images. The forces of nature combine with the human psyche to mirror and intensify the inner t
May 26, 2008 Ben rated it did not like it
Another crummy book from one of the horror genre's biggest hacks. (He's still a ways behind Koontz as the #1 hack but he's moving up rather quickly).
Jan 31, 2010 Kellee rated it did not like it
This book was long, boring and predictable. This is my 2nd and probably last, John Saul book.
Jun 28, 2011 Di rated it liked it
Shelves: horror

The Unloved by John Saul tells the story of Kevin Deveraux and his family -- wife Anne, daughter Julie, and son Jeff. Kevin's much hated, widowed mother is dying and Kevin is summoned home by his sister, Marguerete, a ballet dancer whose dreams were cut short when her hip was broken in an accident. Helene, the mother, is controlling, demanding, and cruel. She bullies Marguerete and is infuriated that she herself only holds the family lands in trust (introducing a plot hole). When she fin
Mar 30, 2013 Conny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
John Saul The Unloved

Once in 1988 I found books from John Saul in a library.
I loved them.

All these years I started collected the books.
Some were not translated into Dutch, so I had to learn English very quick, because I needed to read those books.

Some I could not buy new, so I looked for them everywhere, even in other countries.
Finally I've got all his books, I was so happy.

Half of the books are in Dutch and the other half in English.
I even talked to John Saul years ago when he had a chat night
Oct 08, 2013 Christina rated it it was amazing
I first read this book in junior high and remember being so terrified by it. Of course, a couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon it again and while I could recall the feeling when I first read it, I could not remember much of anything else. A good opportunity to make an old book new!

This is another of Saul's book set in the rural south with a creepy desolate mansion on an island that has been owned by the Devereaux family for more than a century. The only road in is a causeway that comes and goes w
Jul 17, 2015 J.M. rated it liked it
Draw out the suspense, John Saul.

So another book with a dancing skeleton on the cover, or at least a woman with her skull showing through. Saul's no Stephen King, though you can kind of tell he was trying to be, and this did make me want to read some of his other stuff, like his first. There's so much early on in the story that makes you see just how wrong things are going to turn out. Effective foreshadowing, if a little transparent. If Pat Conroy wrote grim little horror stories instead of lon
Apr 13, 2011 Nadia rated it liked it
It seemed a bit too easy to tell who the murderer would be close to the begining of the book, but I was suprised by how freaking insane the person was. The murders started out slowly, a pretty normal pace for this kind of book, but came to a crimson splattered climax that was waaaaaaay disturbing.
The characters themselves were believable, but frustrating. Parts of the book made me want to yell at the characters like some people do in movie theaters, "Don't do that you idiot! Your gonna die! She
Stephen McQuiggan
Dec 04, 2015 Stephen McQuiggan rated it really liked it
Forced to come back to the house his mother exiled him from, Kevin Devereaux returns with his family to fulfil her dying wish. but there is so much he doesn't know, especially about his crazy sister, and soon the little cell in the basement is going to start filling up with bodies. A fine slice of Southern Gothic, with menace dripping from the moss covered pines. The crumbling Sea Oaks is an evocative setting, and the mysteries of the past are eked out slowly.
Feb 13, 2015 Molly rated it liked it
First of all, I should not have tried to read this before going to bed. Secondly, it was predictable, and I had Blue October's 'Hate Me' going through my mind the entire night.

With that said, I think I would enjoy this book more if I read it in the daylight hours. I love a few of his books, but this one is just not on my list of 'keepers'.
Ann Reichwein Stewart
Very predictable

Disappointing, kept reading and thinking there must be a twist somewhere, but alas, there was not. Usually love John Saul books, but I did not care for this one at all.
Delicious Strawberry
I found this book to be meh. It had some good parts, but it veered into old tropes, with an ending that was predictable. The big question I have here is why the housekeeper didn't do more to help Marguerite, knowing what happened to her and what Helena did to her. This complicity was what bothered me, if Ruby had acted differently (and more sensibly) then this story would have taken a different, and better turn. There are some questions left unanswered as well.
alison ruby
Feb 20, 2014 alison ruby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Riveting story

I found myself staying up into the wee hours struggling to put the book down. The story brought tears to my eyes.
Dr. Awesome
Feb 18, 2016 Dr. Awesome rated it it was amazing
great book that does a good job of setting a gloomy gothic atmosphere. Very engrossing and thrilling with a ghoulish and explosive ending
Steve Schlutow
Feb 18, 2016 Steve Schlutow rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-horror, saul
I enjoyed this book. I like the psycho-ghost stories. The is simple, predictable horror stories, but I liked it.
Jun 04, 2015 Tara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Predictable/recycled premise but it gave me something to listen to during my commute for a week. It was ok.
Brian Burch
Feb 21, 2014 Brian Burch rated it it was ok
Read this a LONG time ago. I liked this one, but he took the ending on this one WAY too far for me.
Nov 21, 2013 Stephanie rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed the first 200 pages then it got bizarre. A 50 year old woman with a bad hip and a severe limp brutally killed about 4 people within 20 pages. Assumably from being mentally and physically abused her whole life.

Then at the end, her niece - who grew up normally until age 17 and has been exposed to this aunt for maybe two months - starts to share the same traits. Totally unbelievable as it took the aunt years of abuse to get this way, unless they are insinuating that the mental illn
Douglas Castagna
Oct 10, 2013 Douglas Castagna rated it really liked it
Now when I told my wife what I thought about STC, she said, no, read Unloved. I did. To me, it seems like they were written by different writers. No prologue, and this tells the generational tale of a family rife with dysfunctional, heralded over by a tyrannical matriarch who is on her death bed. Her son who left as soon as he could, is called back, and due to an iron clad will, must stay in his ancestral home. Only problem is people start dying. Very well written and conceived. I actually felt ...more
Sridhar Babu
Jan 25, 2010 Sridhar Babu rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: to all fiction lovers..a must read book
Recommended to Sridhar by: took from a book shop on my own
This was one of my wonderful scary,books....while reading this book i felt some strange presence in my room as if I was watched by something..evil. The after effects of this book...I got nitemares,panic attacks,sudden trumbling etc. After reading this book I was very much scared to go to celler or to attic to take things out there. People say stephen king as a horror writer, but for me John saul is ine and the best.
My very fav., character of this novel is "Marguerite" If this book, made as a fe
Nov 19, 2014 Ron rated it liked it
Not that great of a story. Halfway through the book, I was wanting to stop reading it. I expected a better book from John Saul.
Feb 09, 2014 Katrin rated it really liked it
Good book kept me interested throughout the whole book.
Dec 20, 2014 Stacie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of horror
Shelves: 2013, 1980s, fiction
This book was really quite good. Every event was completely unexpected and it was very suspenseful. About halfway through the book is when things really start to get exciting and I kept thinking about where the plot was headed since so many vital aspects of the story were being destroyed by the author. Then, the ending is somewhat shocking. Although this story was definitely dramatic, I think that it is a good representation of how important a mother's love is, and how detrimental it can be to a ...more
Feb 01, 2015 Linda added it
Creepier than i care to read.
Feb 04, 2016 Rosa rated it really liked it
I did enjoy this book.
Homero Roldán Rubio
Predictable and as always the mother or the father are the problem
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John Saul was born in Pasadena, California on February 25, 1942, and grew up in Whittier where he graduated from Whittier High School in 1959. He attended several colleges—Antioch, in Ohio, Cerritos, in Norwalk, California, Montana State University and San Francisco State College, variously majoring in anthropology, liberal arts, and theater, but never obtaining a degree.
After leaving college, he
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