Dreadful Skin
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Dreadful Skin

by
3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  346 ratings  ·  61 reviews
I ducked into a niche between a cabin and the pilot house and hiked my skirt up enough to reach down into my garter holster. I've heard it said that God made all men, but Samuel Colt made all men equal. We'd see what Mr. Colt could do for a woman. Jack Gabert went to India to serve his Queen. He returned to London a violently changed man, infected with an unnatural sicknes...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published December 2nd 2008 by Far Territories (first published March 1st 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 934)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
I am so glad that I found out about this book. It was just what I was looking for. This book is an excellent journey into the heart of darkness in the American West, with a supernatural twist. And to top it off, the protagonist is a woman of unquenchable will and determination.

Irish nun, Sister Eileen, is small, but her spirit is tremendous. She has made it her mission to track and end a vicious werewolf disguised as a man, Jack. She's followed his trail of rampage and blood over several contine...more
Miriam
How not to write multiple first-person narrative:

Introduce 5 or 6 first person speakers, none of whom sound at all convincing as who they're supposed to be (a Southern slave woman, an English aristocrat, a river boat captain, a gambler, an Irish nun, etc) or distinctly different from one another.

Then have most of them dead by page 60.

Thanks for wasting my time!

I'm really glad I didn't start reading Priest here or I wouldn't have picked her up again.
Chris
So a nun with Colt gun, a gambler and a werewolf sat down at a table on steamboat.

No, it's not the start of a joke; it actually happens in this book. More important, it's not stupid.

I've read my fair share of urban fantasy, and I'll admit, I'm getting very tried of the tormented good guys. You know what I'm talking, the poor vampire who is looking for his true love, and finds her embodied in the heroine of the series. I'm not saying I don't enjoy a story where the vampire or werewolf is good guy...more
Zephfire
This is the first book of Cherie Priest's that I've read, and it won't be the last! A wonderfully gothic werewolf tale that starts in 1870 on board the steamboat Mary Byrd as it makes it's journey up the Tennessee river, bound for Chattanooga . It is divided into three tales, the first tale taking place on the boat and from varying points of view as some of the passengers tell you about themselves and their fate on that tormented night.
The second tale is set in 1879 and starts in Texas, and come...more
Laurie
From my point of view, it’s hard to do a werewolf story well. They turn out silly, or are just gory. I mean, most are pretty predictable- moon gets full, person turns into wolf and kills people. Turns back to human, doesn’t remember anything.

This one is different. They lycanthropes aren’t all cut from the same cloth, and they don’t lose their wits completely when then transform. During their human times, they have plans and carry them out methodically. Some are good, some are tormented, some ar...more
Andrea
Dreadful Skin is the literary version of potato chips: edible, went fast, but left me unsatisfied and wishing for something either more substantial or tastier.

A number of factors contributed to my dissatisfaction, and the sum of the whole was greater than the individual problems.

First, there was the disjointedness. The book hops from head to head as if it can't stand to hang out in any particular one for more than a few pages. In the first part, where the narrator isn't immediately identified,...more
Juushika
An Irish nun pursues an English werewolf through the American south—but in order to kill a monster, she may have to become a monster herself. The story is told in three sections, each with a distinct narrative style—a choice which holds reader attention but fragments the book. Dreadful Skin is not a unique addition to the werewolf genre, but it does feature realistically brutal violence and an unique, haunting Southern gothic setting. The thematic elements of justification and prey could be bett...more
Netanella
Cherie Priest has just catapulted to the top of my must-read authors list with this book of three short stories about Irish nun Eileen Callaghan's hunt for a werewolf in Dreadful Skin. The stories are set in the last half of the 19th century, in a variety of locations: a steamboat on the Tennessee River; a religious revivalist camp in Holiness, Texas; the burnt-out town of Mescalero in the arid western desert. The shifting first-person narratives of the characters on the steamboat the Mary Byrd...more
Jammies
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica
Dec 24, 2008 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: horror lovers
Recommended to Jessica by: Juushika
A little known book that I think deserves more shelf time, I wish I had the power to stock it in the horror section where I work. It's a refreshing addition to the werewolf genre and should be a staple of reading lists on like subjects. Violent and gothic without romantasizing, I still found the text to be beautiful. The characters are unique, the settings southern and lush.

Why it did not get raised to five stars, was the format of three sections. I saw the author's intent in splitting to illust...more
Coki
very traditional horror story - makes me think of Byron and Shelley. Described as a Southern Gothic but I thought it felt more Western in the sparseness of language and stoic heroes. Almost feels like a serial with the multiple POV and the asides that bring the reader up to speed between parts. Quick read but well done and satisfying.
SheWunders
May 21, 2010 SheWunders rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to SheWunders by: Danielle "The Book Huntress" Hill
Shelves: 2010-05, horror
I really enjoyed the different writing style used to tell this story. Also, great characters and setting. Really innovative and refreshing.
Abigail Hilton
Literary werewolf story with religion, steamboats, and gun-toting nuns.
Brian Engelhardt
The wild west, werewolves and a rogue Catholic nun. Enough said.
MB Taylor
Finished reading Dreadful Skin (2008) by Cherie Priest yesterday. According to “The Internet Speculative Fiction Database” (www.isfdb.org) Dreadful Skin is a collection of three works of short fiction: “Part One: The Wreck of the Mary Byrd”, “Part Two: Halfway to Holiness”, and “Part Three: Our Lady of the Wasteland and the Hallelujah Chorus” all which have only been published in Dreadful Skin. Sounds more like an episodic novel to me; although each story could probably stand on its own, they ar...more
Jeff Young
There are so many elements of this book that I really like- but its the overly creative methodology of presentation, the over abundance of "telling" and drop off the edge ending that stop me from rating it higher. So werewolves, in a not overdone fashion, in interesting backdrops: a Mississippi River Boat, a tent revival and a western end of the line town. All gold as far as I'm concerned. The book is broken up into three portions, the first of which consists of bouncing between several view poi...more
Caressa
So, so sad. "Boneshaker" was such an amazing book, and "Dreadful Skin" is, well, dreadful. Cherie Priest excels at describing lush, gorgeously foreboding settings that send shivers down your spine while seducing you to come closer. That being said, she sucks at first person narrative. In "Dreadful," Priest switches POV between five characters; an Irish nun, London veteran, freed slave, and Southern gambler should each have a very distinct voice and internal monologue, right? Not so much. It took...more
Whitney
I love books that take a real-life mysterious event and give it a much cooler explanation. Cherie Priest pulls that off quite neatly with Dreadful Skin, a novel in three parts starring an Irish nun and a werewolf. I know, I know, who hasn't seen that pair used in a really good book?

The story opens on the Mary Byrd, a small ship that actually did disappear somewhere on the Tennessee River between Knoxville and Chattanooga in 1870. On board the story's version is a tipsy captain, a former slave, a...more
Angela
If you like werewolves, and you like the Old West, then Cherie Priest's short story collection Dreadful Skin is a decent way to spend your time. We've got three interconnected stories here, featuring the werewolf Jack Gabert and the woman who hunts him, Eileen Callaghan, an Irish ex-nun who's tracked him all the way to America.

The characters are sketched in with Priest's usual deft touch, though due to the length of each story and to the propensity to change points of view with each scene change...more
Kelly
This was an interesting book. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, Cherie Priest does an excellent job of making me think I'm going to be getting one thing and then turning around and tweaking it just enough that I'm stunned by how it turns out. She did that to me in Fathom also. On one hand it can be disconcerting and yet ... she's never predictable. I can't complain when an author leaves me thinking.

Narrative-wise, the book is divided into three separate stories that span years and miles. T...more
Erika
The Mary Byrd is a steamboat known to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances in the late 19th Century. For her latest round of passengers, this will be their final voyage along the Tennessee—all but two will find the muddy waters of the river their new home. The only question is: which two? And which of four vivid voices will perish in their desperation to subdue the Mary Byrd’s opportunistic attacker? Their outcome will be determined by the rise of the moon, the depth of the waters, an...more
Heather
I was thorougly impressed with this tale of werewolves in the Old West. Strong and subtle character building, smart pacing and interesting and changing narrative structure make this novel easy to read and it's combination of philosophy and old-school thrills make it a subtantive read as well.
Catherine Siemann
A book about a werewolf hunting nun. And by Cherie Priest. What more do you need to know?

I confess I liked more than loved it, but it's not so much my thing; I had it on my Kindle because I'd been going through a completist phase. But if it is your kind of thing, check it out.
Konstantinos Egarhos
Another great book by Cherie Priest.

Eileen Callaghan, left the Irish convent to hunt down a monster who left her scarred for the rest of her life, and she is willing to stalk it across the whole globe to cleanse the earth from its existence. As Cherie puts it "I've heard it said that God made all men, but Samuel Colt made all men equal. We'd see what Mr. Colt could do for a woman."

A must read for the fans of Van Helsings' stories.
Duckie
Four stars, not because it's great but because so much else in the genre is crap. One major problem is that in the first short story, the point of view shifts between chapters but the chapters aren't labeled with the characters' names, so for a couple of pages each chapter you have no idea who's talking. The writing is good, as Cherie Priest's usually is, but despite what the author says in the Introduction this isn't really a light story. There also isn't much here that's a new or different tak...more
Ian
Finished the first two stories. Very fun! Priest's attention to detail (such as the different sounds the various characters hear on the boat in the first story) elevates this to something more than your average "werewolf on a boat" story (because if there's a more overcrowded genre than werewolf on a boat stories, I haven't found it).

-----(edit)

The main problem here is that the extreme disjointedness starts to just get weary as the book goes on. The pacing suffers, too. Some of the individual sc...more
David Schwan
A story about a catholic nun chasing a werewolf through the central and western US. This book raises some interesting questions about good and evil. The main character Eileen Callaghan (female Dirty Harry maybe) starts out as an Irish catholic nun, and later is still catholic, but not a nun any more. She carries a deep secret, which compels her actions. Curiuously interesting read.

The author gives us a different mythology of werewolf's, not unlike Anne Rice did with vampires. In a sense the auth...more
Katherine
Apr 12, 2008 Katherine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Werewolf fans, people who love the idea of a gun-toting werewolf-hunting Irish nun.
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon Drake
A solid story, slow building but a freight train of an ending. Glad I gave her a second chance, she does great work with voices in this one as well as a nice dabbling with epistolary style.
Corey
Dreadful Skin was without a doubt my favorite novel this year. Cherie Priest is a fabulous storyteller with a gift for southern gothic. She paints a vivid picture of post Civil War west. Her characters are compelling. Most notably Eileen Callaghan, Irish nun turned Lycanthrope hunter truly came alive for me; she is witty, determine and surprisingly human throughout. Dreadful Skin manages to ask some big questions regarding good & evil, faith and free will, all the while telling a frightfully...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 31 32 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Alabaster
  • A Book of Tongues (Hexslinger, #1)
  • Black God's Kiss
  • The Imago Sequence and Other Stories
  • Heart-Beast
  • Skin Medicine
  • The Music of Razors
  • An Evil Guest
  • American Gothic Tales
  • Alpha Wolf (Alpha Force, #2)
  • The Best of Joe R. Lansdale
  • Sharp Teeth
  • The Drum, the Doll, and the Zombie
  • The Fierce Reads Anthology: Volume 2
  • 23 Hours: A Vengeful Vampire Tale
  • The Unblemished
221253
CHERIE PRIEST is the author of over a dozen novels, including the steampunk pulp adventures The Inexplicables, Ganymede, Dreadnought, Clementine, and Boneshaker. Boneshaker was nominated for both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award; it was a PNBA Award winner, and winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Cherie also wrote Bloodshot and Hellbent from Bantam Spectra; Fathom and the...more
More about Cherie Priest...
Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century, #1) Dreadnought (The Clockwork Century, #2) Clementine (The Clockwork Century, #1.1) Ganymede (The Clockwork Century, #3) Bloodshot (Cheshire Red Reports, #1)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“She'd grown up believing in hell in an abstract nightmare way; but west Texas had given her something more concrete upon which to dread the afterlife.” 8 likes
More quotes…