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All Heads Turn When The Hunt Goes By

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  516 ratings  ·  47 reviews
The affair is a military wedding. Whast will begin, however, with the solemnity of marriage vows will end in the echoing screams of the damned - an ungodly spectacle of spilled blood and sobbing, throat-aching terror. There is a curse that grips the Baldwins from generation to generation, from horror to bloody horror, and that climaxes in a spine-chilling nightmare of blac ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 15th 1990 by Tor Books (first published 1977)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,320)
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Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
Stephen King liked this book. I did not. That makes me sad.

America's premier novelist of terror. When he turns it on as he does here, nobody does it better.

*glares at Stephen King*

I just can't finish it. I tried. It has voodoo and snakes. Dang it. I just couldn't figure out which character was who and what the hell was happening. I did read over half the sucker before throwing in the towel.

I'm bored now.
...more
Feliks
There is no other horror novel quite like this one. Its notoriety and reputation; its esteem and admiration, are fully well-earned. It was conceived at the dawn of the horror-fiction revolution stirred awake by Stephen King; during that long 'lull' before the genre exploded and multi-millions began to be tossed around. Ambitious authors at that time, were not really throwing all their energies into this genre because it was considered a sleepy backwater. A special-interest genre. Ira Levin was l ...more
Charlene
I read this e-book with my horror group at Shelfari.

This book is widely considered a classic by many hard-core horror fans. It features African voodoo, slavery, southern plantations, snakes, curses and a unique cast of characters. It is well written and the story is beautifully told. I recommend the STORY highly for any fan of old-school horror.

However, the formatting problems in this book seriously interfered with my enjoyment of the story. There were commas and periods out of place, character
...more
Robert Beveridge
There are certain novels that are discovered early on by other novelists and talked about constantly. Some of the time, the public picks up on these and turns them, and their authors, into popular figures. Far more often, however, they are left in obscurity among the masses while achieving legendary status among the industry insiders. Anne Rivers Siddons' _The House Next Door_ is a prime example; Lee Smith's _Oral History_ is another. And there are many other examples, including this tome, which ...more
Chris
John Farris is a legend in the horror genre, but unfortunately unknown to newer readers. Considering he's credited as being an influence to Stephen King, that should be enough.

This novel follows two families, but largely the wealthy Southern Bradwins, as a horrific wedding day tragedy unfolds, and the expatriate British doctor who comes to take care of the surviving war hero son. Deadly paths converge amid suggestions of an ancient African horror that has survived to seek it's vengeance.

Highest
...more
Sandy
Having never read anything by John Farris, I stumbled upon his 1977 novel "All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By" after seeing David J. Schow's very laudatory remarks concerning the book in Jones & Newman's overview volume "Horror: 100 Best Books" (1988). In his essay, Schow calls it a "unique horror novel; the strongest single work yet produced by the field's most powerful individual voice," as well as "the first modern sexual horror novel yet written." "All Heads Turn" was hardly an early w ...more
Leslee
This is a horror novel with some clout - mentioned both by Stephen King in Danse Macabre and again by Kim Newman and Stephen Jones in Horror: The 100 Best Books.

It's also a horror novel that was released over 30 years ago, but luckily has been re-released in ebook format and is now available on amazon for less than 5 dollars, which is a great price for this treasure of a horror novel that is a must read for anyone who considers themselves as a devotee of the horror genre.

All Heads Turn... is v
...more
Ben Loory
really strange and grandly ambitious southern gothic / val lewton-style horror. interesting amalgamation of characters and settings. great opening scene in the church. never actually scary, though-- and gets less scary as it goes. by the end it's like, yeah, okay, let's just kill this snake lady and get on with it.
Gil
Well, I finished my "close" read of this amazing novel, and my one-word review is "Wow!"

There is a clarity to Farris's writing that I envy, a strong control that holds back the horror and then examines it clinically, without shying away from any of it.

I look forward to the straight-through read of the page proofs. My publisher client tells me I'll have another of Farris's to read in about four months. Great!
N N
Not my usual cup of tea, but the title was too baroque to pass up. The book is a good example of an American author floundering out of his depth. The first part, set in the US, is competent and establishes the right kind of southern gothic atmosphere. Then for some perverse reason (the plot does not demand it) the second part takes the action over to Britain and strips the author of all credibility. Characters start talking as if they were Hollywood Englishmen played by Ronald Colman or Dame May ...more
Matthew Bielawa
John Farris weaves an intricate dark story that I just loved. The first third and last third have so much action, I was practically falling off the chair! It's quite an involved story with so many interesting characters spanning three continents. I have to admit that the middle third did throw me a bit, requiring me to read a little slower (I'm already a careful and slow paced reader) and repeating pages at a time. But I write this only for those who might feel bogged down and a little....dare I ...more
Tero Kuittinen
Sizzling voodoo horror from the Seventies - one of those pre-King novels that have become largely forgotten. One fascinating thing about this book is that it shows what horror was before it became formulaic during the Eighties. The structure and character development are interesting and somewhat odd, the atmosphere of the book is unique.

"All Head Turn..." has one obvious structural problem - the second half cannot sustain the heady pace of the first one. But the quality of the writing sustains
...more
Kelly
Nov 26, 2009 Kelly marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
On the back of the book Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, Stephen King is quoted as saying "I haven't read such a relentlessly creepy family saga since John Farris's All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By." So I looked it up and added it to my TBR pile.
Sidney
All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By is a horror classic and like the best horror tales it immerses the reader in its world, a Southern plantation where a proud Southern family is plagued by a voodoo curse. The opening scene as a military wedding is disrupted by madness is only the beginning for a great, chilling experience.
Charles
Good book. An ambitious book. Beautifully written. Gory in places. There were a few moments when I was confused about the turn of events but for the most part I sailed through it easily enough. The ending is right on track for the rest of the story.
Barrymore Tebbs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dennis Anthony
This man is a wonderful writer. I believe he is underappreciated and too little read these days. This book is gothic and dark and strange and fascinating to behold. Having said that, I would take seriously all the other comments written about it. This will not be to everyone's taste. I'm not a big voodoo fan and I think some reviewers make too much of that aspect of this book. It's really about families and their sins, and voodoo is just the brush that paints the picture.

The "doctor," Jackson,
...more
Jeff Francis
Having such an esoteric reading quirk as out-of-print horror novels from the ‘70s/’80s is a hit-or-miss proposition. Most aren’t that bad, but are still quite lowbrow, their joys serving as a type of literary comfort food. Then some are just God-awful, coming off as if they were written by a high-schooler during study hall.

But there is another end of the spectrum: those real finds that surprise you with their quality. Ones that aren’t merely good “horror” novels but simply good novels, period.

J
...more
Rachel
Being a long-time fan of both the southern gothic and horror genres, I was immediately drawn to John Farris' All Heads Turn, not only for its strangely poetic and mysterious title, but also for themes of voodoo (something that has interested me for a long time) and black magic. Unfortunately, as many of you are probably aware of, this particular novel is VERY difficult to acquire in print. Online prices for the book border on ridiculousness. Instead, I took to searching thrift stores high and l ...more
Ralph Carlson
Read this book when it was first published and while I liked it, thought it was just okay. This second read I found was fantastic. It was a great read which I loved a lot. I have found this quite a few times with books the second time of reading them.
Peter
All Heads Turn When The Hunt Goes By has not only a great title, but also a story that grabs you and pulls you along. A member of the black magic genre, it is a continuation of Rider Haggard’s 1887 novel She, in which Ayesha, an ancient white goddess in Africa with supernatural powers, dies but, like General Macarthur, promises to return. Now shheeee’s baaaacccckkk! And she's pissed!!

This 1978 novel starts in June of 1942 when Captain Charles (“Champ”) Bradwin attends the wedding of his brother,
...more
A.M. Dellamonica
The opening of this novel may be one of the best things I've ever read--creepy, suspenseful, unexpected and tragic--but all that potential never quite comes to a satisfying conclusion.
David
This is a minus three stars. Of the 364 pages if we had lost 64 pages, the novel would have been much better. I often got bored in the descriptive details of the surroundings. Quite frankly at times I got bored reading it. What did keep the read following is the story line, the writing that kept me moving from character to character as to whom the "problem" was in the story. The last third of the book is by far the best part, has the most action, and is the scariest. The two thirds of the book i ...more
Leah Coffin
Stephen King: you, sir, are a bald-faced liar. You said this book had a family as twisted as the one in Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. That family did indeed make my skin crawl with their seriously messed-up dynamics. This one just appalls me with their blatant racism and poor taste in women.

Can I also just say that there is a fine line between portraying a racist society (in this case, the Deep South in the 1940s) and being racist oneself. John Farris goes so far past this line he's not even o
...more
Martha
Sep 03, 2010 Martha rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Patient people who love voodoo stories
Shelves: horror
This came highly recommended from a horror group I'm in. I must be a bit jaded, because I didn't actually find this book shocking in the least. And maybe I'm just spoiled by reading so much rich language by classic horror writers that modern horror writers fail to impress me.
Whatever reason, I had a hard time forcing myself through this book. It just didn't grip and pull me in at any point. The story itself isn't bad, but I felt that the first half of the book (aside from the very beginning) was
...more
Nick
That "All Heads Turn" was published by Playboy is proof of mainstream publishers' squeamishness and literary publishers' elitism. Farris has written a compelling, alternately lyrical and disturbing novel with believable characters and some of the most impressive plotting I've seen in horror. Voodoo, unwittingly imported on the previous century's slave ships, is real, and Dr. Jackson Holley, an Englishman and thus outsider, watches it destroy an aristocratic southern family from within. There's a ...more
Katharine Kruse
I was intrigued by the reviews on this "classic" horror novel (and let's face it, the eye-catching title), but I only made it halfway through. Like so much of 1970s and 1980s horror, this book is obsessed with shock-me viscera and extreme sexuality. It had a great beginning, but the unrelenting attempts to gross me out began to be wearying.

I took a break from the book a couple weeks ago. Every time I thought about re-starting I'd get a bit nauseous. So I did what I usually do when a book is not
...more
Patrick Browne
Fervently wished for the title to pertain to what was in the book, but sadly, it didn't.
Donna Humble
An interesting mix of the old South, voodoo, and superstition. I enjoyed the book but at times it did drone on. if you can get through those parts the ending is worth the trouble.
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85410
American writer and screenwriter of both adaptations of his own books (e.g. 'The Fury'), of the works of others (such as Alfred Bester's 'The Demolished Man') and original scripts. In 1973 he wrote and directed the film 'Dear Dead Delilah'. He has had several plays produced off-Broadway, and also paints and writes poetry. At various times he has made his home in New York, Southern California and P ...more
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