Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vertical Run” as Want to Read:
Vertical Run
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Vertical Run

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  1,806 Ratings  ·  165 Reviews
You think YOU had a killer workday. . .
Get ready for the FASTEST thriller of the summer!
Each morning in his 45th floor executive office, David Elliot savors the quiet moments until the workday begins.
Until today, when his boss walks in and aims a gun at him.
For the rest of the day, he will be trapped in his midtown office building, and everyone David Elliot meets will try
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 1st 1996 by Bantam (first published 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Vertical Run, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Asteropê I Googled. Found this:
"In 1995, his second novel Vertical Run, a corporate thriller, became an international best-seller. The book's setting is 200…more
I Googled. Found this:
"In 1995, his second novel Vertical Run, a corporate thriller, became an international best-seller. The book's setting is 200 Park Avenue, the address of Booz Allen. It was bought by a Hollywood studio in the 1990s only to be shelved in pre-production." (Wikipedia -

So, looks like no. Though, perhaps someone decided to finally make one? I didn't see any news or articles about it though.

There was a movie made called Vertical Limit, maybe that's what you were thinking of? (less)
Fight Club by Chuck PalahniukThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Godfather by Mario PuzoLonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Best Manfiction
96th out of 1,210 books — 482 voters
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Gunslinger by Stephen KingThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThat Night Filled Mountain by Skitz O'FuelNemesis by Agatha Christie
On the Run
10th out of 136 books — 53 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,825)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Peter Derk
Aug 09, 2010 Peter Derk rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny Esplin
Jul 23, 2010 Jenny Esplin rated it really liked it
My brother forced me to read this book. It's his favorite novel of all time. I didn't want to read it, especially after seeing the nasty, yellow-stained, warped paperback copy he brought over for me to borrow. It looks like he dropped it in the toilet or something. Disgusting. It took me about a year to work up the nerve to touch it, and then I had to read it with my shirt pulled over my hands and a thick coating of hand sanitizer on. Anyway, it goes to show how good the book is that I was willi ...more
Katherine Clark
Apr 16, 2014 Katherine Clark rated it really liked it
I'm probably giving this too many stars, but hear me out. Before this, I read Private L.A., a Patterson book. That book was pretty bad. REading Garber's book immediately after gave me such appreciation for what can be done with a thriller. There can be really interesting back stories, and chapters can be longer than 3 pages, and characters can have some development and quirks, and I can actually care about the characters. Not to mention, in the hands of a good author, I can actually be surprised ...more
Matt W.
Apr 01, 2014 Matt W. rated it it was amazing
When the novel Vertical Run is over, Dave Elliot is a changed person. Through excruciating circumstances and several moral decisions David becomes a person that understands who he is, and what he has to do to save himself and those he loves.

Early on in the story Dave’s boss walks in his office with a gun and tries to shoot him. After managing to knock out his boss Dave walks out of his office only to be shot at again -- this time by mercenaries that know what they are doing. Also about this time
Nov 05, 2015 Selwa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Die Hard + Rambo + Outbreak = Vertical Run

I read through this pretty quickly, as it felt like brain candy. That's not a bad thing, by the way. Frankly, I'm surprised it was never turned into a movie, especially since the jacket copy says "Soon to be a major motion picture". Maybe the moment passed.

Anyway, I was pretty happy with this book ... Vertical Run was, if I'm remembering correctly, the first book on my to-read list, essentially creating the thing. While 34-year-old Selwa probably wouldn'
Dec 26, 2008 Brian rated it liked it
Okay, this is definitely a guilty pleasure book for those liking action. There are predictable aspects to it and the novel is definitely dated now. However, it is still a very enjoyable read for what it is.

I call this kind of book "mind-candy". It's easy-reading, sucks you in... but isn't too memorable or deep. Just enjoy it as it is... which is a book in the vein of the original "Die Hard".

I think the author sets a good pace and creates interesting (although stereotypical) characters and scen
Brian Ashe
Mar 31, 2012 Brian Ashe rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book. Just read it for the 3rd or 4th time. I skimmed a good amount because I also read it just a few months ago (for the first time in years) but it's one of those books I can just pick up and really get into all over again. It owes a bit to Die Hard but beyond some of the premise and a couple details it's wholly original. Great action and a satisfying conclusion, which is one place that books like this sometimes come up short. It's really too bad that Mr. Garber died so ...more
Feb 27, 2010 Sílvia rated it it was amazing
What a great book! One of the best thrillers I've read so far. It's really intense and does a wonderful job at keeping you hooked and dying to know what happens next.
Both the main plot and the whole background story about the main character are very believable. Dave is a striking character, I sympathized with him and was pulling for the story to work out in his favour. I loved as well that the author included Dave's reasoning and planning of his actions and the traps he'd set.

I'm looking forward
May 25, 2014 Joan rated it really liked it
Vertical Run is a most unusual mystery and the first novel I've read by this author. It is fast-paced, action-filled, skillfully-constructed, and full of unexpected twists and turns of plot. The author has a strong command of the English language and uses it well to involve the reader in the story.

Published in 1995, this book contained some dialogue that was startlingly current in content. Here are two passages I found particularly interesting and well-written. The first is a character's monolo
Scott Holstad
Jul 09, 2015 Scott Holstad rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best thrillers I have ever read! It was a real page turner. I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. I can't say that about a lot of "thrillers" I read. And to think I got it for only a nickel at a used bookstore.

One morning, Dave Elliot is in his office and his boss, the company president, walks in. With a gun. To shoot Dave. Dave's old (he's 47) special forces training kicks in and he knocks out the man and takes his gun. What is happening? He leaves his office o
Update: They have it for Kindle now, so I'm downloading it right now.

This is one of my all time favorite books. I especially enjoyed the audio book. Stephen Lang is a great reader. I only wish I could get it for my Kindle also. I actually got my sister to read it (she's read about 12 books her whole life :D)

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy action, mystery, humor, and a great ending.

Read and listened to this numerous times.
Gautam Surath
Jan 21, 2015 Gautam Surath rated it really liked it
If you have ever wondered what Die Hard might have looked like as a script then you may finally have your answer. Vertical Run is that and much more. It delivers everything the AV medium cannot and more. The lead protagonist is beautifully constructed and his inner voice is so well done you almost don't realize there is no real conversations during the course of the book. Super fast and super fun. Don't forget it for your next short trip.
Jan 30, 2009 Mike rated it it was amazing
This book was an unexpected treat for me. I really did not think I'd enjoy when a friend reccomended it to me. After the constant nagging from said friend I decided to crack it open. Within what seemed like such a short amount of time I returned the book and proceded to give great thanks. This is still one of the best thrillers I've ever read. Readers will raise an eyebrow here, and there, and then finish with an expression of WTF?
Dave comes in early to the office and his boss tries to kill him. A real thrill ride.
I really like the character. It turns out Dave is not only good at turning the hunters into the hunted, but he gets a real charge out of it.
I would give it 5 stars but there is some stuff about torture, heads on poles, and some bad stuff from his Vietnam days, and the ending had some odd spots, but it is still one of my favorite books.
Feb 22, 2009 Nick rated it really liked it
Not the most complex book, but if I had to categorize it, Vertical Run would be one of those summer blockbuster movies. Fast paced action, sometimes over the top action, decent enough characters and a fascinating grabber that keeps you turning the pages.
Lawrence Tuck
Jul 28, 2011 Lawrence Tuck rated it it was amazing
You will LOVE this book. Action, action, action as well as being put in the shoes of the main character trying to figure out why everyone is trying to kill him.
Jan 22, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it
This reminded me of why I like to read. Yes, it was far-fetched. At times it seemed to throw logic out the window. But it was damned fun.
Oct 17, 2014 Monique rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
Most interesting story about a former special ops soldier turned businessman for 25 years. He goes to work one morning, as usual, and is confronted by his boss who wants to kill him. He manages to disarm his boss only to discover that there is an entire posse of black ops characters out to kill him as well.

Over the course of 36 hours, he manages to elude the traps as his old training kicks in and this gives him time to figure out why someone wants him dead.

The language is appropriate, the suspen
Mar 04, 2015 Tim rated it did not like it
"As arrogant as a nigger with a knife?" This reader doesn't deal with trash of any kind. 0 of 10 stars
James Frederick
Jul 14, 2016 James Frederick rated it really liked it
This was a great page turner. There were times when I felt like the flashbacks got in the way, a bit. But it was mostly very well written and revealed just enough to keep me wanting to find out what happened next. I liked the ending, as well.

The premise is that normal business exec goes to work one day and his boss tries to kill him. He then finds out that pretty much everyone else he knows wants him dead, as well.

I originally was going to give it five stars, which I do not do very often. I wo
Justin Lahey
Feb 15, 2016 Justin Lahey rated it it was amazing
Everyone has (or should have) that one book that you read over and over again, always getting the utmost satisfaction from the experience. For me, that book remains Vertical Run, by the regrettably late Joseph R. Garber. This book called out my name from a spinning book display in a corner store while I was on a mini weekend getaway in the Quebec Laurentian mountains when I was 18 or 19. And from the very first read, it rocked my imagination, and took me on a wild adventure, that I have repeated ...more
Mar 13, 2015 George rated it really liked it
Κλασικό θρίλερ με δράση και αγωνία από την πρώτη σελίδα ως την τελευταία. Τυχαία αγορά από το Μοναστηράκι, το βιβλίο ήταν σε τέλεια κατάσταση μέσα σε ειδική ζελατίνα, μου άρεσε πολύ το εξώφυλλο, διάβασα την περίληψη, μου άρεσε και αυτή, και έτσι το αγόρασα - έτσι και αλλιώς ένα ευρώ έδωσα όλο κι όλο.

Πρωταγωνιστής του βιβλίου είναι ο Ντέιβ Έλιοτ, σαράντα επτά χρονών και επιτυχημένο διοικητικό στέλεχος μιας μεγάλης εταιρείας. Ο Ντέιβ πολέμησε στο Βιετνάμ, σε πολλές και σκληρές μάχες, και από τότε
Andre T
Dec 30, 2011 Andre T rated it liked it
I may be rating this book a bit conservatively, as I enjoyed it more than my rating may indicate. As thriller, it is very solid, with a likeable hero and an adequately, if somewhat 2-dimensional, evil foe, and has good pacing in an entertaining narrative about a corporate man whose world has turned upside down as he is being hunted down in his offices, by an unknown agency.

If I had read it back in the mid-90s, when this book had come out, I'd give it a 3-star rating, but now, with more than 15 y
Sep 15, 2013 Joseph rated it really liked it
Vertical Run
Joseph R. Garber

Vertical Run starts out with a normal 47 year old man named Dave who suddenly wakes up one morning and his boss at his company wants to kill him. Soon after, he finds out that everybody he knows is trying to kill him. He has no clue why everybody is trying to kill him, and needs to find out and do something about it...while not getting killed.

I thought this book was a very action-packed book. The only part of the book where there was no action would be the flashbacks.
Sep 15, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ab-fave, e-book
Wow! Talk about a hook! This book got me from the third page and refused to let me go. Even figuring out aspects before they were 'revealed' did not dim my enjoyment. I thoroughly bought into the character and the situation. When I was done I was disappointed that it was not the start of a series, so I could continue my journey. Well written, and the e-book I read, had many fewer typos than is usually the case.

If you have a long wait or a weekend, read this book. You will not want to set it down
Louis Barbier
Jan 20, 2016 Louis Barbier rated it it was amazing
This quite a book! It will be very hard to put down once you start reading it because this book is filled with intrigue, suspense and mayhem! The book begins with the main character David Elliot, a very successful New York executive, going to work on the forty-fifth floor of an ultramodern skyscraper on Park Avenue. Dave as every morning jogs to work and is always the first to arrive at his office. But this day it will be different! Dave Elliot is about to have a very bad day...
Metodi Markov
Dec 08, 2014 Metodi Markov rated it really liked it
Shelves: crimy
Добър трилър, 4*, в него ме впечатли основно този цитат:

Не мога да се чувствам добре, че съм жена, ако ти не се чувстваш зле, че си мъж.

Не мога да се гордея, че съм чернокож, ако ти не се срамуваш, че си бял.

Не мога да се уважавам, че съм хомосексуалист, ако ти не си притеснен, че си нормален.

Толерантността е отживелица, тя е нещо старомодно и ние не я искаме.

Равенството също — то е снизхождение в най-добрия случай, а всъщност е изнамерено, за да те унижава.
Aug 13, 2014 Nathaniel rated it liked it
Basically the paperback equivalent of "Tom Clancy meets Die Hard; half implausibly detailed military intrigue, half "guy trapped in a skyscraper who has to kick ass and save the day all by his lonesome" and all 90's all the way. In that sense, it feels derivative of the hot action properties that existed at the time that it was written, but like those properties it's really more fun than it should be 20 years later: silly, implausible, and in some respects almost hilariously dated, yes, but ente ...more
Sep 28, 2015 Krista rated it it was ok
This is an adrenaline thriller that's not actually about spies but has the same kind of feel (lots of military-type action and corporate intrigue). I was absorbed and caught up in the story quickly, but I found the end quite a let-down and also found the characters pretty unlikable, even our protagonist "hero." So not one of my favorites, but ok for a plane ride or something.
Aug 17, 2016 Peter rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books ever! My Dad gave me this book when I was 13 and we were at Cape Cod. It was a fantastic summer read and I think I read it in a day. I want more books like this, but have never found anything that fits the bill. It's basically Die Hard. Yes, I know Die Hard was based on a book, but I digress. Get this book if you want action!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 94 95 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
That's Entertainment!! 1 4 Nov 05, 2011 08:30PM  
  • The Inner Sanctum
  • The Last Spymaster
  • Crossing the Lion (Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery, #9)
  • Nathan's Run
  • The Ascent of Everest
  • Flyaway
  • 24 Declassified: Collateral Damage
  • Blind Man's Alley
  • Have Mercy (Do Not Disturb)
  • The Head Men (The Destroyer, #31)
  • Day of Reckoning (Sean Dillon, #8)
  • Watch Me
  • The Shadow Box
  • Chasers
  • Eleven Days
  • The Grid
  • Man On Fire
  • Shadow of a Broken Man
Joseph R. Garber was an American author, best known for his 1995 thriller Vertical Run and for the articles he wrote on technology for Forbes magazine.

Garber was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, moving often as an army brat. He attended the University of Virginia, but quit to join the U.S. Army himself, eventually graduating from East Tennessee State University in 1968 with a philosophy degree.
More about Joseph R. Garber...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »