Vertical Run
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Vertical Run

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,267 ratings  ·  115 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 quietmoments 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, andeveryone David Elliot meets will try t...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 1st 1996 by Bantam (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,879)
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Jenny Esplin
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
Peter Derk
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matt W.
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...more
Katherine Clark
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
Brian
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...more
Brian Ashe
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
Sílvia
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...more
Joan
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...more
Tamela
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.
Mike
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?
Bryan457
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.
Nick
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
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.
Andre T
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...more
Joseph
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....more
Diane
I've read this book several times because I find it thrilling, even though there are serious flaws. In any other book, those flaws (including unlikely scenarios, stilted dialogue, and lack of character development) would have me closing the covers without reading the whole thing. But the thrills are undeniable. The story of David Elliott, who in the space of one day goes from ordinary, almost-middle-aged office drone to fugitive relying on ancient military skills, falls into a subgenre of books...more
Nathaniel
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
Paula
This was an audio book I had laying around. Unfortunately it was an abridged version but even so was a very good listen. It was a thriller that kept me wanting to listen.

Dave Elliott is a retired Marine who is married to his second wife and lives a rather usual life. He runs in the morning, then goes to work and showers there and changes clothes. He follows the same routine most days but this morning when he opens his bosses door, he is met with a gun. Dave has no idea what's going on but is abl...more
Jim A
This was a re-read for me. I first read it back when first published in the 90's.

The book holds up well, almost 20 years after being written. The protagonist is a typical upper management type who comes to work one day and finds his boss wants to kill him. From there he goes on the run within his office tower in mid Manhattan. Of course what would a chase be if not for the protagonist being ex Special Forces with more than the average executive's skill set.


Being the picky reader that I have bec...more
Biffbolt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Paul
A fast paced, punchy, can't put down, action packed thriller that will leave you wanting more. This is the only work by this late author I'd stake my reputation on recommending. It's been years since I've read it and the story is still vivid to me.
Dana
One of the best books I've ever read. The action was nonstop, the storyline kept you on the edge your seat. The plot was so amazing that I couldn't put the book down. How sad that this author left us so soon.
Kameron
This book took a while to really get into, but once you do your in for a great ride! If you liked the Jason Bourne books you'll love this one.
It is about and ex-soldier who fought in the vietnam war who begins everyday by doing his normal daily things. Get up, have breakfast with family, etc. However when he gets into his large office build that he had been working at for years, things go out of his daily chain. His business parter, who he had worked with for years, pulls a gun on him. Infact...more
Ira
Lumayan deh, ceritanya tentang eksekutif perusahaan yang kena virus saat menginspeksi perusahaan/laboratorium yang mo di beli ama boss-nya.

Dia nggak tau kalo dirinya sudah terinfeksi dan nggak ada yang nagsih tau karena laboratorium itu sebenernya laboratorium rahasi milik pemerintah USA yang sedang mengembangkan senjata biologi. Jadi ya gitu deh. Dia dikejar-kejar ama sekelompok tentara bayaran supaya virus-nya nggak nyebar.

Garis ceritanya lumayan ok, cuman herannya kenapa nggak bilang aja ke...more
Ed Howland
This is a book I recommend to everyone looking for a story to hook them quickly and keep them turning the pages.
Marti
This was a highly charged, exciting novel, almost from the first page. Interspersed with the current action, is the history of Dave Elliot's military experience. He has been married for the second time--some years back, and has a fairly grown son. This is a memorable day for Dave. When he gets to work in a high rise Manhattan building, he finds that his boss--and some others--want him dead. He does escape from the building at one point, but this is where it is happening. Why? If you want to find...more
Jeremy
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book and didn't have much in the way of expectations going in. This book turned out to be very good, and action packed from the start. There's really never a dull moment, and as the story progresses we're given a bit more background on the main character, but still not a ton. As far as the story goes, it was good. No plot holes, and progression was natural and believable. Ransome (the main bad guy) was a bit one dimensional, but that was redeemed by (some o...more
Linda
Not usually my kind of story line, but this grabbed me from page 1. Good book!
Eric
A quick read if you don't mind a lack of characterization and richness in plot. I had this around a 3.5 star rating halfway through the book...however, it never did turn the corner and take it to the level I thought it could've reached. I may be considered picky, but I like good character development and a plot with good context and I found this novel lacking in both. However, I did read just about the entire book so it did enough for me to get through it for the most part. I lost interest in th...more
Bookcase Jim
When I first read it, back in highschool, I thought it was amazing. Loved the concept and found the pace and plot extremely entertaining, 100% action-thriller movie material. And then a few years ago I read it again and found it to be less enjoyable. My tastes have matured and pop-fiction doesn't do much for me anymore, but it still offers great entertainment value.
At some point, there were discussions of making this into film, but apparently those plans fell through. I wouldn't read it a third...more
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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
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