The Amulet
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The Amulet

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  151 ratings  ·  20 reviews
When a rifle range accident leaves Dean Howell disfigured and in a vegetative state, his wife Sarah finds her dreary life in Pine Cone, Alabama made even worse. After long and tedious days on the assembly line, she returns home to care for her corpse-like husband while enduring her loathsome and hateful mother-in-law, Jo. Jo blames the entire town for her son’s mishap, and...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 1st 1979 by Avon Books (first published 1979)
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I could kick myself for getting rid of my copy of this book decades ago. McDowell's books are sometimes hard to find because most are out of out of print. I used to get a thrill any time I found one of his books in a second hand book store.

This is a book set in Alabama about the terrible things that befall a small southern town when the townsfolk are in possession of an amulet. If you've read "The Monkey's Paw," you'll get the gist of what this story is about.
Aug 18, 2014 Pamellia rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of murders, lots of murders
Recommended to Pamellia by: Valancourt Books
Shelves: 2014
The Amulet by Michael McDowell
Started August 14, completed August 18, 2014
Valancourt recommended


This book was interesting. However there were way too many murders. Also accidental deaths. People were dying left and right in this book.

I thought a lot more could have been done with the plot and action (actions that did not involve murders and accidental deaths). Obviously the author was a good writer. Perhaps this book is a sign of the times as it was written several decades a...more
Benjamin Stahl
This was a solidly written horror novel about an evil pendant, and the horrible - sometimes hilarious - spring of violent misfortune it brought about its recipients. Peter Straub himself quoted McDowell as one of the greatest writers of modern horror, and although I wouldn't go that far, I do agree that the author certainly knows how to grab his readers' attention and hold it till the very end. There are many little nuances in this book that work perfectly in stimulating the morbid fascination o...more
C.J. Sellers
This was the adult horror story I read as a teen -- the one I could never find again, years later. I'd misremembered the book name and had totally forgotten the author's name. Finally, I found it again. It was just as I remembered it. Rereading the first chapter, it's no wonder I was sucked in as a child. And reading further, it's no wonder I could never forget it. The things that happen in this book... horrors! Not for the faint-hearted.
Christopher Fulbright
I love all of McDowell's horror fiction that I have read so far, and THE AMULET was no exception. As with COLD MOON OVER BABYLON, McDowell spends quite a bit of time (the first 30 or 40 pages) setting the scene and drawing a clear picture of the small town of Pine Cone, Alabama, which I think is critical to the story, but some readers may find tiresome.

Despite the slow beginning, THE AMULET quickly displays its charms when the object at the center of book finally appears and begins working its...more
Good to see Michael McDowell (RIP) back in print, but hoping they don't stop here and reissue his superior haunted house horror tale from 1981, The Elementals, as well as his 6 book Blackwater series - would love to read all of those again. The Amulet was his first published effort back in 1980 and it's a fun exercise in Grand Guignol. McDowell excelled at evoking a very Flannery O'Connor-esque deep south, with funny-horrible characters and a deeply dark sense of humor. A quick, entertaining pre...more
Stephen King recommended book. Noted as "important to the genre we have been discussing" from Danse Macabre, published in 1981.
You know? I actually really enjoyed this book. I think it may have been a Stephen King recommendation or something because it's not something I'd naturally gravitate towards. However, I found it totally entertaining--great characters!
Aug 29, 2010 Andrew marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Found this book (and a bunch of others I've just added to my to-read list) in a wonderful second-hand bookshop in Sutton Hoo, Suffolk.
This story is written very well. Its very chilly; a real page turner that keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting more.
Dan Poblocki
This book is just awesome. Like "La Ronde," but with death.
Donald Newton
Loved the entire book...really got engrossed in th characters and storyline.
From the screenwriter of Beetlejuice - reminds me of all the great horror pulp I read in the 80s and 90s. Well-written, but the story becomes too repetitive and predictable as it progresses (except for the cool ending).
Not one of McDowell's best works but if a beginning horror writer wants to read about inventive ways to kill folks, this is a great research book.

Definitely not for the faint-hearted. McDowell's killings make King seem tame.

Reva Nowell
A real page turner. I could not put it down. Good story, good characters. I would recommend it to horror lovers everywhere.
A cursed necklace ... you won't ever look at your washing machine the same way after reading this...
I need to read this again. It has been too many years. One of my favorite authors.
Jul 13, 2011 Bee added it
I read it when I was a kid....I loved it, it was gory.. I wish I could read it again
The supernatural as an irruption of the unconscious? Creepy! And a brilliant ending.
The last few chapters are the best part of the book.
Kaitlin marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2014
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Aug 12, 2014
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Aug 10, 2014
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Aug 09, 2014
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Valancourt Books: Summer of Sleaze: Michael McDowell’s The Amulet 4 15 Aug 02, 2014 04:57PM  
Michael McDowell is a prolific horror writer who has distinguished himself with a varied body of work within the genre. He was born in Enterprise, Alabama, in 1950 and died of AIDS-related illness in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1999.

His first horror novel, The Amulet, relates the tragedies that befall various individuals who come in possession of a supernatural bracelet in a small town.

In McDowell'...more
More about Michael McDowell...
The Elementals The Flood (Blackwater, #1) The Levee (Blackwater, #2) The House (Blackwater, #3) Rain (Blackwater, #6)

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