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3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,082 Ratings  ·  152 Reviews
They came to the lush, deserted island to compete on a popular reality TV show. Each one hoped to be the last to leave. Now they're just hoping to stay alive. It seems the island isn't deserted after all. Contestants and crew members are disappearing, but they aren't being eliminated by the game. They're being taken by the monstrous half-human creatures that live in the ju ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 285 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by Leisure Books (Dorchester Publishing Co.) (first published January 27th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 23, 2009 Tressa rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Words fail me. That's how bad this book is...compared to his other books which are great reads. It was formulaic, the characters were annoying, and the pop-culturish quality of the story was off putting for some reason.

Maybe it's just because Jack Ketchum's Off Season is a brilliant take on inbred cave dwellers clashing with society that anything else pales by comparison.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. Or maybe those just starting out in the horror genre and won't compare this book to
Feb 27, 2013 Bill rated it liked it
Castaways by Brian Keene is a fun “Survivor” type novel in which the game gets a little bit sideways…and then the wheels come completely off. It is a tongue in cheek horror novel that reads very quick with a quirky cast of characters and no shortage of blood and guts. If you are looking to read something that is not too “hardcore” and has a few laughs then I think that you will enjoy Castaways. I did.
Aug 18, 2013 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun, quick read. Keene throws monsters into a reality-tv setting, a premise that mirrors the usual slasher set-up. The prose is clean and vivid, and the plot is well-balanced with quiet moments and bouts of gory killings. I dug the monsters, and I like how Keene stacked the odds against the protagonists. The story was brutal enough that I had no idea who might survive, or whether Keene was just going to kill everyone off. My main criticism is that Keene chose to include rape as one of ...more
Jan 25, 2009 Kristen rated it really liked it
I won't say that this is Keene's strongest work... but it certainly is one of the more fun books in his cannon. Take a bunch of stereotypical reality TV people, slap them on a deserted island a la Survivor, and then add in some cannibal pygmies... great stuff.

I really hate reality TV, so I balked at first when I realized that it was at the center of the plot of the book. But Keene has created some fun characters to follow through the almost 300 pages of this tale. There is substantial gore and a
Mar 27, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Why read: Reality TV and horror? Sold.

What impressed me: Castaways was just great horror. It was scary and gross and kept me totally involved the whole story. I loved the mix of both human and inhuman evil out to get the castaways. I also loved the reality TV angle and how some of the character's personalities changed once things went bad and the cameras were off. I was completely impressed by Castaways and how it really used the Reality TV situation as opposed to it feeling completely gimicky.

David Church
Jun 25, 2015 David Church rated it liked it
I really liked the concept of this book - a horror version of the reality show Survivor. But somehow the execution and lack of likeable characters just didn’t get me too excited (I was really pulling for all the characters to die). It had some moments I did enjoy and it was a quick read. I did like the homage to Richard Laymon though. Not my favorite Keene book by far.
Stephan van der Linde
May 09, 2011 Stephan van der Linde rated it really liked it
This story resembles The Robinson Crusoe show with competitors and a deserted, lost island as residence.

A tropical storm prevents the show to continue, and during that storm, the competitors are all on different places.
But they are not alone......

Men got butchered and women held as captives, to being raped and impregnate.

The describing of the island and surroundings are detailled. The group (as always) dislike each other and try to manipulate whenever they can. Just as every real-life show.

Nov 07, 2009 Aaron rated it did not like it
I was intrigued by the concept (and quite frankly I surprised that there haven't been other authors who have toyed with it as well), but I quickly lost interest in Keene's story. Like real reality show contestants, the characters in this book were extremely thinly drawn and unsympathetic. I wasn't interested enough in anybody to care whether they lived or died. In fact, the only "people" that grabbed my interest were the "monsters," and I will go out on a limb by saying that I don't think that w ...more
Reese Copeland
Jan 03, 2012 Reese Copeland rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book primarily because it was envisioned as a "pre-quel" for the Beast House Series by Richard Laymon. I think it was a good story to pay homage to that series. There is some character development, although not above and beyond anything you would expect from any other book. There is a bit of a side story in the main story involving a group called "the Sons of the Constitution", but it really doesn't go much of anywhere, which was disappointing. I enjoy Keene's style and his moment ...more
Dec 17, 2015 Adamus rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
That was a really good book. Just the thought that he wrote that story for Richard Laymon's dedication was really cool & the story he tells about how he came up with the book was really neat & any Laymon fan would like & I would recommend this to all Laymon fans. The characters were like able the story was creative & there were some really funny moments in the book. Defiantly another good read from Keene!
Oct 11, 2015 Cindy rated it liked it
Shelves: horror-challenge
Bloody, gory horror novel. The author takes a mish-mash of reality show contestants on a deserted island and then throws lots of twists and turns in their way. The contestants fit into the usual categories - the author even describes them as their stereotypes (boy/girl-next door, stoner, black girl, black guy, etc). Then he mixes in a cyclone, a domestic terrorist, and a tribe of missing link sub-humans bent on murdering the men and raping the women. It is (mostly) a gore fest and I like more ps ...more
Jan Fausto
May 08, 2014 Jan Fausto rated it did not like it
My first Brian Keene novel and I wonder if this was just one of his lows or all of his books are of the same quality. I'm not willing to find out any time sooner.
The premise of the book is a reality survival show in a remote tropic island, where the contestants discover they're not alone, but have disturbed the habitat of a primate pygmy human species, which are slowly dying and see in the female contestants a chance to diversify their genes and in the males a chance to have a nice dinner (all
Daniel Russell
I'll be honest and open myself up to a little criticism straight off the bat. I didn't like The Rising. There. I said it. Zombie fans are very passionate about books they like, and Keene's The Rising was well received. It didn't do anything for me.

Sorry, Brian.

But that didn't put me off snatching up a copy of Castaways when I saw it in the bookstore here (and this is quite an achievement. The bookstore is tiny and doesn't stock much horror at all. But then I saw Leisure titles. LEISURE! Whoo!)
William M.
Jun 29, 2011 William M. rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Although Castaways is an entertaining novel, once the premise is set up, events begin to unfold in a fashion you pretty much expect. Knowing the idea is based on the reality show, Survivor, I would have liked Keene to shift the rules of the game around to make it his own. I also felt characters died before you really got to know them, and everything seemed to happen so fast, it felt more like a novella than a novel.

I wanted more atmosphere and suspense for a lot of the killings because it seeme
Vince Liaguno
Aug 28, 2010 Vince Liaguno rated it it was amazing
About halfway through Brian Keene’s Castaways, one is reminded of that infamous tagline from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: “Who will survive and what will be left of them?” Indeed, after this white-knuckle fiction screamfest, there may be very little left of readers’ nerves. Relentlessly frightening and viscerally brutal, Castaways combines non-stop action with an old school horror abandon that gives readers scarce time to come up for air.

On a lush tropical island, contestants of a Survivor-like
Scott Emerson
Oct 13, 2011 Scott Emerson rated it really liked it
Reality TV has been ripe for genre deconstruction, practically from the moment it entered the public consciousness. With its cachet of conflicting personalities, frequent premises involving isolation, and of course the inherent voyeuristic delight that drives it, the format is tailor-made for sharp-witted horror authors. Taking its cue from SURVIVOR, Brian Keene's CASTAWAYS is among the first to explore this new territory, expanding his novella from 2004's FEAR OF GRAVITY to novel length.

Dec 30, 2012 TJ rated it really liked it
"Castaways" is a "Survivor"-on-steroids novel that was written as author Brian Keene's homage to horror legend Richard Laymon. I enjoyed the book a great deal because it did have so many Laymon-like qualities to it. Solid characterization, gore, violence, lust, and sexual situations were all present, just like in Laymon's best. Keene certainly hit a home run with his attempt to model Laymon's style.

Even those who don't consider themselves to be great Laymon fans should enjoy the pacing and plot
Melissa Helwig
Feb 05, 2010 Melissa Helwig rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Castaways is a reality show like Survivor. But the contestants don't know they're sharing an island with beasts. And since there are no other animals on the island, the monsters plan to have a great feast of human meat. But that's just for the men. They have something else in store for the women - they're planning to breed with them to save their dying, inbred species.

The plot isn't very original, but I was willing to overlook that because I love Brian Keene. You can definitely tell that it's an
Jul 24, 2009 Unapologetic_Bookaholic rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Brian Keene> creature horror, survival horror
Another great and immersible horror from a talented author. 4.5 of 5 really. My favorite theme of Keene's besides the zombies and worms.

When giving praise to talented authors. I say certain themes can often be lost to the genres that birthed them. Not that I have read many stories about carnivorous creatures vs. regular city folks. When it comes to Brian Keene, he is able to take a set of characters, a setting, and leave his brand seared and crispy into the fatty flesh of the situation.

On an i
Katie Kenig
Sep 29, 2013 Katie Kenig rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This is a super-fast, super-horrifying read.

I love horror novels, but I kind of hate gore. I think I just like the adrenaline rush of being scared. Usually I have to skim the icky parts (kind of like how I close my eyes in horror movies when it gets too bloody). I was pleasantly surprised when I barely had to skim at all in the first half of this book.

But then, yeah, I skimmed a lot of the last half, which is probably why it was such a fast read!

Castaways is the thinly veiled story of the TV sho
Shaun Meeks
Mar 15, 2015 Shaun Meeks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Castaway by Brian Keene is up there with Jack Ketchum's Offspring and Off Season. If you're like me and you like those, this should be right up your alley. Not that this is just like it. Castaway carves it's own path on an insane and violent path. There are moments in this that made me squirm and feel uncomfortable, especially the scenes with the women in the cave. So uncomfortable. This is one of my favorite Keene books I've read since Terminal, and that's saying a lot. Highly recommend this on ...more
Aug 27, 2013 Jason rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, horror
I'm not normally a fan of the horror genre but I'm kinda liking this "new horror" stuff. This book reminded me of The Ruins in its overall tone. I went in to the reading a bit cautious; wondering if the storyline was just going to be another hokey rip-off of books like Hunger Games or Battle Royale. It wasn't at all. Keene brought some unique elements to the plot line and I was very impressed with his caliber of storytelling. The book contains some of your usual "token" characters but also intro ...more
Feb 19, 2010 Maicie rated it liked it
This is a two star book but because I adored the Troy character I gave it one more. The dude gets royally pissed off because the monsters mess up his ink! And he risks his life over his lucky hat.

This was the only Keene book my library had on hand. Having heard raves about him, I took it home. And being a fan of Survivor I thought this book had potential. Not so.

A tropical storm strands the contestants of a Survivor-like reality game show. Not everyone is who they appear to be. And they are not
Mar 05, 2009 Trevor rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Castaways is Keene's homage to the late Richard Laymon, using Laymon's Beast House Chronicles as his inspiration. Long and short of it is, while a reality show on a tropical island is being filmed, an undiscovered race of hominids attacks the contestants in an attempt to wipe them out. There is plenty of gruesome action here, and a cameo from Sal and Richard from the Stern Show.

Even though this really had the Laymon feel with Keene's own sharp prose, I certainly had moments where I felt like I
Feb 28, 2011 Rusty rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror

I can drink a glass of orange juice that only has a little pulp in it. But I can't drink a glass of pulp that only has a little orange juice in it. I'll just have black coffee, thanks.

The ratings should really allow for a big fat goose egg, or negative stars, something below "didn't like it", such as "give me those minutes of my life back". And somebody has watched too many erotic caveman videos.
Mar 24, 2016 Al rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook-done
I found the concept interesting: "Survivor" becomes "Survival." Unfortunately, I think it should have gone through a couple more drafts before release. The characters are one-dimensional, and the narration makes them even more so. The "villain" (I use this term to avoid spoilers for those who decide to give it a chance) is woefully undeveloped--overly simplistic, and so much more could have been done with "the villain"to take the concept closer to its potential. It seems as if it was written as ...more
Oct 10, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I love horror fiction. I also love the TV show "Survivor." This book gave me the best of both worlds! The story is about a reality TV show called "Castaways" that is filming on a remote island that is thought to be uninhabited. Horrific mayhem ensues, of course. A very fast and fun read. I couldn't put it down.
Jill Myles
Jun 29, 2009 Jill Myles rated it it was ok
Evil monkeymen? Not as scary as I would have liked. Also found the description of rape far too graphic for what was appropriate for the book. Sorry. Wanted to love this one, but did not.
Feb 14, 2015 Natasa rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, audio-books
Loving Brian Keene, so happy to have discovered him.
Hannah Davies
Jul 03, 2015 Hannah Davies rated it liked it
Total trash that I loved anyway.
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BRIAN KEENE writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies. Keene’s novels have be ...more
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