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The Homing

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  3,130 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
After years of living in Los Angeles, pretty young widow Karen Spellman and her two daughters are returning to the lush, verdant countryside of Karen's childhood, where she plans to marry her high-school sweetheart. But something sinister awaits the Spellmans. Something so hideous it seems not earthly, but spawned in Hell. Now Karen must protect her daughters from a malign ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 27th 1995 by Ballantine Books (first published 1994)
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The Blackstone Chronicles by John SaulSuffer the Children by John SaulShadows by John SaulBlack Creek Crossing by John SaulThe Manhattan Hunt Club by John Saul
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18th out of 34 books — 70 voters
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The Definitive Horror Book List
403rd out of 1,034 books — 1,428 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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It was okay. I felt like it left a lot of questions unanswered, though. For example: What happened to the infected coyote? Why did Julie get all distended and disgusting? Was it just because she was the queen, and all queens of insects are bigger than the others? Why was she the queen? Was it b/c she was infected first? Why were the infected chicks always naked, but the dudes weren't? If the other girl (Sarah?) would've gotten to the group, would've she been another queen, or something else b/c ...more
Jul 05, 2016 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: john-saul
I read this when I was younger well a few chapters of it. I ended up getting scared I threw it across the room vowing to never read it again a vow I have kept. Then I started having nightmares about turning into a bee and being one of the only horror books to scare me so bad it earns the five stars. Though now at my age I doubt it will be as good or frightening but why ruin it?
Oct 05, 2015 Xlfoamcowboyhat rated it did not like it
I wanted desperately to scream, "Oh, God! This book sucks! This book really, really sucks!" but the only words I could find were, "It's fine. It's totally fine." And then I finished it. As I closed in on 10 pages I thought to myself, "How the hell is John Saul going to end this story with 10 pages. He did. Which was a giant relief. I then closed the book on the metro, heading into DC, looked over at the guy sitting next to me and punched him in the face from frustration.

Okay, I didn't do that la
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
This book is very special to me because John Saul was my first experience with a horror novel. The Homing is one of the first John Saul books I read, which I found when the bookmobile would visit my town once a month. I would stay up late reading these books and then be so scared that it was hard to sleep. I have had fond memories of this novel over the years and I'm happy to be able to re-read it. I remembered many of the scenes and I had a lot of fun.

The most annoying thing to me in the writin
Nov 13, 2015 Sonya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed John Saul's book, The Homing. It was a fast pace thriller that could really happen in today's world, if it hasn't happened already. Scientist are always trying to re-create God's creatures, thinking they can do better. I bet it usually ends up in disaster for the world. That's the scary part.

Once again, I don't want to give away any part of the book. The blurb on the back about the book is good. John Saul is a good writer and this book is no exception. He makes you think of all
Marie Bjork
Nov 16, 2014 Marie Bjork rated it really liked it
this book is hard to put down
Oct 05, 2014 Jakob rated it it was amazing
The purpose of The Homing is to entertain. This is evident in telling of a fictional story. John Saul presents all the classical components, including setting, plot, and conflict. This book was written as a narration. It is told from a third person omniscient perspective. The theme is not to let personal trauma turn towards others. If the antagonist had sought a way to properly handle their emotional issues and impulses, the biggest conflict in this story would be a love triangle.

I appreciate th
Leah Polcar
This is more a 2.5 -- it isn't that the book is poorly written or badly plotted -- I found myself finishing it even when I discovered the subject was not interesting to me in the least, but I feel sort of mislead by the description (as it appears on the book) and I found the premise rather stupid.
Mikesawin Sawin
Jul 18, 2011 Mikesawin Sawin rated it it was ok
Well. This is a book with a lot of writing in it. I've had a lot of folks recommend John Saul's stuff to me over the years, so when I saw this at a garage sale for 50 cents, I picked it up.

Not a great book. And it's not for the squeamish. I will say that the writing style is very fluid, and I was able to finish this in an afternoon. I didn't really care for the characters that much, and I wasn't invested in the story, either.

But the author keeps things moving, and the result is what I call a "
Jun 28, 2016 Krysten rated it liked it
I picked up my first John Saul book when I was probably thirteen or fourteen...okay, so I stole it from my doctor's office. That was 'Suffer The Children' and the cover and side jacket summary looked so interesting that I couldn't help myself. I became a big fan of his work because, up until that time, besides Stephen King, I hadn't read anything very dark or disturbing. (Now I look back and laugh, because ten or so years have passed since then, and I've read some MESSED UP stuff.)
Anyway, I l
Chris Sutton
Jan 24, 2016 Chris Sutton rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Meh. This was cornball stuff. It had its creepy moments, particularly if insects give you the willies, but there was just too much about this book that was subpar, so one star is all I can muster.
Having just read John Wyndham's Day of the Triffids, I was underwhelmed by Saul's writing. Yes, his words moved the plot along, but there were no sentences worth reading twice, no passages to really savour.
But what sank this book for me was Chapter 26. I actually felt like dropping the book in the str
Kyle Morris
Feb 02, 2008 Kyle Morris rated it it was amazing
Scary.. and imaginative!! This is the one that I liked most of Saul's.

Love all of John Saul's books. He focuses on teenagers, at least all the books of his that I've read were that way. I empathized with his lead characters because I always feel like an outsider, which his characters always wind up being. Saul mixes it all up with some Sci-fi to boot.
Sep 17, 2015 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a chilling read that puts genetic modification at the heart of a horror story set in the idyllic Californian countryside that takes the humble bee and turns it into a killing machine. Add to this a good dash of good old fashioned power and corruption and you have a fast paced horror that keeps you engrossed from start to finish.
Deana M
Nov 24, 2012 Deana M rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you do not like bugs or the thought of swarms of bugs, do not read this book. The only reason I finished this book, is because once I am committed to something I see it through. This book was disturbing on so many levels.
Jun 03, 2009 Cataline rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the plotting of the book, the immense detail and characters. I must say however that I was extremely disappointed in the ending, but hey that's just me others may find it the only solution writable.
Jan 11, 2012 Hatchetgabby rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Very good,fast paced,the more i read the more nerve racking it got.I'm a huge bug lover and even i wanted to scream GAH! KILL IT! KILL IT!
May 05, 2011 Tracy rated it liked it
I would give this book a 3 1/2.The beginning is slow but it picks up in the middle. Easy, quick read.
Mar 10, 2014 Katrin rated it really liked it
Very creepy! Made me shiver.
Gary Martin
Nov 30, 2015 Gary Martin rated it really liked it

Karen Spellman, a young widow, along with her two daughters, move out of Los Angeles to the town where she grew up. She is there to marry her high school sweetheart whom she was reunited with at a high school reunion.

After the wedding Karen and her daughters move into her husband’s big farmhouse. For a while all seems ideal. Then her oldest daughter, Julie, is stung by a bee and has an allergic reaction. At the local clinic she is treated for the sting, but she continues to get worse. As a las
Aug 12, 2013 Rissy rated it really liked it
Shelves: john-saul
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 18, 2016 Kalay added it
I read this 3 years ago because my neighbor gave this book to me. I got interested because it's a horror. So at first everything was okay until what what the hell is happening and the old man died and I was so frustrated because I need justice there. I never hated or liked the old man but yeah. And then when I was in the middle of the book it's getting interesting and the climax was actually good. I finished it feeling empty because the book was good, to be honest.
Savanah Anderson
Nov 15, 2015 Savanah Anderson rated it it was amazing
I love this. I love it so much. Every time someone asks me what good horror story they should read, I point them in this direction. Now, I have zero idea how scientifically possible any of this is. Because I'm not a bee-keeper, I was able to enjoy this without any nagging issues that I know some of the science-inclined readers have. To me, the whole thing seemed perfectly plausible and delightfully disgusting.
G.C. Neff
Jun 09, 2015 G.C. Neff rated it liked it
This was the last of John Saul's books that I read. Until this book, I had enjoyed them cover to cover. However, the ending of this one left me thinking that the continuity from earlier in the book had failed. I'd say more than that, but wouldn't want to ruin the book for someone else who might not spot this glitch.
Wendy F
May 22, 2014 Wendy F rated it did not like it
I've read a lot of John Saul books and liked them to varying degrees, but not this one. I hate to give a bad review, but by the time I finished, I wished I hadn't bothered. I kept waiting for it to get better and redeem itself, or at least answer some questions, but it never did.
Sal Dinapoli
Dec 24, 2014 Sal Dinapoli rated it really liked it
Particularly eerie after reading a recent National Geographic story about parasites that turn their hosts into zombies
Ugochukwu Ani
Sep 01, 2014 Ugochukwu Ani rated it really liked it
Left a lot of loose ends at the end but it was a really creepy read though Saul knows how to be formulaic well.
Aug 15, 2015 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun book to power read through. It's not the best thing I've ever read, but it was entertaining!
Andrea Zsigmond
Aug 24, 2014 Andrea Zsigmond rated it liked it
A stroll down memory lane...reading horror novels on summer vacation. Not as much fun as it used to be :)
Aug 05, 2010 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
I used to be a HUGE fan of John Saul back in middle and high school. So I am slightly disappointed to find that I'm not nearly as enthused by his writing today, as I go back and reread a few of my old faves. The Homing was just so-so. It was too long and repetitive for my taste, but not terrible. I still want to reread a few of Saul's others, just for old time's sake... especially The Unloved, as I remember it being dark and creepy and was my favorite book at the time!
Oct 23, 2014 Ashley rated it liked it
This was the first Saul book that I read and I thought that it was pretty creepy. The main thing that stuck with me after all these years was the girl unable to vaccumm so she swept the entire room as the bugs in her head couldn't handle the noise. (Note to others: This excuse doesn't go far with your mom in real life and actually gets your fussed at and told to stay out of your brother's books.)
Other than that "scene", there is not much that I recall about the novel except that I like it quite
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Madison Mega-Mara...: The Homing 1 2 Jul 31, 2012 03:28PM  
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John Saul was born in Pasadena, California on February 25, 1942, and grew up in Whittier where he graduated from Whittier High School in 1959. He attended several colleges—Antioch, in Ohio, Cerritos, in Norwalk, California, Montana State University and San Francisco State College, variously majoring in anthropology, liberal arts, and theater, but never obtaining a degree.
After leaving college, he
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