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3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,463 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
For a hundred years, the people of Prairie Bend have whispered Nathaniel's name in wonder and fear.Some say he is a folktale, created to frighten children on cold winter nights.Some swear he is a terrifying spirit retumed to avenge the past.But soon . . . very soon . . . some will learn that Nathaniel lives still--that he is darkly, horrifyingly real.Nathaniel--he is the v ...more
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published January 1st 1985 by Gregg Pr (first published January 1st 1984)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
”I saw something that night.”

John Saul is a very deceptive writer. The characters that people his stories are ordinary everyday folk doing ordinary everyday things. Even the horror elements are hardly apocalyptic or grotesque (or perhaps I haven’t read enough of his books yet). Instead, it creeps and crawls and worms its way into the reader’s consciousness.

If there isn’t overmuch character development, it’s because the characters come fully formed. These are the kind of people we all know, whic
mark monday
Mar 24, 2011 mark monday rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horrortime
okay, this next part isn't my own review, but it was written on GoodReads in 2008 and i feel it deserves a wider audience:


thank you, " Lou"! if you were still around, i'd follow your reviews! you've read Nathaniel 3 times! that is a horrible memory PLUS dedication! i am your fan.

as for me, i was in high scho
Aug 15, 2008 Kayla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
I love John Saul, and this has got to be my absolute favorite book of his! It has lots of twists and turns that keep you guessing until the very end when the surprise ending leaves you speechless!
Oct 22, 2008 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book many years ago (early 80's), so I could not give an accurate review. I have it listed in my records as a "very good read".
Brian Taylor
I’m going to be spoiler free with all my book reviews, talking more about what elements I liked, or didn’t like, rather than plot points. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s reading experience.

Before I get on with the review, I’d like to talk about why I went back and forth on whether to post this. This is my first unfavorable review and, being a writer, I know how a review like this would make me feel. However, I also thought the benefits of talking about why I didn’t connect with this book may help
Sep 19, 2012 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Nathaniel has been on my personal bookshelf for many years, I picked it up from a garage sale for $1 (along with a few more of Mr Saul's book) but until now I haven't had a chance to read it.

The blurb intrigued me when I read it and made me think of Stephen King a little bit.

Nathaniel was easy to read, there was lots of twists that kept your attention and made you want to keep reading. It was dark, believable with a hint of the supernatural.

I must admit when I read this quote:
"If that's what you
Jul 09, 2011 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Nathaniel A very creepy story that blends elements of a horrendous family legacy with ESP, madness and gore set in a backwards midwestern town. This is the second John Saul book I've read and it was much better than the first. It has a lot of elements that felt like influence from Stephen King. I defintately liked the book and would recommend it.
Adam Wilson
Nathaniel by John Saul is, to put it lightly, very familiar territory for him and for anyone who has read several of his books. I seriously think that this book's

largest problem, at least for me, is that I read it as my 27th Saul read. If I would have read it much earlier on I would have thought much more of it but the same

elements keep turning up again and again. Yep, there is a suffering child in this one who is placed in a strange new home with strange new authority figures who are

much mor
May 20, 2012 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes another Saul book that I have recently finished. Guess I am kind of on a Saul kick. He has so many awesome books out there. I didn't realize until I joined Goodreads online how many books he has actually written. Also the fact that he lives in the Seattle area is a bonus since I'm in the same area. And of course I was not disappointed in this book of his. I had read some not so great reviews of this book, and there is only one thing I didn't like about it which is it was not as captivating a ...more
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
Something about barns is just plain spooky. It seems like the last few books that I have read have had barns in them & it has led to some very dark ocurrences.

On that note, Nathaniel was one creepy book. It is another great October read. Many things were disturbing about the plot and very mysterious. I really despised Amos and I hated him when he hurt Shadow. I can't stand to read stuff like that when it comes to animals. I did enjoy the surprise that came at the end with everything coming t
Elle Esse
Jun 04, 2014 Elle Esse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Original Post

Warning: SPOILERS!

I love this book. I have read it so many times that I have lost count. Truth be told, I adore all of John Saul's books but this one seems to change every time I read it. From the supernatural elements to the "what is real" aspects, I love the well rounded nature of this story and I love how it combines a childlike innocence with a very adult nature. That said, here's my review:

Summary: Narrated by the author, told from various characters viewpoints as it directs
Andrew Armour
Apr 11, 2014 Andrew Armour rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The review of this may be a little fragmented but that just mirror the quality of this book. It deathly dull where is should be instead deathly scary. The sense of mystery wore off so much so, that this took about 3 years for me to get through as I read 2 other books in the meantime and this one became a time filler. But I kept with this one till the end as I've read and thoroughly enjoyed John Saul's Hellfire. Micheal and his mother inherit a farm from the now deceased farther who had no intere ...more
Nov 26, 2012 Doreen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truly a great book! It's creepy, in the original sense of the word. You don't want to read this one alone at night. Make sure you have A LOT of time to read this one, because you will want to finish it in one sitting. Trust me, you won't be able to put it down. It will have you in it's grip right up to the twist at the end!
Jun 27, 2008 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the second book i ever read. I was really young when i did. I took it from my mother's books and it scared me. Ever since i read this i've been into reading ghost stories. I read it again last year to see if it had the same effects and it still made the hair at the back of my neck stand up.
Jan 11, 2009 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This was the second book by John Saul I read and it's one of my favorites. The atmosphere is so spooky and Amos Hall... brrr

Ryan Lieske
It can't be denied, John Saul's books are formulaic. If you've read one, you've pretty much read them all. Usually they concern a family with secrets, more often than not involving children. He aims to be Stephen King, but falls very, very short. Honestly, I have no problem with this, because when I decide to read a Saul novel, I know what I'm getting into. I've read several of his books, and while none of them have come close to being as good as his debut, "Suffer the Children" (a book he has, ...more
Mar 14, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
soooo creepy... will make you sleep with the lights on for a while
Monica Miller
Rating: 3.5 stars

I am a fan of John Saul's work, and I love his books, because at some point among the pages he manages to send a shiver down my spine, and I think that's awesome, but I feel that sometimes he loses himself in details, and the story doesn't end up being what it was when it started.

His books usually have a lot of twists and turns, the "is it real or it isn't" mystery, the "will he/she die" questions.

Nathaniel is about a boy, Michael, who has lost his father when he came back to th
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
I listened to Nathaniel on abridged audio. I of course, prefer unabridged audio but I knew I'd never actually get through the book and this is the only audio version available. I was disappointed in the ending. It seemed like the story was built up really well and then just crumbled at the end without a satisfactory conclusion. I often have problems with Saul's endings, but it should be noted I was listening to abridged version and may have missed something. However, on my initial reading in the ...more
May 09, 2013 R rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm revisiting some horror classics this month. I have always been a John Saul fan ever since I read Comes the Blind Fury, so I borrowed a big 3 pack of novels and this was the first in the series.
I always enjoy a story set in the prairies. That stark, isolated feel is something that I've always identified with having spent many an evening in a small prairie town. This one of course has a dark undertone of mystery involving the death of some children and strange powers. While I enjoyed this one
Nov 28, 2015 joepr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
solo tres estrellas porque el final me decepcionó. es una pena porque el 80% de la lectura fue simplemente excepcional...pero...el último 20% fue una basura. un disparate.
Karen Bailey
Feb 10, 2015 Karen Bailey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of books by john saul. This particular book I've read 8's my favorite and by far the scariest.its a story that sticks with you and does'nt let go!
Jesse Council
Jan 17, 2016 Jesse Council rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, any horror book that contains baby eating with relatable characters is officially 5 stars for me. Also the part where Shadow pee's in Amos's mouth is bonus cool point.
Aug 11, 2014 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so this may not be the literary equivalent of a 5-star novel but it was one of the most fun ghost stories I've read in a very long time. (I actually listened to it on cd, but whatever.) The book was originally published in 1984 and is very well-known and well-loved. I'd call it a "classic" as in classic ghost story. I really enjoyed it.
Eric Compton
Dec 18, 2015 Eric Compton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really well told mid-western "small town" horror tale. Traditional in the typical John Saul approach.
Statyra Simpson
Jan 13, 2015 Statyra Simpson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first thriller/mystery type book, I have read it several times and enjoy it each time!!!
Hope Willingham
It was a good book, but to me it didn't get good until half past the middle of the book.
Syvannah Tewes
Apr 24, 2015 Syvannah Tewes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was much younger. I found it much more unsettling as an adult.
Jan 21, 2016 Rosa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was good, but didn't like the ending, it leaves you hanging!
Irinel Finco
Could not finish it. No interest in the plot or the characters.
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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
More about John Saul...

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