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Neverland

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3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,101 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
From Douglas Clegg, New York Times bestselling author of Isis, comes a southern gothic tale of family secrets and games of innocence turned to darkness.

For years, the Jackson family has vacationed at Rowena Wandigaux Lee's old Victorian house on Gull Island, a place of superstition and legend off the southern coast of the U.S. One particular summer, young Beau follows his
...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by Vanguard Press (first published 1990)
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THE BEST HORROR NOVELS LIST
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,645)
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David Agranoff
here is a fine tradition in the classic horror novel to tell the coming of age story. Stories like Robert McCammon's Boy's life or Stephen King's The Body are period pieces clearly inspired by the authors childhood and the era they grew up in. The late 50's or 60's coming of age horror novel is almost a sub-genre itself. We are just seeing my generation of horror writer start to do this with a the 80's, a great example is James Newman's Midnight Rain. Neverland is soon to be a classic that stand ...more
Natalie
Apr 23, 2010 Natalie rated it liked it

Neverland isn't a book that I would have probably found on my own, but when I was sent a review copy in the mail (and after reading the synopsis), I decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did.

Neverland is one of those books that has you pulling the covers over your head when you turn out the lights. It's deliciously creepy, and even more so because the main characters are children. I don't know about you guys, but I can usually handle all kinds of monster-movie horrors, but throw a creepy little
...more
M.J.
Apr 18, 2010 M.J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forget that he's my friend. Really.

Forget that you only read genre or never read genre.

Forget whatever book you heard about last week or yesterday.

Just buy this book.

I can't do it justice but here's what Bently Little said: "A brilliant novel... that will one day be recognized as one of the classics of supernatural literature."

Doug Preston called it: "A masterpiece of dark suspense that will forever haunt your dreams."

And I totally agree.

It's mesmerizing.

And seductive.

And you'll forget what
...more
Emma
Mar 13, 2011 Emma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paid, horror
I just didn't GET this book. It never grabbed me the way I expect a good horror novel to do. While it was creepy it was also very confusing. Half of the time I wasn't even sure exactly what was going on. The supernatural elements felt very out of place but they were the only explanation of events in the book. Yet the supernatural didn't seem to be enough of an explanation. The story would have been a lot scarier if the author had provided a better background for the creepy events that take place ...more
Leah Polcar
Overall: 3.5

This review refers to the audiobook version.

Story: The story is fairly strong until about 2/3rds in when it just becomes repetitive. It is fairly clear what is going on -- minus a few details -- and what is going to happen, so this was tiresome. Seriously, we already know what Governor's happy sound is. "Dit do" whatever. Ditto for the main storyline. However, the plot was generally engaging in a suspenseful, not really scary, sort of way. For gore fans, there are minor ickies here.
...more
Erin (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder*
Douglas Clegg is a master of fantasy and imagination. THIS plot is nothing simple; it turns out to be creative ,and unpredictable as hell, and I stand with applause for the hours he must have spent brainstorming this one.

Neverland is fun, twisted, gripping. I fell in love with the characters, I weeped with them, I feared for them. The setting with the old house, the creepy shack, the woods - all amazing, beautiful, unnerving. The pace is quick when it should be, slower when its appropriate, and
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Becky
Nov 13, 2014 Becky rated it really liked it
Never has a family vacation been so wrought with terror and wicked imagination as in Neverland.

Originally released in 1991, Clegg’s creepy tale of children facing off with an evil entity has been re-released featuring wonderful sketches from the talented Glenn Chadbourne (who also illustrated the recently released Isis, also by Clegg). Beau and his family expected their annual trip to Gull Island to be business as usual: mosquitoes, exquisite boredom, and snippy adults for two whole weeks. When
...more
Patrick
Sep 28, 2011 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
There is something about childhood that makes horror so effective. Whether or not the child is the main character, victim or sometimes the object of horror, it seems to be a prevalent theme among horror. I believe it's partly due to the child-like innocence. As a child, the world is new to you. You don't know much about the world. You're still learning your rights from wrongs. You are very curious about new things. You don't want to listen to your parents, but rather play all day in a world of y ...more
Michael Hughes
May 10, 2010 Michael Hughes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first iPad purchase (though I had to read it on the Kindle app, as it's not in iBooks yet). Neverland is a very dark, evocative tale of dysfunctional family life and the imaginative world of children on the cusp of adulthood. There are moments of surreal, hallucinogenic beauty, particularly the episodes inside of the nightmarish shack known as "Neverland," which elevate this novel above the typical horror/thriller into the company of Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner.

Then ending came a
...more
Stephen
Aug 08, 2015 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A haunting tale of children on vacation with their parent to grandmas house in Georgia. While the parents spend their time drinking and arguing, the children find their entertainment in an old gardeners shack. Filled with tales from the past, little Sumter grabs his cousins attention with tales of Neverland, a place where grownups aren't allowed. Playing along with Sumter's stories, his cousins are drawn into a world of false gods and ghosts. The author creates Sumter as one creepy kid. Grandma ...more
Jennifer
Apr 20, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not my normal read as of late, but nonetheless I must say I devoured it greedily! Neverland crept into my mind and kidnapped me from reality. Throughout the book Clegg held that part of my mind that is still afraid of the dark, and then with the last chapter released me into wanting to embrace Sumter like only a mother could. My heart both feared and loved him from a parent and child's perspective. I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!

Justin
Dec 31, 2014 Justin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The first three quarters of the book I could barely put it down. The last 25% is very action packed and I'm just not a fan of action so it kind of lost me.
Steve
Jul 10, 2015 Steve added it
Shelves: bookreporter
Summers are a nightmare for Beau Jackson. August always sees his family packing up the car for the drive from Virginia to Georgia, where the 10-year-old boy spends a miserable two weeks with his sisters, his cousin, their respective parents, and his venerable grandmother.

Grandma Rowena Wandigaux Lee spends her time scribbling in her journals and deadening the air with her continued tales of the old days, particularly about her deceased daughter, Babygirl. Everyone tires of hearing about crazy Ba
...more
Missy
Apr 22, 2010 Missy rated it really liked it
Three pages into this book, I knew that I was going to like it. The story starts with a family on their way to Gull Island, GA for summer vacation. They're in their station wagon....two 12 year old girls (twins) a 10 year old boy, a baby, and the parents. It is a typical road trip with the kids squabbling and carrying on and their parents trying to intervene and keep the peace. This story is narrated by 10 year old Beauregard (Beau). I love stories narrated by kids.....their descriptions of thin ...more
Scott Johnson
Apr 12, 2010 Scott Johnson rated it it was amazing
There are certain books that do more than entertain. They do more than tell a story or make some sort of commentary. From the first word to the last, these rare tomes connect with the reader on a level that is visceral, touching their innermost feelings of dread and dragging the reader along a fearful path. They place the reader in the story so that the reader can feel the splinters in the boards, the bites of mosquitoes, the breath on their necks. Such books are few and far between, and, withou ...more
Emily
Dec 13, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a nutshell, the book is about creepy children. Creepy, creepy children. Beau (a bit creepy) and his sisters (not so creepy) visit their grandmother (kind of creepy in her own right) on Gull Island every summer. Their cousin Sumter (way creepy) visits at the same time. Beau and Sumter form a friendship mostly based on their secret place, Neverland, where they perform rituals and play increasingly bizarre games, and where Sumter grows ... well ... creepier and creepier.
This novel was chilling a
...more
Monster
There is a fine tradition of telling coming-of-age stories in the horror genre. Robert McCammon's "Boy's Life" and Stephen King's "The Body" are period pieces clearly inspired by the authors' childhoods and the era they grew up in. The late 50's or 60's coming of age horror novel is almosta sub-genre itself. We are just seeing my generation start to write these kinds of stories set in the 80's. A great example is James Newman's Midnight Rain. Neverland stands up quite strongly next to the classi ...more
Stacey
Aug 11, 2015 Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Creepy good!

I have read works by Douglas Clegg before, and I was certainly not disappointed this time. He is one of my most favorite new authors of totally creepy horror stories. This story involves a bunch of kids involved in a horrific world of deadly imaginary games. The mood set is chilling throughout the entire book, leading to real nightmares. The story was well written and extremely well developed, as were all of the characters. I highly recommend this, especially to those who enjoy Steve
...more
Brittany Johnson
When I bought this book, I didn't realize it was going to be a horror book that deals with near possession. As the story continued, I often was surprised by some of the events that were taking place, due in part to the story being something different than I had expected.

The book has some very intense imagery. The children in the book do some animal sacrifices and see some horrifying images that aren't real, such as imagining another child being murdered when it is actually a china doll being bro
...more
Ryan G
May 04, 2014 Ryan G rated it it was ok
I was given the chance to read this by the publicist and I have to tell you I was really excited to get it in the mail. I was giddy the rest of the week, antsy with anticipation, wanting to dive into this as soon as time allowed. The synopsis sucked me in, the cover gave me the chills, and the illustrations throughout the book were brilliantly done. So when the day came for me to finally get started on it, I was on cloud nine.

Then reality set in and I was left feeling a little gray, a little do
...more
Bryan
Jan 25, 2016 Bryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think we all remember that realm where childhood lives at its most vibrant, that region where anything is possible. The locked room that begs to be entered, and when you can't it generates its own fiction that turns into folklore that's passed on to your playmates. The tool shed filled with dusty tools, machinery that looks like all too alien, and those dusty and dark recesses that speak on a range that only a child is blessed to hear; a place where monsters live. Grandparents that tell tales ...more
Smash
Feb 04, 2015 Smash rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so incredibly weird! For the first half of the book, I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Since the book is written from a child's perspective, it was difficult for me to know if the events that took place were through the eyes of a child, or if it was just a confusing plot line overall. I eventually came to the conclusion that the events happening were not just a perception through the child's eye, and it was then that the story became more enjoyable. I normally enjoy psych ...more
Jon
Feb 15, 2015 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy a sinister plot
Recommended to Jon by: bookbub.com
Neverland starts out like a children's story, and the names of the characters remind me a bit of those in the show Sordid Lives -- names like Babygirl, Goober, Governor, and Grammy Weenie. Far from being a children's story, the novel takes a sinister turn. This is the story of a family that travels to Grammy Weenie's house on Gull Island, during their vacation. One day, while looking for his cousin, Sumter, Beau found him acting oddly in the shed behind their grandmother's home. When confronted ...more
Baylie
Jul 08, 2015 Baylie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely reading another of his books. (I started this book and got a couple pages in multiple times and got distracted by other books. I've should've read the whole thing sooner!)
Barrymore Tebbs
Oct 05, 2012 Barrymore Tebbs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a number of Clegg's books over the years and I find they tend to hit or miss. This hit is probably his best horror novel to date. Kids have vivid imaginations, and kids with sick minds can be very disturbing. This reminds me of Thomas Tryon's "The Other" with more of an overt horror edge to it.

This is basically a Family Vacation Gone Bad story peopled with well drawn characters. I enjoyed how the world of the alcoholic adults is filtered through the eyes of the young protagonist.

The
...more
Cornerofmadness
Jun 14, 2010 Cornerofmadness rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny
Nov 12, 2010 Jenny rated it liked it
Shelves: spec-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sheila
Aug 26, 2010 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Jackson family seems doomed to spend every summer vacation at a remote location off the coast of Georgia, a place called Gull Island. To the youngest members of the Jackson family, the site is dull and offers very little in the way of entertainment. And there always seems to be tension in the old and dismal house owned by their scrutinizing grandmother. The children are only attempting to find a safe haven when their cousin Sumter stumbles upon a strange, well-hidden shack, which they call N ...more
Juliette
May 15, 2011 Juliette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think it's funny how I can allow myself to believe in any kind of fantasy world, or creatures so that I can be carried into a story, but when an author brings in emotions that don't seem to go with what I think, I can't get into the story, even if it's a very minute part of the book.
For the life of me I just could not get over the fact that as miserable as this family's vacations were on Gull island, they kept returning. It's stupid, I know, but because of that, instead of getting into the re
...more
Michael
I've heard about Douglas Clegg but have never read one of his books until I got a copy of Neverland. As I began reading it I couldn't understand why this book was getting so many good reviews. The book was boring, so boring in fact, that I almost gave up on it and stopped reading. Clegg spends a great deal if time setting up the story but sometimes the Stephen King approach to storytelling fails.

Once I made it to page 99 the story gained a little momentum and before I knew it I was hooked. Cleg
...more
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