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Serial (Serial Killers #1.1)

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3.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,821 Ratings  ·  457 Reviews
The #1 Amazon Kindle Bestseller, downloaded over 250,000 times, now back in its original version…

Jack Kilborn (aka J.A. Konrath) and Blake Crouch turn their attention to the twin golden rules of hitchhiking:

# 1: Don’t go hitchhiking, because the driver who picks you up could be certifiably crazy.

# 2: Don’t pick up hitchhikers, because the traveler you pick up could be a ra
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Kindle Edition, 56 pages
Published October 2nd 2010 (first published May 7th 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephen
2.0 stars. Like a lot of people, I got sucked into reading this based on all of the hype. That said, it was okay and I am not sorry I read it. It was short and fairly interesting. However, if I did not know the background regarding how this very short book came into being, I would have finished the book and asked the quesiton...Okay, so what was the point?
Rubi Jayne
I heard a lot of bad things about this book and, well, I'm the sort of masochist that reads the comments on news articles online. I was both pleased and disappointed by this book.

To begin with, I loved the basic idea of the story, which is what drew me to borrow a kindle and read it. Despite the many bad things I'd heard, I found the story to be well written, especially considering it was a collaboration. I was impressed by the fact that I couldn't tell where the influence and/or actual writing
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Tabitha
First a clarification: the story itself gets one star. The other star is for the afterword/correspondence between the authors that my copy included.
Over all it was poorly written horror-porn spun off from an interesting Creative Writing 102 starter seed-- what if a serial killer hitchhiker comes in contact with a serial killer long haul driver? Answer: horrible gory things described in far too much detail for such a short story. I love a good horror novel, and I've usually got a pretty strong st
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Eric_W
I stumbled on this in my usual unplanned way. I have been following the current dispute over ebook pricing and the battle now enjoined between Amazon, Apple, and the Big Six (minus 1). Konrath has a blog called A Newbies Guide to Publishing in which he documents his anti-DRM approach to digital publishing. It' worth a read. Anyway, he has brought out several of his backlist and short stories as inexpensive digital books and Truck Stop, really a short novella, was my first. It's a confrontation b ...more
Josh
Kilborn doesn’t mince words, just body parts in this engrossing short story which picks up literally where Truck Stop left off. Donaldson’s god complex, thirst for blood and need for complete victim submission come to fore in Serial at the expense of a naive hitchhiker. Kilborn teams Donaldson with yet another antagonist with a fetish for the macabre whose drive is that of the more imposing serial killer yet far more unassuming. Expect terror at every turn of the road.

Serial delivers on its rel
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Cameron
Jul 20, 2009 Cameron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scary
This book is very good.

Remember the two golden rules of hitchhiking?

# 1: Don't go hitchhiking, because the driver who picks you up could be certifiably crazy.

# 2: Don't pick up hitchhikers, because the traveler you pick up could be raving nutcase.

So what if, on some dark, isolated road, Crazy #1 offered a ride to Nutcase #2?

this book sets two serial killers against each other and it is great. also the authors wrote part one and two separately and then wrote part three together over email. Well
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April
Jun 27, 2011 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens when two psychotic minds come together? A story that will make the reader gasp and race through pages at lightening speed. I have not read anything else by these authors, though I do have more of Jack Kilborn's works in my TBR pile, including Afraid. I knew going into Serial that this was not a story for the weak stomached nor the easily offended. Yes, it is gory, graphic and incredibly visual, however that is what makes it an appealing read. There is no sweet coating and the story ...more
Alazzar
May 18, 2011 Alazzar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe Konrath (aka Jack Kilborn) is leading the charge for self-publishing e-books. He's trying to change the way authors work, for the better of everyone (well, except for the publishing houses and literary agents who used to make much more money than their authors did). One of the things involved in self-publishing is promoting your own work, and that's what Konrath has done here with "Serial."

Hitchhiking isn't safe. You could get picked up by a crazy person. Alternatively, if you're the driver,
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Todd Russell
A brief, twisted short story romp between two road warrior psychos; one who picks up hitchhikers and tortures them and the other who waits to be picked up and tortures the driver. What makes this short story even more interesting is it was written by two writers, JA Konrath writing as Jack Killborn and Blake Crouch. There is a behind the scenes interview between both writers involving how they wrote this story that is also worth reading.

It's all over too fast to dig into the meat of either chara
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Monique
So this is the first book read on my brand spanking new Kindle!!! Love to my fabulous brother for getting me the gift of the year, a portable reader I can take anywhere and add to whenever I want..So back to the book, this short collaborative story combines the talents of two horror writers on the subject of hitchhiking..What do you think would happen if a guy who preys on picking up and killing hitchhikers meets a hitchhiker who preys on torturing and killing those who pick them up..This story ...more
Kelly (TheWellReadRedhead)
My husband was goofing around with my Kindle and found this one for free. We both agreed that the premise sounded awesome--what happens when a psycho driver who kills hitchhikers, picks up a psycho hitchhiker who kills drivers?

I started reading it before he did, and I regretted it pretty quickly. The first scene is SO gross, and SO gory. I know they warn you about it beforehand, but it's so gory that I feel it really takes away from the premise of the story. I kind of breezed through the rest of
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Pat
Jun 12, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Well, I read this book based on a recommendation by my daughter. I should be afraid! This has some very gruesome parts - I mean take the warnings at the beginning seriously. But, the ending was terrific! A note I read in a review stated this short story should be a public service warning to avoid hitchhiking or picking up any hitchhikers. Well, I'm too old now to consider ever doing this but in my youth, well, thankfully I am still here to read this story!
Jordan Dossett
So I won a Kindle. Yep, that's right won it. Shocked as I was I wanted some free content and got this book from Amazon. It is a quick read, took me maybe 45 minutes, but only minutes into the book it had me sitting up in bed horrified at the wonderfully horrid writing of the tale of two serial killers. The book is not a five as it was a collaborative effort which in a way should make it rate higher but I am being a bit picker these days as I can't rate everything a five, can I? The book is well ...more
Tracy
Aug 26, 2014 Tracy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After using my Amazon Prime free library book on Pines (loved it) during October I was short for a book at the end of the month. I luckily found the free PDF version of Serial on the Blake Crouch website and read it on my kindle one night before sleep. Yes, I was able to go to sleep, just not gonna go hitchhiking. It is a twisted plot and pretty morbid as you visualize the actions, yet so far-fetched a reality I found myself being amused too. I thought about the book the next morning and found m ...more
Debra
Nov 09, 2011 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collaboration between J A Konrath (pen name Jack Kilborn) and Black Crouch is visceral and darkly humorous. Very short and worthy page-turner. Will definitely read more by both authors.

Oh... and the little mutual interview at the end of the story if fun to read, too.
Mackenzie
Jun 18, 2009 Mackenzie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Wow, that was an amazing read, but pretty weird and creepy. I'm speechless after reading this, I have absolutely no idea how to word my thoughts.

Except, this is an absolute must-read! As long as you're down with violence; if not, avoid this.
J Dale Breedlove
Jun 13, 2009 J Dale Breedlove rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
Couldn't finish it. Too gruesome. Liked Kilborn/Konrath's other book, Afraid. But this one was just too graphic, pushing the gore element beyond what was reasonable for the story.
Eva Staunton
Interesting Concept of Serial Killers

The story was interesting, but much too short to make the characters realistic. The authors seemed to be competing on who could get his part of the story done in the least amount of words. It reminds me of essays where the teacher requires a minimum of 500 words and the students would count each word written hoping the word count was enough to meet the requirement. I am hesitant to read either writer's solo work for fear of an intriguing idea being lost after
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Lauren
I really couldn't decide whether to rate this a 2 or a 3. It was very gory, but then when you're writing about serial killers that's to be expected, just be prepared for a squirmy read. It was free on kindle and the ending was good, so both of those points counted in its favor.

That was my original review of this and I'm sticking to it. However, having read some of the other review blasting it, I feel the need to defend it. This is a horror novella, it was made blatantly obvious to any readers. I
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Shadow Girl
Jan 06, 2014 Shadow Girl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG!
Why had I not read this yet?!
Honestly, I remember reading the plot -
(view spoiler)
and I've gone through my Jack Ketchum novels numerous times looking for that synopsis.
Chalk it up to a Derp Moment, a blonde moment, sheer stupidity, whatever. I've read it now!
HAVE YOU? WHY NOT?! You've got nothing better to do right now - go read it.
It's a short story - I'll wait...

I went back after the story to read about the writing proc
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Nicole
Oct 26, 2009 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I thought was interesting about this book was the way it was written. Two bestselling authors wrote it without the other one knowing hte characters thoughts and actions. The first chapter was written entirely without the knowledge of what the other author wrote in the second chapter. Each of these deals with a serial killer where one is a hitch hiker that kills and the other is a driver that picks up hitch hikers and kills them. Then the third and final chapter brings these two together. Th ...more
Stacey
I loved the concept of this book - Psycho #1 picks up hitchhikers and kills them. Psycho #2 hitchhikes and kills the people who pick her up. So what happens when Psycho #1 picks up Psycho #2?

This novella was a collaboration between two writers. One wrote chapter 1 (Psycho #1 picks up someone he kills), the other wrote chapter 2 (Psycho #2 gets picked up by people she kills), and then they took turns writing 100 words or so of chapter 3 (where the Psycho 1 picks up Psycho 2).

It was a clever pre
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Rayna
Jun 11, 2015 Rayna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
The short story, "Serial," co-authored by Jack Kilborn and Blake Crouch is the ultimate cautionary tale for any, "free spirit," considering the act of hitchhiking. Upon completion of this extremely gruesome tale this reader not only felt like she had, "hit the road," to horror, but had been dragged all the way down it. Yep, no carpooling, peace loving, eco-friendly hippies here people. I'll take my own vehicle from now on.
Lisa
Feb 05, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens when you take a serial killer who picks up hitchhikers for his victims, then have him pick up a hitchhiker who is also a serial killer and who gets rides from her victims? Well, I won't tell you, but it is an extremely unexpected ending!

Jack Kilborn and Blake Crouch--two authors I had not read--collaborated on this free e-book. It has three chapters. The first chapter profiles one of the killers. The second profiles the other. And in the third they meet. Reading the interview with t
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Gina
Very scary, edge of your seat about hitch hiking gone very vey bad! I can't wait to read more of the many books I have by these authors! 5 stars!
Juliet Davis
Nov 08, 2014 Juliet Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First. This is not a book for everyone. The warnings are real and if you are going to read this be prepared to be shocked and possibly sickened. But really what do you expect when reading about serial killers? They are a little more than New Jersey Housewives or Bad Biker Boys of Tough City. Serials exhibit the epitome of sociopathic behavior and if you find yourself completely comfortable with the characters you should probably seek psychiatric counseling yourself. These guys are the true monst ...more
Chris
Jul 15, 2009 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gruesome short story. Very explicit violence. This is NOT a novel; it's only three chapters long. After the third and last chapter I expected the book to progress with the tale of a futile police investigation or something. I couldn't believe the "book" was only three chapters. At least it was "free" on my Kindle so there's nothing to feel ripped off about it. If you decide to get it, hope you have a strong stomach.
Nev Murray
Nov 15, 2014 Nev Murray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favs
This is a short story. Possibly one of my all time fav short stories.

Meet Donaldson. He is a serial killer. He has killed 28 times already. He hunts down hitch hikers and once they get in his car, they don't get away alive.

Meet Lucy. She is a serial killer too. She poses as a hitch hiker and once she gets in your car, you won't get away alive.

So put a serial killer who only kills hitch hikers together with a serial killing hitch hiker and what do you think will happen?

This story is immense from
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Marvin
Oct 05, 2009 Marvin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This short fiction ebook is interesting for its gimmick: Kilborn wrote the first part, Crouch wrote the second part and they collaborated on the third part. Unfortunately it is the only thing interesting about the story. Two totally unlikable and boring serial killers meet each other in a plot whose gruesomeness far exceeds any entertainment value. Not badly written, just bad.
Chris
Jun 17, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
***Won in a GoodReads First Reads giveaway***

This story is in a limited, signed edition from Norwood Press. And although they turn out some nice books quarterbound in leather with marbled paper boards and foil stamping...with matching slipcases, this story was in a chapbook. The coverart did not really match the story other than the tire marks...but there were no guns in this story.

Now the story itself: three chapters, one written by Blake Crouch the other by Jack Kilborn, the last together. App
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Goodreads Librari...: I think these are different editions 3 15 Feb 04, 2015 03:23PM  
  • Bad Girl: Prequel to Serial
  • The Hunters
  • Life Blood
  • The Killing Room
  • When Night Falls
  • The Glades
  • Disturb
  • Soul Identity (Soul Identity, #1)
  • One Night in Boston (One Night, #1)
  • Resurrection
  • Spoilt
  • Zombie Bits (Murdermouth)
  • By Reason of Insanity
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Jack Kilborn is pen name for writer J.A. Konrath. The Kilborn name denotes his horror novels; the Konrath name his thrillers.
More about Jack Kilborn...

Other Books in the Series

Serial Killers (3 books)
  • Serial Uncut: Extended Edition
  • Killers Uncut - A Novel of Terror
  • Break You (Andrew Z. Thomas/Luther Kite #3)

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“You know, you remind me of my younger brother. I miss that kid, so much that I sometimes regret killing him.” 9 likes
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