Adam Wilson's Reviews > Others

Others by James Herbert
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's review
Jul 28, 11

Read in July, 2011

It seems that every time I read an excellent James Herbert novel, a not so great one comes along in its wake. Others is the not so great kind, made all the more disappointing because I finished it only a few days after The Ghosts of Sleath which is superior in more ways than I can think of. The story behind Others is interesting enough but it was just so damn dull through most of the book. Some interesting things happen but I didn’t really get involved until the last quarter of the novel. That quarter is great, but it just couldn’t quite make up for my bad experience with the rest of the book. I liked the main character and found him to be very unique (if you don’t think of the Hunchback of Notre Dame) and well-written. The sadness of his physical deformities and those of the people (creatures) he encounters in the book are brutal in an emotional way. I can definitely say that the book is an emotional one and very well told in parts because of Herbert’s masterful characterization. Because of this, I can’t help but thinking I would have liked the book a lot more if it were shorter. I like long books but this one did not need to be as long as it was. Far from it. So, I can say that if you enjoy detail and over 100,000 words of build-up, go for this book. I will be annoying and repeat myself by saying that the ending is very memorable and disturbing but to a lot of readers, the journey to it may not be worth it. In short, Others is a bit like I imagine a walk to the Grand Canyon from Vermont would be; you would enjoy the sights along the way but many may give up before seeing the destination and those who reach it will be so physically exhausted that a lot of the wonder will be lost in gasps for breath, searches for water, and, most likely, a trip to the nearest shoe-store.

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