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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  812 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Out on a date at the movies, Marty is horrified to see Willy, the man who broke into her house and raped her 10 years before. Now he is out of jail, Willy is out to get Marty. Fiends is the lead-off novella in this collection of horror stories.
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 1st 1997 by Headline Book Publishing (first published January 1st 1997)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  812 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
First published back in 1997 by Headline Book Publishing, ‘Fiends’ has already seen itself reprinted a few times. The book is a collection of Laymon’s short stories spanning from 1970 to 1997. This is not in any way a complete collection, but a selected choice of his shorts.

The book includes a very comical five page introduction from the fellow horror author and personal friend of Laymon, Dean Koontz. This short introduction gives the reader a glimpse into the family life of Laymon from behind t
Andrew Lennon
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Bit of a mixed bag really. Some good stories in here, some which I didn’t care much for.
Compared to Laymons other work that I’ve read, most of these were just alright.
Overall a decenct collection, but I think I’ll probably stick to his novels in future.
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm having a hard time deciding what to rate this book, considering I have mixed feelings about virtually each and every story collected in it. Laymon knows how to hook you with a great beginning, but he almost inevitably botches the endings.
Then there's the fact that everything Laymon writes is in varying levels of bad taste. I can't say that much in this book really offended me, but I certainly felt oily while reading it. Especially, the titular novella, "Fiends," which was as mindless as it w
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I hate to be redundant here but Richard Laymon is not an author everyone can enjoy. Unless you enjoy disgusting, disturbing horror you WILL hate Laymon's books. That is not a ploy to get people interested. One look at the reviews for any of his books and you will see that most love or hate him, there really is no in-between. A couple more things to keep in mind; he's been described as "Stephen King without a conscience" and "A dirty old man." I've found both statements to be accurate.
Being a b
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
I'm not a huge fan of short stories, but Laymon is one of my favorite authors so I didn't mind too much. The first novella in the book was really good I enjoyed it a lot it probably could have been a longer book, but it was good for this type of book. The short story's were all 4 & 5 star short stories to me maybe 1 or 2 were 3 stars, but they were pretty good. Some were funny, others were weird, & some you wished were whose books because they were interesting. I also liked how some were from wa ...more
Noel Penaflor
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
14 Short stories from my favorite Horror author of all time (RIP). Half of them are very good to excellent, the other half are okay. Though "Okay" for Laymon is still better than most. His other collection DREADFUL TALES is slightly better, but this won't disappoint Laymon fans new or old

Now I only have to read one more book of his to complete his works, which makes me sad now that I'm about to cross that finish line
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Like all of his books, very very good!
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: splatterpunk
Fiend is an interesting short story collection, and at times, it doesn't feel like a Richard Laymon book. The opening novella is classic Laymon, but it for all of its brutality, there's a bit of a disconnect. This is what we've come to expect from the guy, but here, it's just to lure in his faithful readers, and Fiends as a whole just feels nonsensical. Who acts this way? Why are these people so fucking stupid? Laymon is better than this, and as the collection rolls on it's clear that he is. Th ...more
Nov 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror
Fiends is one of the worst horror books I've ever read. I am a fan of this author, and I couldn't even finish it. The characters are hollow and irritating, making unrealistic, stupid decisions to facilitate a hollow plot. I was unable to swallow my suspension of disbelief long enough to believe that Marty, not once but multiple times during the opening scene, refuses to tell her boyfriend the identity of the man who is stalking them on their date--the convicted rapist who assaulted her ten years ...more
Alex Budris
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Though definitely not for everybody, Richard Laymon is a very good writer in the genre that he works in. Unfortunately this collection of stories falls short. It's almost as if Richard Laymon was writing as Richard Laymon, but with limited talent. The title story especially is just flat shock-value that doesn't even shock you much because the characters are seemingly making random, stupid decisions out of nowhere. A couple of the other works in the book have some merit, on the value of simply be ...more
Sep 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Unfortunately, this collection of shorts marks the downturn in Laymon's intense, brisk fiction. The title story is a case in point.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Interesting, plays with your imagination, good short horror stories
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
HOLIDAY READS FROM SPAIN I really enjoyed this. I especially loved the small stories towards the end which were suitably tense but also incredibly ironic/comical
Leigh Thomas
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great little anthology!
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Well, that was a fun read but something that I am never going to pick up again.
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
When you want a quick fix - turn to Laymon as he never disappoints. Fiends is a collection of short stories. Fiends, The Bleeder, Desert Pickup - stand outs.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: review
In 'Fiends', Marty is watching a movie with her boyfriend when she realizes that her rapist, Willy has his eyes on her. She's certain that he's come back for another round and she has to do whatever it takes to prevent it from happening.

'Fiends' was one of the short stories featured in this book. It was unbearable due to the main character who made the dumbest decisions possible as though she was deliberately trying to put herself in the worst situations. She refused to report Willy to the poli
Gerhard Jason
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I am a huge fan of Richard Laymon, and this collection of short stories exceeds expectations while, at the same time, being a gross disappointment. By that I mean that some stories are top notch while others... not so much. My favorite story was "Kitty Litter".
Kelli Francis
Feb 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
I’m a fan of Laymon, but this collection of short stories was awful. How I managed to finish the whole lot I’ll never know. Most of the characters didn’t make sense, and the stories seemed to be written just for the sake of writing something. Didn’t enjoy this at all.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some really sick and twisted tales...
A. Cancino
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought it was just one story but upon reading it's actually a compilation of many great stories all great some better then others but all equally great and I loved this book!
JayJay Kalemba
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best horror short fiction collection of all time. No doubt about it!!!
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Crazy love
Herschell Gordon
Oct 23, 2019 rated it liked it
The last story alone made this book worth my time. It shocked the hell out of me and stuck with me for days after. If every story was as good as the last, it would have been a 5 star book
Oct 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: anthology, horror
I’m no fan of Richard Laymon, finding his depiction of extreme gore and sexual violence to be merely unpleasant rather than horrifying. However, when I was going through a slow spot in my reading, I saw this anthology on the library shelf and ended up borrowing it. I’m a sucker for a horror anthology.

The titular story FIENDS is the worst of the lot: a dull story with lengthy scenes of sexual perversion and repulsive violence. I was desensitised from the start, and found this merely repugnant. Th
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: richard-laymon
I must have read this book a few decades ago since all the stories were familiar to me.
Although I enjoyed the book, it is not my favourite, by any means. I would certainly not recommend it to Laymon newbies but I DO think that Laymon fans would find it enjoyable.

The theme of 'fiends' works throughout the book and is woven into all the stories. Some stories were well done, while others seemed like works in progress, seemed incomplete, or lacked the spark that I am accustomed to when I read Laymo
Jul 16, 2009 rated it liked it
The title story, a novella, is among the worst things I've read by Laymon. It reminds me of "Come Out Tonight" in that it is about a psycho stalking a young woman who continually makes such stupid decisions that you don't even root for her. It just kind of makes the story lurch along, with the girl being confronted with danger and not reacting in any sort of intelligent or realistic ways. So 1 star for that story. The rest of the short stories are great, however, hence my 3 star rating for the e ...more
David Brian
Mar 29, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a real tough one to rate. Richard Laymon is a master of in your face 'bad taste' horror, and although he is not for everyone, there is a market for his particular brand of unpleasantness. I really disliked the lead novella (Fiends) as, even putting aside the overly excessive abuse it portrays, it depicts women as shallow idiots and men as, well... Fiends!
My favorite story was Eats, and along with Dean Koontz's The Fox In The Chicken Suit introduction, it was the best read in a collection
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The first book of Laymon's I've read. By far still one of the best! Although whatever book I pick up of his, I can never put down until I've finished picking through ever single page.

He writes about some pretty offensive and conflicting topics in this book but he ended it extremely well!

Was surprised at how much I enjoyed this collection. Not because I've any reservations about Richard Laymon at all, he's one of my favourite authors in fact, but because a forum I frequent said it wasn't as good as one of his others. Anyway, some really good stories here. I very much enjoyed them all, although the title novella isn't the best of them, it was still pretty good.
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Richard Laymon was born in Chicago and grew up in California. He earned a BA in English Literature from Willamette University, Oregon and an MA from Loyola University, Los Angeles. He worked as a schoolteacher, a librarian, and a report writer for a law firm, and was the author of more than thirty acclaimed novels.

He also published more than sixty short stories in magazines such as Ellery Queen,

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