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Westlake Soul

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  401 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Westlake is in a permanent vegetative state. He can’t move, has no response to stimuli, and can only communicate with Hub, the faithful family dog. And like all superheroes, Westlake has an archenemy: Dr. Quietus—a nightmarish embodiment of Death itself.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by ChiZine Publications
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Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  401 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This isn't really a review.
I feel like books on this level of perfection get to just bypass all the trappings of a normal review where the reader fusses about the star rating or finding the right way to say what needs to be said.
Five stars is what I clicked because that's the highest rating Goodreads will let me give it.
But five stars doesn't even remotely translate how I feel about this book.
The way I feel is how I feel after every special book I've ever read--this story resonated with me in a

This is copy 54 of 150 signed numbered hardcover copies.
J.K. Grice
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dark-fantasy
Rio Youers does a stellar job with a unique premise in this highly original novel. Westlake is a wonderful character, and this is a wonderful story.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
After a surfing accident leaves him in a Persistent Vegetative State, Westlake Soul finds he has developed "superpowers," among which are the ability to communicate with his dog and other animals (but not humans, for various reasons having to do with "normal" people's psychology), and the ability to astral-project his soul. He is fully aware of the sights and sounds around him, yet is unable to communicate this fact to his family, who must make some life and death decisions about him.

This was my
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm going to do something that I don't think I've ever done. I'm going to write this review without reading any other reviews beforehand. I know what I have to say. And I need to get it out. After I write this I'll see what everyone else has to say, but for this one I want my opinions to be wholly my own.

My friend Brian and I had a great conversation about horror over tea and coffee the other day, and he brought up this book. We were talking about books we loved, and he said I needed to read thi
Holly (The Grimdragon)
"Within moments, everything inside me lifted, teased into flight by notes as delicate as the fingers that played them. My skin flushed with sensation. My mouth dropped open. Heart floating in my chest as I breathed shallow sips of air. I'd never known anything so beautiful. Not just the melody, but to see Nadia so transformed, and to feel her oneness with the was astounding. And as those notes tiptoed in the air, coalescing with the lavender to kiss my senses, I felt it--beauty and eu ...more
Adam Cesare
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Rio Youers’ WESTLAKE SOUL is one of the very few books I’ve ever finished and said to myself “I’m going to read this again some day.” There are just too many books I want to get to, and not enough hours in my life to go re-reading everything I liked. But I didn’t like Westlake Soul, I loved it.

WESTLAKE SOUL is the story of Westlake, a twenty-three year old surfer, who’s put into a persistent vegetative state by a surfing accident. The catch is that the novel is narrated by Westlake himself, he’s
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-reads
After a fluke surfing accident and getting smashed in the head with his board, Westlake Soul was without oxygen for 8 minutes and 44 seconds. Now instead of surfing, he spends his time talking to his dog Hub, drinking sweet Jevity 1.2 Cal thru a tube and swimming with the whales. He just may be the smartest person in world history. But he still ain’t no Pip.

Now he is in a life and death battle with his archenemy Dr. Quietus, whose laughter is the sound of breaking bones and who is biding his tim
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bought-own
This book is so unique but incredibly sad. I was brought to tears on several occasions throughout the book. It is haunting and devastating. It really makes you look at life a whole lot differently. Appreciate all you have as you may not have it forever.

An absolute must read.
Israel Finn
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Original and engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Frank Errington
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first met Rio Youers at 2010 Horrorfind Weekend in Gettysburg, PA. That day he read from Dark Dreams, Pale Horses and I was instantly a fan. Since then, I've read everything I can get my hands on from this relatively new writer.

Although I discovered Rio at a Horror convention, I wouldn't necessarily call him a Horror writer. Speculative fiction maybe? Actually, he's just a damn fine writer.

Westlake Soul is his best book to date. Westlake is a 23 year old former surfing champion. Now more like
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody
Recommended to Katy by: NetGalley
Disclosure: I received a free eGalley eBook ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: “All superheroes get their powers from somewhere. A radioactive spider bite. A science experiment gone awry. I got mine from a surfing accident in Tofino. The ultimate wipeout. I woke up with the most powerful mind on the planet, but a body like a wet paper bag. . . .

Meet Westlake Soul, a twenty-three-year-old former surfing champion. A loving son and brother. But if you think he’s just a r
Josh reading
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow what a book! This was my first read by Rio Youers and I am officially hooked, I can only wonder how it took me this long to discover his writing. I’ve heard great things about his more recent titles but thanks to a recommendation by a fellow book friend (thank you Steven), I stated with Westlake Soul. The book tells the story of a professional surfer who suffers a debilitating injury while surfing that causes him to become a paraplegic. Westlake gains “superpowers” so to speak and can read t ...more
Jon Recluse
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
WESTLAKE SOUL is an unprecedented work of speculative fiction. Capturing the horrific isolation of a mind that surpasses human potential trapped within an inert body, cut off from his loved ones, save for his faithful dog, yet painfully aware, without a voice.....knowing his family has lost all hope and are contemplating the unspeakable to free themselves from the burden he has become. Little knowing Westlake is so very present, and waging war with what may be the specter of Death in the shadowy ...more
Eddie Generous
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed that very much. Suspenseful, funny, heartfelt (though a bit sappy for my underdeveloped emotions), and imaginative. It's delivered like a superhero story and that works, given the uncertainty and whether or not the narrator's understanding of reality is to be trusted. Fun idea.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
The idea of reading a book about the ramblings of a man in a vegetative state wasn't exciting and this story has rested in my Kindle for months. A weekend trip with no internet or phone service forced me to begin the story. I read it in two sittings. Being a person who believes in possibilities made this book a very enjoyable read. Understanding that it is speculative fiction and not a memoir or a based on any sort of medical reality is essential. If, like myself, you were that person who had to ...more
Christina Boulard
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes--it happens very rarely--but sometimes you are privileged enough to read a book that touches your soul.
A book that makes you feel blessed to have experienced it. A book that makes you look at life in a completely different way.
Westlake Soul is one of these books.

Westlake Soul is the story of a man--named Westlake Soul--trapped in his own mind.

After a surfing accident, Westlake's brain suffers too much trauma. He goes into a permanant vegetative state.
Unknown to his loved ones, Westlake
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Rio is one heck of a writer. This thing kinda wrecked me. I don't cry during books, not sure why because I sure can let loose with a movie, but WESTLAKE SOUL had me tearing up more than once. The read was uncomfortable, beautifully tragic, and the premise unique in every way. If I had a problem with it at all it would be the very end. It was a loose ending and felt anticlimactic considering the beautiful buildup. I wanted more. And had it been there it would have wrecked me even more. ...more
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-list-2018
This book has wrecked me. A masterpiece of originality. heartbreaking. Will make you look at and appreciate life in a whole new way, and that’s not an easy thing to admit for this cynical old bastard. I loved everything about this, and you will too!
Caroline Lafrance
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First, thanks to my Goodreads friend Rob for making me discover this book. This book was so good! A beautiful story, just beautiful. This book will stay with me a long time.
Rob Twinem
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Truly brilliant and emotional writing of the highest order.... Westlake Soul dwells in a permanent vegetable state following a surfing accident and he is now lives (if you can call it living) back home with his family. Although he cannot communicate, through his mind and his thoughts we travel with Westlake as he spends what remaining time he has in the presence of those he loves and who in turn love him....there are so many poignant moments in what undoubtedly is a memoir of a young man who con ...more
David Ward
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is poetic in its descriptive beauty. Rio Youers has a distinctly unique gift.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is an amazing story! It’s hard to put into words how this book will make you feel! The love that pours into you, the reader. The hope that fills you all through the story. The terrible tragedy that is always there and the sadness that comes with it! This book will take you through every emotion any human can feel! Wow!
Tracie Orsi
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was twelve years old living in New Jersey when the battle over Karen Ann Quinlan's life became headline news. Her case, presented by her parents to the New Jersey Supreme Court, made national news. The court found in favor of the Quinlans to remove the artificial life support from their daughter. Karen Ann Quinlan lived another ten years, dying from pneumonia.

I always wondered if she dreamed.

Then came the fifteen year legal battle over the life of Terri Schindler Schiavo in which her husband f
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Thinking meat
Recommended to Alan by: A dry period, a stark color scheme, and a clever back-cover excerpt
This compact and quickly-read novel—I burned through it in less than 24 hours—from a tiny but fierce Canadian fringe press may have a title that's mysterious but awkward, and obscure authors giving it glowing cover recommendations (well, okay, Peter Straub isn't all that obscure, but I'd never heard of the rest of 'em), but Westlake Soul has one thing really going for it right away: a great elevator pitch.

This shows up on page 12 of the book (the second page of the actual story) as well as on th
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I first discovered Rio's writing last year when I was given an ARC of his then newest novel 'The Forgotten Girl'. It ended up being one of my Top 20 Reads of 2017 and vaulted him to 'must-read' status. Westlake Soul further cements that sentiment and puts him as one of my favorite authors today. Emotionally gripping and terrifying, yet breathtakingly beautiful in its execution, Westlake Soul is one of the best novels I have ever read. 
Westlake Soul. Twenty-three years old and in the prime of his
Benjamin Ethridge
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Being a big fan of Trumbo's "Johnny Got His Gun," and having the chance to hear Rio Youers read the first few chapters of his latest novel, I was primed and ready to like WESTLAKE SOUL.

I ended up being wrong about that part. I didn't just like the novel, but LOVED it. What can I say that hasn't already been said by other readers? It's a masterpiece of elegant, emotional, funny prose that will captivate you from beginning to end. You don't just know the characters in this book, their DNA coils ar
Kevin Lucia
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
No idea. You just have no idea. Full review coming soon...
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
At times poignant, at times funny, always enthralling, Rio Youers hits all the right marks with “Westlake Soul”. In a vegetative state because of a surfing accident, Westlake’s condition causes the iceberg theory of a brain’s function to reverse - humans only using 10% of their brain’s capacity with 90% of it hidden. His resulting powers require some suspense of disbelief but after a while it takes a back seat to the crux of the story: what it means to live and what it means to stare into the fa ...more
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I tore and cried through this in a matter of five hours (five days of lunch break reading). More than once did I return to my desk at 3pm desperately needing to fix my makeup. This is an automatic five star read; not only did I just plain love it, but I could not find a single flaw.

Westlake Soul is beautifully written, full of powerful emotions, and absolutely devastating. Rio Youers delivers incredible positivity despite the world entirely out of reach. I remember reading Johnny Got His Gun
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Rio Youers is the British Fantasy and Sunburst Award–nominated author of Westlake Soul and Halcyon. His 2017 thriller, The Forgotten Girl, was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel. He is the writer of Sleeping Beauties, a comic book series based on the bestselling novel by Stephen King and Owen King. Rio's new novel, Lola on Fire, will be published by William Morrow in Februa ...more

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