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The Survivor

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  2,154 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
It had been one of the worst crashes in airline history, killing over 300 people and leaving only one survivor. Now the dead were buried and the town of Eton tried to forget. But one man could not rest. Keller had walked from the flames of the wreck, driven on by unseen forces, seeking the answer to his own survival. Until the town was forced to face the shocking, dreadful ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Pan Publishing (first published 1976)
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Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the next book I decided to go for my "vintage James Herbert re-read, ironically it is also his next book of his to be published. So as you would expect this a very visceral and if I may say blunt book not like his later publications. However do not get me wrong this is still a great book and to be honest this approach helps depict the brutal and horrific matter at hand.

One of the things I have noticed that with recent films and other books being published after this (it was published in
Apr 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
My fourth Herbert read, after THE RATS, THE FOG and OTHERS. This is the weakest yet and despite an intriguing Australian film adaptation with Robert Powell it's a pretty uninspiring and familiar story.

This slim novel begins with an impressive plane crash and loses momentum from there. A slow storyline involving the gradually returning memories of the sole survivor marks for familiar reading material, and each section is interspersed with ghost/horror sequences - seemingly random at first - of th
Phil Morgan
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I first heard of James Herbert when given the novel, Ghosts of Sleath, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I have read another book by him as well but can't for the life of me remember what! This, however, is the first I've read getting back in to horrors.

I don't have much to say about it to be honest. It's a rather mediocre story with plain, uninteresting characters and a guessable end. Sorta reminded me of a more Supernatural Final Destination in some aspects. I like how we got a spread of chapters fo
David Sodergren
It's James Herbert but not as I know him - all the ingredients are here for a classic slice of pulpy hokum, but ol' James neglects the horror in a big way. There's a ludicrous mystery that reminds me of the original Friday the 13th in how it cheats the audience, and not a lot of exciting incident.
It feels like Herbert trying to go mainstream, pulling back from the sex and violence of his earlier books, but giving us nothing to replace them.
Very short (fast readers could finish this in hours) but Very chilling. This was the first Herbert book i ever read and was a fantastic introduction to the man.
The use of religion adds to the power of the evil force that is lurking and Herberts use of language makes for some suitably cold and atmospheric scenes and settings, some of which have stayed with me long since i read this years ago.
overall, great creepy short story.
Matt Douglas
This is by far the weakest James Herbert book that I've read.

The premise for the story is a promising one, but it's poorly executed and somewhat muddled and confusing. Deceased aircraft passengers become killers for reasons that are not entirely convincing or properly explained, and the same applies to much of the story.

Weak, cardboard characters and dialogue, and a very bizarre climax to the story that left me hugely disappointed.

James Herbert was a much better author than this.
Colin Skinner
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book 37 years ago. I had never been much of a reader but from the first chapter of this book I was completely gripped. I carried this book with me and at every opportunity I took it out and read another chapter. I had never before been so captivated and it was this book that lead me to reading more books in this genre and by this author. Brilliant read.
Alexander Draganov
A five star chiller from the master of the genre James Herbert. After a plane crash, the angry ghosts of the passagers haunt the nearby town. The only survivor of the crash might be the only one, who can put then to rest. Scary, creepy and in the end, surprisingly touching.
You can read more detailed review in Bulgarian here:
David Kelly
Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A well written story about the sole survivor of a plane crash that is genuinely creepy and chilling. Definitely one to read with the lights on

I read this book several years ago and still remember the hairs standing up on the back of my neck in several places. Herbert can make even the commonplace seem strange, mysterious and downright scary.
The sole survivor of a huge plane crash finds those who perished want him to deal with their unfinished business and get to the root cause of the disaster.
Quite action-packed with some good gory descriptions and demonic entities, but a little thin on character development. Still an enjoyable quick read.
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the process of revisiting the author's novels, I last read this book-this very copy, thirty three years ago (!) and having a vague recollection of the ending did not spoil it for me. Good, early Herbert.
Telesni horor ti je specijalnost Dzejmse, mani se duhova.
Simon  Grant
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic horror come ghost story with a great twist at the end. Read it, herbert at his best
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prima volta che leggo qualche cosa di Herbert e devo dire che "Il superstite" si è rivelata essere una piacevole lettura, la storia è molto scorrevole e ben strutturata, nn è un romanzo lungo quindi solo il personaggio principale, ovvero Keller, viene presentato con un po di corposità.
Dovrebbe essere un piccolo romanzo horror, ma purtroppo non crea nel lettore ansia e vera paura man mano che si leggono le varie azioni della storia. L' ho trovato comunque ben scritto e piacevole con qualche punta
Jack Taylor
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant book which had my eyes flying over the page eagerly wanting to know what happens next! James Herbert is extremely good at inserting brilliant measures of fear, excitement, suspense and a small dose of sarcastic cynical humour into his writing. I especially enjoyed the ending as i felt it wasn't entirely expected, however in light of it small clues that i overlooked as seemingly insignificant throughout the book suddenly have a whole new meaning; encouraging the reader to sit and pond ...more
James Amoateng
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A chilling tale of a man who was supposed to have survived a plane crash not knowing he was only preserved for the purpose of exacting revenge for the ghosts of the victims of the plane crash. This is a tale which really makes your hairs stand up and your body frozen.
Steven Louden
Excellent short ghost story with some genuinely creepy moments.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eh, chciałam czegoś więcej, ale tragedii nie ma.
Start of The Survivor was good but however it became too predictable as you go on except for the last twist. It is one of the books relating to plane crash which was very famous at that time.

Nothing extraordinary but a good read for people who are interested in powers beyond this life.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brill. Fab read as usual. If you enjoy James Herbert.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book!
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the book but the ending was very disappointing.
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
Enkele minuten na de start vanaf het vliegveld Heathrow, nabij Londen, vindt er in een Boeing 747 een explosie plaats en stort het vliegtuig neer op een terrein vlak bij het plaatsje Eton.
Het lijkt absoluut uitgesloten dat er overlevenden zijn.... totdat David Keller, de tweede piloot, als de mythische vogel Feniks, zonder één enkel schrammetje uit de as en de brokstukken van de Boeing verrijst.
Hoe is het mogelijk dat juist hij op zo'n wonderbaarlijke wijze aan de dood ontsnapt is?
De onde
Glen Reid
Excellent book. Terrible ending.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Despite being a big fan of Herbert, this is a novel that I had never read, so I was looking forward to a new story. I wasn't disappointed, as this was a return to the likes of 'The Rats' and his earlier work ... a chapter following our 'hero', followed by one describing a horrific, terrifying incident for some poor character just introduced to the reader, and then back to the action.

Yeah, the story doesn't always hold together. A plane crashes, hundreds die, and only one man survives. He can't r
James Herbert’s third novel, The Survivor blends plausible manmade horror with the supernatural, with the result of a fast-moving, intriguing and thoroughly entertaining read.

They say third time’s the charm and that may well be true here because as much as I like The Rats, The Survivor is a far more skilfully crafted story with noticeably more confidence in the telling. More multi-faceted and maintaining mystery to the end, Herbert is definitely in charge of his craft by this book. He doesn’t e
Rebecca tedder
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 4* for me on this that should have been a 3.5 as I had a fair few niggles with the book.

The concept was great. The mystery riveting but the conclusion of the who-dunnit came as an anti climax and the reasoning behind The Survivor was well explained and hurried through at the end. I liked the rounding up and the final scenes although I had a fair idea of the final outcome from the outset.

Much of this tale was predictable, overall I found this enjoyable to read wanting to get to the next part o
My Inner Shelf
Du même auteur j’ai déjà lu La conspiration des fantômes, et Fog, le second nettement mieux que le premier. Là, on retombe au niveau de La conspiration des fantômes. L’histoire semble plutôt bien de prime abord, mais on plonge dans une impression de déjà-vu. L’histoire d’innocentes victimes qui reviennent hanter les vivants pour se venger, ce n’est pas nouveau, mais là, ce n’est pas spécialement bien traité. Tout ça me semble très scolaire, prévisible, sans surpris aucune. La présence parmi les ...more
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I enjoyed this tale. It's subdivided mostly into alternating chapters of main protagonist, contributing character or sub-plot, main protagonist again. While being primarily a ghost story, it touches upon, James Herbert's other usual themes of "Dark", "Unseen" and "Manipulative" forces.

The plot was probably fairly original when first written, but I'm sure I've seen or read similar since, which enabled me to guess the main twist fairly early on. However, it's quite well written and easy to enjoy,
Titus Hjelm
I liked The Fog, hated Fluke, and thought The Spear was good fun despite all the silliness. This one has a feel of an assembly-line novel to it. Not the worst I've read, but really takes off only half-way through and then stops abruptly with a downer ending (a medium just 'knows' where to find the source of all evil and then we're introduced to a whole new guy--baaaaaad...). Nice little twist at the end, which unfortunately doesn't save the book. The horror never really takes off, probably becau ...more
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James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his 19 novels have sold more than 42 million
More about James Herbert...

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