Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Forbidden” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
The Forbidden
Frank Tallis
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Forbidden

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  378 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
When the young and ambitious Doctor Paul Clement takes a job at a mission hospital on Saint Sebastien he has dreams of finding cures for tropical diseases. What he finds is a place where the black arts are just a way of life. After witnessing the ritualistic murder of a young boy who was allegedly already dead, he is warned never to speak of what he has seen. Back in Paris ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published June 1st 2012 by MacMillan
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Sep 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
*I won a copy of this book through the Goodreads "first-reads".*

The imagery and atmosphere of France in the late 1800's was beautiful conveyed--especially throughout the opening chapters. I found it very intriguing to learn of the "new" science that was being initiated. In addition to this, I felt that Tallis did a great job of making the reader FEEL the time period; all of which served to make the premise of the story more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, I felt that the climax of the story was virtual
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would call this a gentle horror story and mean that in a most complementary way. Another reviewer said it was 'civilized'. This book combines beautiful writing, turn of the century France, medicine, morphine addiction and the occult in a seamless, down right terrifying way. This is the kind of book that although I finished it around midnight I had to force myself to pick up another book because I was not going to try to sleep after the screaming rollercoaster of an ending. The hero is contempl ...more
Roy Elmer
Sometimes, you wander in to a bookshop and buy something because the cover just sort of piques your interest. This was one of those times.

After picking this one up, I read a review on here suggesting that it was a horror novel, and not a particularly good one. Having read the book, I can see where the reviewer was coming from. If taken as a horror novel, this doesn't work. It is not a novel designed to produce out and out scares, or one that relies on making your skin-crawl by lamp light. What i
Having enjoyed Tallis' historical novels that often flirted with the occult, I was pleased to find that he had elected to write a work of supernatural horror. Tallis writes that the direct inspiration was the 19th century French occult novel Là-Bas (The Damned) by J.K. Huysmans and also cited Justine by the Marquis de Sade and Guy de Maupassant's stories as other influences. He also mentions the more recent writings of the British writer Dennis Wheatley whose Library of the Occult series publish ...more
Jun 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Forbidden was quite a quick read; the story is fast-paced and doesn’t have too many parts that drag. I enjoyed this book, although I kept hoping that the theme of voodoo or black arts, which are introduced in the beginning of the book, would play a bigger role. However they do not. This book is about a demon and a doctor. I must admit I found Dr Clément a good character, however as in most horror books they seem to become weaklings in some parts.

One of the main things I enjoyed in the beginn
Cristina Isabel
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, arc
I won this as a free ARC giveaway first reads and it was far from disappointing!

It's like Dr. Frankenstein meets The Exorcist in the concept of exactly how much "do you", the audience, really know about God and The Devil? Do you really believe in possession of ones soul or existence of evil spirits? What if you witnessed an exorcism, would you still believe?

In this suspenseful mind gripping tale of The Forbidden, Dr. Paul Clement witnesses an unspeakable act of horror which he is never to mentio
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-14
I thought it was corny and derivative, but in a way that is kind of pleasantly familiar. If you like your evil spirits to actually carry pitchforks and possess little girls, causing them to curse and vomit prodigiously, boy is this the book for you.
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lo primero que pensé al coger este libro es "Frankenstein, laboratorios, almas,..." y los ojos me hacían chiribitas, además, con esa portada tan sugerente no podemos si no encontrarnos con una historia de lo más oscura.

Y así es exactamente.

Ya estaba un poco cansada de novelas de misterio, quería algo diferente, algo que hacía tiempo que no leía y con esta lectura he quedado satisfecha. Me hubiese gustado devorarlo en horas, pero mi tiempo no me permitía hacerlo.

Nos encontramos en París en ple
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book in a goodreads contest.

Not something that I would pick out myself, I was dragging my feet starting this book. I am SO sorry that I did.

What an unusual, thought provoking and suspenseful book. I was hooked from the prologue. The story is set in the 1870s and touches on magic, possession and exorcism. An odd combination but so well written from Monsieur Clement's point of view.

He is a doctor in the 1870s and is infatuated with the nervous system. He comes to a isolated islan
Fran Murphy
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, paris
"The Greeks inform us that Pandora's Box contained all the evils of the world, and that when she opened it these evils were released. There was, however, something left at the very bottom; Hope." The Forbidden is an atmospheric tale of demonic possession set in a suitably Gothic Paris in the late C19th. Notre Dame looms large over the city, and keeping watch from the heights of the cathedral are the chimera, captured in etchings by the artist Charles Mayron, who died young in an asylum. He is ju ...more
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tallis is the author of one of my favorite mystery series, the Liebermann papers, but the second suspense I have read of his. After being introduced to the idea of re-animating the dead after a trip to the West Indies, Dr. Paul Clement returns to Paris where he experiments with the resuscitation of the "just" dead with electrical currents. Experimenting on himself he returns to earth not from Heaven, but from Hell and unwittingly brings back a demon that destroys not only his life but those he l ...more
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this psychologically grim and gripping historical it's 1873, and a forward-thinking French doctor experiments with electricity to bring back the heartbeats of the nearly dead, with varying results. After hearing of the 'white light' some have witnessed, he decides to take himself to the brink to experience first-hand the mysterious claim. He witnesses something very different, returning to a strangely altered life with an unspeakable 'souvenir'.
Faye Ridpath
I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads.

In many ways, it reminded me of "Flatliners", but a much darker version.

It is a horrifying book.

It is also very thought provoking, and raises some interesting concepts. My mind is still reeling and puzzling over one question raised in this book that I consider a religious paradox.

A very chilling book.
Sara Gould
Una lectura más que sorprendente. La verdad es que no me esperaba nada de lo que ocurre entre sus páginas, y según leía estaba más y más enganchada hasta que llegó un punto en el que ya no quería dejarlo para nada. Me ha gustado mucho.
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The historical aspects were interesting. I've not read a book about possession and exorcism and I've decided it's not my thing.
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I can't contact this author but keen to read and review both his novels. Sounds fantastic and just my cup of tea.
OCD Keeping
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book, the writing is beautiful and the details really fill your mind with images that support the story and time in which it was set, late 19th century, Paris.
At first when I read the synopsis I assumed some kind of Flatliners vibe but it turned out to be a gripping story. I very much enjoyed the use of real historic figures in medicine and science and the links of occultism and Notre Dame, the research and Tallis's clinical mind and intellect are very evident throughout the
Bernadette Lemon
Feb 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I only actually made it about half way through this book before giving up as it was beginning to feel like a chore to read. The idea and plot are great, but for me personally I feel it lacked character and personality; everything was just going through the motions most of the time. I'll perhaps come back to read it again another time, give it a second chance but overall it didn't thrill me.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sameeksha Ugvekar
a gentle thriller but made me crave as it's easiest..............
3.5 Stars

This novel is a hard one for me to rate.

On the one hand, it shows the author’s engrossing skills at setting and descriptions. The setting of 1870’s Paris, descriptions of hospitals and churches, details on the emerging field of neurological treatments with electricity, and the pathways of Hell itself are all brought to very vivid life. I would definitely advise some caution, however, when the reader reads the scenes from Hell or the descriptive scenes of demonic possession; the author
Todos Mis Libros
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lo-tengo
Si sois amantes del terror, embarcaros en la lectura de esta novela os resultará una experiencia sorprendente y espeluznante.

No puedo más que decir que su lectura me ha dejado totalmente satisfecha porque he encontrado una novela que me ha dado todo lo que esperaba de ella y mucho más. ¿Cómo es esto posible? pues porque encontraréis mucho más de lo que a simple vista nos ofrece su portada y sinopsis, que no es poco.

En primer lugar tenemos una ambientación parisina que resulta sublime por lo bi
Oct 19, 2015 marked it as attempted  ·  review of another edition
Included in my blog post Sampling: Ghost stories and spooky books.

The premise: Paul Clément is a doctor who, as a young man, witnesses a ritualistic murder, and is forbidden to speak of it - if he does, his companion tells him, his soul will be damned. Years later, working in Paris, Paul believes the incident to have been nothing more than a macabre trick; he's also become obsessed with the idea of resuscitating the dead, and decides to conduct a dangerous experiment on himself. It's at this poi
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book genuinely creepy--the imagery of hell and of the demons was vivid and very well done. I also got a good feel of the time period (late 1800s Paris). At first, the possession scenes bugged me 'cuz I was all "COME ON! Hello, the Exorcist called and they want their levitation moves back!" but then I thought about it. How else would you write a possession scene? Of course they are all going to be similar.

It also raised a question similar to the one in that 90s film with the Pretty
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very well written, the narrative propels the story. Not the most thrilling, or complete, but fun
I received a copy of this book free through Goodreads Firstreads.
This book definitely fits the bill of psychological suspense. It is not particularly action-packed, and there are a few slower parts, but ultimately an excellent read. The last half of the book was particularly hard to put down. I was somewhat repulsed by Clement's descent into depravity, and some of the descriptions got a little in depth, although I will give Tallis credit, I appreciate that the descriptions were not as graphic as
Jess Swann
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alors, j'avais lu la précédente série policière de Frank Tallis qui se déroulait dans le Vienne de Freud et qui était très axé sur la psychanalyse et sur des meurtres. Ce nouveau roman qui ouvre une autre série est très différent. L'ambiance est plus fantastique et ésotérique que sur les précédents. En vérité, cela m'a semblé plus proche du Portrait de Dorian Gray ou des nouvelles fantastiques de Théophile Gautier et Maupassant, voir Poe.

Sur l'histoire en elle-même, il n'y a rien de vraiment rév
Carolyn Injoy
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carolyn by: Goodreads Giveaway Winner Thank you.
The Forbidden by F.R. Tallis

I was a Goodreads Giveaway Winner. I own a copy.

It is a well written book & I enjoyed the story line development. The characters became alive to me. There was an underlying sense of foreboding that became more real with every page I turned.

Doctor Paul Clement traveled to the island St. Sebastien & observed a murder of a young man who was supposedly already dead. He was forbidden to ever mention it or he would endure a curse of the witch doctor.

He returned to
Jan 27, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
this book in my mind is actually a 3.5. it is a through and through Gothic novel and it's influences from French Gothic literature and clear parallels to "Frankenstein". as an avid Gothic reader, this was definitely one to add to the collection. However a few things that frustrated me:
- sometimes it felt like the tensing was off. I think the majority of the book wasn't past tense but sometimes it seemed to change. maybe that was just me. it also seemed that when referring to Bazile especially, h
Sep 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a French horror story that combines elements of Frankenstein and the Exorcist and you will have an idea of what this book is like. It is the tale of a young doctor who while experimenting with electrical resuscitation, finds himself possessed by a demon. Tallis does a great job of delivering a pervading sense of evil in THE FORBIDDEN and the reader is given lots of details that provide interesting glimpses into France and French society in the latter part of the nineteenth century. That ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Idiot!
  • Twilight Nightmares
  • Dust Devils
  • The Monster's Corner: Stories Through Inhuman Eyes
  • The Bell in the Fog & Other Stories
  • Always Read The Fine Print
  • Dark Discoveries - Issue #28
  • West of the Moon (Troll, #1-3)
  • At Any Cost
  • Coffin Hill Vol. 2: Dark Endeavors
  • The Pack (Serenity Falls, #2)
  • The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones
  • Rough Passage to London: A Sea Captain's Tale
  • The Anomaly
  • Refuge: Night of the Blood Sky
  • The True History of Paradise
  • The Watchers
  • India Dark
Aka F.R. Tallis.

Dr. Frank Tallis is a writer and clinical psychologist. He has held lecturing posts in clinical psychology and neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry and King's College, London. He has written self help manuals (How to Stop Worrying, Understanding Obsessions and Compulsions) non-fiction for the general reader (Changing Minds, Hidden Minds, Love Sick), academic text books and o
More about Frank Tallis...

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“She raised herself up on an elbow, stroked my forehead & said in a hushed half-whisper, 'You will be famous.' "The seed was planted. Ambition fed on the compost of my vanity.” 3 likes
More quotes…