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The Light at the End

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,743 ratings  ·  138 reviews
La vita finisce con la morte, ma la vita può anche continuare dopo la morte. O grazie alla morte... Questo numero di "Horror" vi presenta due nuovi astri dell'orrore puro americano, due autori di quella generazione nera che neanche i più hard fra gli autori del passato possono eguagliare. John Skipp e Craig Spector hanno inventato, in Maledizione fatale, un romanzo dell'or ...more
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published August 1st 2001 by Stealth Press (first published 1986)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,743 ratings  ·  138 reviews

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Deacon D.
Rereading this one after more than 30 years, I couldn't help but think to myself, "What the hell took you so long, man?"

Loved this book then, loved it even more now.

Highly recommended!
Oct 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Horror Fans
A long time ago a group of friends shared an apartment in NYC. This book was written in that apartment. I was there. at the time the book was LIVE and in color from the heart of the city and the fertile imaginations of John Skipp and Craig Spector. Now it is a great time capsule of what New York City was like in the early 80's. Yes kids, Punk Graffiti artists and vampires really were everywhere... and no one had a cell phone. There are a number of scenes in the book where the protagonists need t ...more
I listened to this one on audio and enjoyed it. Chet Williamson is a great narrator.

I can see where this would have been the start of something “splatterpunk” in 1986, but by today’s standards it read (listened) a bit elementary. The writing, at times, was very basic. There really wasn’t anything shocking or overly gratuitous going on either. I will say that it was a very quick and entertaining listen and it definitely kept my attention throughout.

I liked it, but was hoping for more “splatter”
May 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of vampires who DON'T sparkle
When I first read this 25 years ago I really enjoyed it. Rudy Pasko, the villain, is still a wonderfully developed and lasting character--equally an object of fear and contempt. The book remains a vanguard in (at that time) the burgeoning Splatterpunk literary movement and is worth a read for the pull-no-punches horror imagery and the very well-paced final third of the story. I found myself wishing that the subplot with the homeless in the tunnels was expanded and the character list was thinned ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-books
This was a really good book. I didn't realize it until I was into it for a bit that I had read this book years ago but I didn't remember alot of the storyline. The story is about people getting murdered on subway trains and in the subway tunnels by something other than a human. Not giving away spoilers here about what kind of creature it is as you will just have to read the book. Giving it 4 stars.
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most definitely one of the best, yet somewhat overlooked, vampire novels of the twentieth century. Also said to have started the Splatter-Punk movement in horror-fiction. Dark and gory, punk rock vampires terrorizing New York City during the early nineteen-eighties. Joss Whedon has actually said that this book served as the partial inspiration for the character, Spike. ...more
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2012-reads
Plot-wise--great book, clever story arc and a fantastic ending. As a vampire story (ie was the vampire sufficiently evil, nasty, unromantic and fear inducing?) excellent. Characterization--so so. My main complaint was that the writing style was quite juvenile at times. Overall I gave it 4 stars but would have trimmed it a bit and liked a more polished writing style.
Ms. Nikki
comes quickly
in the night.
Sinister intent.

in the end,
inevitably accepts.

by Nikki

Free on Amazon 4-11-13

I get it; The Original Splatterpunk-ers. I don't get the mediocre writing or over-easy characters. They're practically running all over the pages. There were times when I wanted the story to move on and end. Joseph was hulking it up constantly and really needed to be medicated. Stephen, was an annoying snot. None of the cast were likeable. The story was not as tight as it should have be
Alondra Miller
4 Stars (Review to Follow)
Dez Nemec
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2019
I found this book on some best horror list and added it to my to buy pile as it sounded interesting. After having a bad day, I splurged on a Thriftbooks buy and it moved to the TBR pile. Looking at the length, I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get through it. Turns out it only took a little over 24 hours.

The story opens up with 10 people being slaughtered in a subway car. What follows is an excellent vampire story that envelopes the reader and drags them in. I saw that some people thoug
Apr 16, 2013 rated it liked it
As a voracious reader, I always try to explore fringe genres, but my heart is forever with the well-written books with believable and fleshed-out characters, human drama and serious choices both characters and readers have to make.
Horror is one of those borderline cases when an exceptionally well-written novel with flawed but interesting characters and an insight into the psyche of a human mind cam enthrall me. Unfortunately, I believe this is not a case. I gave this novel three stars, but th
Sep 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Light at the End is an excellent, rip-roaring novel that serves up a classic horror novel creature the way it should be portrayed: as insidiously, viciously evil.

I only docked the book one star because of the ridiculously clichéd 1980s homophobia underlying the story.
Johnny Virgil
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read this book back in the early 80's when I idolized Skipp and Spector -- they were in all the small horror mags I read, and desperately wanted to appear in. They wrote horror flash fiction, and basically created the genre called "splatter-punk."

I recently stumbled across the audio version so I picked it up for my commute and to see how well it held up. I guess sometimes wine turns to vinegar if you leave it sitting for too long. Unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy it all that much. There's
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was Skipp and Spector's first original collaborative novel. It was a story of extreme horror and violence and gore, and was splatterpunk before there was a word for such a thing. It's a vampire novel that had a lot to do with spawning (siring?) the proliferation of vampires who came to dominate the shelves in the following decade or three. I remember reading somewhere that Joss Whedon credited it with inspiring the character of William the Bloody, Spike himself, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes I'm in the mood for an 80's style vampire schlock-fest. This fit the bill. Yes it's dated, corny, politically incorrect by today's "standards", and a bit amateurish, but it doesn't pretend to be anything "loftier" than that. Although this didn't come close to the pinnacle of this genre, ("Live Girls" by Ray Garton), it was still enjoyable and catapulted me back to the bygone days of beepers, bike/skate messengers, and pay phones.
Mar 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
This novel, the first by the groundbreaking 'splatterpunk' pioneers John Skipp and Craig Spector, was written in New York City, 1986. It really is a New York novel, the city's grim 80s atmosphere is brilliantly used as an urban Gothic backdrop for the horrifying events that take place herein. The story concerns a vampire. A vampire in the subway system of New York. In these days of vampire-everything, and especially vampire as heartthrob, or even good guy , this book might not attract fans of t ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
The Light at the End haiku

Rudy, punk vampire,
chased by a band of dorks to
poetic justice.

After hearing about The Light at the End's claim to be the first 'Splatterpunk' novel, I was definitely excited to give it a try. The book had some interesting scenarios and plot twists, but overall there were some pacing issues, and the characters ranged from unlikeable to indifferent. There were also a handful of descriptions and pop-cultural references that confused me. I wish I had written them down.

Sam McCanna
A total blast of the 80's, and the best vampire novel I've yet to read.
I should say that I was not previously very interested in vampire stories, nor did I know what this book was about when I started reading it.

John Skipp just showed me, with no time to argue, that vampire stories can be really really good.

A good run through a great horror story, told from the viewpoints of several different characters, including the vampire himself... A vampire just recently turned, unaware of how to best util
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book in all it's horror and ugliness. Though the book was written in 1986, it still seems very current with the exception of the dependence on pay phones. The book had a number of characters but the authors meshed them together very well. The vampire Rudy was not a nice human and in no way is he a nice vampire. The rag tag bunch of people who are thrown together by circumstances beyond their control are also not exactly what you would call likable. They come together to ...more
Nov 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Terrible - I cannot believe the reviews this novel receives. Perhaps it's simply how dated the novel is by this time, but the characters are unbelievably flat, boring, and derivative. It's cookie cutter genre fiction written by a pair of guys who don't seem to actually love words very much at all - the writing is stiff and makes action and characterization all the more awkward. I can't even finish reading this - it's awful.
Scott Brook
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Took me a while to get through this book but not for lack of interest. Mainly work obligations. It was a fun, entertaining read. Have never been into much of the Splatterpunk genre but this one is worth searching out.
William Oarlock
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampirism
The introductory subway slaughter is perhaps the most powerful vampire opening attack since Varney the Vampyre.

Would also have been a far better ending if the obnoxious bully-boozer-momma's boy human protagonist had died 'heroically'.
Rebecca McNutt
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was overly gory but not bad, and the author really has a talent for descriptive language and creating characters.
Joe Piccoli
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excuse my language, but what a cool fucking story! So badass and impressive, an electrically charged pulse pounding, fast-paced, cool fucking story! Enjoy.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Not too bad compared to my memory of the book from when I was 14 and first read it.
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, autographed
This is often regarded as one of the first splatterpunk novels. Sounds right to me. Nice mixture of grungy city life, punks, junkies, and...what else?...vampires.
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great vampire book...would make a great film.
Jaime F.
3.5 stars in my opinion. Macabre? Not so much. Intense? A little. Splatterpunk Novel? For sure. Fast-read book? Absolutely. Gripping drama and harrowing tale? Not really.
In other words, it felt like reading 'The Goonies' in their grown up years.
If you grew up in the 80's you will get the meaning behind certain folklore and technology expressions used back then. If not, you still will enjoy the plot.
Richard Schaefer
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book’s first half didn’t engage me as much as I hoped, but the second half makes up for it with a fast pace and high stakes. Skipp & Spector paint NYC as vividly as everyone says. For a book in the “splatterpunk” genre, it was less gory than I expected, but was a pretty solid vampire novel overall. ...more
KV Taylor
So when I started reading this I was really, really in love with it. The beginning is sick, sick magic, and at first, the characters feel both real and like you'll want them to win... and be sad when they die, as about half of them must, considering. I tore through the first half.

I slowed down by the time I got to 2/3 in, though. A lot of things nagged at me that I couldn't really get past, and ruined my enjoyment of what should've been a perfect vampire story. The last 1/3 was the most intense,
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Crossroad Press: The Light at the End by John Skipp & Craig Spector FREE 4 20 Apr 11, 2013 04:36AM  

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