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The Bridge

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  604 ratings  ·  56 reviews

Paradise is a small industrial city in Pennsylvania that’s about to become Ground Zero for the end of the world.  For far too long, we’ve been poisoning the planet with toxic waste.  Not any more.  This morning something finally woke up in Paradise.  It’s intelligent, virulent and ambitious.  It’s everywhere, in the water we drink, the air we breathe.  And it won’t be sati

Mass Market Paperback, 401 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Spectra
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  604 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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M. Todd
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This book was so amusing, in the darkest, messiest, and most horrifying way. The writing was clever, the characters fun, the plot was preposterously over the top. I really enjoyed the author's descriptions with lines like - "He was overweight and underworked, the kind of guy who pissed off easily and held grudges with the half-life of plutonium." so much fun. I felt like I had been transported back to my teenage years and loving every word on the page. And the 'monsters' - so terrifying and uniq ...more
David Agranoff
This recently re-issued horror classic is a most easily described as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring if it was polluted by George Romero's the Crazies. Right up there with the eco-horror-science fiction classic the Sheep Look Up (John Brunner) or the more recent Demons by John Shirley for combining the reality of pollution and environmental destruction with a down right scary horror novel. If you don't know John Skipp and Craig Spector maybe I should back up. These two men were the ultimate splatt ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A stunning, visceral read by the duo Skipp and Spector that helped create splatterpunk. The Bridge is also a parable of humanity's disregard for nature and the environment in general. The story is set in Paradise, PA, a town of almost 200,000 people, and covers roughly a two day period. Paradise is home to several industries that create toxic waste, and one business stores and disposes of the waste, often illegally. We start off with two rednecks hired by the toxic waste company, hauling several ...more
S.P. Durnin
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most disturbing novels out there. It scared the living crap out of me. Being a fan (and now author) of zombie fiction, that's saying a lot. BRAVO!!! ...more
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Bridge might not be the best written of the Skipp and Spector collaborations, but it may well be the most important of their novels. It's a cautionary tale of ecological and environmental awareness, told with a splatterpunk viewpoint, with all of the visceral goriness they could muster (and anyone who's read them knows they could muster quite a lot!), rather than as the usual if-this-goes-on science-fiction cautionary tale. It starts with the dumping of toxic waste off of a bridge in a small ...more
Mar 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Take one part Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, stir in about 20 of those creepy "radioactive creatures take over the world" B-movies from the 50s, add a George Romeo Living Dead screenplay, then pour it over a typical American small town sprinkled with local cops, struggling TV news reporters, corrupt businessmen and a few mutant rednecks and you have Skipp and Spector's The Bridge. There have been environmental horror novels before this 1991 pot-boiler but I sure there were none more disgusting a ...more
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most disturbing -- and therefore horribly delightful (delightfully horrifying?) -- novels I've ever read. A novelized polemic on the perils of pollution, it's the story of a bridge next to a town with a less-than-honorable sanitation crew who routinely dump hazardous waste of all kinds below the bridge, where it is hidden from view by cliffs rising up from the water. In the grand old tradition of Them!, eventually all that poison begins transmuting the local wildlife and then ...more
11811 (Eleven)
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
I recognize the skill of these two writers and would like to read them again but this particular novel didn't do it for me. I hate agenda driven horror, especially when it's so ridiculously blatant as in "we're a bunch of litterbugs and we're gonna pay when our garbage fights back!!!

There was also an abuse of italics throughout the novel that was a little distracting. I've never seen italics used so much in one book.
This recently re-issued horror classic is most easily described as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring polluted by George Romero's The Crazies. The Bridge is right up there with the eco-horror-science fiction classic The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner and the more recent Demons by John Shirley in the manner in which it combines the reality of pollution and environmental destruction with downright scary horror. At the time The Bridge was written, John Skipp and Craig Spector were the ultimate splatterp ...more
Knowing nothing about the writing duo of Skipp and Spector before I went into this novel meant I wasn't at all ready for what I got. I had no idea they were considered the kings of splatterpunk in the '80s; I just thought I was reading an ahead-of-its-time novel about an environmental disaster. Sure, I envisioned it to be a horrific environmental disaster, but one involving a living, thinking entity that somehow came out of the illegal dumping of hazardous waste into a river? That threw me.

If yo
Nov 17, 2015 rated it liked it
This science fiction/horror tale is totally agenda driven. It’s about the day that toxic waste, thrown into the creeks, rivers, and earth, become sentient and rise up against humans. It’s about as subtle as a sledge hammer with its message that we are destroying the earth.

Written in 1991, the novel is sited in the town of Paradise, Pennsylvania, a small to medium sized city. It’s large enough to have some industry, and that industry creates waste. So there is a company that deals with relieving
Ms. Nikki
Wow. And not in a good way. I guess the authors want you to know what happens when you pollute. Reminiscent of Return of the Living Dead (with the sludge, but without the zombies...or not) and a couple of other titles (possible B titles), made this read a jumble of nothing-ness. There was no dread, no fear, and really not even a gross-out moment. I'm seriously disappointed~ ...more
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
John Skipp once signed this book to me. Between the printed text and his message, it said, "Barry-- The Bridge is by John Skipp & Craig Spector and I hope it F*CKS YOU UP!! Sincerely, Skipp."

He got his wish.

Absurd, nasty, silly, grisly, groan-worthy...and pretty damn well written, too. Now let's never speak of it again. *SHUDDER*
Wow. This book is a bullet to the face if there ever was one. I totally understand the waves this made when originally released as it has lost none of its visceral power. A bona fide genre classic, as relevant today as it was yesterday.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
More like three and a half

I read The Light at the End by Skipp and Spector back in October of 2016. I wrote of that novel, "The Light at the End is violent, nasty, and ultimately a meat grinder for its cast" and the same can be applied to The Bridge. Where the former novel fascinated me for its depiction of a dystopic New York City, the latter, with its didactic environmentalism and abundance of characters, frustrated me. When The Bridge is describing its horrors, its wonderfully over-the-top ab
Oct 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
These guys put the splatter in splatter-punk. It sounds like a cheap throwaway to write about the gross out, the guts, and the splatter. But to make the reader squirm, feel the gush, and swallow a dry lump is something of an artform.

The premise is simple really. Barrels and barrels of 'stuff' have been getting tossed off a bridge for some time now.
And things begin taking on a life of their own.
The sludge oozes like Frank Zappa warned us about.
The plant life becomes animated by the ooze.
Even the
Linda Kendall-thompson
Apocalyptic Horror of Man's Own Making

Didn't give you a character to fully connect, empathize so when The End was happening, it didn't emotionally affect me. All was descriptive horror, disjointed and hopeless.

Also bugged me that the authors,when writing about the Sunday morning religious rituals, included Seventh Day Adventists as a Sunday meeting congregation. My father was a Jaycee and active members are all under 40 yrs of age; whereas, the authors described 50+ year old good ole boys parti
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love this book! A dark cautionary tale about how we are treating the environment wrapped up in a deliciously thick layer of chaos and bats**t insanity. It makes you laugh and then punches you in the gut while you are caught off guard. I really wish I'd gotten the musical soundtrack for the book I'd ordered through mail. Unfortunately, it never arrived (likely due to my being in the military and having a change of bases before the soundtrack arrived in the mail. At least I have a flex ...more
Scott Waldie
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Visceral, disgusting, horrific, at times even poetic ecological disaster spurned on by the ignorance of mankind. From the splatterpunk masters, this novel does for the toxic avenger what The Light at the End did for the vampire, only with a far higher body count. Well recommended to body horror enthusiasts or even fans of hopeless Lovecraftian apocalypse fiction.
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The best of the best of the best. This was my third time reading Skipp & Spector's The Bridge and it remains one of the best horror novels of all time. This classic 80's splatterpunk novel belongs on the shelf of every true horror fan. ...more
Feb 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Probably the scariest book in existence, THE BRIDGE is not only a classic modern horror novel, but a clarion call to environmental action...steps we're only taking now, unfortunately, but at least we're taking them.
Jul 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Very good horror from this team of writers. I was sorry when they stopped writing together.
Doug Allison
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
for my money, the scariest thing that sirs Skipp and Spector collaborated on. absolutely terrifying at times, and there's no happy ending here folks. the best eco-horror novel ever, possibly? ...more
Mark Brown
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A deliriously savage and cautionary tale about the poisoning of the planet. It has taken me too long to discover this seminal "splatterpunk" novel. ...more
May 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
I love many different kinds of books. After I read some works that are dense non-fiction (lately “A Promised Land,” and “Dark Money”) I want something exciting, fast paced, and edgy. Whoa, did this fit the bill. I discovered John Skipp’s work because Sandy and he were roommates many years ago and remained friends. His tales are horrifying, super bloody (it’s called splatter punk for good reason) and very violent. He goes over the edge. . . and I find it refreshing, brave and blood curdling.
In t
Shannon Lawrence
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fantastic writing, and such a way with words. Their descriptions were delightfully gruesome, bringing me some great oog (pretend it's a real word) moments. I enjoy splatterpunk, but this is my first eco-horror, so the message felt blatant. There were a lot of characters involved, which made me lose track at some points (of the villains--the good guys felt clearer to me, so there was no confusion. Then again, there were far fewer good guys.) Good range of characters, most of whom stood apart from ...more
Christine Kayser
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
What if, after decades of dumping trash and chemicals in our water and the environment, the environment started fighting back? Part monster story, part character story, part environmental crusade. I enjoyed it a lot. The storytelling is really well executed. It was a great read. My only complaint is that it can get super gross at times.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the original splatterpunk novels, The Bridge contains a truly original premise, and is quite suspenseful. Unfortunately, the novel is marred by scenes of violence and mayhem so over the top, the action borders in the ridiculous.
Darren Douglas
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly enjoyable and unforgettable apocalyptic romp

Relentlessly paced, graphic as hell, and a wonderfully told story. Highly recommended....Would make a great film!!! Bravo to the writers!!!
Cassandra  Glissadevil
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
4.7 stars!
Splatterpunk maestros Skipp and Spector could do no wrong. Environmental horror masterpiece!
Scathing, scary, hilarious, terrifying, and poetic. Fun to read out loud.
Essential addition to any environmental horror and splatterpunk collection.
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“And, like the rest of America, Paradise slept: well past the wee hours, to the break of Sunday dawn. Across the city, across the county, one hundred and eighty-eight thousand lives lay down together in isolated slumber, unconsciously intertwined.
And not a one of them ever even saw it coming.”
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