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Dark Hollow (The Levi Stoltzfus Series #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,759 Ratings  ·  187 Reviews
From Publishers Weekly

After two miscarriages, writer Adam Senft's marriage is on the rocks, and his only satisfaction comes from his bond with his dog, Big Steve. One day, on a walk through local woods rumored to be haunted, man and dog come across a strange sight: a woman performing fellatio on a statue of a satyr—which comes to life and sees them. Soon, all the women in
Mass Market Paperback, 305 pages
Published February 2008 by Leisure Books (Dorchester Publishing Co.) (first published January 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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mark monday
Dec 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horrortime
three comments in regards to this fitfully enjoyable and thoroughly dippy horror novel:

1) the horror begins when our hero and his dog Big Steve take a stroll in the woods. and there he sees a local woman, a jogger, on her knees fellating a statue of Pan. the statue slowly turns from stone to warm-blooded life. ha! i totally get where you're coming from Pan, sometimes it's those little gestures of appreciation that make me feel alive again too. anyway, after Pan enjoys lady jogger's ministrations
This hardcover is numbered 334 of 400 printed and is signed by Brian Keene.
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had it all! It had the supernatural evil, characters that were REAL, and an emotional riveting storyline full of action. I found it hard to pause at parts in this book because the scenes and chapters went together so fluently. Even the "backstory" was done in such a way that it didn't take away from the NOW of the book, it merely became a part of it.

This reminded me of some of the best works of of the "old masters" of supernatural fiction, combined with Keene's modern touch. An astound
Jonathan Janz
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Brian Keene’s Dark Hollow (originally published on my blog, (

I read for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is to learn how other writers work their magic. But if I were to divorce the writer part of me from the reader part of me—something I could never completely do in a non-hypothetical world—I’d say that there are three things I want from a story:

It should make me think.

It should make me feel.

It should entertain me.

The above deman
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was pretty great! Not what i was expecting after reading Urban Gothic. The characters were very likeable, even Hylinus (I wouldn't mind reading about him) even though he was pretty evil. I learned about pow wows which i had no previous knowledge of before and even checked out Long Lost Friend. The ending was super clever and made for an awesome ending. I can't wait to start the next in the series!
Apr 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Keene is quickly working his way into my heart as a favorite author, and “Dark Hollow” may have clinched it. If you had told me two days ago that I would read a horror story about satyrs or fauns and actually like it I probably would have cocked an eyebrow at you and asked if you were feeling okay. But I more than “Liked it,” this book was an absolute blast!

Short Summary: Adam Senft is a mystery writer who lives with his wife Tara and their dog “Big Steve” in a nice house in a quaint town, borde
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
As I was approaching the 2/3 mark of this novel, I was ready for it to wrap up. This is the third novel I've read by Keene, having read The Rising and Ghoul.
Of the three, I was liking this one the least. I found the dialogue to be very weak, and a little too much Goat-Man dick for my tastes.
And, hate me if you will, I was getting rather tired of the cutesy dog.


This novel had one thing in common with the previous two that I had read: He hit a major home run with the ending.

For that, he gets
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great introduction to Brian Keene! I especially loved the folklore and mythology aspect of the story. Fun read!
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ridiculous premise - check.
Real and believable characters - check.
A big Satyr erection - check.
Fun, addictive, well written - check.

What more could you want, a great read.
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Overall - 4.5 stars
Story - 4.5 stars
Narration - 4.5 stars

Dark Hollow was an excellent read! It grabbed me right away and held on throughout the entire story. This book went fast: it seemed like a novella, even though it's 305 pages long!
Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews
There is nothing quite like mixing a little bit of mythical creature to up the ante on a horror story. Brian Keene has done a fantastic job of mixing old with new: satyrs frolicking with young ladies in the woods (alright, there was a lot more than just frolicking going on), a novelist in Pennsylvania starting his new story.

Dark Hollow certainly started off with a bang. It has one of those what? what? what? moments that makes me read on in a frenzy. It is a fast-paced story that is constantly in
Jonathan Echevarria
This is the first book in what will be a six part horror series known as "The Levi Stoltzfus" saga. While our champion Levi Stolzfus does not appear in this first installment, he is briefly mentioned and the stage is definitely set by his predecessor Nelson LeHorn. For the most part however this is a self contained tale, that tells the heart breaking story of Adam Senft. Adam goes through a gut wrenching journey to protect his wife and friends, from a ancient evil who lurks deep within the dange ...more
Ken McKinley
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The recipe for an effective horror story is to tell a tale whose subject matter truly frightens it's readers. Mix in likable characters who you can relate with, add a dash of suspension of disbelief, and you've got yourself the makings of a good horror yarn. Keene whipped up a batch of terror for us that I was skeptical upon first tasting it. But, after a few bites more, I couldn't put the spoon down until the bowl was licked clean. I loved Dark Hollow and I really didn't know if I was going to. ...more
Aug 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
If you like horror and suspense and reading how books are written then this will be a double treat. The main hero, Adam Senft is a decently successful writer who decided to give up his other job to write that great story that would be his ticked to solidified fame. With his wife Tara he settles into a quiet lifestyle in a home in Pennsylvania. His wife carrying the burden of commuting to work gave him time to sit back, enjoy the quiet, walk the dog and write those hot selling books. Little does ...more
Damn! That was good. Fast, furious pace. I couldn't stop reading. Forgot about family and friends, tasks and weekend chores. Tossed them all aside. I love the feeling of being so caught up, enraptured that the world around me just vanishes!
Great Keene book!!
Adam Light
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent story about horny Satyr running amok in a small Pennsylvania town, and the people who must band together to put an end to his reign of terror.

This was well-written, like most Keene I've read, and kept me glued to it until I finished.
This book made me remember a statute I saw in a booklet when I visited Pompeii in Italy in late 90s. There was a particular section in the Naples museum which had a over 18 only sign. All the naughty side of the Romans was on show, one in particular was of the God Pan in a rather crude position with a goat. Now the character an evil satyr by the name of Hylinus was one evil character, using a little Greek mythology and mixing in local American folklore, thrown in with Brian Keene labyrinth Mytho ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Adam is a mystery writer. He lives with his wife Tara and dog Big Steve in a small, quiet town in Pennsylvania. He makes enough from writing that he was able to quit his day job.

During the day he writes, takes care of things around the house and takes Big Steve for a walk every day. One day while on one of their walks, Adam and Big Steve hear strange pipe music, which takes them deep into the wood. Both see something they can't believe and shortly afterward, women begin vanishing. Adam doesn't k
Иван Величков
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: Ужаст
Брайън Кийн е написал книга за 13-те, която не приключва със свършека на света?

И му се е получила разкошна, смея да твърдя. Това е първата книга от поредицата за Леви Штолцфус – най-симпатичният и един от малкото оцеляващи герои на автора – и макар да се споменава само бегло, изгражда основата за следващата му книга “Ghost Walk”, където бившият амиш и настоящ магьосник се развихря с пълна сила.

Адам Сенфт е слабоизвестен писател на мистерии, който живее в работническо градче, забутано в горите на
R. Saint Claire
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I found this book by accident (a happy one because I enjoyed it). It's a challenge to find a unique premise for a horror story (vampires, demons, serial killers), but Keene taps into the ancient theme of the Satyr or the cult of Dionysus and his feral female followers, sexually rapacious maenads. Psychologically, it could be said to be a story of male's anxiety about female sexuality—and protagonist Adam and his band of average guys are certainly dealing with that. Or it could just be a good mon ...more
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read three of Keene's books, and in each he does a good job establishing the personalities and inner lives of a handful of men, young and old (and, predominantly, white), who find themselves dealing with violent supernatural phenomena. Again, some of the more enjoyable scenes involved people sitting at table, nursing a drink, kicking their troubles back and forth. Keene has a good ear for the rhythms of real palaver between people who have recently realized how mortal they are.

I dig that
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Not since the prime of Stephen King's horror writing have I read a story that defined the genre so completely. This is the first title by Keene I have read and I am sure to read many more. Keene's writing style is seamless and down to earth. Though I have not read other offerings from the author, this would be a great place to start.

The plot is solid. A demonic satyr hiding out in a local Pennsylvania town's woods gets reanimated and terrorizes the locals. Where Keene's writing shines is the cr
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book! Very fast paced and not overly creepy, but it kept my attention. I became so engrossed with the book that everything around me faded into the background. There is a sequel called "Ghost Walk" and I am looking forward to reading it. If you l0ve horror, then you will love this book!
Bob Fingerman
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
I never thought the involuntary boner-inducing pipes of Pan played by a rapacious satyr would be the root of a horror novel set in contemporary suburban Pennsylvania, but that's what Brian Keene's Dark Hollow presents and does so in a page-turning fashion. In an interview in a recent issue of Cemetery Dance magazine, Keene said he has no aspirations toward high (or even low) art; he just wants to entertain. In that capacity, he doesn't disappoint.

Dark Hollow's protagonist, Adam Senft, a writer
T.L. Barrett
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
is the second novel of Mr. Keene's that I've read, and I surely wasn't disappointed. Dark Hollow is about a Pennsylvanian Mystery Writer, his wife, his dog, and his drinking buddies who have to deal with a haunted woods near their home where strange piping music has been heard and into which women have been disappearing. This horror novel deals with the sylvanian horror of malevolent trees and the always creepy Great God Pan with punch and gusto. Although the novel comes into the danger zone of ...more
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
This was my first Brian Keene book, and I'm afraid I was a bit disappointed. However, I will try another of his books because I've heard he writes great horror fiction and figure he must have more going for him than I saw here. As other reviewers have noted the characters seemed a bit stereotypical and one-dimenstional. The best character was the dog and the creepiest moments were when the lead character and his dog were in the woods. The plot idea was unique, but it just didn't entrall me. I go ...more
Jul 16, 2011 rated it liked it
I'd give this 3 1/2 stars if I could.

It was an excellent horror novel. The main character and how he interacted with his group of friends reminded me a lot of how Stephen King usually writes.

Throughout the book I was excited about what was going to happen next but the best part was the ending. If you want to read this but don't like how it starts, for instance if you get put off by the gross sex scene/s, just keep reading.

Dark Hollow would be getting a higher rating from me if it didn't have e
Mar 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This starts strongly - and promisingly - and never really flags, pulling the reader and characters into a bizarre plot that should be silly but never descends to that; the sureness of the writer doesn’t allow it. The characters are well painted and interact brilliantly with one another, the plot logic never falters and the set pieces (especially the assault at the farm) are very well handled. I particularly liked the friendly neighbourhood atmosphere that was developed very early on and maintain ...more
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
I feel sad. I read the first chapter as a sample given to me through amazon and I was hooked. I instantly bought the book online and eagerly awaited its arrival.
The story is basically about satyr that is summoned and with his magic flute, tries to steal all the town's women. The story was laughable. Nothing within this book was worth calling it a horror. I'm sad because I am a Brian Keene fan but this was something he pumped out over a weekend because he was pressured to produce or something. T
Cait S
Oct 02, 2016 added it
Shelves: dnf
So I DNF this book at about 25% but it's not because it's bad. The opposite, the writing is great, it's atmospheric, descriptions are vivid and jump off the page. I immediately connected to the characters. All good things.

Unfortunately just...the mentions of miscarriage and the descriptions of it are coming at a really bad time for me. I'd like to finish the book, and maybe some day I will, but right now those (incredibly realistic and horrific) descriptions are too much for me.

But I'm glad to
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BRIAN KEENE writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies. Keene’s novels have be ...more
More about Brian Keene...

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The Levi Stoltzfus Series (4 books)
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“We're not going to make it," I said.
The words caught in my throat, choking me. What was it Leslie had said to me when we were discussing Shannon's and Antoinetta's disappearance? 'You're beginning to sound like one of the characters in your books, Adam.' She'd been right. If this were a novel my heroes would have arrived just in the nick of time and saved the day. But real life didn't work like that. Real life had no happy endings. Despite our best efforts, despite my love for Tara [his wife] and my determination to protect her, and after everything we'd been through at the LeHorn house, fate conspired against us. We were still nine or ten miles from home, and night was almost upon us. By the time we got there it would already be too late. I fought back tears. I had the urge just to lie down in the middle of the road and let the next car run over me.”
“When you’re writing fulltime like I am, writing to pay the bills and keep a roof over your head and food on the table, you can’t afford to have writer’s block.” 2 likes
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