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The Unblemished

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  207 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Enter the mind of a serial killer who believes he is the rightful son and heir to an ancient dynasty of flesh-eating monsters. Follow the frantic journey of a mother whose daughter is infected with the stuff of nightmare, and look through the eyes of Bo Mulvey, a man upon whom the fate and survival of the entire human race depends. This apocalyptic novel set in London is a ...more
Paperback, 347 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Virgin Books (first published August 30th 2006)
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3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  207 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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mark monday
Dec 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
an excellent novel regarding the fall of london and the ancient, maggot-ridden, yet strangely sexy beings coming back to roost and to slaughter. Dirty Sexy Evil? well there isn't actually much that is sexy, unless perfect complexions and secret groin spikes are something that rock your boat.

the above description does an incredible disservice to the novel itself. reading the excitable descriptions on the back cover and within are also misleading: the prose is described as "muscular" and the novel
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Enter the mind of a serial killer who believes he is the rightful son and heir to an ancient dynasty of flesh-eaters.

Follow the frantic journey of a mother whose daughter is infected with the stuff of nightmares.

Look through the eyes of Bo Mulvey, a man who possesses the ancient wisdom a blood thirsty evil needs to achieve its full and horrifying potential – the man whom the fate of the entire human race depends.

At the beginning of this year I read One by Conrad Williams and I really enjoyed th
Nov 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, purchased
I think Conrad Williams is a gifted writer. His characters are complex, his narrative drips with atmosphere. And some passages were unsettling, scary, and delightfully gross. But I found the first 1/3 of the book to be sluggish. The different story lines were disjointed. It wasn't until half-way through the book that the narrative threads finally connected and the pace of the story picked up.

I think if you like Ligotti's and Gifune's atmospheric writing style, then you will also enjoy this autho
Jun 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any one who truly wonders what the shadows are at the corner of their minds
Allow me to start off by saying that Conrad Williams is brilliantly sick. He is twisted and disturbed. His work is so haunting you'll actually believe you're in a Edvard Munch painting. He is able to create a mosaic tapestry of the insanty of beauty and vice versa. Basically, The Unblemished is a wonderfully crafted lyrical horror novel that is a fantastic mix of the old and the new.

This is Lovecraft's Rats in the Walls meets Barker's The Hellhound Heart meets Hunter S. Thompson.

This will
Bo Ahlgren
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Clever and horrendously creepy tale of a modern Londoner hipster who becomes a willing participant in the awakening of an ancient race of doppelgängers who take over the sleeping city. When he realizes the magnitude of the situation, he becomes obsessed with reversing his role. Other fascinating characters traipse through the novel and end up colliding in the gory climax. Vivid prose, good pacing and tension, and unique personalities combine to form a bloody and gritty horror novel that isn't ve ...more
Jul 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horror/Dark Fantasy Fans, Clive Barker Readers,
Recommended to Jerrod by: No one
Shelves: dark-fiction
Dark and visceral, the author doesn't allow you to imagine it yourself, he plunges you into his twisted vision and compelling story. I've not specifically read this release, which is supposed to be slightly different than the original release from Earthling Publications. But the meat and bones are the same [the author states that a few unnecessary characters and few 'edgy' scenes were removed]. From the beginning of the prologue readers will be riveted and intrigued at what is happening with a v ...more
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
An intriguing book, grim and suitably horrific, I found I couldn't quite figure out my reactions to this novel. And I mean that in a good way. There were aspects to it that felt familiar from previous works of horror I've read, and yet it seemed to twist them into an unfamiliar and disturbing shape. Quite enjoyable, in a gruesome kind of way.
Mika Lietzén
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Conrad Williams channels early Clive Barker in a nightmarish depiction of London's last days. It's not a sudden apocalypse, but a slow, barely perceptible corruption of the society, somewhat similar to the zombie invasion in Shaun of the Dead. One moment there are reports of graverobberies, then people get eaten on the street. The folks responsible for the calamity are the Unblemished of the title; an ancient race of humanoid creatures with perfect skin, perfect teeth and a somewhat ghoulish app ...more
Feb 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: droned-on
Fortunately the author can write a good book, a very very good but... and here's a big but... I feel 100 pages could of been cut back due to the excessive descriptions about EVERYTHING. There was so much in this book that really in my opinion didn't need to be there. I seriously would of given this book 5 stars if it wasn't for that fact. I struggled with the last hundred pages and wanted to quit. Even the last twenty pages I wanted to throw it against a wall and that is really not me at all :-S ...more
Joe Stamber
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: paper, read-2013
While I liked the premise for this novel, I found it too hit and miss to rate it anything other than "it was ok". There were too many occasions when I was getting into a story thread nicely only to find Williams wandering off into nonsense. It was quite annoying that Williams had the ability to make me bothered about his characters only to break the spell by going off down a trail that didn't need to be there. A fascinating storyline and strong characters but too sloppily executed.
Feb 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Full Review at my blog

If you think that sounds like a lot to be contained in the pages of one book then I absolutely agree. Weighing in at 367 pages Conrad Williams manages to craft a dense, taught narrative that reads like some kind of feverish nightmare. It is the type of book that renews my interest in the horror genre.

Nov 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Starts out as a creepy ( albeit a bit slow ) tale of possession ( storyline 1) and running from a very bad guy with some very fucked up friends ( storyline 2) , but later blows into ( after very good characterization of the main characters) 28 Days Later by the way of The Fly with lots of carnage and gore. Conrad Williams goes all out in creating a nostalgic horror hommage of the 80's. His lyrical writing is just another plus.
Dec 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: good-horror
Absolutely disturbing read, that takes a while to get going and will leave you scratching your head at times. The last third of the novel is amongst the best I've read in the horror genre. The prose is deeply unsettling at times, leaving certain scenes that will be etched in my brain for a long time
Jul 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of mega horror
Shelves: horror
A mix of science fiction and very graphic horror. An interesting premise but very very confusing, still don't really know what was happening in this book. But if you enjoy flesh eating zombie alien stories then you will probly like this!
Jim Lay
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read this one awhile back. Disorienting in the way that fever dreams can be, this one was disturbing and terrifying.
May 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Excellently creepy.
Michael Pryor
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Gruesome, meandering, gratuitous.
Rachel Lawrence
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just brilliant!!
Oct 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
I know…this review is about three months late. What can I say?? Much like Rob Thomas, I’ve been a little unwell. But thanks to the nice doctors with the pretty blue and pink pills, life is nothing but rainbows and fuzzy bunnies. Well, that is until Conrad Williams whipped the machete out and murdered my happy place. Thanks, Conrad. No, really, thanks A LOT!!!!

Now, to say I’m pissed is the understatement of year. I wanted this book. Begged and pleaded for this book. Hell, I even threw a tantrum
Mad Adam
rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jun 28, 2012
Reg Regiani
rated it it was ok
Nov 03, 2011
rated it liked it
Nov 14, 2016
احمد رفيق
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Jul 28, 2014
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Nov 21, 2014
Mike Duran
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Jan 31, 2011
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May 06, 2009
Grant Wamack
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Jul 05, 2008
rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2015
rated it it was amazing
May 14, 2009
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In 2007 Conrad Williams won the International Horror Guild Award for Best Novel for The Unblemished. In 2008 he won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, for The Scalding Rooms. In 2010 he won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel for One.