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The Disembodied

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Thirteen-year-old Griffin Rinaldi seems like a normal kid. He plays basketball at the Y and he’s just learning to talk to girls. But Griffin doesn’t feel normal. He’s been diagnosed with Depersonalization Disorder—he feels disconnected from his body, and at times, he doesn’t know if he’s dead or alive. And it seems to be getting worse.

Following the brutal death of his abusive father, Griffin is haunted by a red-haired kid only he can see and who wants him to do things he doesn’t understand. Griffin's only sources of support are his grandfather, Soren - a regional author of Outer Banks ghost stories - and his same-aged cousin, Tanner, a boy coping with his own troubled life.

When a rare blizzard strikes the Outer Banks, Griffin recognizes the red-haired boy as a vengeful specter from Soren's tales. To make matters worse, his well-meaning aunt has convinced his mother he’s under some sort of spiritual attack. Unsure if the mysterious boy is a symptom of his disorder or an entity with evil intent, Griffin finds himself in a struggle to save his life, his sanity and maybe his very soul.

317 pages, Kindle Edition

Published August 16, 2016

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About the author

Anthony Hains

12 books70 followers
Anthony Hains is a professor emeritus of counseling psychology with a specialization in pediatric psychology. He retired in May 2018 after thirty-one years at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He is the author of a number of horror novels including Nightshade’s Requiem, Sleep in the Dust of the Earth, and The Disembodied. Anthony lives with his wife in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. They have one daughter.

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Displaying 1 - 26 of 26 reviews
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,559 reviews2,312 followers
October 5, 2017
The Disembodied by Anthony Hains is a strange and unsettling story about mental illness, love, hate, life, death, coming of age, and so much more. The book started slow, then got better. I was so confused about what the poor kid was seeing. Was it a real kid? A ghost, grief, med induced? So much was going on in the story also. The author took on many challenges and did it well.
Profile Image for Char.
1,635 reviews1,487 followers
January 12, 2022
There's currently a giveaway at Horror After Dark for a signed copy! (Open to those in the U.S. only): http://www.horrorafterdark.com/2017/0...

The Disembodied starts out like a coming-of-age story and then it turns into a psychological horror story of familial love and abuse that will keep you guessing to the very end!

Griffin is a boy on the verge of becoming a man, when he loses his father to a somewhat violent death. Luckily he has a sweet and caring grandfather that loves to spend time with him, and a close cousin to hang out with. Unfortunately, he is experiencing feelings of what his psychologist calls depersonalization disorder, but Griffin describes it as feeling like he isn't attached to his own body. His mom is worried, and his aunt is convinced he's possessed. So which is it? You'll have to read this book to find out!

The characters here were well developed. I really got to caring for Griffin and Tanner and I quickly got to the point where I couldn't care less what happened to either of their fathers. I think the best part of this story was its telling. The author did a great job of releasing bits of information steadily along the way which kept me interested and looking forward to whatever was going to happen next. A few of the twists I did guess, but I did not accurately predict where this tale was going to go, and I always love when that happens.

Even as a seasoned fan of horror, there were parts of this book that seriously disturbed me. Mr. Hains is a psychologist himself, which is probably why the bits about depersonalization disorder rang so true. However, there were certain characters that behaved very differently from what I would expect, (like Griffin's mom, for instance), and thinking about why she did what she did added a layer of sadness to this tale. I guess it's a sad truth that sometimes we like to bury our heads in the sand rather than face what's happening right in front of us.

Overall, The Disembodied was an excellent psychological horror tale, and even though it involved tweens, this is not a YA story, in my opinion. There are some ugly, ugly truths here and incidents of abuse that made even this horror fan cringe. That said, this book was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the mysteries as they unraveled. I think you would too! Highly recommended!

You can get your copy here: The Disembodied

Find this reviews and others like it at: http://www.horrorafterdark.com/

*I nominated this book for the Kindle Scout program back in the day, and when it was accepted and the book published, I was given a free copy with no strings attached. All of the opinions expressed in this review are my own.*
Profile Image for Bill.
1,548 reviews108 followers
June 5, 2018
I’ve been meaning to get to some Hains for a while and when an opportunity arose to snag an audio copy of this one I jumped on it. Therefore, my disclaimer: "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review." Thank you, Mr. Hains.

Griffin is having a rough go of it. His dad is an abusive dick, he's seeing ghosts, he has bouts of a weird personality disorder and his Aunt is convinced he is suffering some kind of demon possession. No worries. His grandfather will guide him through it all.

The narration for this one was very good. Timing and tone were spot on and the narrator kept the pace of the story moving along. The story itself was good and written well, but a little disjointed at times and other times felt like it was trying to hard to do too much. Still an overall nice work from Mr. Hains and I am interested to see what else this author can do.
Profile Image for Julie Powell.
Author 68 books311 followers
October 15, 2016
I have no idea if this review will be seen due to the changes in Amazon review policies. I am a reviewer as well as an author and I know how important reviews are to independent authors who have no access to the hype machine.

So - I was sent this book for an honest review; I have not been paid for this review!


I loved this book! The story is extremely well written and is original and powerful.

The style of writing pulls you in at once and the subject matter is intriguing, mystifying and compelling - of course, it all makes sense in the end and what an ending!

The originality stems from how the subject is tackled, and it's powerful because of issues such as abuse, mental illness, loss, coping with death, friendships, guilt and much more.

Brilliant characters - Soren, Griffin and Tanner are superb and make this story believable, realistic and heartfelt.

The author understands a great deal about mental illness and it is portrayed in a haunting and somewhat paranormal way.

This is an amazing, if disturbing tale, and I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Wesley Thomas.
Author 22 books41 followers
August 3, 2016
Once again, Mr Hains serves us with a sinfully delicious read.

We have a young boy (Griffin) with a disorder known as the depersonalisation disorder. An unusual quirk to the character that makes us feel sympathy towards the young guy. Especially when we hear this disorder is not his only issue. He has a strained relationship with his father. And that is an understatement. Oh, and he keeps seeing a strange red-headed boy that usually makes an appearance around the time that trouble happens. Thus begins our story.

This is a well-paced, addictive, and thrilling book. There are so many elements to this novel that make it an insatiable read. We have the supernatural, the natural, and a mixture of adorable and hateful characters that really make the book!

Personally, I adored the relationship between the young boy Griffin and his grandfather Soren. It was a realistic bond that I feel most will relate too. I have a great relationship with my own grandfather, and the love and affection Soren shows for his grandson is alarmingly accurate. We sense they care for each other a great deal, and need each other as the mystery unfolds.

Drama, mystery, suspense, and horror! ‘The Disembodied’ is a remarkable read that will keep you on your toes.

Not only has the author crafted a genuine relationship between grandfather and grandson, but all the relationships are genuine. Even the strained ones. As we all know, no family is perfect. There is always someone causing trouble or ruining the otherwise happy family moments. We feel hate for a collection of characters and pray that they receive their karmic punishment.

The scenic descriptions in this novel are uncanny. The author manages to make us feeling balmy and hot, then shivering with goosebumps. Sensory depictions at their best! All of which helps bring us into this magnificent story and not just be a reader, but feel like an active participant.

Then there is the child that Griffin can see. Is he real? Is it a hallucination? Is it a side-effect of his medication? Either way, some scenes where this red-headed child is present are eerie and unsettling. Not to mention confusing. Until Mr Hains explains all with a powerful climax that perfectly ends the story.

Recently accepted by Amazon’s very own publisher Kindle Scout!
All-in-all a terrific read. A strange red-headed boy. An unsettling mystery. An excellent twist. And an explosive climax. A highly recommended read!
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,303 reviews27 followers
October 29, 2018
Griffin Rinaldin is a thirteen year old boy that is dealing with a lot of crap. His abusive father recently died and now Griffin has been diagnosed with Depersonalization disorder, where Griffin feels like he is outside of his body and looking at himself from someone else's point of view. Griffin's sources of comfort in his life are his cousin Tanner, whose father is also abusive as well as his Grandfather Soren. Soren tells Griffin stories of a mysterious young man with red hair taking revenge on abusers. The stories are meant to help Griffin with coping strategies, but the red haired boy begins to take form in Griffin's life and Griffin is seeing him more and more often along with his out of body experiences.

The Disembodied is a gripping psychological horror story that slowly pulls you in by weaving together different elements from both the natural and supernatural world. A unique narrator and well developed characters fascinated me and made the book difficult to put down. All of the characters felt very real; they made mistakes, they felt real emotions and tried their best to get through everything. Perhaps the most terrifying thing about the book is that most of the horror elements are firmly rooted in the natural world: abuse, mental illness, and addiction are all prevalent throughout the story. My favorite parts however are the stories that Soren tells of the red-haired boy throughout history; these are great ghost stories that would stand on their own. Overall, a thrilling and powerful story of love that masterfully combines elements from the horror world.
Profile Image for David Watson.
434 reviews20 followers
October 31, 2016
Griffin Rinaldi is not your average teenage kid but he tries to be. He plays basketball, is starting to date and loves hanging out with his cousin Tanner. He also has depersonalization disorder, sometimes he feels disconnected from his body, and at times he doesn’t know if he’s dead or alive. Griffin has had a rough childhood, his abusive father has recently died and he keeps seeing a red-haired kid who no one else can see. Griffin is struggling to keep his sanity and his soul.

Whether you like The Disembodied by Anthony Hains or not will come down to how much you like to think. This book may be light on action but the characters are complex and interesting and there is a good mystery as to what is really going on here. Also to me it seemed like the setting itself was a character in the story. Most of it takes place during a rare blizzard in North Carolina's Outer Banks. Some of the themes that are present in this book are: dealing with abuse, mental illness, dealing with loss, death and there is a coming of age story also.

This book would be classified as horror and makes it an original horror novel is that it looks at real life horror while it also looks at the supernatural. Part of the mystery here is to see how the real life horror is causing the supernatural to happen. This book is filled with deeper meanings if you look for them. One of my favorite scenes was when Griffin was out on a date and saw his girlfriend's dad and wondered what it was like to have a normal father. This was such a simple scene but heartbreaking.

The best part of this book is the characters. I liked how the point of view in the story changed back and forth from Griffin to his Grandfather Soren. I was sold on this book from the beginning as Soren recounts how he went from an awkward kid to a witty adult who was great at telling ghost stories and writing novels. We then see that Griffin is like him in several ways and Soren seems like the only one that can help him and relate to him the most. Later in the story there is a major twist and we see that their relationship isn't what we thought, making the story that much more interesting. At the center of this story is a kid who is just trying to be normal but there is nothing normal about his situation and he has to work at making the best life he can have. Throughout the book I found myself rooting for Tanner and Griffin to defeat their demons and find happiness.

Personally I think The Disembodied is a great horror novel, I could relate to the characters in it. Even the ones that come across as evil (like Griffin's father) or overbearing and paranoid (like Veronica) came across as realistic and someone you might meet in your everyday life. This is the kind of book that you should read if you like to analyze people and try to figure out what makes them tick. Anthony Hanis is a professor of counseling psychology and it shows in this book. You can teach a class on why every character is the way they are in this book. The Disembodied is a deep and complex horror novel that fans of psychological horror will love.
Profile Image for Angela Kalnins.
Author 1 book53 followers
December 15, 2016
The Disembodied
By: Anthony Hains

I was just recently contacted by Goodreads. They congratulated me for reading 50 books in 2016. To be honest, I was kind of disappointed in myself since I read sixty-two in 2015. But, I digress... The truth is, of those 50 books only a few could be called true five-star reads. This book, The Disembodied, by Anthony Haines…is a five-star read.

Griffin Rinaldi is a typical thirteen-year-old kid. He’s into sports, girls, music and technology. Yet, Griffin’s life is anything but typical. His father is an abusive, alcoholic who takes joy in physically and emotionally torturing his son. Moreover, Griffin’s been diagnosed with Depersonalization Disorder—he often disconnects from his own body, floating above and watching as it moves around and goes on living without him. And…he’s being haunted (as in ghost) by a red-haired boy his age, Simon, who might be his friend…or his worst enemy.

I was excited to read this story and it did not disappoint. Mr. Hains’ characters are fully developed and completely genuine. Take main character Griffin, for example, his teenaged angst is just as compelling and dexterously drawn, true to life (e.g.: his first kiss) as the torture and abuse he undergoes at the hands of his own father. His mental instability (the Depersonalization Disorder) is terrifying. Yet, both Griffin and his maker (author Hains) handle it with aplomb. The appearance of Simon in Griffin’s life becomes just another facet of this poor boy’s existence. It SOUNDS like a lot…and of course, it is. Yet, Mr. Hains skillfully integrates it all seamlessly into one incredibly interesting, fully realized character.

The good news is, each of the major personalities within this book is drawn just as completely and with just as much skill.

Of course, the great characters are only as interesting as the situations they find themselves in; the story is what it’s all about. Right? Right! This was a quick read for me because I was in a constant state of “what happens next”. Mr. Hains expertly weaves a tale that is both tension-filled and fast-paced.

There is an element of violence, some not-so-nice language and some situational episodes that may be uncomfortable for the faint of heart. However, none of it—in my humble opinion—is gratuitous or unnecessary. To fully understand Griffin, you must see where he’s coming from and what he’s been through.

I will say that my only…critique…is that the penultimate moment—when everything explodes and then comes back together—seemed a little forced to me. Just a smidge. However, this did not distract (much) from my enjoyment of this story. It’s really a fun read.
I would recommend this to just about anyone.
Profile Image for Angela Dossett.
145 reviews25 followers
February 12, 2017
Suspenseful and Spookiness at it's best..

This review is from: The Disembodied (Kindle Edition)

If you're one of those readers who are looking for a new read, look no further. This story will boggle your mind and capture the senses.

Mr. Hains has a writing ability that draws the reader into his surreal world that is impossible to put down. Facets of mental illness is introduced that inspires the reader to dwell deep into the characters psyche...and to learn of Mr. Hains background, made this story even better. This is the first book for me to read by Mr. Hains, but it want be the last. I've already put a few on my wishlist.

Griffin has a mental disorder, along with abuse caused by family, tries to be an ordinary teenager to no avail. Through alternating POV's the reader will discover much heart gripping traumas, surreal feelings in which the characters evolve or not. What happens next? Get the book, read it, and you'll know.

The story itself is mind boggling. Several instances, I thought I knew the outcome, I was floored. The ending was superbly done. I have to admit that I felt like someone was watching me, or felt something that raised my skin into goosebumps.

I recommend this story to readers looking for a new read that will keep you guessing until the last page.

It contains horror, drama, suspense and loads of twists and turns.

I voluntarily chose to review this story on my own.

Happy Reading!!
20 reviews
February 21, 2017
I'm not sure what I expected from this book but it was not really my type of book. There were moments when I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next but this did not happen throughout the book.
162 reviews2 followers
February 15, 2017

I really enjoyed this book! The author did an amazing job with a very complex, difficult subject. This was confusing at times. Some of the subject matter was difficult to read. I am talking about the horrible abuse both boys endured. I could not put this book down! Frightening for reasons you won't understand until you come to the end. Mr Hains ties everything together at the end. My only complaint was with poor editing at times. Typos, wrong names etc. With better editing I would have given 5 stars. I actually give 4 1/2. I will be looking for more from this author. Give him a try!
Profile Image for Sarah Monsma.
164 reviews5 followers
October 21, 2016
What is going on with Griffin Rinaldi? He wishes he knew. Sometimes he feels like his body is dead and he's observing someone else going through the motions of his life. At other times he sees the red-haired kid from his dad's stories even though no one else can see him there.

Griffin's got a tough life; it would be hard to deny that. His dad died less than a year ago, and his grandfather, whose heath has been better, is trying to help him through the worst of it, but Griffin's mom doesn't know quite what to do with him, and his aunt's convinced he's possessed. When an unusual snowstorm comes to Griffin's home on North Carolina's Outer Banks, the perfect storm that hits Griffin and his family is only partly due to the weather.

Though The Disembodied is marketed as an adult psychological thriller, I read it as a young adult story for a couple of reasons. First, the main character is 13 years old, and the story is told primarily through his eyes. Second, after the beginning, told from the grandfather's perspective, the pace and focus of the book felt more like a young adult thriller than one written for adults.

I would have liked to feel more emotionally engaged with the characters in The Disembodied. Most of the most fraught and dangerous scenes are shown as memories, robbing them of the power they might have held if I had believed that the outcome was uncertain. Nonetheless, the story held my interest until the end. Though the story was somewhat suspenseful, I didn't find it spooky. I'd be more inclined to save it for a snowy evening read than for Halloween as suggested by the publisher. The descriptions of the cold and snow left this New Englander shivering on my couch.

I received The Disembodied through Kate Tilton Book Bloggers Reach Out from Anthony Hains in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Brian Moloney.
Author 3 books
September 29, 2016
Reading Anthony Hanes new suspense/thriller/horror novel, “The Disembodied” I was struck by several things. One, Mr. Hanes continues to grow exponentially as a story teller and producer of goosebumps with each successive story...along with my enjoyment of his work. I was impressed by his first, “Birth Offering”, floored by his second, “Dead Works” and literally charged and sleep deprived by “The Disembodied”. I spent whatever time I managed to tear myself away from the story, lying in bed wondering what sort of creepy visage was lurking in the shadows waiting for me.
The characters in this novel are genuine and well rounded, enhanced by realistic dialogue that moves the story along at a fast, entertaining, and, yes...sometimes disturbing pace. You immediately know who to root for and who not...that is until you don’t...but then you do...and then you’re not sure, again....but maybe you are....maybe. Apart from the eerie, supernatural elements you find yourself wondering... “Does stuff like this really happen?”
All in all “The Disembodied” is a thrilling read that keeps the pages turning and the chills chillin.
I definitely recommend. Sleep is over rated, anyway....
Profile Image for Laura Furuta.
2,047 reviews25 followers
September 27, 2016
This is the story of Griffin Rinaldi. He is a boy that has been abused by his father. Then his father dies while Griffin is at his home and everything starts to happen. He doesn't feel like he is alive and sometimes he watches himself from outside his body. Does Griffin have Depersonalization Disorder as his therapist says or is there a more sinister mind at work? This is an awesome story! You start out on one journey only to feel like you took a wrong turn somewhere. The characters are wonderful. You have Tanner, Griffens cousin who is dealing with family issues. Griffin's mother and aunt. One other to highlight is Griffin's grandfather. Add a story that will have you pulling your blanket tighter around you and jumping at any sound you hear and you have the perfect story to read. I was pulled into the plot and did not want to put this book down until I finished. An amazing story by an amazing author! I recommend getting a copy. You don't want to miss this one. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Denise Lucas.
116 reviews10 followers
December 13, 2016
The Disembodied written by Anthony Hains was a wonderfully thought out novel with a bit of mystery, horror, drama and suspense thrown in! Overall this novel was well written and had a story line that was new to me, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The story revolves around a boy, aged 13, named Griffin, who lost his abusive father and has been diagnosed with a disorder known as depersonalization disorder. The novel begins with the introduction of Griffin’s grandfather, Soren, who is a writer. Further into the story, Griffin begins to see a red-haired boy and cannot distinguish whether the boy is part of his disorder, or truly haunting him with ill intent… leading the reader and main character, to discover the true origins of the red-haired boy. This novel comes to a powerful climax at the end, which leaves the reader satisfied, but wishing there was more to read, as this novel was so good. I really enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it, as it has something for everyone and has twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and on the edge of their seat.
Profile Image for Amber Rose.
262 reviews13 followers
November 13, 2016
**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.**

This book was not what I was expecting at all. I loved the mix of psychological and supernatural elements; it was unlike other books I've read in the past. That combined with the mystery and suspense made this book unforgettable. Anthony Hains is a brilliant writer and his knowledge of psychology shows. I can't recommend this book enough!
Profile Image for Peggy.
2,212 reviews37 followers
October 8, 2016
You just got pass this book up! No matter how old you think this book may or may not be for! It's remarkable and an attention grabber! This book had me turning the pages just to see what was coming next! Great read!
Profile Image for Bikram.
379 reviews3 followers
July 1, 2018
I had requested and received audible version of this book for free from the author, in exchange for an unbiased review.

What I liked about the book -
This is a very well written psychological horror story, with perfect amount of creepiness and thrill. The central character is so well written that at times you feel bad for him and the same character makes you sweat with fear at other times. There are twists n turns in the story that I didn't see coming and took me by surprise. At the end, I was satisfied of having listened to this book.

What I disliked about the book -
Nothing specific that I could think of.

Narration -
Narration by Jason Jewett was very well done. His delivery made this tense book all that more strong.
Profile Image for Kathy.
221 reviews24 followers
May 14, 2017
The first few chapters go a little slow so I debated reading this. It is a decent read and I struggled through it because at times it seems to be going nowhere, but then you get to something interesting and I just wanted to know where it was going. The ending was pretty good and it tied up decently. It's worth reading if you just stick with it.
Profile Image for Brandi waterhouse.
2 reviews1 follower
November 17, 2018

The character change and mix of emotional needs and coping skills, in a childs mind breaking into different versions of them selves in order to find balance and protect them.
Profile Image for Lolapaige.
186 reviews
February 17, 2019
Good read

This wasn't "horror" as I had thought. More of a mystery/drama. Still a pretty good read. A couple of twists I didn't expect.
76 reviews3 followers
March 9, 2020
Great book!

I really enjoyed this book. Very hard to put down and very interesting. Recommend this book to everyone who likes an engrossing story.Thank you.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
773 reviews34 followers
March 14, 2017
This was an excellent read. It reminded me of a book I loved when I was a kid: The Other by Thomas Tyron. There is plenty of creepiness to scare the pants off you, and much too realistic. I thought I had some things figured out, then the author hit me with lots of great twists. Childhood is not all innocence, and this book proves it.

I received a copy of this book through the Kindle Scout program.
Profile Image for Karen.
Author 3 books21 followers
March 25, 2017
This book introduces you to 13-year-old Griffin Rinaldi. He is suffering from strange out-of-body experiences.

With The Disembodied, Anthony Hains has created a surprising and thrilling story about a boy who is having mental issues after his father’s death. It is a compelling read, drawing you close to Griffin and his grandfather, Soren. Anthony Hains knows how to keep you glued to Griffin’s story, giving you the feeling of being an invisible ally and/or at least part of the events. Griffin is quite complex and likeable, so are Soren and Tanner, the other characters are of sufficient depth (according to their relevance). The story comprises realistic characters in a “normal” environment with interesting turns and nicely fitting surprises; it has a great flow. The story covers a disturbing topic; its characters are sometimes too realistic for comfort.

This is a book for you if you like well written and compelling stories with major psychological and horror aspects, if you like getting close to likeable characters.

Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Cindy Hennessy.
18 reviews
February 8, 2019
An interesting book!

Really liked the story even though a bit confusing at times. A disassociation disorder must be difficult to live with and to understand as well.
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