Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Snake” as Want to Read:
The Snake
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Snake

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  29 reviews
On a steamy night in Central Park, a sailor returning from South Africa gets mugged. What the mugger doesn't know is that the sailor is carrying a deadly Black Mamba-the most poisonous snake in the world. The sailor is murdered, the mugger is bitten, and the snake slithers off into the underbrush-and becomes the terror of Central Park.

John Godey's fast-paced, no-frills pro
Paperback, 280 pages
Published 1979 by Berkeley (first published 1978)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Snake, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Snake

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  198 ratings  ·  29 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Snake
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
A merchant sailor departs his ship in NY harbor. He's a large man and carries a large wood box under his arm. He hits a few bars, then decides to take a short cut through Central Park though it's past midnight. He's unafraid. He's accosted by an armed mugger, a fight ensues. The sailor is shot to death, the box hits the ground and breaks open. The mugger reaches inside and is struck by a Black Mamba, arguably the deadliest snake in the world. The mugger runs off, only to collapse and die; the ma ...more
Sep 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A deadly black mamba on the loose in Central Park. This was quite entertaining - like some other reviewers, I was kind of visualizing a campy 1970s movie as I read along. I did learn a bit about black mambas, though.
Apr 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short, fast paced book about a poisonous snake loose in Central Park. It's a little bit dated now, but still a good read.
Rogue-van (the Bookman)
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rvo-reviewed, sf, fic
Godey's mater-of-fact style makes this snake's presence and activity oh-so-real! A mini-Jaws on land is a good scare. (Profanity, sexual situations, violence, cult.)
Mark Young
Mar 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I went into reading this book thinking it was a horror. Turns out it’s more of a story of natural disaster in the form of a creature feature.

The book gets off to a good start but takes a while for the lead characters to enter the story. By this time I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Was I going to enjoy this? Luckily I did in the end.

A black mamba is set loose in Central Park New York and kills 2 men. The creature is a catalyst for the overreactions of the residents of NYC. A social, religious,
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Black Mamba terrorizes Central Park in New York. A sailor on leave has the snake in a box, on his way, drunk, to his seldom seen wife's apartment is mugged and shot dead. This sets off the reptile's rampage. A herpetologist. A female reporter, and a put upon cop are trying to catch it. Along with half the city. As well as a religious cult that sees it as a sign from Satan. They want to kill it anyway they can.

This was a really good "creature feature" book. I feel like I took a beginners course
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
I had hoped it was better, but it didn't excite me.

This is probably the wrong decade to read it. I had a hard time connecting with the story and the mass hysteria. Im quite sure at the time it was written the reactions and panic could have been plausible. A lot have happened to the world in 40 years.

Language wise the book wasn't my style. I found it superficial especially around the characters.

I was bored and lost interest around 1/4 into the book. I kept reading in the hopes it got better and f
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
A black mamba loose in central park sounded fantastic to me.
I loved the parts of the story with the snake brilliant, however the rest of the book let it down.
None of the characters were likeable or interesting, and, worst of all, the ending seemed rushed and anticlimactic.
Teresa Crane
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. :) I love scary stuff and it's even better when the "monster" is something real. This could so easily happen too.
And I don't care what anyone else says, I felt sorry for the snake.
Michael Adamchuk
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror, pre-1992
A sailor returning home from military service is mugged in Central Park. The mugger is bitten and dies from the bite of the black mamba that the sailor has. the snake slithers away and terrorizes Central Park until it's demise.
James T Smith
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three Times.

I have read this book three times over the past few years. I highly recommend it. Please Mr. Godey, More books like this one?!
Susan Krutzler
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book like no other. Yes, I kind of love the snake. Don’t tell anyone.
Madhusudan Chokhra
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
It was the shortest story, I have ever read. It's story is almost similar to many Hollywood movies-The monster is dead but it's eggs are safe and ready to hatch.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
It's basically the first draft of Godzilla (1999) with ever so slightly more likeable characters.
Cynthia  Glissadevil
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
4.4 stars
Wonderful little book. At times terrifying. Engrossing Central Park, New York City setting. City Hall in an uproar. Excellent, offbeat edition to any horror collection.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this MANY years ago when I was still in high school. I remember the cover was a patch of grass with a path made by a snake.
I was most likely too young to read the book, but the story has stayed with me all these years (I'll be 50 in seven days). I felt as if I knew everything I needed to know how mamba's act, feel, and how quickly they can kill you! Also, about staying far away from a mamba in the future! A pretty good read!
Elizabeth Pruett
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good

Would give it a 4 and a half , but can't. Moves fast and keeps your interest. A great telling of what might happen if a non-native poisonous snake were to be released in a big city. I would recommend this to any one who loves wild life thrillers or even a really good book..
Jeff Rausch
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Take a Black Mamba one of the worlds most poisonous snakes, notorious for its bad temper, set it loose in Central Park. Mix in a religious cult bent on killing the snake, an overworked police department, a herpetologist trying to save the snake
And a pubic increasingly afraid of the snake and you have a real pot boiler of a novel. This is not to be missed.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I visited NYC in 2013, and it was in the summertime too, so I've been able to visualise this story quite well. Great reading right from the start, a little slow in the middle, but the end was epic. Thumbs up from me!
Annette Hart
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
I was pleased to find this on Goodreads because now I've discovered the author I can try and get hold of a copy. I loved this book as a teenager and I'd love to reread it - a typical disaster movie but in book form.
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeff by: Discovered it on my own.

1st Read: August 31, 2016 - September 1, 2016

Always an enjoyable read, though I wouldn't entirely call it a favorite anymore, as my tastes have broadened along with new knowledge of many more interesting things. I will keep this book though.
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
I (like many others) read this as a teenager - bought it from an op shop for 20c and it was the best 20c I'd ever spent! Short read, fast-paced, awesomely scripted. It really was a Hollywood movie and it was even better as I read it in the sweltering heat of a Melbourne summer!
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Great fun, oddly enhanced by the campy 1970s tone.
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read the sanitized Reader's Digest Condensed version on
Mar 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
A very quick read and highly enjoyable.
Aug 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I read this book when i was a teenager would have made a great b movie
Sharon Lucas
It was different!
rated it it was amazing
May 11, 2020
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Night Thirst
  • Harrow County, Vol. 1: Countless Haints
  • Horowitz and Mrs. Washington
  • Boy's Life
  • The Pet
  • At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror
  • The First Men in the Moon
  • Koko
  • Floating Dragon
  • Potomac Fever:  A Novel
  • The Hellfire Club
  • The Widening Gyre (Spenser, #10)
  • Wheels
  • Some of Your Blood
  • The Karamanov Equations
  • Harmful Intent
  • Willard
  • Ward 402
See similar books…
John Godey was the pen name of Morton Freedgood.

Freedgood was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York in 1913 and began writing at a young age. In the 1940s, he had several articles and short stories published in Cosmopolitan , Collier's, Esquire and other magazines while working full time in the motion picture industry in New York City. A WWII U.S.Army veteran he held public relations and publ

Related Articles

  Whether you love the horror genre or just tiptoe into it ahead of Halloween, we have book picks for every level of scared you want to...
434 likes · 282 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »