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The Bog

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  358 ratings  ·  75 reviews
To a small English village, it is a vast organic presence, as ancient as time itself and seething with hidden life and forbidden legends...

To its victims, it is a nameless horror beyond description, a razor-toothed evil, rising up from the murky depths to feast on human prey...

To archaeologist David Macauley and his family, it is the ultimate scientific mystery -- and the
Paperback, 314 pages
Published July 1st 1987 by Jove (first published January 1st 1986)
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Average rating 3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  358 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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This book kicks ass! Any lover of horror, but especially fans of 80's horror, would totally dig this story. 
What started off as a creature feature, (I had in mind something like the Swamp Thing), morphed into a story about wizards and demons and I couldn't have been more pleased with that turn. The only problem I had with the book was that the ending was a little predictable and for that I deducted one star.
Although this is a horror story, Michael Talbot always writes in a literary fashion. (S
Jack Tripper
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror

(Here's the awesome interior stepback art from the 1987 Jove mass-market.)

I've been struggling between 3 stars and 4 for this one. The Bog is definitely an above-average example of 80s horror, with some super-creepy set-pieces and plot points I never saw coming, but at times I felt an emotional distance from the strange and crazy goings-on, due somewhat to the protagonist's seeming indifference to the horrors taking place.

It has a pretty typical setup, at first. American archaeologist David Maca
Montzalee Wittmann
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Bog
By: Michael Talbot
Narrated by: Matt Godfrey
This is an audible book I requested and the review is voluntary.
I am so glad I asked and received this book! This is a good creepy book with so many great characters and surprises. I loved the whole thing! The plot was wonderful, the characters were well developed, the story was creepy, and the town folk were even creepier! Great ending too! Lots of twists and turns...great story!
The narrator was wonderful! He did wonderful voices of women, chil
Jon Recluse
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
An old school, creepy English village with a dark past tale that suddenly transforms into something completely unexpected as the author runs giggling into the bog. This is quintessential '80s horror, well written and well outside the box.

Highly recommended.
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: valancourt
A fantastic, literary gothic novel!

Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Good story! The story was easy to follow, not too unbelievable, and the characters didn't keep doing stupid shit (except maybe once when a father wasn't keeping his eye on his son closely enough).

(Lately, the characters in a few of the books I've read have been too clueless to be believable, I mean, "Duh?" clueless. So that's why the weird review.)

Anyway, I recommend this one!
I really enjoyed this book! I would like to thank Valancourt for the copy of the audio book.

Archaeologist David Macauley and his associate, Brad Majors make the discovery of a lifetime. David specializes in bog bodies, They find one very, very well preserved and with a Roman comb which she should not have had. David moves his family to be near the bog so he and Brad can continue their research. But the bodies aren't they only thing in the bog. There's something really, really ancient there and
Kelly B
This "old school" creature feature centers around an interesting phenomenon: the almost perfectly preserved bog bodies occasionally found in Europe.

Professor David MacCauley and his assistant Brad unearth a bog body near a small village. After David and his family move there so he has easier access to the bog, he and his family start to realize that strange things are happening in the village and bog. The villagers are self-contained to the point of rudeness, and the local Marquis (with his old
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well damn…this was waaay more than I thought it was going to be. What looks to be your standard 80’s style creature feature from the cover gets all kinds of wild and crazy on the inside.

I dug it.
Michael Hicks
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, horror, bought
My original THE BOG audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

The Bog is an old-school work of 1980s quiet horror. Michael Talbot slowly sets the stage, introducing archaeologist David Macauley and his family living abroad in the UK on a research grant. David specializes in studying bogs, particularly the corpses found preserved within. In a small English village, David uncovers not just a spate of bog bodies, but colorful legends – legends that point toward the true na
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent classic '80s horror, really well written and reminded me of Phil Rickman's 'The Man in the Moss', since the starting point of the story features bog bodies. But there are far more obvious supernatural goings-on here, as well as strange native village folk and things that live in the darkest parts of the woods.

Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My actual score for the book would be more like 3.5-stars. I quite liked it, but I also quite disliked certain portions of it, and so while the whole could be seen as something like a 4-star book, it is only with the admittance that certain of its negative qualities tick upon the back of my mind while thinking about it. Though the book ends up more bonkers than expected, in what way I cannot speak of, at all, without encroaching upon spoiler territory, I find the book manages to wear its bonkers ...more
Cindy Newton
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty good horror listen (I used Audible). It does have the unsuspecting family, the townspeople who act mysteriously, and the brooding mansion that overlooks everything--especially the spooky bog. The Marquis who chooses to dwell in the mansion in the bog is a strange and disturbing figure--rude one day and charmingly attentive the next. His companion, an exotic young beauty by the name of Julia, has an ambiguous relationship with the older Marquis. Is she his wife? daughter? mistres ...more
DNF 48%

My DNFing of this book has much more to do with me than it does the actual book. After rhizotomy number two, I'm stuck in my bed looking something like this:

I started this audiobook right after rhizotomy number one (just shy of three weeks ago) and as I felt better, decided to save the second half for my second one, as these procedures make it difficult for me to hold a book or kindle for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, I think I waited too long to finish, I'm kind of over this
Feb 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
It is rare I actually get so annoyed about a book that I go to rate it but this drivel has compelled me to prevent anyone else from the miserable hours I spent listening to this on the commute to work. The amount of times I had to pause it just to take a break from the predictable monotony. Oh and also goodreaders - I blame you. An aggregate score of 3.8 meant I thought I had found a good one, lies!

Firstly, the characters - or lack thereof. The youngest is a precocious little twit who irritated
M.J. Sewall
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
The book was repackaged in 2017, but originally published in 1986. This explained the specific writing style and why a few elements felt dated. The author also used ly words – exhausted-ly, caressing-ly, etc. – to the point of distraction. That said, it is a well written and researched book. The story goes in crazy, wild directions. Most of these twists I saw coming, a few I did not. The hero is not flawless, which I liked. A flaw that was most unfortunate is the pacing. In the beginning, and mi ...more
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Bog

Excellent read! Have always been drawn to the horror genre but this is so much more. The weaving of the protagonist family trials and tribulations make for a compelling read that genuinely lets you feel for the characters.
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Although this won't be the best horror novel you'll ever read, the ghoulish surprises, the wonderfully-written prose and the extent of terrible knowledge make it a book worth a look at. ...more
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Nothing ground breaking, but this was a very fun read. I loved the myths and history that the author drew upon.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I'm a sucker for creepy insular settings and this was a fine example. An American archaeologist moves his family to some backwater village to  study ancient "bog bodies". I had always wanted to be an archaeologist when I grew up so I particularly liked that extra shade to the plot. Predictably, with the dour villagers as foreshadowing, all is not well with the bog.

There was some truly creepy and heart-pounding shit here though I had qualms throughout with the main character's lack of judgement a
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Fun read. Not gory with a high body count, but certainly creepy and atmospheric, with the bog itself the star character in my opinion. The science is good and presented in an interesting manner, and the story moves at a steady clip with no real lulls to bore the reader. The last quarter of the book takes a fantastical aspect I really didn’t expect, and surges to a satisfactory climax. Not particularly grim or downbeat, more like an 80’s horror/thriller movie with a happy ending that is a nice ch ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved every minute of The Bog by Michael Talbot. Night Things was the first Talbot book I read, and it will likely always be my favorite of his. However, The Bog is right up there and takes the same hard science approach to supernatural phenomena and turns science on its head by taking things so deep into the crazy yet explainable that the character's beliefs are all reconsidered. Loved this ride and highly recommended. ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, urban-fantasy
Ultimately alright. I expected a bog standard creature feature, and while the first portion of the book does deal with a monster, it goes off in an entirely different direction. Normally I might have liked that direction if I knew that was what I was getting into, but even in that genre, it's only alright. While I wanted a little more horror, it's decent for what it is. ...more
Bunny Gogo
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
don't get me wrong, I enjoy a creepy story. but I had some issues with the story. I can go into all the issues that I had with the story, but that would be a very long review. I just felt like the ending was not thought out, and it was too quick. a lot of the World building with lackluster. it was entertaining, but I highly doubt that I'll ever read this again. ...more
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've been looking for years for the definitive horror novel set in a bog. Neither Rick Hautala's Moonbog nor Phil Rickman's The Man in the Moss quite hit the mark, and I was hoping that Michael Talbot's The Bog -- featuring the actual bog bodies and enjoying a reprint by Valancourt Books -- would be the one. Alas, I'm still looking.

The story gets off to a good start, but it suffers for not being atmospheric and having weak characterization, and that the narrative itself feels very telly. The sto
Sadly I did not care for this at all. Whether it was high expectations, as as Talbot also wrote the divine The Delicate Dependency, or what I can't say. I intensely disliked all of the characters, and while the ideas were interesting the plot was clunky and predictable even to me. ...more
Matthew Bielawa
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When choosing a book, I'll check out the description...but with great care. I like to be surprised. Really surprised. So when a description starts to give out details, I stop reading. So going in, I knew the story centered around a bog, and small English village, with interesting, and scared, residents. That's all I needed. And boy, was I happily surprised. Talbot does such a good job telling a wild story. I love how he weaves a story with some great characters in a perfectly spooky setting. A b ...more
Oct 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This seemingly standard horror story about bog bodies in the English countryside...


escalated quickly into derangement:


I liked it.
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Michael Talbot has some very shallow ideas about some very important things. Fortunately, he is also well-read with a healthy imagination and a modicum of writing ability (shades of L. Ron Hubbard, I think). A fun story that made me think of the Bog monster in Calvin and Hobbes.
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Valancourt Books: The Bog (1986) by Michael Talbot 1 9 Mar 04, 2015 01:11PM  

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Michael Talbot was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1953. As a young man, he moved to New York City, where he pursued a career as a freelance writer, publishing articles in Omni, The Village Voice, and others, often exploring the confluence between science and the spiritual.

Talbot published his first novel, The Delicate Dependency: A Novel of the Vampire Life as an Avon paperback original in 1982

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