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Like Death

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  205 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Haunted by his own past, a writer investigating the disappearance of a young girl instead finds an impossible world of darkness and evil--a world where the dividing line between the living and the dead is blurred. Original.
Paperback, 374 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Leisure Books
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  205 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Steve Stred
** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **

“It doesn’t work; the screams come through just fine.”

What could’ve been.

This is my second Waggoner book, after his most recent ‘They Kill,’ and while I enjoyed that read, I found it was a bit jumbled in a few spots.

‘Like Death’ has a great synopsis but once I started reading it, I just couldn’t get by the initial issues.

We follow our main character Scott, a true-crime writer, who is investigating the disappearance of a 6-year-old girl from a
Frank Errington
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review copy

Apparently, Like Death, is not a new book. It's just new to me and I couldn't be happier that the folks at Apex Publications are putting it back out there in both paperback and ebook formats.

The opening paragraph sets the tone and is just a sample of things to come. "Huddled beneath the kitchen table, knees drawn to his chest, he crouches with hands balled into fists, jammed against his ears, kneading them as if he might cut off the screams by grinding cartilage and flesh to a pulp.
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
The plot is complex with tentacles dangling every which way possible. By the end of the story, Waggoner successfully pulls all the loose threads back together again, leaving me satisfied that I knew what was going on. (Even if it did blow my mind at the same time, but still…) Much of the work is daring, with scenes that ‘cross the line’ and go to ‘no, he didn’t just go there’ places. Like Death had its share of unsettling, frightful moments. The mystery of the adult Miranda was powerful, boostin ...more
Sep 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of fanatsy, horror and gore.

What if you suddenly found yourself living in a nightmare world where there parallel version of you? What if you found out that the version of you is a serial killer?

The book started out really strong but I felt it got a bit messy near the end with too much going on. I liked the fantasy aspect of it and the gore and shock value. The characters were well drawn out and while at times it seemed that Scott was getting too whiney, I liked what his character became. I thought the ending was s
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
About 2/3 through the book, I looked up and yelled "Preposterous!!!" and threw the book against the wall in disgust.

The book is well written it's just, well, ridiculous at times. I'm not a fan of bizarro and this book had hints of that genre. IMO, a passage about a group of teenagers melding themselves into a huge penis was just silly and not in a fun, clown way.

I will read more of Tim Waggoner but cannot recommend this book.
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a weird one. Very strange, dark, and violent story. A kind of mash up of alternate universe metaphysics and serial killers. I was hooked from first page to last.
Truth In Cover Art? YES.

This book was was weird (purposely), and I nearly gave up after the first 15%. This turned out to be not a book for me, but parts were interesting and/or imaginative. I'd call this fantasy horror, since it was 0% believable. I did like the final few lines, though.

Our protagonist is Scott, a half washed-up author of true crime books. I found him unlikeable. I found myself speed-reading to find passages involving Miranda (a more fascinating character than Scott).

David Agranoff
Oct 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Like Death by Tim Waggoner

I have read lots of short stories by Mister Waggoner but this was my first time reading a full novel. I have very mixed feelings on the book. I personally loved it, thought it was an excellent mind fucking horror novel, but it goes off the rails a little bit at the end.

Some of the reviews I read on line have complained that the book doesn’t have enough plot, the people who say that didn’t read far enough. Infact if I had any problem with the book is that the plot become
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is probably one of the weirdest books I've ever read if not the most bizarre, my first Tim Waggoner. I enjoy stories with intertwining time lines and realms. Stephen King's, The Talisman comes to mind, one of my all-time favorites. There's a scene that reminded me of Clive Barker's, In the Hills, the Cities. I won't to spoil it. If you like weird, bizarre horror, read this book. ...more
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I wish more horror genre was written like this. There are only so many horror writers who can write so amazingly well as to elevate the genre about mere blood and guts and gore. Waggoner is one of them. His work is consistently excellent. I only wish there was more of it.
William M.
Jun 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Like Death is a masterfully layered, compellingly dark, and wonderfully brave piece of horror -- very much for adults. This ambitious story is rich with mythology and perfectly structured. Every piece of information is part of the larger puzzle that organically fits together by the end of the book. I was in awe of the massive scope and creative twists in Waggoner's world. As many other reviews of this book have stated, it is easily one of the best horror titles of 2005.

The only travesty is that
I think I picked this one up at a grocery store. Not something I'd expect to find. Pretty sexually graphic, definitly along the lines of erotic gothic horror. ...more
Dec 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
I love horror books, but this was just way too weird. I couldn't get into it, I didn't care about the characters and I ended up putting it down unfinished. ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! This novel is an inventive and demented ride. Our flawed protagonist is relatable. The villain has a fascinating backstory. Plenty of mysteries throughout with well-placed reveals. But the best part of Like Death is Tim Waggoner’s twisted imagination. I’d call this book a cross between Peter Straub and Clive Barker in that Waggoner balances the theme of reality vs dark underbelly with beautifully grotesque creatures. The highest compliment I can give to horror fiction and film is that ...more
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Like Death started out seeming like a normal story about a grown man trying to process the trauma of seeing his family murdered when he was a child, but didn't take long to veer off into a nightmare world of surreal horror and bizarre sexuality. This was gory, visceral, very imaginative and told a great story of a man confronting his personal demons. ...more
Karen Berriman
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great book!
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Brilliant concept and imagery,mad story line and events and an excellent satisfying ending, really enjoyed this book and the story it told.True horror and this is the best I've read in some time. ...more
On the first day of the month, or when Wench finally gets a second, I am given the holier-than-thou TBR order. For those not-in-the-know, Wench yells/emails me a list of which books to read and when. Now, since I have both a fear of commitment and a grudge against the man, I never follow said order. (Besides, it’s really more of a guideline than a rule anyway.) So, much to Wench’s dismay and my sheer joy of skanking on all things organized, I picked up Waggoner’s Like Death and read with glee. A ...more
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lovecraftian, horror
I've read Waggoner's work before, and saw a touch of those other books in this one, albeit just a touch. This is good as too much would have taken the heavy feel of this book and turned it to a far lighter side.

'Like Death' is a wonderfully written novel that captures a very dark feel and wraps it around your soul, leaving you feeling dirty and sullied at major points in the story. From the intro of the tale to the very final word, the reader is treated to a tale that brings out horror as well
Nov 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a mindfuck experience!
Like Death: I'm not 100% certain as to why the book was called Like Death I think perhaps the PR guy thought complete mindfuck wasn't appropriate. Even something relating to darkness or evil would have been a bit more appropriate in my opinion.

Don't rush into this story if you can't handle gore and horror. Don't rush into it if you can't stand constant WTF moments. Don't rush into it if you don't like talking/reading about killing, screwing, blood, guts, and all other manner of darkness.

This b
Jorge Villarruel
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't give Like Death a four and a half stars, but I would, that good is this book, really.

This thriller is a strange breed. A well-measured mix of detective novel, slasher, psychological thriller and supernatural horror. One would expect a cocktail like that would taste sour, rancid or plainly bad, but it doesn't. Actually, it tastes like a flamboyant-beverage party and slum-distilled mezcal hangover. It's brutal, it's dark, it's explicit almost to the extreme, but it's also touching and trul
John Bruni
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is probably the most surreal horror book I've read since Tom Piccirilli's A LOWER DEEP. Nothing is ever as it seems, but it's always real, never a dream. The lunacy of the Shadows can and will hurt you. Scott Raymond, the protagonist, learns this the hard way as a young girl who bears some resemblance to a murdered child leads him away from the world he thinks he knows and introduces him to something so terrifying, he will never be the same. Not even he is as he seems, he soon realizes, as ...more
Carl Alves
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
In Like Death, true crime journalist Scott Raymond witnessed the brutal murder of his family as a child. Despite that, he has managed to settle into a somewhat normal life with his wife and child. After Scott starts to exhibit bad signs of extreme rage, his wife leaves him. He starts to investigate the disappearance of a six year old girl named Miranda. During the investigation, he is pushed into a world that exists beneath the surface of our world, one that he is starting to get glimpses of. Du ...more
Nov 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very imaginitive, original and disturbing book of hardcore horror fiction.
The author throws in tons of atmosphere, joyfully surrealistic scenes, a great aura of mystery and heaps of brutal and graphic violence and gore. Sadly he loses his way a bit towards the end when the story becomes more like fantasy and the underlying core of romance becomes a tad the obvious. It loses a bit of the visceral impact of what had been one of the greatest 2/3 of horrorfiction I've read recently.
It still is an e
Gwen Bentley
The book was well-written and the story was entertaining. It is probably more a reflection on me and not the book, but I would warn potential readers that the there are quite a few extremely graphic, deviant sex scenes in the book. Since it is more in the horror/fantasy genre, it can I say this...sorry...I am at a loss for words. I am 49 and would never be called a prude. Still, I was uncomfortable at several points in the story.
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. From page one it was mercilessly gripping! Just when you think you might have figured out what is going you realize you didn't.
Tim takes you on a journey into the minds of his characters in a seemingly non-existent world. The worlds blend together on a plateau superseding the imagination. Not only is Scott's sanity tested to the limits, yours will be as well. (Evil grin)
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a very dark and intense surrealist horror fantasy. It's quite well written, but definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart or stomach. At times I think the gore and near-absurdist shock moments overshadow the subtle layering of the plot progression, but it's a very masterfully crafted and highly-memorable work. ...more
Eradicating hunger is more than a question of food production ,it is estimated that farmers now produce sufficient food to feed 12 billion people .5 billion more the current population of our planet ,the issues are mainly problems related to economics,distribution,and waste
Jul 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
I did not like this book at all. I gave up halfway thru. Just way to weird for me, and depressing. I did enjoy his other books Pandora Drive and Darkness Wakes.
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is good from the get go. For me though it really picked up in the second half. I don't usually write reviews but the pure unbridled imagination unveiled in this book really spoke to me. ...more
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Tim Waggoner has published nearly fifty novels and seven short story collections, and his articles on writing have appeared in Writer’s Digest and Writers’ Journal, among others. He's won the Bram Stoker Award and has been a finalist for both the Shirley Jackson Award and the Scribe Award. He teaches creative writing at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. Visit him on the web at www.timwag ...more

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