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Urban Gothic

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  2,747 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
When their car broke down in a dangerous neighborhood of the inner city, Kerri and her friends thought they would find shelter in the old dark row house. They thought it was abandoned. They thought they would be safe there until morning. They were wrong on all counts. The residents of the row house live in the cellar and rarely come out in the light of day. They're far wor ...more
Paperback, 301 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Leisure Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jeremy Maddux Best description I've heard is Hostel meets Hills Have Eyes, only set in the city. It's Brian Keene. Even his worst stuff is above average horror. No…moreBest description I've heard is Hostel meets Hills Have Eyes, only set in the city. It's Brian Keene. Even his worst stuff is above average horror. No bullshit. You told me once you liked Edward Lee? You'll like Keene, trust me. Also, I've heard more than one person say that this is one of the few books to actually kill their appetite. (less)

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Paul Nelson
Jul 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Urban Gothic is a full on screaming, head caved in with a hammer, fingers bitten off by a monstrous dwarf kind of horror that is fucking wincingly good horror and a barrel load of fun. This is the Wrong Turn horror films diverted into a suburban street in Philadelphia and landing up in a house that has more doors, passages and secret rooms with murderous psychos than Horror Kill House 16: Revenge of the freaks. If you want to be chased round by an grotesque 7ft monstrosity named Nigel, wielding ...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
At night, there were monsters on the streets.
And even worse things in the shadows.


Ick! What a macabre freak show. This novel is, quite simply put, a gore-fest. Or a crash course in taking an already terrifying situation, and making it worse. Oh, so much worse.

Bloody saliva dripped from his open mouth, leaking around gums that had receded from his black, broken teeth.

This is horror stripped down to the bare nuts and bolts.
Is it frightening? Yes
Is it bloody? Yes
And that is the gist of it.

The woma
...more
Kasia
May 02, 2010 rated it liked it
I have dreamt about reading this book for months and once I got it I read the sucker in half a day. The good part - it's full of icky, gross horrific stuff that makes horror books fun, the not so good part - I wasn't crazy about it. The character development was shallow and maybe if the six kids who get stuck in the bad part of town at night weren't so stupid and lame, I would have liked the book more. It's hard to relate to someone who acts in a way that gets them in trouble in the first place, ...more
Quirkyreader
This book is pure grind-core. And I will admit it is not one of my favourite genres.

So aside from not liking the subject matter, Keen did a wonderful job with the writing. Maybe that’s why this story turned my stomach. And it’s very rare that a book turns my stomach.

So grind-core lovers rejoice and pick this story up and enjoy the gore.
TK421
Mar 31, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror-thriller
Haunted houses litter the horror genre, but URBAN GOTHIC, by Brian Keene, takes the subject and slams it on its head.

Ya see, this starts off as if this is your garden-variety haunted house tale. That is until you meet the residents of the "haunted house". Ya see, this house is full of backwooded-hillbilly-cannibals that are thirsty for some fresh meat. (Oh, I forgot to mention that it is located in da hood.) And these BHC are so grotesque from inbreeding and lack of sunlight that they are not s
...more
Bill
"Shit happens."

That may be a wee bit of an understatement for the unfortunate group of friends who get trapped in a house filled to the brim with a brood of deformed cannibalistic penis pus dripping, leathery vagina human skin wearing giants and mutant midgets bearing knives, razor sharp teeth and a taste for human flesh. That will teach them to have their car break down in the hood.

As a Brian Keene homage to Edward Lee, I went into this one expecting pretty much what I got and honestly, I kind
...more
Not Now...Mommy's Reading
Originally published on Not Now...Mommy's Reading

I just finished Urban Gothic today. It starts off interestingly enough, six teens from the suburbs are leaving a hard core rap concert when they decide to take a detour through the seedier parts of town to score some weed. Of course, teenagers + hard core rap + drugs always equals a bad idea and this is confirmed when the teens end up with a flat tire and are soon approached by another group of teens whose attire of sagging pants, gold chains an
...more
Liz
Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
I don’ t know why I got so link-happy in the review.

How to describe Urban Gothic? In a word: icky.

The premise: Six white teens from the suburbs are returning home from a concert when they end up lost in the ghetto of Philadelphia. Their car breaks down in a dangerous neighborhood. When they’re approached by a group of black teens who act in a threatening manner. One of the white teen panics, calls them the ‘n’ word, and runs.

Sidebar: This didn’t ring true for me. Believe me when I say that this
...more
Marvin
Oct 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This flashback to the splatter-punk days of horror novels is a difficult book to compare to other horror novels. Why? Because all I can think of to compare it to are movies. Indeed, it feels like Roger Corman was looking over the author's shoulder and saying "Here's some money. Come back in 15 days and give me a script". Urban Gothic ends up being a bloody mixture of movie ideas: The People Under The Stairs meets The Hills Have Eyes meet every other mutant cannibal movie.

Not that this isn't any
...more
Pierre
A splatterpunk gore fest. If you like cheap, cheesy gore filled horror movies, then you should like Urban Gothic. Not the best novel I have read by Brian Keene but nevertheless entertaining and excelling at descriptions of gore. The ending is rather abrupt and anti-climactic after going through the harrowing underground pursuit.
Todd Charlton
Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Brian Keene channels Richard Laymon with Urban Gothic. At one point he even uses Laymon's favourite word as a homage "rump". The thing is, Keene out-Laymons Laymon here. Urban Gothic is a major achievement. The pace is break-neck throughout and you come to care for the characters as they deal with horrors scarcely put to paper. It is ultra-violent; one character dies in a way I have never read before; but shit when you run into a whole subterranean cannibal civilization there is bound to be bloo ...more
Logan
Sep 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
I started reading Brian Keene with "Dead Sea", which I really enjoyed. It changed up some Zombie conventions (species hopping, etc.) and had a realistic, well developed protagonist. While everyone was an archetype, it also acknowledged that flat out, which was funny.

Unfortunately, the past few offerings have fallen flat for me. This book was pretty much crap. As I read, I felt as though I was reading the script of a film that I would decry as symptomatic of the ruination of the horror genre. Wr
...more
Tressa
Jun 02, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: not even my worst enemies.
Shelves: horror, splatterpunk
I'm not going to say too much about this book, except that I didn't care enough about the characters to not flip to the end to see what happens. It ended the way I thought it would.

This has your typical teen horror movie plot: kill the young, good-looking people off one by one, making each killing more gruesome than the next. Zzzzzzzz.

And how did such mutants come to live even in a ghetto where people keep to themselves? You would think that after 20+ years of people in the neighborhood missing
...more
Justin
Jul 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a decent read if you are just looking for a kill em all splatterfest of a novel, don't expect any questions to be answers though, except for who will survive and what will be left of them. It was by far the goriest most depraved novel of Brian keene's that I have read and I have read most of them. It had some original and grewsum parts in it that made it stand out from similar novels.
11811 (Eleven)
Oct 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
My IQ dropped nine points over the course of this novel.
Karl
This hardcover book is copy numbered 64 of 300 published
Валентин Попов
Не е моя тип четиво. По-скоро бих гледал екранизация, отколкото да чета такова нещо, въпреки че върви доста бързо :)
Melissa Helwig
Jan 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Being a huge Brian Keene, fan I had been looking forward to Urban Gothic for months before it was released. But it took me almost six months to finish reading it. I got halfway through and gave up. It actually turned me off horror for awhile and made me wonder why I preferred gore and monsters over interesting characters. I don't, what I want is for my horror novels to have it all: fascinating characters that I don't want to see die, monsters and gore. But Urban Gothic focused more on the charac ...more
Reese Copeland
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book I read by Brian Keene. I absolutely loved it! It was very raw and chock full of absolute terror. Situations and experiences of the characters I would never have thought of before, but written in such a masterful way that you just can't stop reading. Sick as what happens to the characters is, you just keep reading hoping they will find a way out and it will be a happy ending. This is one reason I love the book so much. It's not a happy ending. The people in the "bad" neigh ...more
Unapologetic_Bookaholic
Oct 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of wierd/gross horror, mutant-creatures
Recommended to Unapologetic_Bookaholic by: excerpt from Castaways by Brian Keene
The story begins with 6 best friends running through an urban neighborhood to a haunted house. 3 paired off couples. As with most[any:] Brian Keene novel the action waits only for you to turn the page. To say who dies first and who survives would give away a GREAT horror story, so I'll just say that the flesh munchers had crude weapons but imaginative deathes/tortures for their victims. An honorable Ob mention, hats off.

The creature/horror/monster in Urban Gothic are described at best as mutant
...more
Joshua Buhs
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Straight-forward pulpy horror.

Like the rest of the book, the title is not shy about itself. Keene shouts his attention. The book is meant to be understood int he gothic tradition--though it is fully, brutally horror--and harkens back to the progenitor of the genre, Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto. But Keene also wants this to be a twist on the tradition, and so it is not set in a moldy castle, but in the heart of Philadelphia's ghetto. The action takes place in (and below) a haunted house in
...more
Eden
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Their car breaks down in a dangerous neighborhood in the city, Kerri and her friends begin to look for shelter. After being scared by some locals, they find a house that they thought was abandoned. And figured they would be safe there until the morning. They were very wrong.

If you've got a weak stomach, this is probably not the book for you. Detailed and very gory. It starts out very much in the haunted house way, but this book is definitely not that. The house is way more than haunted. Couldn't
...more
James Brigham
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was like watching a blood and gore soaked version of Double Dare. Except less intellectually stimulating than that Nickelodeon staple.
Bill Walton
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I was somewhat disappointed by this book, as I had just finished Darkness on the Edge of Town (by the same author), which I found to be a much more compelling and well-crafted piece.

As the summary indicates, Urban Gothic revolves primarily around a group of teenagers who find themselves trapped inside an ancient house full of maniacs. So far so good. It was very atmospheric and creepy, and the initial character development was adequate.

Without giving anything away, let me just say that I believe
...more
DJMikeG
Aug 06, 2009 rated it liked it
I've read most of Brian Keene's mass market releases, and this is, without a doubt, the most extreme novel he has written. His first novel, "The Rising", rivaled the mayhem on display here, but didn't go quite as far down the gross-out road. This book wastes no time. Once the violence starts, only about 20 pages in, it doesn't let up for the rest of the book. Its beyond extreme, some passages had me shaking my head in disbelief, and I have a very high tolerance for this kind of thing. Some peopl ...more
Иван Величков
Голям кеф е когато преведат на български любим автор. Виждат се всички малки нюанси, които са ти избягали при четенето на чужд език. Или поне когато преводачът е Елена Павлова и преводът е малко по-добър от оригинала става така.

“Градска готика” е единственият роман на Кийн излязъл на роден език. Царят на сплатъра доста се е постарал в него и затвърди убеждението ми, че Барайън Кийн започва от там където свършва Ричард Леймън. Движейки се по ръба на клишетата в жанра Кийн успява едновременно да
...more
Matt
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I haven't read horror in a good long while, so it was nice to have something that felt relatively new. The book admittedly started out rather slow, and the initial introductions of the key players made them seem like stock high schoolers about to meet some monsters. And to some extent they remain that way, but deep characterization really isn't the point of a horror novel; there's enough there that you can take an interest in the characters, relate to them, and keep track of who's who. While I a ...more
Mark
Feb 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Six friends, white kids on their way home from a hip-hop concert, find themselves in car trouble, deep in a rundown black area of Philadelphia. The wrong choice of epithet leads to them sheltering in an abandoned old house, that contains more peril than anything they might have faced outside. Although Keene is a good writer who drags you along at a tremendous clip, this doesn’t stand up like his other books have and is very similar to “Castaways” (and feels more like a Richard Laymon homage, tha ...more
Jill Franklin
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Okay, first just let me go ahead and get it out there........this book started extremely unrealistic and I wasn't so sure about it. The way the teens came to be in the neighborhood and enter the house in the first place......I mean, seriously?

The teen characters were very unlikable, save from Javier, he was the only one I was genuinely rooting for. Mr. Perry and Leo, along with the rest of the "gangters" were my fave characters.


That said, once they entered the house of hell and the story starte
...more
Chris
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
I love Brian Keene's books. The Rising is, bar none, the best zombie book ever written, and Conqueror Worms is the best modern "Lovecraftian" book I've read.

Urban Gothic, to me, fell largely flat. I really just felt like a less impressive version of Ketchum's "Off Season", and, like another reviewer, it took me a long pause between reading the first half and second half to finish it (it's the first Keene book that I haven't been able to read in a day or two).

All told, the writing was fine (par f
...more
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paced reading hor...: urban gothic by brian keene spoilers to 100% 39 16 Dec 04, 2012 09:20PM  
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1,776 followers
BRIAN KEENE writes novels, comic books, short fiction, and occasional journalism for money. He is the author of over forty books, mostly in the horror, crime, and dark fantasy genres. His 2003 novel, The Rising, is often credited (along with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later film) with inspiring pop culture’s current interest in zombies. Keene’s novels have be ...more
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