Thousands have left their homes looking for a better life, a new life. But Marcus Connelly is not one of them. He searches for one thing, and one thing only. Revenge.
Because out there, riding the rails, stalking the camps, is the scarred vagrant who murdered Connelly's daughter. No one knows him, but everyone knows his name: Mr. ...more
This tale of death in the Dustbowl was an odd animal to pin down. The pursuit of a mysterious man in gray echoed the beginning of The Gunslinger. Much like the first volume in the epic Dark Tower series, Mr. Shivers is a novel of obsession and ...more
But that's about where the comparison would end. Steinbeck is a master at making me care about his characters almost immediately. Of Mice and Men barely tops 100 pages, but in ...more
...John Steinbeck had written a version of The Gunslinger, set in one of his Great Depression era settings?
The Scarred Man in Gray fled across the Midwestern Plains...
...and the Vengeful Hobo followed...
Maybe not quite like that. But this was a very enjoyable (and dark) read.....
After his daughter is murdered, Michael Connelly sets out to find the scarred man, aka gray man, aka Mr Shivers, to seek his revenge. Along the way he joins forces with an unlikely band of hobos who are also out to kill Mr Shivers. Most of the book is following their journey towards finding ...more
Three things I loved about this book.
1. The writing - you know it's good when you forget you're actually reading.
2. The era and place as a secondary character - dustbowl America, feel like I've ...more
Some guys, all of whom speak in a completely pretentious voice, unknown to most human, pursue a serial killer during the ...more
Many Goodreads members do not share my opinion about this novel or about the Mr. Shivers character. I admit I have always been, well, a little ...more
There are just certain types of reads I crave from time to time. And Mr. Shivers--what a CHEESY name, eh?--fit the bill perfect for getting my old-school horror fix. Cause to me, that's what it reads like--old Dean Koontz or John Saul or Robert McCammon. I think anyone who likes that type of stuff will definitely dig this. I sure did and look forward to reading more from this guy.
What started out as an intriguing search for a killer set against the historical background of the Great Depression suddenly detoured into fantasy and the paranormal and left me disappointed.
I dont want to come down too harsh on the novel. I genuinely liked the first halfthe realistic half. And, even later, there were some lyrical passages of good writing. Most fantasy novels leave me cold. This held my interest ...more
The plotline follows the character of Connelly as he sets out to find the man who killed his daughter. He falls in with a group of several men who are also searching for the same man. All ...more
The bleak and desperate setting was another of Mr Shiver's many striking facets. I loved the way the sickness and wildness of the land was linked to the grey man's tainted presence.
The book's ...more
This novel follows Connelly, a ruffian hobo, as he pursues Mr Shivers the murderer who killed his daughter. The book is set in depression age America, and very much feels like the TV series Carnivale, so if you're a fan then this book is a must read.
The initial setting of Mr Shivers is very powerful, we can almost feel the grime and desperation of the characters and the mystery of Mr Shivers is absolutely wicked.
There are a couple of shortfalls, ...more
Bennett does a great job setting up the Depression era setting of hobo encampments, drought, and deserted towns. Connolly, his main character, rides in on the side of a cattle car. He is pursuing the badly scarred killer of his young daughter back in Memphis. Any description of the man with his facial scars prompts stories of Mr. Shivers from Connolly's fellow drifters. He ...more
I had high hopes.
My hopes faded and fell.
To it's hard hard death.
I will admit. At about 75% of the book I flipped to the back few pages and read the ending. I didn't miss out on anything. If you catch my drift. Blahhh in my book.
However, once it was done, I felt like...well, like something wasn't finished. The book as a whole, and the mythology it struggles so hard to create, just didn't quite get off the ground. Maybe it should have been longer? Maybe fewer protagonists? ...more
People who come to Mr. Shivers because they enjoyed Robert Jackson Bennett's later books will probably be in for a bit of a let down. Not because it's a bad book, because it's really, really good, and not even because his other books are better. It's just that relative to the books that followed, which are all sweeping high-concept fantasies, knotty conspiracy thrillers or both, Mr. Shivers is smaller, tighter and to my mind, much nastier both in tone and content. Might be a bit jarring for...more
Unfortunately, it's somewhat let down by an incredibly predictable ending, as well as the weakness of Mr. Shivers, himself. What we see of his worldview is... dull and uninspired, a litany of lazy rhetoric that breaks down in confrontation with the inevitable.
Mr. Shivers is neo-noir road trip of not-quite-urban fantasy without the kitchen sink, and if that's your sort of thing it's ...more
Marcus Connelly is just like every other vagrant moving from one side of a dying country to the other. He walks or uses the train--stowing away whenever he can. However, most are looking for a better place to live, somewhere to work and find food to ...more
Having finished the book, I can't decide if I'm disappointed or satisfied honestly. I THINK I'm okay with how it ended but it felt so anticlimactic at the end that I also felt cheated. Connelly ended up defeating Mr.Shivers (who WAS DEATH BTW, HELLO???) and became the new Mr.Shivers but not so cruel or evil...allegedly, but who knows how true that is with several times in the ...more
Mr Shivers begins as a latter-day western might, with wronged wanderers who meet on the road in pursuit of a ...more
Bennett is a strong prose stylist, favoring ...more
“You take out a part of you,” Roosevelt murmured. “Take it out and blow on it and toss it to the winds like dust, and you say, 'Find all the missing parts of me. Go out among the world and find the missing parts of me.' But instead of getting back what you lost you just lose more. Wishing is bad. Wish long enough and there won't be any of you left.”
He was so small. A little man scrambling across the wilderness, trying to make the cosmos pay attention and make sense. In that midnight belly of the jail, dawn was a memory and the sun was no more than a dream, and hope tasted more of a curse to him than a blessing.”