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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,495 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
No one in town has ever seen anything like it; a slimy, mobile tube of glistening yellow flesh with dull, staring eyes and an obscene, probing mouth. But the real horror is not what it looks like, or what it does when it invades your flesh - but what it makes you do to others.
Paperback, 355 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Leisure Books (first published January 1st 1987)
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Rating details
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Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: College kids living in dorms
Recommended to Steve by: John Carpenter
Shelves: fiction, horror, laymon
Ah, Laymon. I'm really torn as to how to rate this. I tend to rate within genre. So, as a successful Horror read, I'm thinking 3 1/2 to 4 stars. As I've said before, when it comes to Laymon, I feel I'm reading one of the most (gleefully) manipulative writers I've ever encountered. If you're a fan of cheesy 70s & 80s horror flicks, then Laymon is your man. He is the perfect distillation of what those movies were trying to achieve (and, let's face it, where few succeeded). Laymon's novels are ...more
Thomas Strömquist
Final buddy read of the year with always insightful and inspiring Edward Lorn. This time around, he let me feel like a speed reader on account of him being burdened by about a gazillion things to get done, but I sure did feel his support.

And I needed it... My first experience with Laymon was kind of a mixed bag. Not having read anything about the book and having no idea what to expect from the story, I was quite thrown by the twist early on. That I liked very much. When it was established that,
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say that this book turned out way better than I imagined. I guess I thought it would be about random, multiple ppl getting infected and doing crazy things; much like Herbert's The fog...idk, I might have the title wrong. Anyway, thought it might be like that, but I was wrong. The characters were really like able and everything connected really well. And we were dealing with only one creature feature. The ideas that went into the book were really neat and I didn't care to know much abou ...more
Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Flesh is one of the most enjoyable Laymon novels I've read to date. Fast-paced, gory, bizarre, and one of the few tales in which a creature--a slimy mobile tube of glistening yellow flesh--is doing the killing as opposed to a random psychotic. This one ranks right up there with Beast House on the scale of creepy good times!

Page one starts the action when a coed is nearly run over while bicycling in what appears to be a hit-and-run style `accident' in a remote area of Weber Creek. The van speeds
Anthony Vacca
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it
A trashy 80's slasher flick rendered in prose, Laymon's Flesh threatens a variety of lusty college students with a species of Aztec worm that burrows under the skin of misogynistic men, attaches itself to the length of the victim's spine, plants a toothy sucker directly to the brain and then proceeds to coach its new host through acts of sadism and cannibalism. An overwhelmingly silly book, the word "breast" appears on nearly every page as female college students saunter in and out of revealing ...more
Jim Barton
I am big Laymon fan but I was sorely disappointed with this one. There is a lot for Laymon lovers here with his particular style of mixing of sexual tension and gore. Many of characters, especially the co-eds, were particularly well done but some of the plot points needed to be developed more (or ha-ha 'fleshed' out).

This idea of a parasitic worm that can burrow into a body and take control of its hosts is interesting, although not entirely original. I want a scientist dissecting this worm and g
I had heard of Richard Laymon for many years, yet somehow I've always managed to not read his work until about a year ago. I started with his first book, The Cellar, then read The Beast House. Flesh is my third Laymon novel, and it leaves me impressed.

What I like about Flesh is the writing. There's no attempt at any flashy poetics. It's all very straight forward with little to no errors. Laymon was a writer who knew his strengths and limitations and wrote well within. I also love his characters
Andrew Lennon
I was listening to the audiobook of this. It was quite a struggle at times. I can't exactly pin point what I didn't like about this book, it just didn't work for me.
I've preferred the other stuff I've read by Laymon far more.
Adam Light
Definitely not my favorite Laymon title, but this was a fun and wicked little creature feature with plenty of the author's trademarks on display. There were a lot of horny characters but none of the graphic sex that you will usually find in a Laymon novel. Worth the read but one I would probably not read again.
review later :)
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The essence of Richard Laymon stories might just be horny people stabbing each other. This one is no different in that respect. But Ol' Uncle Dick had a couple tricks up the sleeve of his JC Penney this time. Flesh has a Creature Feature Lite vibe going on. It also seems to be put together more seamlessly than his other books that I've read. Maybe Richard Laymon thought to himself "this one will be a movie." But the world wasn't ready for Laymon. The world still isn't ready. Just you and me and ...more
Jimbo Pantas
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Laymon book. I expected a style echoic of Stephen King, but people are wrong. This was far from King. This is more fast-paced, nastier, and full of teenagers. It was your typical slasher story, but I have to be biased with it since it was published back when the genre was still on its baby steps. Now, I get why most horror films today are full of horny teenagers, too stupid not to run when they sense trouble. However, this was a great read. I liked the premise, the twists, how it ended. ...more
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this one. A fast and enjoyable read. Lots of blood, boobs, gore and nipples. What's not to like about that? Classic Laymon.
well, goodness, this was a cute little story. kind of reminded me a little of 'night show' in which one of the main antagonists was a bit of a creepy fanboy who takes things a bit too far. there's one of those in this story as well, and the pace is brisk and the plot pretty straight ahead. you might say i'm a bit of a fan of ol Dick Laymon, so i'll usually never rate below three stars because i know what i'm walking into. and after conversating with a good friend of mine who also reads a lot of ...more
Like some other reader said, in this Laymon book, and usually in all his books, everybody is very, very, horny. And this peculiar aspect tends to trow the book lower with a level.

One of the good things is that the ending was, in a way, predictable, but not like the author let you believe when you reach it`s proximity.

Indeed this has a 80`s horror flick feeling to it, but on some levels, delivers some entertainment. Not like the writers in the big league, but not so bad, that you`ll discarded imm
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First published back in 1987, Richard Laymon’s splatterpunk novel ‘Flesh’ followed on from an already extensive list of horror novels by this very talented and productive author. The novel received the name of ‘Best Horror Novel of 1988’ by the Science Fiction Chronicle, and was later nominated alongside ‘Funland’ for the Bram Stoker Award.

Set in the small student-heavy town of Clinton within the US, the usually quiet location is disturbed when a seemingly deranged manic purposefully attempts to
Ekel Adolf
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed
My girlfriend has been trying to get me to read Richard Laymon for a while now so she lent me this book. I was excited to read it because I read a Stephen King recently and really enjoyed that and Richard Laymon has been compared to him.

Not really similar.

As far as the plot goes, this book was pretty entertaining. I loved this parasite that forced people to eat other people. What I didn't like was the "erotic" aspect of this book. I really don't think men were meant to write erotic fiction. Comp
Jun 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Laymon yet again pulls out all the stops and creates a rip roaring thriller that will leave you turning the pages and reading feverishly into the night. I recommend reading this book before you know what its about, (don't read the summary on the back cover), because the events unfold very unpredictably. If you have never read anything by Laymon, this would be a great place to start, and if you are a fan, this is a must read. The book's only fault would be that it spends a little too much ...more
Stuart Keane
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-read-horror
Back in the day, this was my first step into adult horror. Since then, I hold this book responsible for creating the author within me, for making me want to become a writer. I was seven at the time.

The book has a simple premise. A wormlike creature attacks the inhabitants of a nearby community in order to feed. Praying on the fear of readers with the "what we can't see is terrifying" idea, this works a treat in one of the few Laymon books to be nominated for a literary award.

When I first read t
Oct 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is a book I'll forget about in a few months. Not one of Laymon's best, that's for sure.

A snake-like creature crawls into people and settles at the base of their brain, sending pulses of pleasure whenever the host makes a kill. One thing going for Flesh is that the characters are memorable as far as horror novels go and I loved the playfulness between the two sets of roommates and the insults hurled back and forth between them. It seemed like something real college kids would do.

The plot and
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was a typical Laymon horror novel with lots of blood, sex, and gore. I have read several Laymon novels and I would say this one probably ranks in the top 5 or so that I have read (I enjoyed "The Stake" probably the most). This book had the requisite amount of chills (not for the squeamish!). The story reminded me a lot of the super sci-fi movie from the 80's --The Hidden. Both stories were about an entity that invaded humans and affected their minds to commit acts of violence. In fact, "The ...more
Aug 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
A good bit of old school horror fun. Lots of violence, sex and cheesy writing. A good quick read for the ride to work but not something that needs any form of literary analysis.

I think the only annoying thing about this book is that the word "Breasts" mush have been mentioned at least 1000 times throughout the book. The author must be a fan of those (as am I) :) Although the constant mention of them straining to fit in a top, how they poke out of the top of a sweater, how you can see them throug
Zack Olson
As is the case with most of--if not all--of Richard Laymon's novels, this is a silly little horror story with a cast of goofy characters. Don't get me wrong, the book is amusing enough, but it's a throw-away. Saying something like that about Richard Laymon's work isn't really criticism though, since the man never set out to write anything more than fluff. If you're looking for some pure escapism that's big on over-the-top sexual tension and will give you a few chuckles, then go for it.
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this horror by Laymon. It reminded me somewhat if Aliens or zombie eaters. And unlike some of the reviews I read, I enjoyed the story/set up of Alice and Evan. There was sufficient gore and creepiness for my liking!
Fernando Pombeiro
Feb 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really silly story with annoying one dimensional characters who you don't care about. Snoozer. Skip this one.
Wayne Murphy
I have tried for years too like Richard Laymon

Ever since I read Blood Games by Richard Laymon I have tried for year's to enjoy his other work's but I just always end up seriously let down. If I where 12 to 15 year's old then he would have been the greatest thing since Peanut Butter and chocolate. It's not that he's a bad writer it's just some of it seems so juvenile. And I love outrageous stories I love the fantastical I can't stand to much realism in my stories I love to escape reality not embr
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really well done, creepy tale. Similar in some ways to Edward Lee's Slither.

The big disappointment was that we are a bit of backstory from the creature, and it was really clever and interesting. The opportunity to explore that and the idea of "The Cortez" was one I missed.

A solid Laymon book, with a good blend of horror and story telling. I don't know why they haven't made Laymon's stuff into movies, as this one would translate really well.
Rob Bockman
Utter trash in a way that’s nostalgia-inducing. Doesn’t get to “good pulp,” but whatever, burned through it at the gym.
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Richard Laymon on this occasion didn't hit the mark.
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Horror Aficionados : Flesh, Richard Laymon :: 5th July - FINISHED 90 62 Jul 18, 2015 08:55PM  
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Richard Laymon was born in Chicago and grew up in California. He earned a BA in English Literature from Willamette University, Oregon and an MA from Loyola University, Los Angeles. He worked as a schoolteacher, a librarian, and a report writer for a law firm, and was the author of more than thirty acclaimed novels.

He also published more than sixty short stories in magazines such as Ellery Queen,
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