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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  18,947 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
Villejeune, Florida. A secluded little town at the edge of a vast, eerie swamp. Far from prying eyes. Far from the laws of civilization. Here folks live by their own rules -- dark rites of altars and infants, candles and blood.

Years ago the Andersons left town with a dream. Now they are back. To live out a nightmare. Something has been waiting for them. Something unspeakab
Paperback, 373 pages
Published November 10th 1992 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1991)
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May 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Welcome to Villejuene, a small secluded town situated at the edge of a vast, dangerous swamp. The swamp rats – the people of the swamp live a primitive live and have minimal contact with the civilized world. In the swamp there is also the Darkman and his dark rites involving blood and infants. The perfect setting for evil!

The Andersons had left for Atlanta, never to return. However, circumstances force them to come back to Villejuene and they bring with them Kelly, their adopted teenage daughter
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
As cultish as Stephen King's Children of the Corn yet spiked with the backwoods murky essence of a Floridan swamp instead of Nebraska's fields this time, Darkness is a typical thriller novel featuring a family in terror, but with its impressive language use and array of weird characters, ritualistic rites and spooky suspense, it really stands out on its own. It gets off on rocky footing and it's definitely a slow-burner of a story, but I really liked how well it captures these small rural Americ ...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, horror

The children of the Dark Man lurked in the shadows.

Okay. This is pretty eerie.

I think one of the challenges when writing macabre tales about the grotesque or fantastical is to make the reader believe. Even when there is a scientific element to the story, it is easy for this kind of thing to veer off into contrived territory, as opposed to scary. Even though Darkness skirts pretty near this particular border, Saul manages to keep it on the right side, i.e. he does manage to keep things believable
Jim C
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I first started reading many years ago John Saul was one of my first authors. During those years I left behind his works and after reading this one I have no idea why. This is a supernatural thriller that takes place in the swamp. There is a cult of children that follow the Dark Man. The Dark Man has ulterior motives for his cult.

I enjoyed this book so much. I liked the setting of the swamp and using children and teenagers as the victims added to the creepiness. I am a sucker for supernatur
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, thriller
I read this book Years ago.. I STILL THINK ABOUT IT AND SHUTTER!
This book was absolutely horrifying and riveting.
Apr 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was the first book I read from John Saul.I bought this book a million years ago at a yard sale for like 25 cents haha. It was a beat up book but the back had me interested. I swear this had to bought back when Scott and I first got married and that was 19 years ago! I even still have this book.

John Saul is a great horror author. Out of all the books I've read by him I have more than enjoyed. He gives you that creep factor as well in some that out of this world, that would never happen facto
Ignacio Senao f
Es el clásico autor que tiene mucho ruido pero pocas nueces.

Un pueblo al que acude una familia con problemas. Allí le recibe su padre y abuelo rico. Alguien rapta niños en el pueblo y hay gente que nunca envejece. Los recién llegados se verán involucrados.
Mar 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
Every time I try to read a John Saul book, I think, "Why did I bother?" Yet every so often I will pick one up and hope for the best. I need to learn from the past. I couldn't finish this one -- I got about a third of the way through and then just skipped to the end. And I never skip to the end. It was that bad.

You can be a poor to mediocre writer in certain genres: Danielle Steel and Stephenie Meyer immediately come to mind. But in the horror genre, the writing needs to work. It needs to, you k
Greg Strandberg
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Great book that I read way back in 7th grade. The thing took me damn near all year, but a lot of those cryptic and eerie scenes in the swamps stayed with me.

For some reason I thought the main character cutting off all her pink hair was a bit odd too.

Anyways, for some conspiracy stuff with rich people and swamp folk, this is your bet!
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The thing that's always creeped me out about John Saul's writing is his near-obsession with the idea of adults who prolong their lives by stealing youth from children. Sticking to this theme, Darkness takes place in a quiet Florida town where some residents don't age and many children disappear.

(view spoiler)
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much it is one of my favorites.It always leaves you on the edge of your chair.The more you read into the book the better it gets. although i did get confused towards the middle of the book i caught on the next chapter.I also could relate to some of the characters in some ways so it left me suspenseful every step they took, also if i stopped reading for a while i would try to think about what i would do myself to solve the some of the parts in the book it does ge ...more
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
John Saul never ceases to keep the suspense coming!!!
Jun 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
I regretted reading this book...I should have guessed it though by reading his other books...The story was interesting but the ending was horrible.
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
(3.5 stars) I've said it before and I'll likely say it again: I love that John Saul's books have a timeless feel to them due to his leaving out references that would "date" when the stories take place. Though published in 1991, this could have just as easily been published last week.

Unlike a lot of his other stories which tend to take place in sleepy hamlets in New England, this one takes place in Villejuene, Florida, a sleepy town surrounded by swampland. Ted, a native of Villejuene, and his wi
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
To begin with, I wanted note that although I rated this book only 2 stars, it was not a terrible story. It had many flaws, but was enjoyable enough for me to finish and not be too terribly bored. The plotline itself was intriguing and the setting of dangerous swamp was depicted well.

These are the issues I had:
1. The writing style was somewhat unsophisticated. Many of the sentences did not flow together well and the language was a little too simple for my personal preferences, which made the book
Manish Meshram
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction-horror
Rating : 2 stars
Recommendation : Nothing terrifying .Can be skipped.
Review: I had picked up a John Saul novel to read after a long time since I had some good memories of the other novels that I had read earlier, particularly "Suffer the Children". I expected it to be a quick read. But alas it turned to be a very excruciating one. The novel did not provide a feeling of a sense of terror or horror that one would expect when one picks up such a novel. Thus I have been disappointed with it overall.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
La historia se lleva a cabo principalmente en Villejuene, muy cerca de Orlando Florida, y por lo tanto uno se imaginaria que es un lugar feliz por estar a unos kilómetros de Disney, sin embargo no es así, en ese lugar vive el tenebroso, un ser que hace algo a los niños, los cambia y deja diferentes... vacíos. En esta historia tenemos como personajes principales a Kelly y Micheal, jóvenes que son diferentes a la mayoría, con un deseo de soledad y sensacion de ser perseguidos por un horrible mostr ...more
Adrian Rose
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Young Kelly has been haunted for her entire life by the image of an ancient man who seems to want her for some horrible purpose. When her fear finally drives her to brink of suicide, her parents decide that a change of environment is the best thing for their troubled daughter. Little do they know that moving back to their hometown will bring Kelly face to face with her vision, and reveal a twisted medical experiment 40 years in the making.
Saul has the knack for taking bizarre and hypothetical d
Nick Watters
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing

From the location, to the characters to the flow, John Saul absolutely hit this out of the park.
extremely well developed characters, that you just cant help but root for. Villians that you hate, but empathize with so deeply.

Twists and turns in the story and the ability to jump from a growing develping town to the heart of the swamp are just a few reasons why this book is an absolute MUST read.
Darby langford

Darkness had me in suspense from the beginning to the end. I couldn't put it down. There were so many twists and turns, that every time I thought I had it figured out something new would happen. His imagination has no boundaries. This was an excellent read. I enjoy John Saul's books. He never disappoints me.
Sheila Myers
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
I'm not sure how to classify this one - horror, thriller, or science fiction - so I chose thriller. If you enjoy any of those three, I think you'll like "Darkness". The action is almost non-stop and I didn't want to put down the book
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Full review here:

Honestly, it read like a contractual obligation. No real passion, more of an outline with a few panels colored in.
Don Mccormick
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This was difficult to read in the first half. Many times I almost put it down. It finally became more interesting in the second half. Glad I'm through with this book.
Dawn Leitheuser
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Holy crap!! Evil and twisted.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Good Saul novel
Rachelle Hermanson
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was my first from him, and oh how it reeled me in. Very good!
Genesis Rogers-Lewis
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Good creepy story.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a strange story and it was especially weird to be reading a story based upon people's creepy efforts to avoid the horrors of aging in the month before my 60th birthday.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent book from the master story teller John Saul!!
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John Saul grew up in Whittier California where he graduated from Whittier High School in 1959. He attended several colleges—Antioch, in Ohio, Cerritos, in Norwalk, California, Montana State University and San Francisco State College, variously majoring in anthropology, liberal arts, and theater, but never obtaining a degree.
After leaving college, he decided the best thing for a college dropout to
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