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Suffer the Children

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  26,630 Ratings  ·  303 Reviews
Alternate cover edition for this ISBN can be found here.

One hundred years ago in Port Arbello a pretty little girl began to scream. And struggle. And die. No one heard. No one saw. Just one man whose guilty heart burst in pain as he dashed himself to death in the sea. Now something peculiar is happening in Port Arbello. The children are disappearing, one by one. An evil hi
Paperback, 378 pages
Published July 1st 1989 by Dell (first published 1977)
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Jessica-❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥
This book was weird af, so I liked that aspect. Lol I don't think there was enough explanation in the end. I may come back and write a complete review of this one later.
Tammy Walton Grant
“I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I'll go for the gross-out. I'm not proud.”
Stephen King, Danse Macabre


I read a couple of John Saul books when I was around 12. I don't remember much about them other than the undertone o
James Trevino
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Here, let me amaze you with a billion years old mystery about a house on a hill.

Look, a little girl was killed. Look, there is a tea party that is actually a horror show.

Look, there’s another sweet little girl that is totally innocent. She definitely isn’t the bad guy because she looks sweet. No, definitely not the bad guy!

I love John Saul, but you can definitely see how this is his first novel. It hits every cliché in the book. Every single cliché. It’s like he was afraid he would miss one :))

Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Cat lovers should not read this.
Eli Easton
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-horror
I read this book for my Lifetime Challenge (year 1977).

When I was in high school in the late 70's, I read horror novels incessantly. Horror was very big at the time, and I was fully into the craze. If it had a black or metallic shiny cover, I probably read it.

Horror books have certainly changed, and I miss the old-school horror of that golden era. So I wanted to add some horror books into my 1970's reading challenge. I might have read this book by John Saul back when it was first published, but

Description: One hundred years ago in Port Arbello a pretty little girl began to scream. And struggle. And die. No one heard. No one saw. Just one man whose guilty heart burst in pain as he dashed himself to death in the sea. Now something peculiar is happening in Port Arbello. The children are disappearing, one by one. An evil history is repeating itself. And one strange, terrified child has ended her silence with a scream that began a hundred years ago.

This is the one that starts with a littl
Manish Meshram
May 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The first book that I had picked up of John Saul was "The Right hand of Evil".It was very dark book and it impressed me.So I thought let's go back to from where Johhn Saul started it all.And thats how a picked up a copy of "Suffer the Children".
After reading the book it left me totally numbed. There are just no words to decribe the emotional roller coaster ride that this book took me on.
The best part of this book is the just shatters you completely and stays with you for a very long
Sep 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, horror, kindle, library
This book was just okay. I did not believe the characters or their relationships. I may think twice before reading more John Saul. This was his first effort, so maybe the books will improve after this one.
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
After hearing so much about this particular novel, I chanced upon it at the local used bookstore. I finished it in two days. This is the first Saul novel I've read, and I have to say that I enjoyed it. The writing was fast-paced, the characters were tolerable, even though Elizabeth annoyed me in whatever characterization she appeared. Normally I am able to read through most disturbing scenes in novels. I'm somehow built up a tolerance to them. But whether it was because of the inclusion of child ...more
I read this book when I was a teenager and can hardly remember a thing about it other than that it scared the crap out of me at the time. Small town, evil kid, and a horrible, dreadful scene involving a cat that I've completely blocked from my mind.
Jason P
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror

Have you ever picked up a book after looking at the cover and letting your mind wonder how cool the book is going to be because the cover art was cool, or it led your mind to think that the book was going to be amazing? This is exactly what I did with Jon Saul's Suffer the Children. I read the back cover and it led me to think that it was going to be a mixture of the Poltergeist and the Amityville horror, and after reading it, I definitely got that impression.

Fact: Children do suffer in this nov
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Horror fans. Intense Uncomfortable Situation Fans.
Few books have struck me with such ferocious intensity as Suffer the Children by John Saul. A lot of horror books tempt you with their promises of monsters so horrible they could not possibly exist in the real world. What are truly horrifying are the monsters that do exist here in our everyday lives. They may even exist inside of us.

This is the tale of a haunting. While some may have taken this book as a ghost story, I instead saw a story about generational violence and the inherited shame of in
Anto Tilio
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
La relectura no fue tan traumática... maduré!
O no dejé pasar mucho tiempo, aunque lo debo haber leído por primera vez hace como 6/7 años.
Aún así sigue siendo una lectura bastante fuerte, con momentos bien creepys y ese final me va a poner los pelos de punta siempre.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it liked it

I know this is John Saul's first book and I've only read Comes the blind fury besides this, but I'm starting to notice a pattern here:
-100 years ago some heavy stuff happened to a little girl...
-A deadly cliff near the main character's house where bad things happen.
-Another little girl in the 'present' day starts acting weird under the shadow of that one from the past, shit goes down and people start to die.
-Adults are oblivious and unable to outsmart a kid.
-Dolls resembling th
Juancho Juanchito Books
Ufff que historia tan tremenda me acabo de leer, no había leído algo tan grotesco, tan fuerte, en este libro vamos a conocer una familia llamada los Conger una familia muy adinerada, pero con una oscura leyenda, y un oscuro pasado.

En esta historia vamos a saber desde un principio quien es el asesino, y de como va a ir la trama el resto de la historia, pero no se vuelve nada tediosa al contrario se vuelve intensa por que vamos a ver asesinatos tan crueles y desgarradores que me hicieron poner la
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este es el segundo libro que leo de John Saul y ha dejado la vara muy alta para los siguientes que encuentre del autor, la historia centra en una vieja advertencia dentro de la familia Conger, familia reconocida y respetada en Port Arbello, esta advertencia esta con los Conger para evitar que los niños se acerquen al acantilado y sufran algún accidente, sin embargo, esa advertencia oculta algo más oscuro y siniestro, un suceso de hace más de 100 años, que perseguirá a la familia sin descanso, es ...more
May 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: folks who have run out of other horror novels to read.
I don't recall being blown away by any of John Saul's books, but this one stuck more than the others. Perhaps it's because it was my first horror novel. I don't know. There are scenes in this book that still haunt me (don't worry, no spoilers).
Jan 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Very dark and sad! Read quite awhile ago.
Martine Carlsson
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
It isn't exactly a horror book. It reminded me of The Silence of the lamb in the cold, dark atmosphere (even if the story is completely different). There are strong, weird/violent scenes but they are so well described that I didn't feel sick about it. Unlike other writers, J. Saul was not enjoying writing these scenes. It's just part of the story. The book is a solid thriller as well and I couldn't put it down. I also have to say that Suffer... is beautifully written in term of vocabulary.

I giv
Collin Henderson
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
What the hell?
Seriously, what the hell?
I bought this at a second hand bookstore on a reccomendation from the owner. She said if I liked King (I do) then I would like this book. And I have to say that I can't fathom how this has almost four stars on this site.
The plot concerns the Congers, a family with a supposed curse on them. Jack, the dad, blacked out a year ago and can't remember what happened in the nearby forest that made his daughter Sarah go mute. This causes strains on his relationship
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, re-read
2 1/2 STARS
Back in the late 80's and early 90's I discovered John Saul's books. Unfortunately, I read all of the ones I could get my hands on one right after the other and now I don't remember which ones I read and which ones I didn't (I do know that I stopped reading his stuff after he and his publishers released "The Blackstone Chronicles" series which was published as 6 novelettes; an obvious attempt to copy the successful "Green Mile" series of Stephen King). Therefore, I have decided to sta
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Suffer the Children reminds me a bit of the early Stephen King books. It starts with a big mystery and through the story things will get clearer, but also get a lot more disturbing. You get a clear vision of what is happening to the characters. It made me keep reading and reading.
Until I got to the end (last 5 or 10 pages). Suddenly the ending didn't feel like the rest of the book. It felt very rushed. The detailed how's and why's of the characters kind of disappeared. And the end was a bit abr
Apr 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, thriller, suspense
My very first John Saul novel, one of several that I picked up at the Barrie Flea Market last year. It was good as well as creepy.

The characters seemed like normal, everyday people - a family with problems, and strange happenings.

Several times, I was shocked, dismayed, angry, and freaked right out. What happens in the novel doesn't seem so far-fetched, and it's scary how real it seems. The end made me feel helpless and I shuddered at something else.

Want to read an older psycho thriller, this one
P.S. Gifford
Mar 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I now Saul isn't everyone's 'cup o' tea' and I appreciate this. However this book is very dear to my heart. I read it when I was twelve back in 1977 and it kindled my desire to want to write.

Having recently re-read it i still enjoyed it. It did not impact me as much as the first few times around- but that was 30 plus years ago....And I suspect I have matured (at least a little).

I would still urge any fans of horror to at least give this book a shot if you have not already done so.

Dec 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
A fairly quick read. Left a few unanswered questions, but you can speculate as to the answers. Nothing truly original about this one. A somewhat predictable ghost story.
Leo .
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another horror writer from my early days. This is a really good book.🐯👍
Asphodel Parker
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
The end of the school year is nigh, and we barely do anything in class anymore, so what is better than reading a book to kill off the unavoidable boredom? Including this book, I have read two John Saul novels in a row, and while the temptation of reading another one of his creations is big, I should get back to reading Warcross.
About the book: Well, there isn't much to say. The story was very captivating, definitely a page turner at certain times, but I feel like some things could have been tack
Milos Mojsilovic
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
There's weird, there's weird, and then there's Suffer the children weird. Not so much weird as confusing. I just finished and still can't tell you exactly what I've read.

The writting is down right amazing. The characters well developed, as is the plot. But I'm still left cringing and scratching my head. So much stuff happens in the story. It's not overwhelming, just unexplained. No reason is given as to why things happen, and no explanation when they do

And the ending buffles the most, as even mo
Benjamin Stahl
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Lacklustre prose writing. Silly, uninspired premise. Inconsistent characters. Full of lame attempts to shock and gross the reader. At best this was mildly entertaining. I thought Saul's debut might somehow have a stronger punch to it. Alas, it's just as medicore as his other stuff.
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Some people seem to enjoy horror (in comics, film, and novels) for the sense of superiority they feel over the victims when they are traumatized, tortured, or killed by monstrous or inexplicable phenomena. Some folks enjoy horror to see how at least one protagonist manages to survive against insurmountable odds that, somehow, conveniently prove to be surmountable through the courage, ingenuity, and good fortune of the protagonist. Others just seem to enjoy the idea that there might be mysterious ...more
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The Manhattan Hun...: Suffer The Children - Summer Group Read 2015 6 7 Aug 15, 2015 03:02PM  
Did anyone suspect the shocking ending? 2 47 Dec 30, 2012 03:18AM  
The Manhattan Hun...: Suffer The Children (Group Read - October 2011) 24 33 Sep 22, 2012 05:51PM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN#0-440-18293-X 5 30 Aug 22, 2011 07:06AM  
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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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“This’s a citizens’ meeting,” Forager sneered. “Not a council meeting. Nobody’s gonna run it.” “I see,” Norton said, standing up. He was pleased to note that Forager moved back another pace. “In that case, you can count on me showing up. I always wanted to see a meeting nobody was running. It ought to be fascinating.” 0 likes
“You love her, even if you don’t believe you do. You’re used to her, and a lot of love is nothing more than habit.” 0 likes
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