The Woods are Dark by Richard Laymon

a review by Arron, in the genre(s) Horror. Book published by Headline in 1981

Now it has been many a year since I have picked up a book by this author, and although he was considered a great horror writer by many fans, I can't remember why. Now I don’t want to give the author a complete disservice, after all this book was one of his earliest and there are elements to the book that, to a horror fan, are very pleasing.

Laymon writes this book almost in the style of a movie and while this doesn’t always seem to work the fast pace of the novel does just about manage to pull it off. The book starts straight in with the action and does indeed read like watching a low budget modern day horror flick.

There isn’t any character development for the author to worry us with, and the two elements of love/lust are both cliché and unbelievable in their telling. The saving grace for this novel is that it is faced paced, and with this style it is much needed to be, and that it can at times be quite graphic. It is a long way from what readers today tend to think of as a horror book. Written in the early 1980’s the book almost put an end to Laymon’s career but don’t let that put you off the author as he has written some really good pieces of work, don’t forget this is an early outing for the author who was learning his craft.

The story is a simple one, a couple of young girls arrive at a diner affixed to a motel in some remote area of California and are taken captive by the locals who live there and after being robbed of their possessions are taken to the killing trees where they will be sacrificed to a group of creatures known as the Krulls. At the same time as this is happening a family arrive at the motel looking for a room to stop the night on their way to a vacation. The family too are taken captive. What follows next is very much like watching one of the Wrong Turn movies and if that is the type of movie that tickles your taste buds then you will enjoy this book and author’s style of writing.

Written on Tuesday 21st August 2012 by . 2 Star Rating

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The Woods are Dark, a novel by Richard Laymon

Book Details

  • The Woods are Dark
  • Publisher: Headline
  • ISBN: 9780747235507
  • Published:
  • Pages: 256
  • Format reviewed: Paperback
  • Review date: August, 2012
  • Language: English
  • Age Range: N/A