Winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel
From a master of horror comes an apocalyptic showdown between the residents of a secluded, rural town and the deadly evil that confronts them wherever they turn.
Evil doesn’t die.
The cozy little town of Pine Deep buried the horrors of its past a long time ago. Thirty years have gone by since the darkness descended and the Black Harvest began, a time when a serial killer sheared a bloody swath through the quiet Pennsylvania village. The evil that once coursed through Pine Deep has been replaced by cheerful tourists getting ready to enjoy the country’s largest Halloween celebration in what is now called “The Spookiest Town in America.”
It just grows stronger.
But then—a month before Halloween—it begins. Unspeakably desecrated bodies. Inexplicable insanity. An ancient evil walks the streets, drawing in those who would fall to their own demons and seeking to shred the very soul of this rapidly fracturing community. Yes, the residents of Pine Deep have drawn together and faced a killer before. But this time, evil has many faces—and the lust and will to rule the earth. This struggle will be epic.
Keep chilled: listen to more in the Pine Deep trilogy.
©2006 Jonathan Maberry (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Maberry supplies plenty of chills, both earthbound and otherworldly, in this atmospheric horror novel…This is horror on a grand scale, reminiscent of Stephen King’s heftier works.” (Publishers Weekly)
I'll start by saying I very much enjoy Jonathan Maberry's other works and have read almost all of his Joe Ledger series and all of the Tom/Benny Imura series. And having said that, i was excited to pick up a new series by Maberry, especially since this one won a few awards. But I just could never get into this one. It seemed overly descriptive about things or topics that mattered little to the story and seemed to drag in the middle. And it didn't really seem to go anywhere, and was simply a set up for the other two books in the series.
This genre is fine, and usually enjoy it, but this story just was not something I enjoyed.
The narrator was ok, but Maberry's stories have been read by more entertaining voice actors.
I would reduce any lengthy descriptions of the town or other topics not advancing the story. And all that digging into the teenagers imagination just seems over the top.
Again, I really wanted to like this series, but it was just flat. The town was not creepy, the story just didn't hold my attention, and it drug on and on and never really got anywhere. I doubt I will attempt the other two books.
This wasn't a horror novel. It was a book about a bunch of twisted psychos who get off on terrorizing people and torture. If I'd wanted to listen to a crime novel about the crazy real life monsters in the real world, I would buy one or just watch the news.
If it had actually been a horror novel, maybe, but this was more of a twisted crime story with a ghost thrown in.
The narrator wasn't bad, the writing was so awful nothing could've saved it.
Trying to be charitable and come up with something, but no.
This is the first review I've ever been compelled to write, good or bad. But I'm so disgusted with this book (and myself for buying it) that it's the first one I can't even finish. The villains were so over the top ridiculously 'evil', the hero is a complete moron saying things like 'let go of the lady bozo' to the psychotic killer, and the rest of the dialogue was just cringe-worthy. Sooo incredibly bad, I can't imagine there being another 2 books in this series.
The story wasn't bad, you can tell that it was one of his esrly works, but the narrator is absolutely terrible.
The first book leaves you wondering a little where it's going, the second is where it starts to gel and gets creepier. The third book is where it all comes together in quite a thriller!!
i loove great books especially mystery and suspense and gregg hurwitz
I really enjoyed this first book I can't wait to listen to the other two, I saw a lot of complaints on here about how it wasn't like patient zero but I think that's the beauty of it I don't want to read the same book
Dedicated Audible reader - love the average apocalyptic dystopian horror story!
Tom Weiner’s narration was great. You get pulled into the story quickly. The characters are interesting and are developed early on in the story. The darkness in the story is gradually revealed and is frightening. Try this book if you want a good solid horror story outside of the usual writers. It moves at a good pace and the characters are created fully with great narration.
The least helpful reviewer on audible.
The reason I got this title is because I kept seeing Jonathan Maberry books on audible so I looked him up on wikipedia and I decided to listen to his whole cannon in the order that he wrote them. This was the first book. So, I bought it without really reading the description or any of the reviews on it.
Then I listened to it.
I wasn't sure how to feel about this book once I finished it. So, I checked out some of the other reviews to see what they thought and it seems unanimous that the people who liked the Joe Ledger series hated this. One reviewer called it a train wreck. I have not read nor listened to the Joe Ledger series so I can't make the comparison, but I think calling this a train wreck is a little too much. To be Maberry's first novel I have to say he did a tremendous job. Yes, it's a little over ambitious, it gets a little cartoony at times and there's a few contradictions in the plot line, but none of that is so major that it takes away from the overall enjoyment. If Maberry's books only get better from here I'm excited about completing my goal.
There were a lot of people who hated Tom Weiner's narration. For the most part I thought he did fine, even better than fine in some scenes. However, there were parts of the book where the dialog was really bad and I am still not sure if it was the writing or the reading that made it so bad. The worst I can say about Weiner's performance is that it wasn't very consistent, but overall I think it was worthy of four stars.
Bottom line; This was a pretty good book, and considering it was the author's first novel it was really good.
I'd listen to this again and again, the character are well developed and the suspense is spooky!
I listened to this book in 2 days and that's only because I had to work. I wanted to call out to finish it!
"Ghost Road Blues" was kind of like Diet Stephen King: no calories, half the flavor. Jonathan Maberry apparently scripts comic books too, and that was apparent in the melodramatic prose and the prolonged fight scenes in this book.
Thirty years ago, the small town of Pine Deep was victimized by a serial killer in what became known as the Black Harvest. A bunch of redneck cops killed the man they believed responsible, an itinerant black guitar-player known only as "the Bone Man," but in fact the Bone Man had already killed the real killer. Except he didn't because the real killer is a supernatural something-or-other who, of course, returns. As does the Bone Man, to give occasional dream-like warnings to the protagonists.
Now, Pine Deep is famous nationwide for its elaborate haunted hay rides, which basically turn the whole town into a horror amusement park every fall. A couple of survivors of the Black Harvest are still alive, but most of the town has forgotten or would like to forget about the origin of its highly profitable "scary" reputation.
So, besides the repetitious and melodramatic prose, the characters were flat archetypes. Malcolm Crow, a recovered alcoholic, is an ex-cop who runs a comic book store and has a black belt in jujutsu, and if the triumph-of-the-nerds point is missed, he befriends a fourteen-year-old boy who fantasizes about being a superhero while getting beaten at home by his stepdad. The main characters are likeable if cliche, but the villains, well, they're all not only evil, but Eeeeeeeevil! First we have a trio of thugs running from a drug deal gone bad; the alpha-thug is a hyper-violent psychopath who spends much of the book dwelling on just how violently and evilly he's going to hurt people. There is the crazy tow truck driver who hears voices in his head and who turns into a cannibalistic serial killer without a qualm. And there is that evil stepdad who also turns out to be a minion of the Big Bad, but just in case being the willing servant of a demonic serial killer and beating his wife and stepson black and blue on a regular basis doesn't make him evil enough, Maberry underlines how really, really evil he is by offhandedly having him also publish a white supremacist newsletter. You know, so we won't miss that he's really, really evil.
So here's what really torqued me about this book: it's the first in a trilogy and it was obviously written with the next two books in mind, meaning, there isn't even an attempt to make it self-contained. We're given hints of the supernatural Unspeakably Bad Thing that's about to happen all through the book, but the entire novel is just a build-up. The author is putting the pieces in place for the real badness to go down in the next volume. We meet the villains and the heroes, there is some intestine-chewing, and a few minor characters get kacked to jerk some tears, but oh boy, things are really gonna hit the fan in the next book! Umm, no thanks.
It's not bad, if you like completely mainstream horror novels, but Maberry really does seem to be trying too hard to be Stephen King. While he's certainly a more economical writer and he gets to the point waaaay faster than Evil Stevie does, his characters have none of the dimensionality and gruesomely interesting detail that even King's villains possess, and Ghost Road Blues uses violent evil goons and a few maggoty gross-outs like a hammer. A defter horror writer (like King — yes I'm a fan, for all his flaws) can convey spine-chilling dread with everyday objects or a half-remembered phrases from childhood. Maberry tries to do it by repeating ghoulish incantations over and over and over in the characters' heads.
Ultimately, there just wasn't anything original here and definitely nothing scary, so I don't care enough about what happens to read the next book.
I found the narrator annoying, frankly. He uses a gravelly, snarling voice for all the villains, adding a Translyvania accent for the Big Bad, and I didn't like the breathless, whiny, or chirpy way he conveyed female voices. The narration was clear enough, but I'm just not a fan of the reading.
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