From the acclaimed author of The Troop - which Stephen King raved "scared the hell out of me and I couldn't put it down.... old-school horror at its best" - comes this utterly terrifying novel where The Abyss meets The Shining.
A strange plague called the "Gets" is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget - small things at first, like where they left their keys... then the not-so-small things like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily - and there is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Marianas Trench, an heretofore unknown substance hailed as "ambrosia" has been discovered - a universal healer, from initial reports. It may just be the key to a universal cure. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste, has been built eight miles under the sea's surface. But now the station is incommunicado, and it's up to a brave few to descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths - and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.
Part horror, part psychological nightmare, The Deep is a novel that fans of Stephen King and Clive Barker won't want to miss - especially if you're afraid of the dark.
©2015 Craig Davidson. All rights reserved. (P)2015 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
I just finished this listen and have read through many of the reviews. I think a lot of people are missing the point of this book. I realize that interpretation is extremely subjective, but as in The Troop, there are many levels to delve into on this listen.
First off, I don't know why the publisher focuses so much on the Gets in their write up. If you are expecting some apocalyptic horror book, you will be *extremely* disappointed. If you're looking for a nuanced exploration into madness and memory, this is the book for you.
This book is about plumbing the 'depths' of our conscious and subconscious minds. Cutter takes us 8 miles deep into a station that is a pinprick from collapsing in on itself from the extreme pressure. As the characters go deeper into the ocean (read, their minds) and stay under, they are tormented slowly, but surely. Moments from their memory drive them mad and fears from their childhoods come alive. The true terror one felt when the shadow on the wall looked *just* like X, Y, or Z. Clowns. Nightmares. We're lead through a storyline where you are never quite sure whether the characters are asleep or awake; never sure what is real or imagined.
Yes, it is gruesome. It's horror from Nick Cutter. Of course it's gruesome. Brill does an absolutely fantastic job with the narration. And Cutter's writing was, as expected superbly beautiful in its tone and word usage.
I thought this was a really great horror book up until the ending. It just didn't cut it for me. That is, of course, purely subjective and others may have a very different reaction.
Worth a listen and a credit if you like Cutter's work or are into paranoia inducing horror.
I didn't like this book, partly due to the story, and partly due to the performance. I impulse-bought it, not having read any of the author's other works.
In short, The Deep is a book that follows the "torture" rather than "fear" route of horror. Nick Cutter takes depressed, stressed characters, and places them in a hopeless situation within the first few chapters of the book. The rest of the book is then concerned with watching them be repeatedly harmed and taken apart psychologically, in a grueling way that I found thoroughly uninteresting, yet still stressful.
People make comparisons to Stephen King's writing. I am a big King fan, but again, The Deep fell terribly short here. It has all the tropes and themes of a lot of King's books, in a blatant superficial way, but none of the narrative gifts that King uses to bring characters and situations to life.
The passages that I believe were intended to be scary fell flat for me. Clowns. Centipedes. Long fingernails. Lots of descriptions of how scared the main character was involved passages like "felt a spider of fear crawling down his spine" etc. I have read a huge amount of horror, so I might be more desensitized than the average reader of this book.
The only strong emotional content that came through in Cutter's writing was despair, depression and pain. None of the characters were interesting, just a little bit sympathetic at best. It's a parade of bad things happening to people over and over, and animals being explicitly tortured.
This was emphasized by Corey Brill's narration, in which he constantly emoted the voices of the depressed main character, and the assorted broken down or psychotic despairing individuals he encounters. This emotional tone went on for about 10 of the 12 hours of running time. It made me stressed out, but again, not afraid, so there was no thrill or tension release to any of it. It felt like a slog. Speaking again of Brill's narration, I thoroughly disliked the voices he used for the various antagonists of the book. It made a lot of them more grotesque and silly than threatening.
I almost just gave up on the book (something I never do), but I held on until the end to see if there would be any kind of plot development. There was, but not enough to make me happy about spending the credit and sticking around for twelve hours.
"The Abyss meets The Shining" and I would say also meets King's IT, and a quite a bit of Jeff VanderMeer's *weird fiction,* the AreaX: Southern Reach Trilogy. I can see why author Nick Cutter has amassed fans like Stephen King. To open this book, you are under the control of Cutter's chilling narrative in a setting that is completely foreign from what you know. He controls the horror with vivid imagery that (unfortunately for us) imprints itself on your mind. It is a multi-level horror attack that is claustrophobic, psychological, repulsive, and in the end, unfathomable. In other words..no happy ending and chances of some pretty macabre nightmares.
Readers, especially listeners, are at the mercy of Cutter's darkly creative mind as the book descends into the Marianas Trench and the total deprivation of the Trieste. Isolated 8 miles below the sunny surface in a pitch black world, a spider-like conglomerate of tubes form the lab. The lights illuminate only a tiny radius, lighting just parts of foreign creatures that glide in and out of the murky *sea snow* at the bottom of the ocean. The sounds are slurpy, slimey, and schllicky, and your mind does awful things with those sounds. At 8 mi. below, the pressure against the lab makes every sound a horrifying threat; they sound like bowels and digestion of a gigantic beast. It is almost traumatizing.
If not already terrifying, Cutter creates a pair of brothers that survived a very dysfunctional childhood that would be enough to induce nightmares. The older brother is the scientist that has not been heard from since the Trieste went incommunicado. Clayton spent his childhood escaping the abuse by unconscionably experimenting on (dismembering) animals. He is cold and without compassion, purely scientific. Luke has the opposite temperament; a veterinarian and a father that lost a son in a heartbreaking *missing-child* incident that haunts him. (Let's just say the boys have TONS of baggage between them.)
An issue I had with this book is the lack of story about the *Gets,* the initial catalyst for the story. So little is said about the effect on the world and how it motivates the trip down to the Trieste. That could be a whole great book. And for animal lovers...don't expect any mercy from this horror master. There are animals aboard the Trieste, cute, furry, animals and they don't fare well. The narration was spot-on, with great pronunciation of those onomatopoeia words that Cutter uses to make your skin crawl, and things slurp and splat and skitter.
Stephen King once said, “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.” The Deep is one of those that swings for the terror, bounces on the horror, and lands square on the gross-out. If that sounds like your kind of read -- enjoy. A little too much like swallowing slugs for me personally, but to you horror fanatics I say...Bon Appétit! You'll love this.
Mr. Cutter crafts a perfect horror story that depends upon our fear of "things that go bump in the night" coupled at the hip with the horrible things we do to our loved ones. In Mr. Cutter's mind, The Apocalypse is caused by a rampant and severe strain of Alzheimer's Disease; just as scary as a Zombie attack. Scientists are looking for a cure in the deepest part of the ocean.
And so it begins ....
I've enjoyed two of Mr. Cutter's books immensely (The Troop and The Deep) and look forward to my next trip with him as my travel host.
Buy this book!
I was hoping this would be a fresh new author for me --and I really did like his style--the only problem is he borrows so heavily from SK prior works (and other's) that I got a little disenchanted. I don't like to see author's copying other's work so closely.
However, this is definitely a tip of the seat listen which just plunges us to the farthest depths of madness and cruelty. Non-stop horror and a cringe worthy story. On the other end of the emotional stress meter is the childhood of Luke and Clayton who has a mother so twisted and nasty- it is understandable how they turned out as they did. Luke especially suffered as he was the more sensitive of the boys. Clayton, the older and scientifically minded child, learned to deal with his fears in other ways.
There are a few problems--the Get's is barely a mention in the story, yet the publisher summary puts it up front. Also I thought the ending fell a little flat after such a build up. Some of the animal cruelty and gross parts were repetitive and unnecessary--in fact, the book runs a little too long.
Overall, if you want to escape reality for awhile, this is the one to do it.
I loved "The Troop" and actually saved "The Deep" for an upcoming trip. What a disappointment!!! In The Troop, the characters come alive amidst the horror. In The Deep, the characters remain shallow and unbelievable. Not a single one becomes real. And the story, quite frankly, never progresses. Creepy, horrific thing after creepy, horrific thing happens to the protagonists but I, for one, did not care. And don't be deceived by the promise of what this author could do with a plague that makes people forget (two thirds of the publisher's summary devoted to this theme)...the book itself deals with this issue for about as long as the publisher's summary. Perhaps if I had not kept waiting for the book to return to that subject, I would not have been so impatient with the novel. Did the author forget...?
Mr. Cutter is a great craftsman, in total command of his words. The writing is indeed good. Wish the story was better.
Mr. Brill does a phenomenal job with the narration. I probably would not have bothered to finish it were it not for him.
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This book is rather strange and disquieting. Full of flashbacks and sometimes rather confusing. The story starts out with Luke Nelson traveling 10,000 miles to meet with his estranged brother. The request came from the government and they made the travel arrangements.
There is a deadly plague that has invaded every country in the world. It makes people forget. They forget everything until they just die from starvation. Worse yet, no one knows how it is transmitted.
Luke’s brother, Clayton, may had found a cure. A miracle cure not for just this plague but for all disease. He has sent a message for Luke to join him in his research lab that is deep in the Mariana Trench.
As Luke travels to meet his brother, he thinks back to when they were children. These flashbacks set the tone of their relationship. Clayton is a genius and a sadistic psychopath and a sociopath. He only cares about his research and the fame it brings him. The lives of his subjects have no value. He can’t understand why Clayton would want to see him. He was a animal vet. Clayton was an animal killer. He didn’t want to clean up after him again.
This is a mix of “Twilight Zone”, “Outer Limits” and “X-Factor.” Horror story at it’s best. It gets very graphic in places. I think it was too much sometimes with all the flashbacks and dream sequences. It was hard to tell sometimes if it was real or another one of Luke’s dreams, or a dream within a dream. The parts that were in the dark with only a flashlight were the most frightening.
Cory Brill has a nice voice and gave a good rendition. His dictation was flawless. Sometimes his voice was too nice, considering what he was reading.
Production was clear and without static or breaks. Overall an engrossing story.
Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.
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First of all, do not listen to reviewier Julie (oh and thanks for warning of the spoiler in your review...) She completely missed the point. Cutter does an amazing job of taking our irrational childhood fears and amplifying them in our adult world. Amazingly written and read!
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