• Lair

  • The Rats Series, Book 2
  • By: James Herbert
  • Narrated by: David Rintoul
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Lair  By  cover art

Lair

By: James Herbert
Narrated by: David Rintoul
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Publisher's Summary

Book Two in Herbert’s classic ‘rats’ series.

They've waited long enough. The mutant white rats had grown and mated, creating offspring in its own image. They dominated the others, the dark-furred ones, who foraged for food and brought it back to the lair. Now the dark rats were restless, tormented by a craving they could not satisfy. But the white slug-like thing that ruled them knew. Its two heads weaved to and fro and a stickiness drooled from its mouth as it remembered the taste of human flesh.

James Herbert was one of Britain’s greatest popular novelists and our #1 best-selling writer of chiller fiction. Widely imitated and hugely influential, he wrote 23 novels which have collectively sold over 54 million copies worldwide and been translated into 34 languages.

Born in London in the forties, James Herbert was art director of an advertising agency before turning to writing fiction in 1975. His first novel, The Rats, was an instant bestseller and is now recognised as a classic of popular contemporary fiction.

Herbert went on to publish a new top ten best-seller every year until 1988. He wrote six more bestselling novels in the 1990s and three more since: Once, Nobody True and The Secret of Crickley Hall.

Herbert died in March 2013 at the age of 69.

©1979 James Herbert (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic Reviews

“Herbert was by no means literary, but his work had a raw urgency. His best novels, The Rats and The Fog, had the effect of Mike Tyson in his championship days: no finesse, all crude power. Those books were best sellers because many readers (including me) were too horrified to put them down.” (Stephen King)
"There are few things I would like to do less than lie under a cloudy night sky while someone read aloud the more vivid passages of Moon. In the thriller genre, do recommendations come any higher?" (Andrew Postman, The New York Times Book Review)
"Herbert goes out in a blaze of glory" ( Daily Mail)

What listeners say about Lair

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Taking it up a Notch

This story picks up not long after book one and it just picks just goes with it in a good way. The author took a minor detail or two and evolved his critters with it turning them into more of a menace and in an area that made it honestly more frightening. The way things happen in this book is fantastic with a few characters I personally didn't care for but that's to be expected here and there.

Like the first book this one was far from a disappointment. Another book of man vs beast where nothing is held back, and everyone is fair game for the critters. This book only amplifies the horror the little beasties. Like I said in the review for the first book I went straight from this book into book three.

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gory fun

“Lair” is the second installment in The Rats trilogy by James Herbert. I listened to it in one afternoon. “Lair” is set four years after the horrific incidents in London caused by the black rats. “Lair” had a little more depth and characters than the first novel. It also referred to incidents that happened in “The Rats” without making it seem repetitive. It was nice to revisit some characters and events from book one. *

Unlike the first novel, “Lair” has a slower start but ramps up rapidly. The carnage in “Lair” is introduced later in the book. The second book had a much better plot than the first. Herbert took the time to develop atmosphere and details in “Lair” and builds to the violence. The parts of the book that described rats eating and biting people were so vivid that I could feel each bite. There were parts of this book that made my skin crawl. It was a little surprising to have detailed sex scenes among the gory terror. The sex scenes threw me off a little. I had a difficult time going from carnage to explicit sex scenes. It seemed a little of balance.

For a book that was written in the late 70s, the story is still as terrifying as ever. It is impressive that this trilogy has stood the test of time.
I am finishing “The Damage’’ Next, I plan on jumping into the third and final audiobook “Domain”.

What book is next on your TBR?

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2nd best...

Not quite as good as the first but still a worthwhile listen in my opinion.

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The Rats Sequel "Lair", does not disappoint!

James Herbert has stuck with the same formula of creating awesome secondary characters that have the background development of a main and then destroying them.
In this one though the main characters and their stories are much deeper and finely tuned. There's definite growth in the writer from "The Rats" to this middle child known as "Lair".

David Rintoul reads this book beautifully.

Now on to the last in the trilogy... "Domain".

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Thrilling horror!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed "Lair". I am already into the next book of this trilogy, and it promises to be just as enthralling!!!

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  • Fran Sandling
  • 02-22-16

LAIR: by James Herbert

This is a fabulous book, well narrated. Full of on your seat edge moments. I highly reckomend this 3 book series. Number 1: the Rats, 2: Lair and 3 Domain. I've actually read these books. Know days due to bad eye sight I enjoy listening to books. Having a real Human voice rather than a computer read it, is totally brilliant. All the correct inflections. I reckomend James Herbert's books, all of them to anyone, who enjoys a bit of fear. It's so sad he's left us. What a great loss. His last book ASH is very good indeed

7 people found this helpful

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  • nigelboots
  • 02-17-16

disappointing and won't be listening to next book

the story was weak and took to long to get going then in parts of book I was bored

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  • Jason
  • 03-05-20

Unnecessary sexual content.

Very unnecessary, explicit sexual descriptions. which degraded an otherwise good and exciting horror story.

Still. Lair is worth a listen.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dallas Winston 9
  • 08-05-17

Good, but not as good as The Rats.

Would you listen to Lair again? Why?

Erm...no. It was a good listen. However I think it is the lesser book of the trilogy. I might listen to The Rats because David Rintoul was a good narrater, and I suspect he'll deliver with that reading.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The first book had a better structure more short stories on the rat horror aspect. So more rat killing stories would have improved it for me.

What does David Rintoul bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He brought drama and generated a real pace to the reading.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There was graphic sex scenes, which always makes me cringe in books. But the horror was gory😕😟😳😂

Any additional comments?

I thought it worthwhile mentioning how good Herbert is at creating beleivable characters, which is, for me, the key to creating good horror. There was characters I liked and others I didn't, regardless, I felt each one was real. James Herbert was a master character builder, he really was.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Steve
  • 04-27-18

Lair

Have i am having chills reading this book can not wait to get the next instalment of the book

1 person found this helpful

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  • ALLIEKAY
  • 11-19-17

Luv The Whole Series ❤ even the guy that read it

the guy that read it made it sound as is you were right there in the thick off it, now iam off 2 hear Domain CHEERS ✌❤✌❤✌

1 person found this helpful

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  • C P Long
  • 03-25-17

Awesome

classic gripping James Herbert. A thrilling follow up to the original rats. Gauranteed to give you nightmares

1 person found this helpful

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  • robert
  • 02-13-16

A fantastic sequel

Excellent follow on to the rats captivating and riveting can't wait to hear the domain.

1 person found this helpful

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  • dale_mcewan
  • 05-16-15

Creepy mutant rats!!!

A good horror story with great ending! Reader making up for any weaker points in the story. I enjoyed it very much.

1 person found this helpful

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  • gavin
  • 02-18-15

wonderfully terrifying couldn't put it down

I absolutely loved the whole series. the narrative is great, and doesn't seem dated even after all this time pure class.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 02-10-18

Superb

Enjoying revisiting books from my teenage years and getting so much more out of them this time around. Brilliantly narrated which may account for much of the difference from.when I read them myself.