The Hunger

Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
Categories: Fiction, Horror
4 out of 5 stars (759 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Bram Stoker Award Nominee - Superior Achievement in a Novel 2018

A Suspense Magazine Best Book of the Year

An NPR Best Horror Novel

One of The Observer's Best Books of 2018 

"Deeply, deeply disturbing, hard to put down, not recommended reading after dark." (Stephen King)

A tense and gripping reimagining of one of America's most fascinating historical moments: the Donner Party with a supernatural twist.

Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the isolated travelers to the brink of madness. Though they dream of what awaits them in the West, long-buried secrets begin to emerge, and dissent among them escalates to the point of murder and chaos. They cannot seem to escape tragedy...or the feelings that someone - or something - is stalking them. 

Whether it's a curse from the beautiful Tamsen Donner (who some think might be a witch), their ill-advised choice of route through uncharted terrain, or just plain bad luck, the 90 men, women, and children of the Donner Party are heading into one of one of the deadliest and most disastrous Western adventures in American history. As members of the group begin to disappear, the survivors start to wonder if there really is something disturbing, and hungry, waiting for them in the mountains...and whether the evil that has unfolded around them may have in fact been growing within them all along.

Effortlessly combining the supernatural and the historical, The Hunger is an eerie, thrilling look at the volatility of human nature, pushed to its breaking point.

©2018 Alma Katsu (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

 

  • Winner of the 2019 Western Heritage Award for Best Western Novel 
  • One of NPR's "100 Best Horror Novels"
  • PopSugar's "31 of the Best New Books You Should Read in March"
  • Vulture's "13 Great Horror Books Written by Women"
  • io9's "28 New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Well Worth Checking Out"
  • PureWow's "20 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018"
  • NerdMuch's "20 Best New Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books"
  • SyFy Wire's "Out of This World Book Releases"

“Katsu shows an acute understanding of human nature.…[She] is at her best when she forces her readers to stare at the almost unimaginable meeting of ordinary people and extraordinary desperation, using her sharp, haunting language.” (USA Today

"A reimagining of the ill-fated Donner Party but with an eerie supernatural twist." (New York Post)

"Combines meticulous historical research and a keen understanding of human nature with a monstrous original metaphor to reimagine the ill-fated Donner-Reed party as a haunted endeavor, doomed from its first mile." (Salon)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • j
  • 03-09-18

Intense, visceral, excellent read

Listened to this over the course of 3 nights, and we had a hard time pausing it to go to sleep! So good. It was riveting, suspenseful and terrifying, and yes, the ending was surprising, yet fitting. It was the detailed, gut churning descriptions that really made it - I could feel the filth and was convinced my clothes were picking up the scent of decay and rot with each line. Overall, such a satisfying story for this horror junkie.

24 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Creepy

...but too short. A breezy ten hours means this story glossed over the depth that could have taken it from good to great. It's hard to track the number of characters but I enjoyed it, for the most part and who doesn't love a good historical western ghost story? I don't want to send anyone off the book, it's worth the buy, but it's good...not great.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Soap opera posing as horror

I bought this because Stephen King gave it a high rating. If you are looking for horror the first two thirds of this book aren't for you. It's all about who's cheating, who is sleeping around, petty spats and a bunch of sketchy people traveling together. The horror finally comes into play near the end with hints of it scattered throughout the first several hours. I was not scared or impressed. Think The Walking Dead meets Days of our Lives.

21 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful reimagining the Donner Party tragedy.

This is the type of audio book that warrants repeated listening. I found myself looking up details of the ill fated Donner Reed excursion time and again. A wonderful reading that continues to build tension and dramatic action as events unfold. Masterful storytelling.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

horrible narrator

I wanted to go buy the book I wouldn't have to listen to the horrible narration

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun!

I loved the darkness in each member of the Wagon party, I just didn’t love the ending.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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good story.... But

It was a good fictional story but my hopes were very high to begin with. I think the actual story with starvation and desperation is exceedingly more terrifying than the this fictional story. was a little disappointed... Oh, and I wasn't expecting the romantic angle. probably my fault. I could've done more research on the author.

2 people found this helpful

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kind of painful.

an awkward attempt to make a romance out of a historical tragedy. not a fan. starts strong, but winds down quickly. if you're gonna make the Donner party story about sexual abuse, please include Sutter's harem; really this was missing a lot of real horrors about the time period, instead focusing on the chaste sexual tension between Mary Sue characters.

1 person found this helpful

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wow <br />

I lost my breath throughout this book
the story was so well read!
What a great twist.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

okay, glad I read

pretty good book, I wish it had a little more killing and cannibalism,but overall pretty pretty good

3 people found this helpful