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Publisher's Summary

The year’s most brutal, cinematic thrill ride is also one of its most critically acclaimed novels. Dazed and Confused meets 28 Days Later in this “wickedly entertaining,” (Kirkus Reviews) “volcano of a book” (Nathan Ballingrud, author of Wounds) as a lonely young woman teams up with a group of fellow outcasts to survive the night in a town overcome by a science experiment gone wrong.

A Best Book of the Month for Den of Geek, Omnivoracious, Mystery & Suspense, and Tor.

A Goodreads’ 2020 Readers Choice Nominee for Best Horror, and one of the Best Books of 2020 for The Lineup, Booked, and Unsettling Reads.

Turner Falls is a small tourist town nestled in the hills of central Oregon. When a terrifying outbreak rapidly develops, this idyllic town becomes the epicenter of an epidemic of violence.

The Loop is a “wild and wonderfully scary novel” (Richard Chizmar, author of Gwendy’s Magic Feather) that offers a “hilarious and horrifying” (Brian Keene, author of The Rising) look at what one team of misfits can accomplish as they fight to live through the night.

“[A] harrowing thrill ride of the first order and an uncompromising page-turner, easily securing its spot as one of the best novels of 2020.” (Rue Morgue, featured “Dante’s Pick” Review)

“Like the best of Crichton or Bentley, it is a great beach read, but it is infused with the neon blood of a brave new writer... [A] kind of literary roller coaster. It will take you to thrilling highs and terrifying lows....” (Los Angeles Review of Books)

The Loop is the gore-soaked, anxiety-inducing, diabolically funny Richard Linklater/David Cronenberg mashup you never knew you wanted but can’t - or at least shouldn’t - live without.” (The Big Thrill)

©2020 Jeremy Robert Johnson. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

The Loop is the gore-soaked, anxiety-inducing, diabolically funny Richard Linklater/David Cronenberg mashup you never knew you wanted but can’t - or at least shouldn’t - live without.” (The Big Thrill)

“Unputdownable.... Fans of The Twilight Zone, The X-Files, and Stranger Things will be especially thrilled.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 

“A satisfyingly dark satire of, well, everything...[a] heart-pounding and deeply unsettling tale.” (Booklist)

What listeners say about The Loop

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Written for the YA crowd

Couldn’t get into this as it was written as a young adult experience. Like more mature storylines.

2 people found this helpful

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Spectacular coming of age, conspiratorial, horror!

A truly gruesome look into the lives of some brave kids surviving a town tortured by conspiracies and creatures beyond their imagining. An amazingly well written story, with a narrator that does absolutely perfect!

2 people found this helpful

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Headlines aren't my thing

Loved the story. Over the top late 80's/90's gore with YA elements that didn't make the teens seem stupid or cliche. I'd be comfortable letting my oldest read this when she hits her mid teens. She's currently 10, but we've never talked to her like she's a puppy, so she's pretty mature. The ending walked a fine line between depressing and hopeful, but still remained satisfying. Loved the narration. Best I've heard so far in my 10-15 book Audible experience.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome, front to back

Random purchase after a solid recommendation from another author on twitter.
It was funny, scary, traumatic, and somehow very sweet all at the same time. Even made me tear up at a certain point.
The performance was great and really helped me engage with the story. If I had a complaint it’s just that at certain points where there were a lot of characters in a scene it was hard to differentiate between who was speaking. By no means a deal breaker though.
Finished in 2 sessions. Excellent story.

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great alien invasion story.

at least I think it's an alien invasion tale. regardless, it's a pretty scary body horror story.

1 person found this helpful

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Disappointment....

I'll preface by saying this. I absolutely LOVED Jeremy Robert Johnson's other novel (Skullcrack City), and his 2 anthologies (Angel Dust Apocalypse & We Live Inside You). This novel didnt even come close. While his other works were something of a fever dream of the bizarre that either left you disturbed, grossed out, or just reading with disbelief, The Loop just felt very generic and like a microdose of what JRJ is capable of. I truly hope his next release goes back to his old style.

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Soap opera inner dialogue

This book started off with a promising premise, and seems like it might turn out to be a great sci-fi tech thriller, but I found the main character’s inner dialogue to be completely disconnected to the plot at the most intriguing times. It took too much suspension of disbelief to roll with Lucy’s daytime soap romantic thoughts when she was in life-or-death circumstances. Overall this book felt like it was trying to do too much, and fell flat because of this. The plot premise was riveting...the character development, not so much. Narrator did a great job.

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What in the actual F?!

I may be a bit biased since I always expect Jeremy Robert Johnson to knock it out of the park....but even I wasn’t expecting him to throw my brain for a loop with this one! Firstly, I’m incredibly impressed with his effortless ability to crawl into the psyche of an angsty teenage misfit Latina, making me feel at one with her fears, desires, and motivations - instantly calling me back to my own teenage years. While that is a feat in and of itself, once he gets you settled into Lucy’s mindset and worldview, JRJ then manages to rocket you straight into the pits of hell, not even slowing down enough to let you crack a proverbial window for whiff of refreshing air. As the world (or I guess tiny town of Turner Falls) descends into utter chaos, we get to meet an interesting band of characters through Lucy’s eyes, each one with their own unique charms and foibles. As the story unfolds and the character development strengthens, you find yourself flinching in terror at every turn. Without revealing too much, I can say that it’s in your best interest to not get too attached to anyone in particular, for heartbreak may be lurking around the corner.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but if you enjoy fast-paced action, over-the-top violence, fully fleshed our characters and settings, technology and biology, a little bit of philosophy, and you even get off on a tiny bit of masochism, then The Loop is definitely a book for you!

This is my first JRJ book that I’ve “read” first as an audible, and I have to say that Inés del Castillo did a fantastic job handling Lucy as well as the rest of the characters, and the audio production was top notch. I also enjoyed the unique auditory way they presented and portrayed what happened towards the end of the book - kudos for trying something a little different and actually having it be effective!

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JRJ delivers (as usual).

Here’s a list of everything that’s been good about the year 2020:

— The Hamilton film’s release (was slated to not come out until late 2021 initially...)

— Stephen Graham Jones’s, “The Only Good Indians” (Because duh, everything SGJ writes is better than whatever lame titles are all over your highly personalized amazon home page for ebooks/books listed as recommended content based on your browsing & shopping history...no matter who you are. Stephen Graham Jones’s fiction is always better than anything else you’ve read or plan to read. Facts.)

— JRJ’s long-awaited new novel, “The Loop.” This book’s narrative couldn’t feel more timely & relevant if JRJ literally used a time machine to travel to the future in order to release such an an easily-believable glimpse into a future that’s likely to be sooner than later.

“The Loop” is very much the Jeremy Robert Johnson book you’ve been longing for ever since you got tired of re-reading Entropy in Bloom & Skullcrack City dozens of times. The signature touches of JRJ fiction appear early & often: grotesque body horror that would make David Cronenberg blush, shady government activity, (aka “government”), vivid descriptions from characters that are experiencing a psychedelic-drug-induced fever dream — but most important of all, “The Loop,” boasts an abundance of clever social commentary that never feels preachy or unnecessary with regards to the story being told.

We find Johnson back right where he left off — a younger author who had already earned the acclaim & respect of a literary grandmaster when it comes to modern speculative fiction. While the story is hardly one you’ve never heard before, it’s far more fresh, original, and masterfully constructed than the likes of which it’s being likened to, (ex: “Stranger Things”). The Duffer Brothers WISH they had half the creativity & knack for unique character development that JRJ can dish out seemingly without even trying.