Sunday, August 30, 2009

Abandon by Blake Crouch

The book begins with a great quote: "In the West, the past is very close. In many places, it still believes it's the present." --John Masters

On Christmas Day in 1893 the entire town of Abandon, Colorado disappeared without a trace. Present day finds a team of six people, two paranormal photographers, a journalist, a prominent university historian, and two guides, hiking their way in to the isolated ghost town. The story alternates between 1893 and 2009, giving the reader the story behind the town's disappearance and the unsettling events going on their now. The 1893 residents encountered an evil they never saw coming and the recent explorers will experience the same, though it is two different evils brought on by one common theme. See if you can unravel the mystery!

What Abandon reminds me of most is Clint Eastwood's superb film, Unforgiven, with a seasoning of the film Wolf Creek thrown in to give you that slightly foul taste in the back of your throat.

I definitely am not saying that this is not a great book, it is quite good, but merely that it showcases, proudly showcases, some of the worst parts of the human psyche. The characters in this book range wildly from good and innocent to mad and out-of-control to evil and sadistic, but even the sadists in the cast show glimpses of what might have been.

It was not what I'd call a pleasant read but it is, in my opinion, a shining psychological thriller with heavy doses of creepiness thrown in to sweeten the mix. Other books that come to mind are Dean Koontz's Intensity, Anne Matthews' The Cave, and David Morrell's Creepers. Intensity was my fav of those three.

Abandon is gory, violent, and contains a lot of equally violent language, as I usually say, just so you know ahead of time.


Anonymous said...

"...psychological thriller with heavy doses of creepiness..."

My kind of read! :)

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

Wow.... I am not sure if I would enjoy the book but I did enjoy your well written review!

Holley T said...

J. Kaye - I read it in two sittings and have been enthusiastically recommending it to the patrons I know with similar reading tastes. I haven't heard back from them yet and that's always kinda scary from a professional point of view. Sometimes a recommendation goes over pretty well and other times like a lead balloon!

Sheila - Thank you, Kind Lady! I don't like to sound like I'm telling on a book, but I do like readers to know what may or may not be lurking in the pages...without giving spoilers of course!