It Was Supposed To Have Been A Romantic Weekend Getaway Lisa Was Looking Forward To Spending Time Alone With Her Husband, And Telling Him That They Were Going To Have A Baby Instead, It Became A Nightmare When Her Husband Was Arrested And Lisa Was Kidnapped But The Kidnappers Aren T Asking For Ransom They Want Lisa Herself They Re Going To Make Her A Star In A Snuff Film This book may haunt you and not in a good way I do not recommend reading it unless you are a hardcore horror reader because you will never be able to unread it The scares here come in the way of torturous things happening to people by other people None of it is supernatural in nature and that makes it all so much worseSo here s the setup Two young lawyers decide to take a nice little vacation that turns nightmarish pretty quickly A crazed driver decides to target them, separate them and kidnap the wife in order to make a snuff film She s only just discovered she is pregnant and she isn t going out without a fight.This is a mean spirited book about the lengths one will go to in order to survive, one where even the victim turns out to make a horribly selfish decision to save her own skin I m not going into any further detail in case you have an urge to read it Really though there s nothing to like about this cruel book and somehow I kept on reading until the very last page Maybe I am a sicko but I had to know how it ended.I can t recommend going out of your way to read this It gets a bit boring midpoint as the author felt a need to delve into the history of how his characters became the monsters they are today I found those little forays into the past all a bit pointless and very repetitive.The ending though Yeah, that worked for me. Nobody is surprised at my 4 star rating of this book than me I went into this book expecting to hate it and be offended by the gratuitous violence However, that s not what happened.The plot Lisa and Brad are an attractive, successful couple en route to a peaceful vacation Lisa recently found out she was pregnant, and is going to break the good news to her husband.But they are menaced by an erratic van driver who accuses THEM of driving erratically, and Brad is arrested for reckless driving This leaves Lisa alone at the motel, and that night she is kidnapped by the van driver and taken to a remote cabin, where she will be the star of a snuff film Just what will Lisa do to survive the sadist called Animal, who will be her co star and murderer Let me just say that she does the unspeakable to survive, and it involves a mother and her baby This book does have sex, violence, and some horrible images that will be seared into my brain for a long time But it is still a well written book about that most secret of all societies the snuff film industry and its revolting clientele and the good people working hard to drag it into the light and the perpetrators to justice.There was actually a little detective mystery thrown in near the end, and some plot lines that seemed evident weren t and turned in another direction.Unlike the torture porn I have savaged in my other reviews, this book contains some humanity and decency to balance out the difficult parts The ending was touching and it made the characters seem than one dimensional, which occurs too often in the horror genre I agree with what Lisa did to herself and understand it, because there is no way I could live with myself if I did what Lisa did to survive her kidnapping.I would recommend this book to most of my horror aficionado friends, but not my non sicko friends. Survivor by J.F Gonzalez is often talked about as a genre classic amongst horror fiction fans It s a book that takes you to some very dark places and leaves images in your mind that are difficult to erase I went into this having not read the synopsis and I m glad I did as the book hit me harder than Deontay Wilder s right hand Survivor goes to places I d rather it didn t hardcore bondage, S M and snuff movies are at the centre of this sordid tale that leaves no stone unturned in its quest to sicken Books like this too often rely on shock tactics and repetition to repulse readers The author keeps banging the same drum with scene after scene of gore and sex I find it becomes boring and I become desensitized by the book s end The most harrowing scene in this book isn t described in graphic detail but it is spoken about often as the story charges to its bloody conclusion It s here that Gonzalez runs rings around many other writers by leaving most of what happens to the readers imagination only hinting at the atrocities that took place A satisfying conclusion and solid pacing mean Survivor rightly sits near the top of the hardcore horror tree And so5 5 gimp outfits from the Grim Reader. This is by far the most disturbing, graphic, risk taking novel I ve ever read in my life I ve read everything by Stephen King, nearly everything by Dean Koontz, and then books by brutal horror authors like Bentley Little, James Herbert, Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, and Thomas Tessier, and nothing I ve read by them can come close to this masterpiece of sick twisted violence The novel is about a couple who is going on vacation The husband is framed for a minor crime so that the wife will be available for kidnapping Once she is taken, she is told all about the underworld of pornography Soon, she will be a star in a snuff film in which she will be raped and tortured to death by someone called Animal The rest you can read for yourself.This book is not for everyone Within the first ten pages, there is a girl on girl sex scene that concludes with one girl sucking out the other s eyeball Later, there is a baby involved something that I will never ever forget It s bloody, it s fast paced, and it s terrifying because there is nothing supernatural about this The closest book I can relate it to is The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum, but I found this one far disturbing Gonzalez fills it with research about snuff films and how they are made and sold and how the government has such a hard time tracking them down For a while, this book has the feel of a cheap horror film like The Hills Have Eyes or Hostile, but the characters are believable and the novel goes from pure violent horror to suspense and that is what brought my already overwhelming respect for the book and it s author to even greater heights Read this book if you are a horror fan, but it s unlike anything I ve ever read before and once again, not for everyone. 4 Skin Crawling Stars I originally rated this book as 5 Stars but took a star back because of the visions I have been having in my mind about some of the scenes in this book along with the horrific grammatical errors I m not complaining about the errors because it could have just been I received an older copy before the editors got to it.I do have to share 2 instances of these errors because they made me chuckle during a really sick fucked up book There are many times luck is used instead of fuck At one point she says Oh My Cod instead of God Back to my thoughts, this is a very very disturbing book and I LOVED IT Yes, I have a sick mind and love this kind of stuff on occasion this book did test my boundaries on what is acceptable and what isn t.This is NOT a LOVE STORY..it is not unicorns and rainbows with Happily Ever Afters..it is a raw, dirty, gory and mind fuck book about rape, snuff films, cannibalistic tendencies and torture beyond anything your mind can conceive.There were many times in the book where I had to step away and take a break from the feelings I was having about what was going on with the characters because if not I seriously would have either had a heart attack or a mental breakdown This story grips you from about of the way in and you just need to know what is going to happen next.Ok, so Lisa has a secret to tell Brad, her husband, and they are off on their way to spend a romantic get a way weekend together They are set up in a citizen s arrest and Brad is arrested while Lisa is kidnapped and brought to a cabin to star in a snuff film.We are then introduced to Tim abductor , Al film producer and Jeff aka Animal who is the other star of the snuff film Animal is anyone s nightmare because he is the ultimate masochist who loves to fuck any orifice on the human body whether it s already there or he has to make one Yup sick shit Lisa watches in horror as another woman has to experience Animal s demented sexcapades and after having been prone to Animal s tendencies, Lisa begs and tries to ransom her way out of being next.To Lisa, she believes that if she does as they ask by giving them close to a hundred grand and help exchange herself for something better, then she will be let free without EVER mentioning what happened in that cabin Lisa follows through with their demands but as she is about to go, she knows they will never let her free she gets lucky and is able to run away and escape.We then find out, that it was Lisa specifically who was requested to star in a snuff film by an unknown benefactor of the underground This mystery man woman wants her raped, mutilated and dead and money is not an issue These men must get Lisa back without passing go and collecting 200.Welp, that s it for the main story line you have to read the book to find out if Lisa makes it or not and who the mystery person is I ll just leave you with I was fucking FLOORED when I found out.If you have a queasy tummy or get offended easily this is NOT the book for you If you love a good psychological gory thriller then pick this book up I made a deal with a student if he read a book I chose for him, I would read one he chose for me Survivor is what he chose and I struggled through every single page It was bloody, graphic, disgusting, and completely disturbing There isn t a person on earth to whom I would suggest this book. The first two chapters of Survivor bring genuine feelings of unease, they only touch on the horrors that surface later in the book but a bondage scene where a young woman s excitement soon goes awry and a couple stalked along the interstate were very unsettling.Brad Lisa set off for a weekend break, after a rest stop they are followed by a crazy stalker in a pickup but even surprising is when they are pulled over by the cops and a citizen s arrest is invoked Brad ends up in jail waiting for the court appearance on Monday and Lisa is left waiting in a hotel, not long after to her horror she is kidnapped and told she is going to star however briefly in a brutally extreme hard core snuff film with a complete sadist named Animal and it doesn t get any better for Lisa.Survivor amidst all the horror is actually a pretty decent thriller, the nature of the story presents some horrific scenes, you can t get bloody and outrageous than some of the stuff on offer but it lacked some of the bared to the bone tension that you get in something like The Summer I Died by Ryan C Thomas Survivor would have benefitted from a tighter editing, it was a little over descriptive in places it didn t need to be which padded the story unnecessarily That said I did read this in two days, it s certainly a hard hitting story about some seriously ruthless people with inhuman desires that border on disbelief And you can t stop reading if only to see certain people get what they deserve.A story definitely not for the faint hearted centred on an underground hard core S M culture, there is extreme torture, sexual violence rape, cannibalism, necrophilia and other stuff I daren t write down, suffice to say it s very graphic You ll either love it or hate, I don t think there will be an in between but be prepared if you attempt to read it.The ending was excellent a unlikely assassin you won t see again but the story primarily was one of betrayal in two unbelievable ways and a profound sadness that you ll understand if you have read Survivor. I think it is so funny when horror fans become offended or deeply disturbed I loved this book, it takes the reader to those dark deep places that we don t want to know about that really exist but we want to pretend that they do not exist Like Ketchum, Gonzalez does an amazing job of showing the true horror of the human corrupt heart Survivor is a page turner and I had to find out how Lisa was going to survive her ordeal To me this is the scariest type of horror, no monster tromping through the woods or sparkly vampires, just depraved psychotics making money off of the snuff film industry, which to me scares me because a I have heard the urban legends of snuff films and in 3rd world they exist hell maybe in the US they do and b they are people sick enough to want to watch this That is terrifyingOverall the book scared me and shocked me, which is a difficult feat To those offended, life isn t always PG and the subject material will not always be watered down Stick with the PG friendly Dean Koontz This was a tough one to finish and I nearly threw it down in complete revulsion than once, yet there was also something so compelling about the story that kept me riveted and turning the pages to get to the end the whole slowing down to look at the accident compulsion I guess Not one of our most attractive human qualities, this morbid curiosity that afflicts us In order to survive the worst circumstances imaginable the female protagonist makes a choice no human should ever make in order to save her own skin It s brutal and calculating and really got me thinkingin the same situation, would I do the same Could I do the same And if I did, could I live with myself afterwords If this book was half as tough to write as it is to read, my hat goes off to J.F Gonzalez Understanding the appeal factor of horror is difficult for some people to accept, who will often turn up their nose at the genre and look at you with a wary expression as they ask how can you read that stuff As if we should be ashamed, as if we are somehow mentally warped or our moral compass dangerously askew Don t worry, it isn t Horror appeals to many of us for very solid, rational, non psychopathic reasons We love it because it s a genre that probes sensitive, taboo areas as it asks the difficult questions The best horror fiction reflects back to us our collective cultural fears and everyday personal anxieties about, well, everything As a species, we re pretty freaking neurotic Some of us choose to deal with it by indulging in horror both in text and on the big screen More than anything else, horror allows us to safely explore humanity s dark side, giving us a place where we can face our deepest fears from a non threatening viewpoint In his non fiction magnum opus on the horror genre Danse Macabre Stephen King explains our attraction to horror this way, and I ve yet to come across anyone else who says it any better or any truthfully than this Here is the final truth of horror It does not love death, as some have suggested it loves life It does not celebrate deformity but by dwelling on deformity, it sings of health and energy By showing us the miseries of the damned, it helps us to rediscover the smaller but never petty joys of our own lives It is the barber s leeches of the psyche, drawing not blood but anxiety.We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.
J F Gonzalez is the author of over a dozen novels of horror and dark suspense including They, The Corporation, Back From the Dead, Primitive, Survivor and is co author of the Clickers series.
- Mass Market
- 384 pages
- J.F. Gonzalez
- 05 October 2017 J.F. Gonzalez