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David Morrell's book about exploring abandoned buildings

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Considerably less than frightening!

  • Jun 20, 2010
Morrell's novel begins with such promise! Five "creepers", urban archeologists who indulge their passion for history and the (definitely less than legal) investigation of abandoned derelict buildings, gather to break into the Paragon Hotel for a night's exploration. But, in a twist somewhat reminiscent of James Dickey's "Deliverance", our intrepid group of explorers encounter much, much more than they bargained for and the outing becomes a bloodied, gory nightmare with the team's survival hanging in the balance!

The sidebars on the culture and techniques of this extra-legal urban archeology are interesting, informative and even provocative. Morrell's history of Asbury Park, his recounting of the historical details of the linkage of gold to currency, the passage of the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 in which it became illegal for private US citizens to own gold bars or coins and the quirky intricacies of art-deco architecture and furnishings are positively fascinating. But these admittedly strong points are only window dressing and fail to rescue a weak, melodramatic story that is rife with stilted writing, B-movie dialogue and cheesy effects such as feral albino cats. Even the violence seems contrived and insipid as is the predictable romantic entanglement with which the novel ends.

A lightweight diverting read but certainly not memorable and with little to recommend it over so many other superior thrillers. A weak two stars from this reviewer!

Paul Weiss

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More Creepers: a novel reviews
review by . May 18, 2010
Review: Creepers (by David Morrell)  A page turner. That’s the only way I would describe Creepers by David Morrell. The pacing is utterly perfect, from the slow build-up as the urban explorers enter the Paragon hotel to the quickening pace when the explorers are taken hostage, to the climactic struggle with Ronnie. The ride is thrilling and the pace contributes to that.   Morrell also does a fantastic job creating atmosphere. His descriptions of the Paragon hotel paint a seductive, …
Quick Tip by . October 05, 2010
I loved this book. It was an amazingly engrossing and quick read for me. Very "edge of your seat"!
Quick Tip by . June 12, 2010
Dear lord, I miss Morrell's early work- this isnt bad, but very derivative
review by . September 09, 2009
   I picked this one up based on an Amazon recommendation and didn't know what to expect.  From the title and cover picture, I thought it would be a supernatural type novel.   Far from it.  Morrell has created a different type of thriller that has the relentless terror effect of a good Dean Koontz novel!   Creepers are actually archeologists who go through remains of more modern sites and try to piece together what may have transpired at the site.  They are …
About the reviewer
Paul Weiss ()
Ranked #16
   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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David Morrell’s Creepers adopts a creative spin on a breaking-and-entering premise for his latest thriller. A New York Times reporter, Frank Balenger, joins a group of "Creepers," also known as infiltrators, urban explorers or city speleologists—men and women who outfit themselves with caving gear to break into and explore buildings that have long been closed up and abandoned. Though what they're doing is technically illegal, participants pride themselves on never stealing or destroying anything they find at these sites. They take only photographs and aim to leave everything untouched. Balenger joins a group of four: the leader, Professor Robert Conklin, high school teacher Vincent Vanelli and graduate students Rick and Cora Magill. This gang infiltrates the Paragon Hotel, an abandoned, seven-story, pyramidal Asbury Park, N.J., structure built in 1901 by eccentric, hemophiliac Morgan Carlisle. Balenger and the professor have a special agenda, but the others are there simply for the thrills. Things quickly begin to unravel in life-or-death situations once the trespassers sneak into the building—they aren't the only ones creeping around the dilapidated hotel. Veteran thriller writer Morrell embraces themes from several genres and blends them into a nightmarish spine-chiller. There's the survive-the-night-in-a-haunted-house plot starring a Norman Bates villain; there's a Treasure of the Sierra Madre cast that would rather die than give up the loot; ...

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Books, Book, Cafe Libri, Action, Fiction, Thriller, Novel, David Morrell, Creepers


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