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Book Review: Hater


By David Moody

Hater is heavy on action and heavy on metaphors. A strong start eventually fizzles out a bit predictably, which it too bad: only as the so-so final act winds down do we realize that this is the start of a trilogy. Dog Blood will continue the bloody saga sometime in the near future. Guillermo Del Toro, of Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy fame has already bought the rights to the movie, which is fine…I expect movies to end predictably (looking at you, Shyamalan).

The story takes place in England. People began attacking other people, violently and lethally. The attacks become more frequent, and then more violent, and ever-more lethal. By the book’s end, about 30% of the earth’s population have become “Haters.” Then we’re into the final Fight For Resources, and The Big Questions.

I think that we’re supposed to say “Oh man, the line between the Haters and the normal people got so blurry by the end.” We’re supposed to ask “Oh man, what am I capable of? What would I be willing to do save my family?” But I didn’t ask myself those questions.

Instead, I asked myself about author David Moody’s photo on the dust jacket. He is extremely bald and apparently has an exoskeleton beneath his skin: half of his face looks like the Terminators, once their skin gets blasted off. I guess some could callHater edgy, although I don’t know what that word means anymore. But hinting that you are a cyborg on the dust jacket doesn’t make the book edgier. Oh well.

Worth a read if you’re really into horror, or government conspiracies, or you’re an anglophile who reads everything that is set in the UK. I probably won’t read the rest of the trilogy.

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If you’re looking for books about the near-future gone to hell, check out World War Z, 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake and the incomparable short story Exodus from Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk. Got suggestions? Tell us all in the comments section.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Vanessa Vezina July 3, 2009, 8:23 pm

    The photo of Moody is the best part of the book.
    I kept waiting to be confronted with something new and untouched, but it never happened. For a moment I thought he was trying to draw comparisons between the Haters/normals and eastern/western society, but it didn’t come together.
    Del Toros’s movie will have to be a bloody gore bath mess, skulls bashed to oblivion in every scene. Cewel.

    • Josh Hanagarne July 3, 2009, 8:44 pm

      Yep. If anyone other than Del Toro had grabbed it, I might not be interested. So far, he’s always been worth checking out for me.

    • Josh Hanagarne July 3, 2009, 8:47 pm

      I’m glad you agree. What do you think he was going for with the photo?

  • Vanessa Vezina July 4, 2009, 12:06 pm

    The photo is pretty hardcore-cool, I think he was going for a tortured soul-super-hardcore-cool eye catching fun pic. I want one of my face half cyborg.