Body Rides is a bit of a departure for Richard Laymon. There's not quite as much gore in this one, but a fair bit of humor.
The plot concerns Neal who, after saving a young woman from almost certain death from a killer, is given a magical bracelet that lets him "body ride" - ie: jump into other people's skin and read their thoughts. But, and there's always a but with Laymon - he can't control the people he rides, he can only watch.
The story takes off from there and is certainly one of Laymon's most appealing books for a wider audience. Humor, terror, romance, thrills - this book has it all. Laymon has also captured perfectly the inner mind. It's a hell of a task to take on - describing the somtimes irrational and silly thoughts that we all think in our heads day after day. But he succeeds where everyone else has failed. You'll find yourself laughing, crying, scared to death with the inner thoughts of all the characters in the book. And the ending is one of the most original yet!
A must read!
Reviewed by Steve Gerlach
Being new to the novels of Richard Laymon, I can't help but compare him to
other writers. In BODY RIDES Laymon offers the psychological grip and clean
writing of Jack Ketchum, some John Shirleyesque LA urban grit, the
storytelling ability of Stephen King and the visceral strength of early
Barker. He takes some pretty far-fetched plot elements -- Neal Darden saves
naked, tied-to-a-tree damsel in distress Elise who then gives him a magic
bracelet that enables him to take "body rides" inside other people, seeing
through their eyes and experiencing their feelings. He then returns to the
tree and discovers that the maniac psycho killer he thought he killed didn't
stay dead and is after them -- and with adroit characterization, rapid-fire
pacing and well crafted suspense convinces you that to put this sucker down
and stop reading might be dangerous to your health.
Laymon doesn't so much give you unexpected twists and turns in the plot, he
plays "Chutes and Ladders" on acid with the reader. I mean you can't BELIEVE
it -- and then, of course you do. Even the part about O. J. Simpson.
Big, thick, slick, juicy, entertaining horror novels like BODY RIDES are
evidently a trademark of author Laymon. We're in luck. There are 23 more to
read before the next one comes out.
Reviewed by Paula Guran
The Best!! Very Original!! Made me wish I had a bracelet like that
too,(could be a bit dodgy though). I liked the humour of the characters, and
couldn't wait to see who Neal was going to 'ride' next. Rating 10/10 - Reviewed by Lisa Rudd
I love Richard Laymon's use of mixing romance with thriller in this
book, as with mosty other Laymon books. It's good to see a good
character being killed off once in a while, stemming away from the
typical horror book of 'good-guy meets bad-guy. Good-guy beats bad-guy.
Good-guy lives happily ever after'. The use of the bracelet is such an
original idea, with a great degree of difficulty to write, but Laymon
not only succeeds in tackling such a task, he masters it. If only
such a bracelet existed!! I'd definately use it on Richard Laymon to see
what goes on inside his fantastically creative mind. Rating 9 out of 10! Leah
I've read quite a few books and some have moved me, some have made me laugh, but Laymon was the only writer with the power to make such an impact on me that I wanted to start my own novel. The book to do it was Body rides. I was a Laymon virgin until I finally took the advice of my good friend, to read his books and now I'm addicted.
In Body Rides, you develop a strong bond with the characters and you feel all the pains that they go through. It starts off with what should have
been a simple drive to Video City for Neil Darden, returning his videos, but turns out to be a question of his bravery and courage. He has to decide whether to ignore the screams, and just drive on or do something about it. Needless to say, he has decides to try and save the beautiful Elise otherwise it would probably be a dull book. After saving her, she insists that he come in to give him a reward. The reward ends up being HER and a magical bracelet that allows him to 'Ride' people. Get into peoples' thoughts and feel their emotions and their pains.
Laymon has the strength to make Neil Darden, as a character that you really feel for. Him, along with Sue and Marta, are well-loved characters in the book. Body Rides consists of magical journeys with the Bracelet, some which Neil would have rather not experienced, lots of the usual Laymon humour and the usual scary parts, to keep you on your toes. From the minute you pick up this novel, you will find it hard to put it back down and even though it was the thickest book that I had read at the time, I still finished it faster than any other. This book is a must and I just can't fault it at all. He definitely is a genius. Rating 10/10.
Reviewed by Jae Daurat