It's an old idea - stick a few people in an enclosed space and see how they react given the situation. Hitchcock did it in "Lifeboat" and "Rope" to great success and Laymon does it perfectly in Island.
Okay, maybe I'm stretching it a bit...after all, Laymon gives his characters a whole island to play with, but the premise is still the same. People change given a certain situation, and they may not be who they seem.
Throw in an exploding boat, a psychotic killer and a few girls and you've got a fast, sharp thriller. Written partly in diary form, this is a terrific book that could almost be read in one sitting as the story charges towards a killer (no pun intended) ending.
I wonder if this Island is based on any Laymon has been to recently. Anyone know?
Reviewed by Steve Gerlach
Do you want to live on your own little tropical island? Someplace where
you do not have to worry about formalities such as taxes, laws, crime or
even clothes? Somewhere that you can call your own and even be the King?
Of coarse you do!!! That is unless you have read Island.
Laymon once again grabs a handfull of ordinary people, people we can
relate with and puts them in a pschotic situation. That is why Laymon is
a master, because you can RELATE to the characters it is almost like it
is you in the novel even if it is written in narative form. If you have
never read a Laymon novel before pick this up and prepared to be
shocked, thrilled and most of all entertained. Because that is what you
want in a book. Isn't it???
Reviewed by Chris Martin
This was great. Couldn't put it down. I loved the twist at the end, very
clever. Rating 10/10 - Reviewed by Lisa Rudd
"Island" is my personal favourite, possibly because it introduced me to
the world of Richard Laymon. It had the perfect setting - a deserted
tropical island, had a collection of extremely likeable characters, and
faced them with a terrifying situation. The evil characters were frightening because
they were evil, perverted, destructive - but also curiously likeable
(along with Simon from "Endless Night", and Alice from "After
Midnight") - THAT'S what makes these books unsettling!
The book is very character driven, and we almost can't believe that we
are wondering if Rupert (the novel's endearing hero) will get off with
"Island" is a great read.......I'm just waiting for the film.......
Reviewed by Craig Rutherford, England
Laymon's 23rd novel is a retelling of that old Robinson Crusoe chestnut; what happens when you get stranded on a deserted island. In Laymon's book, as you`d expect, there are some pretty nasty things going on.
A rich American family are taking an anniversary cruise. Their yacht is anchored in the shallow waters, and the inhabitants are taking a sunny break on a small island. But, oops, somebody left the gas on, and the yacht explodes, with only one person - a guy called Wesley - still on board. Oh dear. The rest of the guys settle down on the island, waiting for rescue, but pretty soon Daddy gets an axe through his skull. Is there someone
not-too-nice living on this idyllic paradise, or is Wesley not as dead as he first seemed?
We read the adventure through the journal of one of the holiday-makers, Rupert; his on-going entries are an intriguing narrative device, meaning that he no more knows the future than we do, thus turning the chunky novel into yet another trademark-Laymon page-turner. His characters, as usual, are spot-on, and it`s the way that they react to each other that makes them so believable. There`s plenty of controlled eroticism here, too, sandwiched nicely with sudden jolts of extreme savagery, with appealling humour as the tomato ketchup.
The story is great, very compelling, but unfortunately I have to say that the book seems to wind down in the last quarter, the climax. It`s good,
yes, but just not as frenetic and solid as the scorchmarked pages before it. I probably speak only for myself, but I think maybe Laymon [whom I greatly respect as a writer] was running out of steam with the whole idea, perhaps toying with his next novel in his mind and thus losing the storming impetus that ISLAND at first built-up.
But despite this minor fault [and it`s probably just me being picky and pedantic] ISLAND is actually a very good book and I would certainly
recommend it to any fans of no-punches horror/thriller fiction. In my book, out of 10, [and remember I`m a bloody hard man to please] I`d award ISLAND with a very respectable 8.
[Oh, and a last quick word; for big fans of Laymon who have read every book he`s yet published, try Jack Ketchum for a similar read. The guy's
books, like Laymons, are published pretty well here in England, but I`m not sure about elsewhere. If you can buy, beg, borrow or steal his debut OFF SEASON, then do it. You won`t be dissapointed, because just like Laymon this bloke pulls absolutely no punches. And he`s damned good, too.]
Reviewed by Mike Carter, England.
My name is Michael Dyson. I am in 8th grade and I have only read one Richard Laymon book. But this book was OUTSTANDING!!! "Island" has been the greatest book I have read.
I don't know what it takes to make a movie, but trust me if you made a movie about this book. It would be a BIG hit. THAT WOULD BE A GREAAATT MOVIE!! I can't even express through words how I feel. All I can say is that "It would have the crowd on the edge of their seats, covering their eyes and screaming."
I hope this can be a definate possibility!
Reviewed by Michael Dyson, Antelope, CA, USA.