Quakes are sudden, violent, disturbing things.
Just like this book.
Laymon is very fond of placing his poor characters in the most extreme and shocking situations. And this is never more clear than in this book.
Okay, let's look at the few main characters in this book and what happens when the quake hits:
Sheila Banner - not having a good day - house falls down around her, pinned down in the bath.
Clint Banner - at work - concerned about his wife and daughter, has to get home somehow....but how?
Barbara Banner - in a car with a teacher and three other kids - the teacher freaks and throws them out of the car in town.....the wrong side of town.
Enter our sicko, Stanley, the next-door neighbor, the only one in the whole place who thinks the quake is a god-send. Why? Well, he's been wanting to do naughty things to Sheila for a long time...and this is his chance. Of course, it doesn't have to be just Sheila. Heck, he'll take whoever he can get.
One of Laymon's more violent later novels, you can't help feeling for these characters and Laymon brings both the violence and the devastation of an earthquake across to the reader in very vivid form.
I'm never having a bath again!
Reviewed by Steve Gerlach
A filthy pervert.
A beautiful wife.
A distraught husband.
A worried daughter.
The quake of the decade.
Throw them all in together and you get the best Richard Laymon novel up todate. Quake.
It's starts when Stanley Banks pervs on Sheila Banner as he does everymorning, when the quake hits, trapping Sheila in a bathtub. Stanley, ofcourse, thinks this is a miracle in diguise and goes out to do sick deedswith Sheila, killing anyone who steps in his way. Meanwhile, on oppositesides of the city, Sheila's daughter is stranded with her friends andClint, Sheila's husband, is on the other side of the city too. They both tryand get home to their loved one, encountering, of course, obstacles along theway.
Very exciting. I loved the longer-than-usual novel and as soon as I readthe first page, I couldn't put it down. Very quick and fast-paced, movingalong at break-neck speed, sometimes slowing, usually accelerating. It isnot for the faint-hearted or elders with pacemakers, as it is extremelyviolent - e.g. Stanley cuts off someone's head with a wood saw and chopsanother guy into little pices. As usual, Richard Laymon describes eachassault and onslaught in vivid detail, imprinting the horrific images inour minds as if we were really there, watching Stanley do these evil deedsas he struggles to get to Sheila.
The attention isn't just focused on the sick pervert himself. Sheila'sfamily, stranded on opposite sides of the city, is also in the novel a fairbit, and their struggle is as horrific as Stanley's, although they aren'tcutting people in little tiny minute pieces with a wood saw.
I would give the ending 9.5 out of 10. Therest of the book was excellent, beginning from page one. I would recommendit to any horror fan, apart from the ones with those pacemakers.
Reviewed by "Macka"
This would have to be my second favorite novel of Richard Laymon's (the best being Endless Night). You would think that the more different characters and situations that came up in this book, and the transitions from character to character, would have made this book hard to decipher, but Richard Laymon has a writing skill that is magnificent, and he easily flows the story along smoothly.
Quake has four major characters: Sheila Banner, Barbara Banner, Clint Banner and Stanley Banks. It follows these four, with whoever they are interacting with, on the day that a big earthQUAKE hits. The Banners' are at all different places when the Quake hits, Clint being at work and being lucky to escape, Barbara being in a car with three other pupils and their Drivers Ed teacher, and Sheila is in the bath, which falls in the crawlspace beneath the house, which saves her life. For Stanely, who perves at Sheila any time that he can, this quake is a heaven sent "gift", which he tries to use to attack her.
It follows the three Banners' and Stanley's actions through outthe day, leading to some excellent finale scenes. All in all, I would say that Quake is a great thriller that you can read again and again. A 10/10 novel.
Reviewed by Geoff Payne
Wow, don't natural disasters bring out the best in people?
Folks just pull together and pitch-in, right?
Not if you've read Richard laymon's "Quake," his fun and bone-chillingtake on Los Angelinos fears re: the impending Big One.
Reminiscent in its all-pervading contagious craziness to his superbnovelette, "Mop Up," (Night Visions #7), "Quake" centers on disasters, humanand tectonic, as a disparate band of characters cope with the quake's fall-outand surviving in the ensuing chaos that follows.
Central to the story is Stanley Banks, one of Laymon's most loathsome,finely drawn opportunists, consumed by an obssessive letch for his lovelyneighbor, Sheila Banner. The quake proves a godsend for the deranged Stanleywhen he discovers that the object of his fantasies has been pinned by rubblein her bathroom tub.
Meanwhile, in different parts of the city, Sheila's husband Clint, anddaughter Barbara desperately battle their way home...
Though it takes a while to get going, once it does, "Quake" is athrillingly suspenseful, brutal read, with one of the most repulsive villainsin modern horror: what's particularly chilling about Stanley Banks is that heis all-too scarifyingly real, playing on all our fears of helplessness andlack of empowerment. Nasty, sexy and sadistic, "Quake" will give plenty ofhorror afficianados memorable tremors.
Rating: 8 out of 10.
Reviewed by Todd French