A Random Blog of Everything I like
I bought The Manhattan Hunt Club in early 2010, I finally had the chance to read it this month. The Manhattan Hunt Club is written by John Saul. I was told by someone, knowing that I love Stephen King, to try reading something written by John Saul. She said that Saul is also a horror writer. I was very intrigued and started looking for his book. I found this book with cheap price, there was a huge discount in one of my favorite bookstores. There was only one book by Saul.
The blurb in the back cover looked promising:
Falsely convicted of a brutal crime, college student Jeff converse sees his future vanishing in front of his eyes. But someone has other plans for Jeff, in the place far deadlier than any penitentiary. Jeff finds himself beneath the teeming streets of Manhattan, in a hidden landscape of twisting tunnels and forgotten subterranean chambers. Here, an invisible population of the homeless, the desperate, and the mad has carved out its own shadow society. But they are not alone. For someone has made this forsaken civilization a private killing ground. Now, with no weapon but his wits, and an unimaginable threat lurking around every corner, Jeff must somehow move heaven and earth to escape the living hell …
Sounds great isn’t it?
Reading the blurb somehow made me think that I’m going to read about a convicted man who tries so hard to survive from people who try to hunt him down, and not only that he will also meet crazy people who lives in the tunnel. Dangers are lurking everywhere. A survival game that will chill my bones and thrill my muscles.
Unfortunately, it isn’t that great…at least for me. The plot is jut way too simple and does not thrill me at all. I was so disappointed that it wasn’t as great as the blurb suggested. I almost quit reading it, but I decided to skim through it and maybe I can finally found the exciting part of the book. My skimming method is by reading the 1st line in one paragraph and then move to another one. Things started to get better in chapter 26, page 215. More than half part of the book.
The 1st half is full of story about the homeless, and it does not make me pity them because the way Saul describes them is flat. He doesn’t give room for emotion. It is also filled with story of the people above the tunnel who believe that Jeff is innocent. But their portion of the story is just too much.
Chapter 26 is when everything becomes a bit interesting, the hunt is finally begun!! At this point, I stopped skimming the book and seriously reading the book. The hunt ended very easy and very fast. It was like reading a child play. There is nothing about the hunt that excites me. The suspense is just not there. The line that says “unimaginable threat lurking around every corner” is too overrated. The hunters seemed like unprofessional hunters even though they have been hunting for 5 years.
The characters also feel so loose. None of the characters has strong impression on me. To make matter worse, I can easily guess who the members of the hunt club are, it was so transparent. Not only the good guys fail to make me like them, Saul also fails in creating heartless bad guys.
My conclusion about The Manhattan Hunt Club: it’s not a great book but also not a bad book. I wouldn’t read it again and it is ready to be swapped with other book.
Although this book is not as great as I expected it to be, however it doesn’t make me dislike Saul the way I dislike Peter Straub after reading Houses Without Doors. I still want to try reading another book by John Saul. I wonder which one is his best, can anyone please tell me?
A brief introduction about the author (from the back cover)
John Saul’s first novel, Suffer The Children, published in 1977, was an immediate million-copy bestseller. He has since written twenty-three successive bestselling novels of suspense, including Nightshade, The Right Hand of Evil, The Presence, Black Lightning, Guardian, and The Homing. He is also the author of the New York Times bestselling serial killer The Black Stone Chronicles, initially published in six installments but now available in one complete volume. Mr. Saul divides his time between Seattle, Washington, and Maui, Hawaii.