- By David Morrell

The Totem

  • Title: The Totem
  • Author: David Morrell
  • ISBN: 9780446691901
  • Page: 233
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Totem Slowly bizarre events grip the tiny mountain community of Potter s Field Wyoming Cattle are mutilated Animals become savage Children go insane Townspeople are found without faces And one man must co

    Slowly, bizarre events grip the tiny mountain community of Potter s Field, Wyoming Cattle are mutilated Animals become savage Children go insane Townspeople are found without faces And one man must confront the evil behind the hideous events, an evil that is all too human and deadly From the bestselling author of Desperate Measures.

    1 thought on “The Totem

    1. Just finished a reread of this one, and it's still a great horror novel - one of the all time greats for me. It has pace, verve, genuine thrills and scares and maintains a humanity in the characters all the way through to the climax. It's a wonderful thing and I love it.

    2. David Morrell is known best as the author of thrillers but he is, in fact, a multi-genre writer. His oeuvre includes western, historical, horror, and science fiction novels, as well as nonfiction books. In fact, despite the many Morrell thrillers I've enjoyed, it is his sci-fi novel, The Shimmer, that I consider my favorite. After reading Morrell's horror novel, The Totem, I rank it up there with The Shimmer.The Totem was originally published in 1979 to much acclaim. That book, however, was much [...]

    3. Originally published in the late 70's, which is the setting for this novel, but reissued in 1995 with previously cut material, this clever and frightening novel examines how a small town deals with inexplicably brutal deaths of animals, cattle and pets, and eventually, townspeople. And those who are wounded become ravenous creatures, avoiding light and seeking fresh blood and meat. The town police chief tries to piece together the gruesome puzzle, with the help of a reporter and town medical exa [...]

    4. This was a pretty gripping horror novel from thriller writer David Morrell. Too bad he dudn't dabble more in the genre, but his writing was engaging and visceral. The tempo of Morrell's prose in this book is rapid fire and certainly kept me flipping pages. The man doesn't waste words. The characters and dialogue were natural and never forced. All in all, a superbly crafted book that I would recommend. My only complaint was that the ending, though exciting and tense, came off a bit weak in my opi [...]

    5. The small Wyoming town of Potters Field is in the middle of cattle and horse country. When animals begin to get mutilated wild dogs, wolves, coyotes or even a cougar are the usual suspects, except the livestock is not being eaten, just eviscerated. Enter (appropriately named) Nathan Slaughter, transplanted Detroit cop looking for a quieter life, unsuccessful horse breeder and current sheriff. That quiet life is about to blown out of the water. Slaughter is eventually joined by a washed up, alcoh [...]

    6. While I listened to this novel from beginning to end, it would have made no difference if I had not. While the author claims to be happy pages weren't destroyed, he may be the only one. 0 of 10 stars

    7. I guess this is the literary equivalent of a boring 70's Z-grade horror movie I would fall asleep watching late at night. Which is not a bad thing, as that's a sort of pleasure I enjoy.The Totem stars the ubiquitous horror movie small-town Sheriff, a part perfected by L.Q. Jones in a zillion movies. Totem's Sheriff, named Slaughter (no surprising moniker from the writer who brought us Rambo in First Blood) is a man running from his past in the East Coast and has settled in the relatively peacefu [...]

    8. Not that this is a surprising thing for me to say, but I enjoyed this book. The ebook that I had purchased contained two versions: it begins with the newly-revised edition, and ends with the novel as it was initially published. I found this approach to revision inventive as well as refreshing; it was a nice treat to be able to experience two different visions of the same essential work. Think of it as the ebook equivalent of a DVD which contains both a theatrical release as well as a director's [...]

    9. Like many good horror novels, the premise for this one is very simple. A virus is unleashed in a small town. It is spread through bites by infected individuals. Dogs, cats, and humans are the most affected. The virus, similar to rabies but different, turns the victim into a raving, slobbering, violent, lunatic. Domestic dogs and cats become killers. That's the story. Morrell then throws in some believable and sympathetic characters and lets 'er rip. There's the sheriff who moved there from Detro [...]

    10. A real page-turner of a horror novel! I thought this was on a par with some of Stephen King's or Dean Koontz's stories with maybe a little Richard Laymon thrown in. The story takes place in the small town of Potter's Field in the cattle country of Wyoming. It starts out with some mysterious mutilations of cattle and then escalates to the death of a man whose face has been torn off. And then a young child goes berserk and attacks his mother. So what is going on and who or what is responsible? The [...]

    11. This was an entertaining book, and an interesting take on the werewolf mythos. I haven't read the original, but I'm a little curious now. To me it seemed like some of the backstories were a bit more detailed than necessary given the character's contribution to the story, but it didn't feel "padded" by any stretch of the imagination. The writing was a little rough in places, particularly some stilted dialogue, but it was written quite some time ago.Definitely recommended, particularly for fans of [...]

    12. This was one of those books that has it all, a fantastic story idea, brilliant characters written in a lovely fluid style. There is also a lot of insight into the behaviours of mankind that bakes this book seem so very realistic. Definitely on my excellent read shelf!

    13. i remember liking this when i first read it 6 years ago. Now I cannot stand to finish a re-read so I'm putting it back down and holding on to my original memories of it.

    14. I found this book a nice surprise. The suspense starts slowly in the beginning but goes up to a real page turner.

    15. This is really the only horror novel that Morrell ever wrote, although some of his stories hit in that genre. "The Totem" was excellent, though, and I wish he'd have written more horror.

    16. The Totem has appeared on a lot of "Best Of" lists I've seen recently. I thought I was extremely lucky to find a copy. In retrospect maybe lucky is not the word. What I just finished was the novel David Morrell originally wrote-without the changes in the first printings Morrell states were made at the behest of his editor. Writers: sometimes it is a good idea to listen to your editor, sometimes they know what they are talking about. This horror novel never scared me-it built slowly to an unsatis [...]

    17. I should start out by noting a couple of things. First, I'm a horror fan, but not a well read one. Horror is difficult to write for a variety of reasons, and I have a lot of respect for people who can pull it off. I should also note, I prefer supernatural horror. Serial killers, diseases, and such just don't quite do it for me. I think because those things can be understood through some application of science, even if we can't understand them intuitively, and I think that's one of the issues I h [...]

    18. read like a king-crichton crossbreed;i'm not sure that i like the fact that morrell's genre is all over the place, though;keeps me on my toes, that's for sure;as long as i keep off the reviews 'til i've read the bookp190: "rapid dogs will, and in this case one small boy."p295: he had never dreamed it witch such vividness, as if each visitation were more real, more clear until he'd wake up one last time and see it there before him.

    19. This book had excellent characters and was a delightful scary romp. It's added a nice monster to my "bump in the night" list. What was that noise? It was probably RABID CANNIBAL HIPPIES! There were some logical flaws, but overall this was just very fun. Favorite line: "He was suddenly conscious of the wind. Or rather the absence of it. But the rustling through the grass had still continued, coming nearer."

    20. Well, well, well. I finished the book this evening – I couldn’t put it down. The story reminds me of Dean Koontz’s Midnight thought this story originally came out 10 years earlier.I have to say I liked Slaughter, the main character and his various band of cohorts. The story starts out so well – lots of suspense that kept you at the edge of your seat. I can’t say it was so thick that I was talking to the book – which does happen sometimes in the middle of the night when a character is [...]

    21. In the introduction to "The Totem," David Morrell talks about how when the novel was originally published in 1979, the publisher made him change the manuscript considerably before it was released. This version, published in 1995, is the complete, original version of Morrell's original manuscript.The story takes place in the Wyoming ranching town of Potter's Field. The sheriff of the town, Slaughter, is a transplant from Detroit. An alcoholic reporter, Dunlap, arrives in town to do a 'then and no [...]

    22. -3 Stars.Sadly I read/listened to the newly expanded edition from his originally edited out pages(more than double the size of the original)Well all I can say is reading all the fat and the lines that are repeated a couple sentences later all the time, I can only imagine the author really didn't even choose to edit his new 30 year old version before shoveling it to his publishers and saying, I'm big now so publish it.Which sadly(not that he is a big author) but he's a good one who is much better [...]

    23. If i should pick a definition for this book it'll be: not so boring as Stephen King's "the Stand", but much more pointless reading in a ratio to any Le Fanu's 2-3 pages of irish (but seem strangely familiar) fairy-tales.Actually, this book is part of an answer to not such curious as it may seems question: "Why did i stop watching States' producted movies?"

    24. I've been hearing about this book forever and have been meaning to read it for about twenty years. I finally sat down with it, and overall I've got to say I'm a bit disappointed. The book starts off pretty strong. There's nothing groundbreaking about it, but I was solidly hooked into the story and enjoyed the characters (although Morrell's habit of arbitrarily deciding not to give some of the major characters names definitely got on my nerves). The dialogue was the weakest aspect throughout, but [...]

    25. I picked this one up because it's in a book I have entitled 100 Best Horror Novels. I can't say whether this is one of the 100 best of its genre, but I can say that I thought it was too long, there were too many characters, and any suspense present was dampened by the general confusion of the narrative. The writing was generally serviceable, but there were a few parts that were sloppy and took me out of the book:' "And what am I supposed to do?" Dunlap asked the policeman on duty."Well, maybe if [...]

    26. So here's the thing about this book- I liked it. I mean I really liked it. I thought Chief Slaughter was a great character, I even liked the alcoholic reporter Dunlap. I need to admit though everytime they talked about hippies I couldn't help thinking of South Park and Cartman. Wrong I know but this is how the mind works sometimes. At any rate, this is a creepy story in my humble opinion.Now, here's the thing that frustrated me. I opened my Nook and it tell me 710 pages. Well OK! I get to page 4 [...]

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