Soon to be a major motion pictureproduced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by J.A. Bayona
REMAIN CALM DO NOT PANIC TAKE SHELTER WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL Society is rocked by a sudden increase in the number of violent assaults on individuals. Christened 'Haters' by the media, the attackers strike without warning, killing all who cross their path. The assaults are brutal, remorseless and extreme: within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people become frenzied, vicious killers. There are no apparent links as a hundred random attacks become a thousand, then hundreds of thousands. Everyone, irrespective of gender, age, race or any other difference, has the potential to become a victim - or a Hater. People are afraid to go to work, afraid to leave their homes and, increasingly, afraid that at any moment their friends, even their closest family, could turn on them with ultra violent intent. Waking up each morning, no matter how well defended, everyone must now consider the fact that by the end of the day, they might be dead. Or perhaps worse, become a killer themselves. As the status quo shifts, ATTACK FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER becomes the order of the day... only, the answers might be much different than what you expect....
In the tradition of H. G. Wells and Richard Matheson, Hater is one man's story of his place in a world gone mad a world infected with fear, violence, and HATE.
|Publisher:||Blackstone Audio, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
David Moody is the author of Dog Blood, Autumn and Autumn: The City. He grew up in Birmingham, England, on a diet of horror movies and post-apocalyptic fiction. He started his career working at a bank, but then decided to write the kind of fiction he loved. His first novel, Straight to You, had what Moody calls "microscopic sales," and so when he wrote Autumn, he decided to publish it online. The book became a sensation and has been downloaded by half a million readers. He started his own publishing company, Infected Books. He lives in Britain with his wife and a houseful of daughters, which may explain his preoccupation with Armageddon.
Read an Excerpt
By David Moody
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2006 David Moody
All rights reserved.
Lunatic. bloody hell, I've seen some things happen in this town before but never anything like that. That was disgusting. That made me feel sick. Christ, he came out of nowhere and she didn't stand a chance, poor old woman. He's in the middle of the crowd now. He's outnumbered fifty to one and yet he's still trying to fight. This place is full of crazy people. Fortunately for that woman it's also full of police officers. There are two of them down with her now, trying to stop the bleeding. Three more have got to the guy who did it and they're dragging him away.
Damn, it's three minutes to nine. I'm going to be late for work again but I can't move. I'm stuck in this bloody crowd. There are people bunched up tight all around me and I can't go backward or forward. I'll have to wait until they start to shift, however long that takes. There are more police officers arriving now trying to clear the scene. It's pathetic really, you'd think they'd show some respect but people are all the same. First sign of trouble on the street and everyone stops to watch the freak show.
We're finally starting to move. I can still see that guy being bundled toward a police van on the other side of the street. He's kicking and screaming and crying like a bloody baby. Looks like he's lost it completely. The noise he's making you'd think he was the one who'd been attacked.
I know I'm a lazy bastard. I know I should try harder but I just can't be bothered. I'm not stupid but I sometimes find it difficult to give a shit. I should have run across Millennium Square to get to the office just now but it was too much effort so early in the morning. I walked and I finally got here just after quarter past nine. I tried to sneak in but it was inevitable that someone was going to see me. It had to be Tina Murray though, didn't it? My sour-faced, slave-driving, unforgiving bitch of a supervisor. She's standing behind me now, watching me work. She thinks I don't know she's there. I really can't stand her. In fact I can't think of anyone I like less than Tina. I'm not a violent man — I don't like confrontation and I find the very idea of punching a woman offensive — but there are times here when I'd happily smack her in the mouth.
"You owe me fifteen minutes," she sneers in her horrible, whining voice. I push myself back on my chair and slowly turn around to face her. I force myself to smile although all I want to do is spit. She stands in front of me, arms folded, chewing gum and scowling.
"Morning, Tina," I reply, trying to stay calm and not give her the satisfaction of knowing just how much she bugs me. "How are you today?"
"You can either take the time off your lunch hour or stay late tonight," she snaps. "It's up to you how you make it up."
I know I'm only making things worse for myself but I can't help it. I should just keep my mouth shut and accept that I'm in the wrong but I can't stand the thought of this vile woman thinking she's in control. I know I'm not helping the situation but I just can't stop myself. I have to say something.
"What about yesterday morning?" I ask. I force myself to look into her harsh, scowling face again. She's not at all happy. She shifts her weight from one foot to the other and chews her gum even harder and faster. Her jaw moves in a frantic circular motion. She looks like a cow chewing the cud. Fucking heifer.
"What about yesterday morning?" she spits.
"Well," I explain, trying hard not to sound like I'm patronizing her, "if you remember I was twenty minutes early yesterday and I started working as soon as I got here. If I'm going to make up your fifteen minutes for today, can I claim back my twenty minutes for yesterday? Or shall we just call it quits and I'll let you off the five minutes?"
"Don't be stupid. You know it doesn't work like that."
"Maybe it should."
Bloody hell, now she's really annoyed. Her face is flushed red and I can see the veins on her neck bulging. It was a stupid and pointless comment to make but I'm right, aren't I? Why should the council, the city government, have it all their own way? Tina's staring at me now and her silence is making me feel really uncomfortable. I should have just kept my mouth closed. I let her win the face-off and I turn back around to sign on to my computer again.
"Either take it off your lunch hour or work late," she says over her shoulder as she walks away. "I don't care what you do, just make sure you make up the time you owe."
And she's off. Conversation's over and I don't get any chance to respond or to try and get the last word. Bitch.
Tina makes my skin crawl but I find myself staring at her rather than at my computer screen. She's back at her desk now and Barry Penny, the office manager, has suddenly appeared. Her body language has completely changed now that she's speaking to someone who's higher up the council pecking order than she is. She's smiling and laughing at his pathetic jokes and generally trying to see how far she can crawl up his backside.
I can't help thinking about what I've just seen happen outside. Christ, I wish I had that bloke's umbrella. I know exactly where I'd shove it.
Sometimes having such a dull and monotonous job is an advantage. This stuff is way beneath me and I don't really have to think about what I'm doing. I can do my work on autopilot and the time passes quickly. It's been like that so far this morning. Job satisfaction is nonexistent but at least the day isn't dragging.
I've been working here for almost eight months now (it feels longer) and I've worked for the council for the last three-and-a-half years. In that time I've worked my way through more departments than most long-serving council staff manage in their entire careers. I keep getting transferred. I served time in the pest control, refuse collection, and street lamp maintenance departments before I ended up here in the Parking Fine Processing office or PFP as the council likes to call it. They have an irritating habit of trying to reduce as many department names and job titles down to sets of initials as they can. Before I was transferred here I'd been told that the PFP was a dumping ground for underperformers and, as soon as I arrived, I realized it was true. In most of the places I've worked I've either liked the job but not the people or the other way around. Here I have problems with both. This place is a breeding ground for trouble. This is where those motorists who've been unlucky (or stupid) enough to get wheel-clamped, caught on camera violating a traffic rule, or given a ticket by a parking warden come to shout and scream and dispute their fines. I used to have sympathy with them and I believed their stories. Eight months here has changed me. Now I don't believe anything that anyone tells me.
"Did you see that bloke this morning?" a voice asks from behind the computer on my left. It's Kieran Smyth. I like Kieran. Like most of us he's wasted here. He's got brains and he could make something of himself if he tried. He was studying law at university but took a holiday job here last summer and never went back to class. Told me he got used to having the money and couldn't cope without it. He buys an incredible amount of stuff. Every day he seems to come back from lunch with bags of clothes, books, DVDs, and CDs. I'm just jealous because I struggle to scrape together enough money to buy food, never mind anything else. Kieran spends most of his day talking to his mate Daryl Evans who sits on my right. They talk through me and over me but very rarely to me. It doesn't bother me though. Their conversations are as boring as hell and the only thing I have in common with them is that the three of us all work within the same small section of the same small office. What does annoy me, if I'm honest, is the fact that they both seem to be able to get away with not doing very much for large chunks of the working day. Maybe it's because they're friendly with Tina outside work and they go out drinking together. Christ, I only have to cough and she's up out of her seat wanting to know what I'm doing and why I've stopped working.
"What bloke?" Daryl shouts back.
"Out on the street on the way to work."
"The high street, just outside Cartwrights."
"Didn't see anything."
"You must have."
"I didn't. I didn't walk past Cartwrights. I came the other way this morning."
"There was this bloke," Kieran explains regardless, "you should have seen him. He went absolutely fucking mental."
"What are you on about?"
"Honest, mate, he was wild. You ask Bob Rawlings up in Archives. He saw it. He reckons he practically killed her."
"I don't know, just some old woman. No word of a lie, he just started laying into her for no reason. Stabbed her with a bloody umbrella I heard!"
"Now you're taking the piss ..."
"You go and ask Bob ..."
I usually ignore these quick-fire conversations (most of the time I don't have a clue what they're talking about) but today I can actually add something because I was there. It's pathetic, I know, but the fact that I seem to know more about what happened than either Kieran or Daryl makes me feel smug and superior.
"He's right," I say, looking up from my screen.
"Did you see it then?" Kieran asks. I lean back on my seat in self-satisfaction.
"Happened right in front of me. He might even have gone for me if I'd been a few seconds earlier."
"So what was it all about?" Daryl asks. "Is what he's saying right?"
I quickly look over at Tina. She's got her head buried in a pile of papers. It's safe to keep talking.
"I saw the old girl first," I tell them. "I nearly tripped over her. She came flying past me and smashed up against the window by the side door of Cartwrights. I thought it must be a group of kids trying to get her bag off her or something like that. Couldn't believe it when I saw him. He just looked like a normal bloke. Suit, tie, glasses ..."
"So why did he do it? What had she done to him?"
"No idea. Bloody hell, mood he was in I wasn't about to ask him."
"And he just went for her?" Daryl mumbles, sounding like he doesn't believe a word I'm saying. I nod and glance from side to side at both of them.
"Never seen anything like it," I continue. "He ran at her and stabbed her with an umbrella. It was gross. It went right into her belly. There was blood all over her coat and ..."
Tina's looking up now. I look down and start typing, trying to remember what it was I was doing.
"Then what?" Kieran hisses.
"Idiot turned on the rest of the crowd. Started hitting out at the people around him. Then the police turned up," I explain, still looking at my screen but not actually doing anything. "They dragged him away and shoved him in the back of a van."
The conversation stops again. Murray's on the move. For a moment the only sound I can hear is the clicking of three computer keyboards as we pretend to work. After looking around the room and staring at me in particular she leaves the office and Kieran and Daryl immediately stop inputting.
"So was there something wrong with him?" Daryl asks pointlessly.
"Of course there was something wrong with him," I answer. Christ, this guy's an idiot at times. "Do you think he'd stab an old lady with an umbrella if there wasn't anything wrong with him?"
"But did he say anything? Was he screaming or shouting or ... ?"
I wonder whether it's even worth answering his half-asked question.
"Both," I grunt.
"Was he drunk or on drugs or ...?"
"I don't know," I say, beginning to get annoyed. I stop and think for a second before speaking again. In my head I can still see the expression on the man's face. "He looked absolutely fucking terrified," I tell them. "He looked like he was the one who was being attacked."CHAPTER 2
There's a girl who sits on the other side of the office called Jennifer Reynolds. I don't know her very well. I don't have much to do with her from day to day. In fact I've only spoken to her a handful of times since I was transferred into the PFP. She's not here today and I hate it when she's out. When Jennifer Reynolds isn't here her duties get shared between the rest of us, and the job I have to cover today is the worst job of all — Reception. The postal address of the PFP isn't actively broadcast but it's on some of the correspondence we send out and it's in the phone book and it doesn't take much for the general public to find out where we are. We get a lot of visitors, too many in my opinion. If someone comes here it's almost always because they've been fined or clamped. They've probably already tried to get the fine overturned or the clamp removed and, by the time they reach us, coming to argue their case in person is often the only option they have left. So those people who do turn up here are likely to already be seriously pissed off. Shouting, screaming, and threatening behavior isn't unusual. The first place these people reach is Reception, and the first person they get to scream at, shout at, or threaten is the poor sod sitting behind the desk.
So here I am, sitting alone at the Reception desk, staring at the tatty bronzed-glass entrance door, watching anxiously for any visitors. I hate this. It's like sitting in a dentist's waiting room. I'm constantly watching the clock on the wall. It's hung just above a large bulletin board covered with unread and unhelpful council posters and notices. Just to the left of the bulletin board, equally unread and unhelpful, is a small sign which warns the public against intimidating or attacking council staff. The fact that it's there doesn't make me feel any safer. There's a personal-attack alarm stuck under the desk but that doesn't make me feel any better either.
It's four thirty-eight. Twenty-two minutes to go then I'm finished for the day.
I'm sure Tina enjoys making me come out here. It's always me who ends up covering for Jennifer. Being out on Reception is a form of torture. You're not allowed to bring any paperwork out here with you (something about protecting confidential data) and the lack of any distractions makes the time drag painfully slowly. So far this afternoon I've only had to deal with two phone calls, and they were just personal calls for members of staff.
Come on clock, speed up.
Almost there. I'm watching the clock all the time now, willing the hands to move around quickly so that I can get out of here. I'm already rehearsing my escape from the office in my head. I just have to shut down my computer and grab my coat from the cloakroom, then I'll sprint to the station. If I can get away quickly enough I might manage to catch the early train and that'll get me back home for ...
Damn. Bloody phone's ringing again. I hate the way it rings. It grates like an off- key alarm clock and the noise goes right through me. I pick it up and cringe at the thought of what might be waiting for me at the other end of the line.
"Good afternoon, PFP, Danny McCoyne speaking," I mumble quickly. I've learned to answer the phone quietly and at speed. It makes it difficult for the caller to take your name.
"Can I speak to Mr. Fitzpatrick in Payroll please?" a heavily accented female voice asks. Thank God for that — this isn't a screaming member of the public with a complaint, it's just a wrong number. I relax. We get a few calls for Payroll most days. Their extensions are similar to ours. You'd think someone would do something about it. Anyway I'm relieved. The last thing I want is a problem at four fifty-five.
"You've come through to the wrong department," I explain. "You've dialed 2300 instead of 3200. I'll try and transfer you. If you get cut off just dial 1000 and that'll take you through to the main exchange ..."
I'm suddenly distracted and my voice trails away as the front door flies open. I instinctively move back in my chair, trying to put as much distance as possible between me and whoever it is who's about to come storming into the building. I finish the phone call and allow myself to relax slightly when I see the front wheels of a child's stroller being forced through the door. The stroller is jammed in the doorway and I get up to help. A short, rain-soaked woman in a green and purple jacket enters Reception. As well as the child in the stroller (which is hidden from view by a heavy plastic rain cover) two more small children follow her inside. The bedraggled family stands in the middle of the Reception area and drips water onto the grubby marble-effect floor. The woman seems harassed and is preoccupied with her kids. She snaps at the tallest child, telling him that "Mummy has a problem to sort out with this man, then we'll get you back home for something to eat."
Excerpted from Hater by David Moody. Copyright © 2006 David Moody. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
WOW. The first thing I will say is, you don't need to read a review of this book. You just need to read it for yourself. This story is fantastic. David Moody has created a story that could possibly be one of the best modern "situation horror" stories ever written. I was hooked from the first chapter. This book starts at a fast pace and just continues to gain momentum right until the end. This isn't your run of the mill "horror" story. There isn't a monster, no vampires or werewolves. The fear comes from our own humanity, or what will happen if we lose our humanity. The author has created a world were a proportion of the population becomes affected by a "new" kind of disorder. Once affected they lose all humanity towards those not affected. They fear those who haven't changed and they HATE those who haven't changed. They find only one way of fixing this situation. Kill the unchanged. The horror in this book comes at the reader from three different angles. Firstly, we have the violence that is carried out throughout the whole story. It is relentless, in your face and most of all, it is believable. Every attack resembles something we could possibly read or see in the news on a daily basis. Secondly, we have the simple horror of normal people being trapped and confused in this situation. The author really creates a spine chilling experience by making us feel empathy with those not affected and from this we get a feeling of the fear that they must be feeling. Thirdly, the horror, at its best, comes from the very realistic way that David Moody has shown us how humanity, love and empathy can easily be destroyed once fear is added into the world. How friends can turn on friends once they are shown the difference. How we fear those who are different from ourselves and the lengths we are willing to go to get rid them. The story is easy to read, captivating, brilliant, scary and worryingly mirrors the world we live in. Expect a few shivers down your back and after reading, try not to judge those you walk past in the street. After all, it is only a story........ but it will make you think!!!
Awesome, outstanding, very well written book! "Hater" is the 1st book in what will be a trilogy. The next book, "Dog Blood" will be out soon according to back page's author's notes. Don't let the obscure title fool you, "Hater" is the real deal! A word of advice, read "Hater" now, don't wait until the movie comes out or until all three books are out and everyone is talking about it and your three books behind. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED! A few random people are brutally attacked by strangers. The next day, several more attacks. All random, all appear to be for no certain reason. The media declares the attacks are being committed by haters! But who is a hater, what is a hater, how can we tell them apart? The government puts the following message on every television, every station- REMAIN CALM DO NOT PANIC TAKE SHELTER WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL The haters can tell us apart, they already know, "it's kill or be killed, hate or be hated!" Haters are not zombies, their not vampires, read it and find out for yourself! The book gets better & better all the way through. It's fast paced and the ending is phenomenal! Guillermo del Toro, director of "Pan's Labyrinth", "Hellboy 1 & 2" has already purchased the rights to this novel for production of the major motion picture "Hater"! I will definitely watch the movie and definitely read the next two novels when they come out. Read it!
I had no idea what to expect going into this book but by the end of the first chapter I felt like I'd been punched in the face....but in a good way! It is amazingly well written and leaves you wanting more every time you have to close the cover. If you enjoy the infected human or undead genre you will undoubtedly enjoy this book.
Nothing about this book is entirely innovative or remarkable, but it was a good read that I would cautiously recommend. It's very interesting and I was definitely compelled to keep reading all the way to the end. It took a little while to get to the interesting part. The first half of the book or so was interesting, but typical. I would have gotten to the original bit more quickly because that's the part that made this book a four for me. If you start reading this book, you may start reading it and get a little bored at first, but push through it because the plot twist towards the end makes it worth it and makes it unique and a story that you will remember. Gory, morbid, strikingly violent, but it captures your imagination. If you enjoy horror movies/books, get this. If you're looking for a heart warming tale, go elsewhere! I would check out this author's other books for a casual and interesting read, but he's not my favorite.
What an amazing read! The book's cover catches the eye and draws you in. From the very beginning of the book, you are captivated. The pace is quick and never slows down. Page after page is filled with a unique sense of anticipation that forces you into the world of the Haters. The way Moody writes in the personal form forces you to think like the character and truly commit to his process of drawing conclusions and making decisions. Although his names is mentioned only a handful of times, you relate to the main character so well, you barely realize you don't know his name. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to escape into a fantastical and gory alter-world.
Hater is different type of horror in which raw human fear, anger, and self preservation become the enemy where both the "normal" and the "haters" both feel that they must protect themselves from each other. I thought that the book was interesting from a psycological standpoint but it was just me but the main character irritated me but beyond my opinion, it was a decent book.
Pretty good book - I'm looking forward to the next one in the series. It stuck (mostly) with the rules and had just enough twists to keep it interesting. There were a few parts that were dry and also a few that were annoying (the children - these kids are a living advertisment for birth control). I will probably read this again.
This book leaves you wondering who the 'bad-guy' really is. Should be interesting to see if the movie does it justice.
Danny McCoyne is a bureaucrat at the Parking Fine Processing Office; a job he loathes but as poor as the pay is he needs to keep his boring position in order to feed his wife and kids. Depressed Danny knows he has no future beyond being near the bottom of his agency's food chain. Danny is stunned when he witnesses an apparent random act of violence. When more occur, the media dubs the assaulters as Haters. Victims are loved ones, friends and fellow workers as much as strangers. No one can explain why even as society begins to unravel as exponentially the number of attacks is beyond when the government can contend with. Danny anticipates the worst is yet to come; so he tries to keep his loved ones safe though that means hiding inside their home like convicts. He trusts no one especially the government who he thinks may be behind the sudden violence This is a chilling thriller as the increasingly violent society forcing innocents to lock themselves and their families in houses that are prisons seems plausible due to the pace of the story line. The brutality is often vivid, rightfully so, as that cruelty is what leads to self incarceration. Fans of a dark world will appreciate this grim thriller as normality is simple survival in a Moody world gone mad. Harriet Klausner
You wait till the last 2 pages to find out the big reveal... there isn’t one... poorly written with lack luster imagery and an even worse plot.
I love me but this book is weird don't mess with me Wisconsin and good morning .
Not worth the cost
I kept waiting for it to get better. It never did.
I did not enjoy this book. I did not like the main character, or his family. The story is actually a good story though. It is about the ramifications of a society to oftened touched by hate. I felt a little dirty after reading it though. Could i become a hater?
It was ok in the early going but became more and more rambling and disconnected. Are we supposed to root for this guy? He wasn't very likeable when he was well and sure wasn't later.
Violence begins unexpectidly in all areas of society and it is expanding exponentially. People become enraged and attack others with no known provocation. The news says it is copy cat violence. Then a virus is suspected. Before long speculation is a thing of the past. The collapse of society is observed by a seemingly unconnected number of people. Then it starts to come closer and closer to home. What is the cause? Where will it end? This trilogy explores the situation with well developed characters and interesting storyline of escalating violence. A great new author. A great new series.
My first encounter with this hellishly delightful text was through the public library. I am a professional reader & read it in a day. My roommate loved it as well -- finishing it in less than a week (he works, has a boyfriend & parties full time). Every Xmas I give my youngest cousin money inside an excellent book. Last year it was Kostova's THE HISTORIAN. This year it will be Moody's HATER.
This book is unnerving, and leaves you wondering who the real enemy is.... Who really are the Haters? Can't wait to read his new one - hopefully, answers will be provided.
I read the whole thing and its just bad on many levels. Its looking for a metaphor and the author should of stated it in an abstract so that we might pin him down on it with Elmer's glue and get it over with. The previous reviewers alluded to a fast paced novel ... nope. Its kind of like Dawn of the Dead but you never get to the Mall. All character development kinda stops half way through and we are on a long wrap up for part two. I really liked the beginning of the book. The main character was developing nicely and I liked how the author gave us the hater's perspective when they changed. From there everything is miserable and self centered for the most part. If your not a hater, you do nothing but what good for you and skip everyone else. When your a hater, once you get past the initiation part of killing some innocent sucker just cuz its the most logical path to follow, your palling around with the bestest most magnanimous altruistic bunch of self center people that do everything for one another but kill everyone else as long as the timing is right and if its not, we act like we did before; whine and wait ... wait, mmm. I have a hard time with irrational acts leading to rational pacts of irrational people that have a global goal that must lead to nothing in the end because they are a disconnected people with no other goal. Did I just say that out loud? Maybe its a Gaea thing. Maybe its a Nietzsche "become what you are" thing, which I'm all for but it was never meant in this vein. Maybe its a I don't care because its boring thing. Hater/non-hater ... whats the difference with the exception of kill, kill, kill for different self centered reasons ... which kind of sounds like we are hitting a metaphor, but its not that easy in this book, and the journey isn't worth wherever this story goes, part two goes and beyond. I'm skipping the boat ride.
Good quick read. The author really takes his time building a world and fleshing out his characters. Then when all hell breaks loose you really feel for them. Really feels like the first book of a trilogy if that makes any sense. The plot, settings and characters are all set up nicely for the following books.
freaking book it was good then it became creepy and the end suck big time
The writing style reminded me of a Chuck Palahniuk novel but lacking in the imagination of Palahniuk. Kinda of like a zombie book -- I kept expecting the Hater characters to start eating brains and it always threw me when they human needs such as eating and sleeping. Would probably read the next one.
Set in near-future England. A rash of killings break out, committed by "Haters" who suddenly and inexplicably get the urge to kill and kill and kill. Not bad. First in a trilogy. Peters out at the end a bit. Terrible author photo.
Hater was self-published online in 2006 by author David Moody. It became, we are told in the dust jacket copy, an internet phenomenon and Moody--who apparently is a great self-promoter--sold the movie rights, sans agent, to Guillermo del Toro.I'm here to tell you, folks, that just because something is an "internet phenomenon," and just because a great director has the ability to recognize a good movie within a story, doesn't mean that story will translate into a great book. Because it didn't, my friends, it didn't.The premise is intriguing: over the course of a few days the world realizes that certain violent, unprovoked, usually homicidal attacks are occurring with increasing frequency, and with a modus operandi that is distinctly similar each time. First uneasiness develops, then families and friends begin to circle the wagons, but soon full-fledged panic breaks out. The people committing the unprovoked attacks are dubbed Haters, which is an apt enough designation. We follow the story mostly through the first person narrative of one Danny McCoyne, a low level civil servant barely able to support his wife and three kids. Unfortunately, Moody is not a good enough writer to sustain the level of horror and panic necessary to move a novel like this along at the proper brisk pace. It's not until three quarters of the way through, when we finally get inside the head of a Hater, that the suspense is elevated, but by then it's too little too late.Hater, I suspect, will turn out to be a far better movie than it was a book.
It¿s a normal day in suburbia. Bright and sunny; the smell of lemon freshener in the air. You¿re at home, relaxing, a chorus of dogs barking outside, your spouse happily chit-chatting. Your mind wanders. Only for a few moments. Maybe just a few seconds. But long enough. Long enough to be confused by the sudden silence, an eerie silence. The air¿s suddenly pregnant with tension, thick with it. You look at your spouse, searching for a clue, looking to understand. Hoping the answer to the silence lies in a loved one¿s eyes. But when you look in their eyes, you aren¿t greeted by love. You¿re greeted by terror, a face filled with fear. A face filled with hate. Puzzled, you¿re taken off-guard when your spouse suddenly lunges at you, grabbing a nearby kitchen knife. And starts stabbing you. Furiously. Fighting like a cornered animal. A whirling dervish of arms, glistening steel, and blood. Your blood.And you wonder¿why? As the knife repeatedly slices your flesh¿why? As you bleed out on your living room floor¿why? As you look into your spouse¿s eyes one final time, grasping to understand the betrayal, before the light dims. To understand how this person can go from honey¿to Hater.It¿s not a normal day in suburbia. Or downtown, or in the countryside. Violent incidents are increasing, daily. Exponentially. People are being attacked randomly, maybe by a stranger, maybe by a loved one, all the assailants dubbed Haters by the media. It¿s an epidemic, of violence, of hate. And no one seems to know why.David Moody masterfully plays upon a multitude of primal fears in his new novel ¿Hater.¿ Fears about isolation, ignorance, random inexplicable violence, betrayal, and mass hysteria. It¿s us against them in a race of kill or be killed. An endless cycle of violence; a snapshot of a world in which fear is the overwhelming motivation to kill. In which fear is used to justify pre-emptive violence. It¿s not a pretty picture, but the underlying motto should be familiar¿if we don¿t get them, they¿ll get us. It¿s the ideology behind the war on terrorism, and Britain and America¿s current involvement in the Middle East. Terrorists hate us, seeking to harm and kill innocents. To kill our families. To kill us. But why? Do their actions arise out of hate¿or out of fear? Are these groups on the offensive, or the defensive? Is one man¿s terrorist, another man¿s freedom fighter? These questions make ¿Hater¿ timely and topical; an examination of the disquieting and immense power of fear. How fear is the seed of hate.Much has been made of Moody selling the film rights of ¿Hater¿ to Guillermo del Toro¿the director of the Hellboy series and Pan¿s Labyrinth¿after initially self-publishing the novel online. After reading it, I can see why it would be attractive source material for a film. It¿s highly cinematic, both visceral and intense. The book flows easily through a course of memorable scenes, amping up the drama all the way to the end. Sections of the novel strongly reminded me of the George Romero¿s classic zombie film Dawn of the Dead. Both feature characters that isolate themselves, seeking refuge from a world spiraling into madness, having no clue why. All they can do is sit, and wait, while their situation grows increasingly more dismal. And more deadly.Last Word:Moody has crafted an intelligent and powerful novel. And an isolating one. One that traps you in your own skin, forcing you into self-reliance. Not because of the stranger on the street who¿s a Hater, but because of your wife, or child, who suddenly becomes one. What do you do when those closest turn on you? Who other than yourself can you ever trust? Scary thoughts. But utterly engaging reading. Suddenly it¿s cool to hate.