The Conqueror Worms

The Conqueror Worms

One day the rain just didn't stop. As the flood waters slowly rose and coastal cities and towns disappeared, some people believed it was the end of the world. Maybe they were right. But the water wasn't the worst part. Even more terrifying was what the soaking rains drove up from beneath the earth — unimaginable creatures, writhing, burrowing ... and devouring all in their...

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Title:The Conqueror Worms
Author:Brian Keene
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Edition Language:English

The Conqueror Worms Reviews

  • Steve

    Satanists on surfboards. A mermaid. Giant worms and Cthulhu. And an End Time rain with two old mountain coots getting to play Beowulf. This is the good stuff.

    is the second book I've read by Brian Keene (

    being the first), and I'm really impressed by this guy. The sheer gusto of his B-movie imagination leaves me hopeful for the future of Horror fiction. In one sense, I'm left thinking Keene is very Old School (see Giant Bug movies from the 50s), but not totally.

    Satanists on surfboards. A mermaid. Giant worms and Cthulhu. And an End Time rain with two old mountain coots getting to play Beowulf. This is the good stuff.

    is the second book I've read by Brian Keene (

    being the first), and I'm really impressed by this guy. The sheer gusto of his B-movie imagination leaves me hopeful for the future of Horror fiction. In one sense, I'm left thinking Keene is very Old School (see Giant Bug movies from the 50s), but not totally.

    is very much a post 9-11 effort. Keene gives voice to the apocalyptic anxieties, whether it be terrorism or environmental collapse, that currently fill the air, and labels them Behemoth and Leviathan. Bible labels, to be sure, but you can see how Keene is constructing his own mythology, which I fully expect to show up in later novels - much like King's Dark Tower effort. Keene may not have any intention of knitting it all together, but is there a need to? Just hints here and there (much like Lovecraft) of the Labyrinth are more than enough to get the reader's dread going overtime.

    is basically two stories in one. The first, told by Teddy Garnett, an 80-something WW II vet, who lies wounded in his rain-soaked house, waiting for help or death. Garnett has to be Keene's best character yet. He is fully realized, his voice consistently strong throughout the novel. His likes (chewing tobacco) and dislikes (bad neighbor Earl), his memories of his beloved wife, Rose, his loneliness and anxiousness over the fate of his children and grandchildren, ratchet things up effectively. Garnett's voice never seemed cliched to me, and you're just simply going to like this guy - and his friend Carl Seaton. A bit less realized is the other tale teller, Kevin, a refugee from underwater Baltimore. His story is a wild one however, and any comparison with Teddy is probably unfair, since Teddy has lived a longer, fuller life. Eventually, these stories converge on a mountain in West Virginia. Time is short, but the characters, despite the hopelessness of it all, refreshingly hold on to their humanity, because in the End maybe that's all you will have as a comfort while the rain beats down and the worms continue to tunnel underneath.

  • Adam Light

    Thrilling apocaplyptic madness from Brian Keene. This book got me so wrapped in it that I breezed through it in two days. Now I'm looking for the sequel. If you enjoy end-of-the-world survival horror stories, you can't go wrong with this one.

  • Danger

    As far a pulp horror books go, this one is pretty much perfect. Weird and gory and tense and surprising and even (at times) emotional and funny. I loved it.

  • Jonathan Janz

    For Brian's fans (and you can count me squarely in that camp), be sure to read the afterword to this edition. In it Brian talks about this novel's importance not only to his mythos, but to the evolution of his craft. It's a quick piece, but it exemplifies many of the traits I value in Brian's writing: It's raw, it's real, it's emotional.

    As for the novel, it's the aforementioned things and more. I've read enough Keene books now that compiling a best-of list would be really difficult to do. I'm n

    For Brian's fans (and you can count me squarely in that camp), be sure to read the afterword to this edition. In it Brian talks about this novel's importance not only to his mythos, but to the evolution of his craft. It's a quick piece, but it exemplifies many of the traits I value in Brian's writing: It's raw, it's real, it's emotional.

    As for the novel, it's the aforementioned things and more. I've read enough Keene books now that compiling a best-of list would be really difficult to do. I'm not sure where I'd place EARTHWORM GODS on my list of favorite Keene reads, but rest assured it'd be included somewhere in there.

    Perhaps the primary reason for this is the protagonist. Brian excels at deep characterization, and for that reason, we not only care about his characters, we come to know them and regard them as real people. That Brian's inspiration for this particular protagonist sprang from real life didn't surprise me; I feel as though I could drive out to the mountains, knock on a specific door, and hang out with Teddy for a while. I'd be sure to bring him a can of chewing tobacco.

    So read EARTHWORM GODS. It's inventive, scary, and it manages to be both grand and intimate, a balancing act few writers can achieve.

    Brian Keene can. And this novel is a splendid example of why he's regarded as one of the very best in the genre.

  • Bark

    Reading for Jare's

    I haven't read a book where the main protagonist is a crabby 80 year old guy since struggling through King's Insomnia many moons ago. Fortunately, this story is much more interesting. This guy is a lone survivor (or so it seems) in a world nearly buried under water. He has the misfortune to live high up on a secluded mountain when most others have perished in the floods and he faces long days of loneliness, isolation and day after da

    Reading for Jare's

    I haven't read a book where the main protagonist is a crabby 80 year old guy since struggling through King's Insomnia many moons ago. Fortunately, this story is much more interesting. This guy is a lone survivor (or so it seems) in a world nearly buried under water. He has the misfortune to live high up on a secluded mountain when most others have perished in the floods and he faces long days of loneliness, isolation and day after day of rain. His only friend is a little robin who visits each morning and brightens up his otherwise gloomy existence. But then the giant earth worms explode on the scene and begin to wreak havoc. It sounds like a wild premise for a great B horror movie but the characterization makes it all real and surprisingly compelling.

    So far this is a very good apocalypse novel that moves at a crisp pace. The characters are nicely developed with only one annoying me with his heavy handed ghetto speak. The author doesn't throw everything in your face and leaves you and the characters in suspense wondering what awful thing is going to happen next.

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