The Hunger

The Hunger

Book - 2018
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"A retelling of the fate of the Donner Party, with a Walking Dead style twist"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2018]
ISBN: 9780735212510
Branch Call Number: Fiction Katsu
Characteristics: 376 pages : illustration ; 24 cm


From Library Staff


A western with a dash of horror, this title won a Western Heritage Award for Best Western Novel and was a Bram Stoker Award Nominee. Quite the combination!

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Nov 05, 2020

What a far-out tale! We all know the tragic fate of the Donner Party, and that alone is incredible reading. Throwing a supernatural slant into their daily troubles makes this a good pick for when you're craving just a little something more to give you the willies. This one had me looking over my shoulder more than once and staring hard at shadows. Strange happenings, bad decisions and deteriorating partnerships create the ideal setting for spooky legends to run amuck in your head. Supernatural aside, the characterizations, although fictionalized, bring the ill-fated pioneers to life. I simply could not get enough. Hooked from the get-go all the way to the end. 4 stars.

Aug 25, 2020

I enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I would. “Supernatural western” was a genre I didn’t even know existed! I cannot speak to the historical accuracy, obviously the Donner party wasn’t being chased by ghosts(...or were they!?) but it seems like Donner was a pompous jerk with the power of persuasion over people. Maybe that’s how everything was named after him? Truckee Lake becomes Donner Lake, the entire story is remembered as “the Donner Party” though other families were involved. Also I’m pretty sure whoever had the copy I read ate some chocolate chip cookies at some point, as there were crumbs in between some pages. I love when people can get invested into a book that they can’t stop for a snack because they want to keep reading, but at least have some respect for an item that doesn’t belong to you.

JCLKathrynC Mar 23, 2020

Researching the Donner Party and what became of them will either fascinate you or disturb you. This eerie retelling of the wagon train's fate will have you feeling like something or someone is always watching from the tree line. While Katsu never comes out during the narrative to states what "the monster" in the novel is, if you do some research it should lead you to the wendigo. My personal favorite demon from Native American folklore. Wendigos enjoy long hunting trips through wintery forests, have a strong dislike for fire, and have a diet that consists of, well, everyone.

Nov 11, 2019

An eerie novel, rather than scary. Really made me think about how it would feel to be on a wagon train in the mid-1800s, and how I might behave if I were starving and wanted to protect my family.

Jul 18, 2019

A creepy retelling of the Donner party. Katsu creates convincing back stories and motivations for her characters without bogging you down with endless exposition. Not sure which is scarier: the evil presence seemingly hunting them down, or their fellow travellers.

Jun 08, 2019

The Donner Party story is fascinating and horrible enough without adding zombie-esque elements to it. This isn't a terrible book, but actual accounts of what happened at Truckee lake are far more interesting (and disturbing). These were tough people who had to make devastating choices, and turning their lives into a melodramatic, supernatural tall tale skirts the most troubling questions of humanity and survival. Read Daniel James Brown's The Indifferent Stars Above instead.

Mar 25, 2019

It was an easy read because it wasn't written well. It's unfortunate because it was a good story line but they didn't go anywhere with it and afterwards I felt like really.

Mar 23, 2019

Haunting describes this story of the Donner Party. It begins with the mystery why and what happens to of a young boy who disappears from his tent one night early on the trail. Personalities are explained in flashbacks (not too often however). Interesting theory as to the fate of the Donner party. Katsu has taken liberties within her story to make you wonder "IF" that could have really happened.....

Feb 22, 2019

Was unsure whether to begin this book or not because of 1846 setting, but turned out to be a pleasant read. The characters stories were developed nicely allowing you to form a connection and there was just enough action and romance/infidelity to keep the story moving. While not a terrible conclusion, it was quite abrupt and not very detailed.

Starting with a few families on wagons, they merge up to 90+ people strong traveling from Illinois to California in 1846 searching for a rich and more fulfilling life. The most notable families are The Donners (George older rich man with Tamsen young attractive wife and 5 kids), The Reeds (Gay man who married a wife and took on her kids kids), The Graves (Mary young woman who falls for Stanton). Stanton and Bryant are two single men throughout the journey (although Bryant is engaged). Along the journey, the group encounters obstacles on the trail creating problems with their food supply and warmth as winter approaches. If that isn't enough to deal with there is a disease transforming humans into cannibals that attack and transform members of the group.

JCLMeghanF Jan 28, 2019

Like your historical fiction with a dose of the supernatural and more than a little horror? Look no further! This new take on what really happened to the Donner Party is atmospheric, suspenseful, and very, very unsettling. Tension builds as the wagon train heads out to California and members of the party start disappearing along the way. Something seems to be hunting them, something with an insatiable hunger. Katsu is such a great storyteller that even if you know what happened to the original party, you won't be able to put this book down until you reach the horrific conclusion.

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