Read Earthworm Gods by Brian Keene Online


One day, it starts raining-and never stops. Global super-storms decimate the planet, eradicating most of mankind. Pockets of survivors gather on mountaintops, watching as the waters climb higher and higher. But as the tides rise, something else is rising, too.Now, in the midst of an ecological nightmare, the remnants of humanity face a new menace, in a battle that stretcheOne day, it starts raining-and never stops. Global super-storms decimate the planet, eradicating most of mankind. Pockets of survivors gather on mountaintops, watching as the waters climb higher and higher. But as the tides rise, something else is rising, too.Now, in the midst of an ecological nightmare, the remnants of humanity face a new menace, in a battle that stretches from the rooftops of submerged cities to the mountaintop islands jutting from the sea. What hope does an already-devastated mankind have against this new supernatural adversary.The old gods are dead. Now is the time of the Earthworm Gods......

Title : Earthworm Gods
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 2597158
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 301 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Earthworm Gods Reviews

  • Jonathan Janz
    2019-05-28 06:18

    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.

  • Steve
    2019-05-26 11:37

    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. The Conqueror Worms is the second book I've read by Brian Keene (The Rising 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. Conqueror Worms 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. The Conqueror Worms 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.

  • Danger
    2019-06-04 13:32

    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.

  • Adam Light
    2019-06-10 07:30

    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.

  • TK421
    2019-06-05 11:27

    I'm not one to normally read a Brian Keene novel (well, I have read three...I think), but when I saw the title of this one, and the fantastic campy-B-flick picture for a cover, I knew I had to read it. And, you know, it wasn't that bad. The first part of the book was a mid-post-apocalyptic tale that tells the story of how some of the characters are surviving. But Keene didn't think that a random monster book about the end of the world was enough. Enter the second half of the book. This half was straight from H.P. Lovecraft's playbook. There was definitely a Cthulhu mythos vibe permeating through the pages. Overall, not a bad book. If you have a few hours, and are open-minded, there are worse things that you could read.RECOMMENDED

  • Chris
    2019-06-01 10:37

    Nobody Apocalypses like Brian Keene. Or as often. Whether by zombies (The Rising, City of the Dead, Dead Sea), a dark zone that appears on the edge of town (Darkness on the Edge of Town), a loud horn-like sound after which a large percentage of the population just isn’t there any more (Take the Long Way Home), giant crabs and miscellaneous other deep sea creepy creatures (Clickers 2-4), or any combination of the above, he does it better than anyone.In the first Earthworm Gods book (there are 2) he does it with rain....rain and worms. At least to start. Lets just say if the land is bad, you don’t even want to hear about what is going on in the oceans.And unlike the typical horror story where some scientist or shaman or bulked up guy with a shot gun kicks the monster’s butt and sends it home to whatever dark crevice or dimensional worm hole it came from, the cavalry is most likely a day late and a dollar short if they arrive at all. Keene takes these stories all the way to end.The worms appear on the first page, folks, and the action just keeps steamrolling throughout the whole novel. Great characters if a bit (ok, a lot) stereotypical. You will care about them anyway. Naaaaasty creatures (the worms are just the beginning). Even nastier humans. Little hope of survival. Satanists on surf boards! I kid you not. Great fights, totally creepy scenes, huge doses of carnage and destruction, edge of your seat action. A great big bag full of awesome.

  • Anthony Vacca
    2019-05-19 07:25

    Earthworm Gods is oddly slow-paced and mundane for a novel featuring never-ending storms, world-swallowing floods, black magic, a murderous mermaid and, of course, gigantic earthworms. It's clear Keene is still learning his craft at this point, and it shows in his pacing, characterization, command of tone and his dialogue. Keene admits in the afterward that this novel is dear to him because, in writing it, he was training himself to do "voice" by channeling his very fond memories of his grandfather into our octogenarian protagonist. On the page this choice still reads as workmanlike rather than stylish, a point further driven home by the shift in POV for the middle portion of the novel, which doesn't vary enough in tone and diction to distinguish itself as being necessary for the story. All in all, Earthworm Gods has its share of cliches and eye-rolling sentimentality, but it is still entertaining enough, much like watching a competent straight-to-DVD monster movie with friends.

  • Ken McKinley
    2019-05-24 12:37

    I have nothing but the highest praise for Earthworm Gods. This story captured my imagination, as well as most of my waking hours the last two days, as I poured through this thing. Pardon the pun, but I was hooked. A little history from Brian Keene found in the Afterword of this story. If you're confused, like I was, about why there is a story called Earthworm Gods AND The Conquerer Worms. According to Keene, the story was originally published in hardcover in 2005 from Delirium Books as Earthworm Gods and quickly sold out. Dorchester was publishing Keene's paperbacks at the time and, for whatever reason, decided to change the name to The Conquerer Worms. So that's why there is all this confusion for when you're trying to buy this book. They are the one and the same folks and I think Keene has a voodoo doll that looks like the numb nuts at Dorchester that decided that this [email protected]#k of an idea was a good one and sticks pins in it daily. So now Deadite Press is making the Authors Preferred version of Earthworm Gods (with the correct name) and Keene endorses this whole-heartedly. And he should. This is just a wonderful story.Keene mines H.G. Wells War of the Worlds, H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu, his grandfather and his best friend as main characters and his own nicotine addiction to form the backbone of this tale. Such personal experiences make for realistic characters and a feeling of familiarity that permeates through the story. The tale is laid out in three parts. The first introduces us to Teddy and his friend Carl, who are in their eighties. They live on a rural mountain in West Virginia where it has rained non-stop for over a month. The world is now underwater and the only places left are the very highest peaks of the earth. No lights, electricity, communications, radio, tv, cell phones, etc. Just rain, rain and more rain. Their world is starting to wash away and an ominous white fuzz is beginning to grow on living things, deer, trees, etc. Worms start piling up on Teddy's carport and the ground is beginning to rumble as a fishy, ammonia odor is evident in the air and around large "sink holes" that begin appearing. Then all hell beaks loose. Part 2 takes us to the coast where another group of survivors are clinging to life in the top of a Baltimore skyscraper while the world is flooded around them. Attempting to survive, they try to keep away from a crazy group of "satanists" that are performing bizarre rituals on the top of a building off in the distance. Their rituals prove to be more than they appear and not only does Keene pull out his inner-Lovecraft, he also delves into his back catalog of The Rising and City of the Dead. Good stuff.Part 3 is a marriage of the characters from parts 1 and 2 and thrusts the reader in a rain-soaked climax. Words can't express how much I enjoyed this book. For the last two days, every free moment of mine was consumed by Earthworm Gods. Keene gets my highest praises for this one. I can't wait to jump into Earthworm Gods II. My Kindle app is downloading it as we speak.5 out of 5 starsYou can also follow my reviews at the following links:https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com - @KenMcKinley5

  • Scott
    2019-05-17 09:34

    "Brian Keene is the next big thing in horror."How many times have I heard that?How many times have you heard that?The Conqueror Worms is the third Keene book I've read. I enjoyed The Rising and City of the Dead. I thought they were both fun books that did some new things with the zombie genre. I thought Keene was a good writer, who showed a lot of promise.Then came The Conqueror Worms.The book is told for the most part by a mountain man who's lived long enough to see what amounts to the end of the world. You see, some forty-odd days ago, it started to rain worldwide, and it hasn't stopped since. Not once. The rain hasn't stopped and it's brought some terrible things with it. You know how earthworms surface after a hard rain? Well, pump that fact through Keene's fantastic imagination and you'll get The Conqueror Worms.The story takes on a whole new facet about halfway through, when the narration switches to a former video store employee who's trying to survive in Baltimore. I won't spoil it for you, but let's just say that worms aren't the only thing that are surfacing...I'll be entirely honest with you, this book was right up my alley. The perfect mix of horror and adventure-based science fiction, The Conqueror Worms made me a Keene Fan. I highly, highly recommend

  • Jonathan Echevarria
    2019-06-08 12:10

    I must admit that Brian Keene knows how to write a really good Post Apocalyptic story. I'm still new to the Keene Universe, up until now the only other book's I've read are The Last Zombie graphic novels and The Rising novels. I've always enjoyed the compassion mixed with the horror that exists in some of the "good" characters of his stories. In Earthworms Gods the character of Teddy is an example of what I cherish most in Keene's work. It's a good counter balance to how cruel and harsh Keene's other characters can be. The one thing I love the most about Brian Keene's books is that he has this ever growing universe existing in the background of most of his books. This was something of goat headed demonic baby he has been nursing since the early days of his career. In case you don't know "The Thirteen" are supernatural entities that have brief cameos in fan favorites like The Rising, Dark Hallow, Jack's Magic Beans and the book I've just finished Earthworm gods. I finished this book with my good friends, Lisa, Krys, Mehmet, Ken, Pamela, and Tom. The link to our discussions on the book can be found here: that link you'll find me gushing over Keene's lore and coming up with crazy theories involving The Thirteen. Come join our ever growing numbers as we continue forward with Brian Keene's other Earthworm Gods books.

  • Иван Величков
    2019-05-19 06:38

    Още преди да подхвана книгата бях сигурен в две неща:1. Че е една от най-силните книги на Кийн, за това предвидлияво си я оставих за след няколко от по-леките му.2. Още от заглавието, същото като на едноименната поема на По, героите ще са обречени статисти в колосална мрачна игра.Познах.В тази книга Браян Кийн издига прозата си на ново ниво. Перфектни атмосфера, сюжет, герои, обстановка и разказвачески умения. Разделена е на три части:1. Теди е кораво 80+ годишно старче, живеещо самотно в планините. Един ден започва да вали и не спира, наводнявайkи света, изтривайки голяма част от човечеството и правейки планината му един от малкото острови суша. Но това не е най-лошото. Дъждът изкарва на повърхноста ужаси, спали дълбоко в земните недра. 2. Група оцелели след потопа живеят на последните етажи на небостъргач в Балтимор в съседство със странен сатанински култ. В един момент пътищата им се пресичат и резултатите са кървави и невероятни. От първоначалните 19 оцеляват само трима и успяват да се измъкнат от водния капан, разбивяайки се в задния двор на Теди.3. Героите от двете истории не получават и миг покой. Третата част е епичен сблъсък, достоен за перото на Стокър, а на края, както се предполага от заглавието, ние под формата на публика получаваме желаната развръзка.Много добре описани герои със собствени характер, желания и проблеми; реално изграден постапокалиптичен свят; намигания към най-големите светила в жанра; дълбоко и сериозно гъбаркане с библията; чудесно развитие от страна на автора на собственият мрачен пантеон – тринадесетте велики. И много други неща.Пет пълни звездички. Разкошна. Сега сигурно всяка следваща книга от Кийн ще страда от повдигнатите ми очаквания.

  • Bark
    2019-06-01 09:36

    Reading for Jare's2010 Spills & Chills Release Challenge.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.

  • ♥♡¢σσкιє♥♡ (Krystle)
    2019-05-30 13:38

    Okay, I could write a really long and detailed review of this book. I could go on and on about what an amazing and lovable character Teddy is or how Kevin was a strong and likable hero. I could give you plenty of details that included the creepy and genius decision of the author to let the entire story play out during a never ending rainstorm. And do not even get me started talking about the worms!Sure, I could write a review like that, but really there is only one thing that needs to be said about this book...

  • Kasia
    2019-05-19 14:13

    This was my first time reading Brian Keene, and I was excited! I wanted to like this story, giant worms eating everything in their path, end of the world and nature's victory over human power...Unfortunately I felt deceived by the title and about what really happened in the book - where are the worms? They were mere filler barely getting any attention, I felt like this was a worm version of Where is Waldo, tough to spot with many pages that did not belong there.It started off interesting, I was glued to the first ninety pages when I met Teddy and Carl but then pretty fast the story took on a whole different turn and it was no longer about worms. One third into the story I felt trapped in the twilight zone with no way out, skimming pages in order to simply finish the bloody book - mermaids, Satanists, mythological sea monsters, human sacrifices, yikes...a big mess of a tale within a tale that frustrated and actually bored me, I no longer cared who lived and who died, no one was interesting and worst of all instead of answers I was given more questions. The dialogue was choppy and the main character sounded the same as the other main character in the middle tale - told ya it's a confusing book. I can't remember the last time I had such a miserable time with a book, bleh.I can honestly say that after reading the book I can appreciate the low star reviews, those who liked it - wow, you have guts of iron, I did not take this tale well at all and my mind can appreciate the bizarre. In fact I was angry after reading it because the entire middle did not belong in the book, it ruined the great premise that would have been very enjoyable if it stuck to the plot.I wanted to read about the worms, not another story hidden in this book with some worm filler in beginning and the very end. Even for a library rental this was a weak prize since there are better books out there. Sadly I won't be recommending this to anyone I know, unless I don't like them much...

  • Bandit
    2019-05-21 10:23

    This was a quick fun read. Very typical Keene, so if you're a fan like me, you'll enjoy it. Having just read an amazing post apocalyptic book, I'd have to say that this one lacked something like substance, it was very much B movie material, sort of like Tremors. Still entertaining, though. Reminded me a lot of Keene's Dead Sea. Recommended for horror and/or Keene fans.

  • Kimberly Raiser
    2019-05-25 06:27

    Incredibly vivid horror tale. I met Brian Keene recently and spoke on a panel with him at Hypericon. It was the actual first horror book I read. Incredible!!! It wasn't too gory, but kept you worried the entire time. I've recently purchased three more of his books. Stellar person as well as a writer!!!

  • Rj Roles
    2019-05-23 14:12

    Choke full of lovecraftian goodness.

  • Daniel Russell
    2019-05-16 11:17

    The Keeneathon continues with his 2006 book, The Conqueror Worms. Now, when people mention Brian, they usually ask if you’ve read The Rising. The Rising is considered to be his ‘hit’, but after fellow readers have enquired about The Rising, the next one, I’ve found, is The Conqueror Worms. I thought that The Rising was okay. My preferred Keene book so far has been The Ghoul, which was reviewed earlier this month. Could Worms take the crown?Teddy, and 80 year old man living alone in West Pennsylvania, is writing. Cold, wet and injured, he intends to record his story before his injuries take his life. What a story he has to tell. The rains started all over the world over a month ago. Tsunamis destroyed the coastlines, and most of the mainland has flooded, leaving bands of survivors stranded on mountain peaks or the tops of high rises. The rains aren’t just the only thing that has come: sea monsters have emerged from the depths, and from the earth come the giant worms.The Conqueror Worms is a very intimate story, and we stick close to Teddy for the first and final acts. We have an elderly man, alone and afraid, trying to survive. It doesn’t get any simpler. And to have an old man as the hero, it adds to the characterisation in spades. He’s suffering from nicotine withdrawal and the usual aches and pains of old age. Plus, he has to deal with the probable loss of his children and grandchildren as well as watching the rains destroy his house and the keepsakes of his marriage. To be honest, the giant creatures and action were a bonus. Teddy’s plight had meat enough to keep this reader turning the pages.Keene’s cast of supporting characters are well above average here. Carl, Teddy’s best friend, is likeable enough, and Earl next door is a crazy, shotgun toting, conspirator theorist. Good stuff. Things change in the second act as we leave Teddy and co on the moment fending off the worms. Now we see how a band of survivors in a coastal city have fared. There are two rival groups: a bunch of peaceful people living in the top few floors of a hotel, and the group they’ve dubbed the Satanists. The Satanists are into chants and human sacrifice.Welcome to the Lovecraft lite! This part of the story in particular is very, very Lovecraft (thing Dagon) and Keene succeeds in putting his own stamp on things. You can see that this is Lovecraft inspired, not Lovecraft ripped off. While this bit may be seen like padding, a digressing romp to get the story up to novel length, I loved it. It actually worked to get away from the worms before it got repetitive, deal with the sea monsters, and then get back to some finale wormage. For me it worked.The only thing that annoyed me here is Keene’s insistence on putting gang members into every situation. The yo, yo, yo, dawg dialogue gets very annoying very quickly. Maybe this was why I enjoyed The Ghoul so much, it was set before hip hop.The Conqueror Worms ends nice and satisfying, yet still has the legs for a sequel (no pun intended). A few strands of the story were not fully explained and their potential not leapt upon, very similar to Sarah Pinborough’s Breeding Ground which I reviewed this week. Two post-apocalyptic novels back to back? Yes, it’s all been doom and gloom! Funnily enough, since I started The Conqueror Worms two days ago, it’s done nothing but rain…In answer to my earlier question, yes, I think that The Conqueror Worms is by far my favourite Brian Keene book thus far. I think I read the first 100 pages in one uninterrupted sitting. I hate to say this, as I’m against this kind of thing, but if this book was twice as long and more ‘literary’, it really could have made some waves in the mainstream. As it stands now, we have a fast paced cracker that’s as tight as…well…an asshole in a bucket of worms.

  • Chris
    2019-05-29 14:27

    In the newly released Author's Preferred version of the Brian Keene classic, the world has been deluged with unending rain and apocalyptic flooding....and horrors both human and inhuman, not to be believed but very very real. Told mostly from the POV of widower Teddy Garnett, who struggles to survive alone in his West Virginia mountaintop home...until his best friend, Carl, shows up, soon after, survivors from horrors unleashed in washed out Baltimore. Mixing in elements of his Labyrinth mythos, Keene does best what he's always done: creates a very believable and relatable canvas of real people thrust into unreal and horrific situations. Earthworm Gods is followed by two additional volumes from Deadite, not to be missed. Highly recommended.

  • Thee_ron_clark
    2019-06-09 11:17

    My faith in Brian Keene has returned. A few years back, I caught a bit of this book at one of Keene's readings and I just recently got around to picking it up. I should not have waited. The story is that it begins to rain one day all over the planet and never stops. The concept is that if a day of rain brings earthworms out, 40 days will bring out some really big earthworms and more.Although it gets silly in a few places, I still found this to be an enjoyable, well-written story with a lot of interesting characters and ideas. The Conqueror Worms is a unique blend of horror, mythology, and fantasy. I would definitely enjoy a sequel to this one.

  • Stephen
    2019-06-08 14:30

    Writing as a person who is not a good writer (Teddy Garnett) is the perfect method for Brian Keene. He fits into the role so flawlessly, it is hard to figure out if the words on the page are from Brian or Teddy. Maybe the book itself is a satire on Brian's poor writing skills. Perhaps starting into the book by looking at the title and cover was the wrong approach. They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but somehow, the cover describes the novel perfectly. Five giant earthworms poke out of a city street, apparently trying to escape the novel they were cruelly forced into, and I can't say I blame them. They would make for better company than this book. If it were a B-movie, this illustration would be the poster, with a subscript saying, "They're eating more than dirt this time." But perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. (Caution: Grimy, icky, yucky, oozy, slimy, spoilers. Only read ahead if you have a strong stomach for bad stories.)(view spoiler)[I should mention that we don't even get to hear about these dreadful, writhing masses of ooze and slime for the first hundred pages of the book. What you do hear about, however, is old man Teddy Garnett constantly complaining about being an old man. The self-proclaimed "smartest man in Punkin Center" (which he never fails to tell you) has the opportunity to write about post-apocalyptic life from a philosophical angle, or tell you about his experiences in World War II, or anything interesting. Instead, he mostly complains. He complains about his lot in life, the rain, stiff joints, bad knees, getting old, and seeing the world fall apart. But that's not all. As if Teddy couldn't be a less compelling character to hear the story through, Keene drags in a nicotine addiction. Not only is Teddy constantly beset by the illness known only as Oldus Mannus, but he is also constantly whining about his need for chewing tobacco. At one point in the story, he attempts to get down to a small town for chewing tobacco, apparently not realizing that it's been raining and the town has been covered up by- you guessed it- several feet of water. He hits a tree and comes close to dying. He even runs out into a foggy field full of worms to get a pack of cigarettes left there by a deceased person. He gets chased by a worm and comes close to dying. Smoking kills, people!Yet, from the beginning, all we get to hear about is this non-compelling character's life before, and his family, and how sad he is. Actual, possible points for the plot to progress quickly and leave more room for action, excitement, and, you know, horror are completely smothered by Teddy's exposition. He rambles about his children, he rambles about how the world will never be the same, and rambles about his deceased spouse. We only get a brief respite from his fantasies about his dead wife occasionally, either when he's sitting around thinking about a three letter word for "peccadillo" or interrupting himself to talk about his lack of chewing tobacco. Once in awhile, we get an obvious foreshadowing about the monsters before Teddy turns it into a "Oh no, I'm old and going senile!" speech. Sometimes he talks about the bible. Forty pages in we get a new plot device, Teddy's friend Carl. As you may have guessed, he's an old man too, with the same old man problems.They do old man things for a bit (while Teddy makes fun of Carl's lack of intelligence and they both complain about being old) before looking for the rest of the people in the neighborhood. They find sinkholes and things that might be scary, suspenseful, or worrisome if we hadn't been thoroughly hosed and literally drowned in foreshadowing. Eventually, they run into crazy Earl Harper, a man so angry at Teddy and Carl that you begin to sympathize with him. Maybe he read the book. The plot of the story seems to falter early on. In the first couple chapters, you learn about the rain. It started falling forty-one days ago, and simply didn't ever stop. Meteorologists and weather announcers were shot, and the people from the Weather Channel were blown up by a suicide bomber driving a truck. Some people just don't take bad news very well. Now, the global water level has risen several hundred feet (between 400 and 800, if I recall correctly), all across the world. Only mountaintops are left in the protagonist's area, reportedly. If you can't picture it, that means rain has fallen an average of 10-20 feet per day across 510 million kilometers squared. That's a lot of water. Keep in mind that in order for the water level to rise that much, 70% of the world (water) plus the low-lying lands must be completely submerged. Beside that, the action really picks up about a third of the way through the book. And by that, I mean something happens. Crazy Earl Harper shoots down a helicopter through almost impenetrable fog with a hunting rifle. After beating up Earl, Carl and Teddy go to investigate the crash. This is where Keene's obsession with gore comes in as a filler for actual plot or action. The pilot of the downed chopper has been split into three pieces, by his seat belt. Yes. It's a good thing the chopper didn't have air bags, or his face probably would have been exploded like a watermelon dropped from a building or been crumpled up like a wad of paper or some other graphic analogy. They find three other people in the crash, all with minor injuries (obviously the lack of seat belts kept them safe) except for Salty, who has a broken and shattered leg. He's a character so comparatively interesting that he was doomed to die from the beginning. When the giant worms finally show up to deal out some punishment to the characters, they almost immediately find a Salty meal. "No need to add seasonings to this one," they said. After the boring characters escape from the worms, and leaving Earl to die, our heroes and heroine sit and talk about the new characters' experiences (Kevin and Sarah). And this is where Keene's novel turns into a deeply racist porn novel. Essentially, there are 18 survivors holding out in the top few floors of a large building. There are two generic "gangstas", a cop, several sexy women (and an older lady, who teaches the kids school stuff), a teacher, the two escapees and Salty, and a few other obviously unimportant characters. I'll make this one quick. Kevin finds his best friend Jimmy's head in the water while scavenging, which looks like it's been squeezed like a toothpaste tube. He can't cry over death. He comes home. The group asks to see the head, and he shows them. Kevin is sad, so Lori (sexy woman #1, who Jimmy and Kevin had minor crushes on) decides that the best way for Kevin to deal with sadness is by sleeping with each other, very loudly. They go to bed before picking it up in the morning. Everyone knows about it. Kevin is happy because he's found twoo wuv. This recurs several times. Ducky and Taz, the gangsters, say gangster things to each other, like "Yo, *************, ya'll up in my ***************** grill. Dats totally ****** true, man, back in da neighba ******** HOOD! **** straight, dawg." The survivors then go about their merry ways, doing surviving things and talking about things, like mermaids and the "Satanists" next door, who hold sacrifices. Salty is revealed to be a homeless man who knows all about sea-related legends, and talks about the Kraken, mermaids, and all sorts of things. People foreshadowing-ly laugh at him. The gay guys are captured by the evil cultist people. A naked mermaid conveniently shows up and lures Nate, a pompous tool, into the water. The mermaid evokes mind-control on all the guys and a gay girl. Kevin shoots it and kills it. Nate dies. The stereotypical gangsters, cop, and Kevin float a makeshift raft with a bunch of guns over to the cultist's place, and start seeing conveniently-placed symbols of evil and whatnot on the walls. They pop open the doors and have a huge, bloody shootout- which takes up almost every adjective in the dictionary to describe gore- against the thirty cultists. Louis is dragged into the water, Kevin tries to save him, but Louis is swiped up by an evil tentacle monster. Kevin swims back to the building. Christian and the gang float back to their base while the evil Cthulu monster crushes and destroys the building behind them. Oh no! The monster chases them. They have a huge, dramatic gunfight with the monster as it brutally murders most of them in a gory fashion. A man is gnawed at by little sucker monsters, one person blows himself up with a grenade, and one person is squeezed to death. Cthulu just wanted a hug! The remaining survivors huddle in their obviously-doomed structure. Sexy Girl #2 is sleeping with both "gangstas", and Taz (who thought that she was just with him) finds out. Talk about an H2Ho. She wants to spend her last few moments alive with Ducky. Taz shoots Sexy Girl #2, and then Ducky. Kevin shoots Taz. The aforementioned teacher, who really hasn't done anything up to this point, murders all of the kids. The older lady stabs him, then dies. Sarah, Salty, Kevin and Lori are the only ones left. They lost three guys to Cthulu, and nine were pretty much self-inflicted. This monster thing really isn't that dangerous when you think about it. Lori and Kevin decide to go off to their room and be with each other in the last moments, abandoning Salty and Sarah. Kevin symbolically realizes that this is true love, discovering it after about 18 hours, I guess. Salty and Sarah knock on the door and ask to spend their last moments as a group. While Kevin is answering the door, Cthulu sneaks around to the back door and snatches up Lori just moments after Kevin professed his undying love for her. Kevin relates his killing of the mermaid to Cthulu's killing of Lori. Kevin finally cries. The three of them paddle around for days before being rescued by an unluckily safe chopper pilot, and the rest is history. From here, we have the end of the story. Teddy risks his life for some cigarettes, Sarah comes looking for him, and they almost die. Earl Harper is alive and crazy, talking about worms and whatnot. Disaster ensues as they kill Earl three times, yet he just keeps coming back. The biggest worm ever starts eating up the basement, and the fight escalates onto the basement stairs. What must be a half-hour battle between two old men and two adults against an unarmed, worm-infested man takes almost 20 pages to finish, during which time you realize just how useless with weapons these people are. Agony creeps into your soul as you try to slog through to what must be the most easily recognizable cliche ending. Sarah and Kevin make off in the Wormmobile (Teddy's truck, now covered in worms) at "Broken Leg Teddy's" request while Carl grabs a lit kerosene heater and ambles down the steps. By now, things are really heating up! The house shakes, and Carl loses his balance. He and the heater fall into the worm. Teddy makes it back to his bed in time to write this whole novel before he undoubtedly dies of an infection, while complaining about how old he is. It's almost as though Keene doesn't understand who he's writing this book for. Perhaps he just wanted as many people to buy the book as possible, from across the board, before they realized that it really wasn't anything in particular! It's a hexagon of genres: in the one corner, we have horror; horror with all the twists and turns and suspense cut out of it, like a hedge-maze with no walls. In the next, we have action! Gruesome action, that only uses words relating to blood and guts. Only if it can be hit with a gun, swallowed by a worm, or blown up by bullets can it be in the book. (Keene uses the term "ooze", "slime", and "viscous mass" in relation to more adjectives than I thought possible.) Third, we have the Christian fanbase. For some reason, it's important to mention how just how much of a Christian Teddy is all the time. Half of the time it doesn't even make sense, and the references to biblical quotations is inordinately repetitive. Fourth, we have light pornography. I fail to call it romance because it's not. Random sex scenes and dirty humour clutters up almost every other chapter, with no reasonable excuse. Fifth, minorities. Hillbillies, gay guys and girls, gangstas, and cultists litter the end times. In the last corner, and finally, we have fantasy. But, certainly, not true fantasy- no. Keene does not help himself by borrowing generic creatures; giant worms, (which, no matter how smelly or how many times they are given the verb "undulate" or "convulse", are never scary), the embodiment of Cthulu, and a mermaid. The world he created isn't even described very well or very imaginative. It's a bunch of water! Perhaps Keene should have focused on a less auto-biographical story. I wish he had written about the progression of the world into this state, or individual survivors as they discovered these things. Instead, we get a boring synopsis of gory past events written through a distracted, addicted, self-admitted bad writer. Keene should have looked at the title alone and thought, "Gee, this was a really bad idea." (hide spoiler)]

  • Paulo
    2019-06-14 12:38

    After reading Dead Sea I start reading this book. I still have to read The Hollow, Ghoul and Dark Hollow and the anthology the Rising (arriving this next week). The others I don't have... Maybe after reading this ones... I must save money...Well this book is a homage (is it?) to Lovecraft and it's Cthulhu Mythos. That and the makeover of the Flood by... God. (Of course it's also Brian Keene Mythos expanding...)The story again it's in the first person point of view. Again (in a good way) it's a not typical main character. It's a old man with more than 80 years. I enjoy that. First in Dead Sea and now on this book.The book is divided in three parts... The first part starts in the end and the main character starts telling what made him write that book.. The main character is called Teddy Garrett. The first part of the book is how the main character and his friend Carl Seaton do to survive. Teddy and Carl are joined by Kevin and Sarah who survived the crash of their helicopter due to the insane actions of another survivor, Earl Harper.The second part is the tale of Kevin and Sarah. I Think this is better than the first. We are told how they survive in a world that is slowing drowing because it's raining for forty days. Every character as a thought of why it's happening. Then we are awarded with the Lovecraftian monsters .... Giant Worms coming out of the mud. Mermaids enchanting persons and driving them mad and even a Leviathan. This was a fast-paced part and I think the only flaw of the books is the first part. I think it's too long.The third part begins with them all together and again we are presented with an Lovecraftian ending. In the end as he ends the book we are as Dead Sea presented with a open-ending (it's word right?). The ending makes you think what happened to the three characters that could be alive... As Dead Sea, Herr Keene can comeback to it...I can see him making a couple of short stories with this world... I would enjoy it.There are several thing that I enjoyed.. First the monsters. Then the magic and bible references and the alusories that they bring. Third the Lovecraftian theme. Excelent. Then the fast paced second part. (I would enjoy reading more of that world or other monsters). Then the "Satanists". Here Brian Keene starts telling that the satanists hunts and sacrifices people to their dark sea gods but then he show us that he indeed knows what are satanists and what they believe. Maybe he is trying to remove some bad relations to them. Unfortunaly there some young and not that young people that say they are satanits and they are only couple of anarchists with painted white face and red lips trying to be cool...The other thing that I noticed was "The Sons of Constitution" reference. This is the second book of Keene that says something about them... I wonder why...Well in the end was an interesting book without zombies but good nevertheless. The next book is going to be the anthology of the Rising.

  • Daniel
    2019-06-15 09:31

    I read this about a week before typing this review, and in that time I've found my impression of the book improving with reflection. I was initially thrown by how quickly Keene destroys most of the known world, leaving behind a mountainside and an 80-year-old narrator who isn't about to leap into action and take out a monster of massive proportions. I expected something more gradual, such as sightings of worms of increasing size in a big city; random disappearances of minor people; then the wind-up to a big set-piece. Then again, I've digested way too many big-budget exercises in mediocracy, so my expectations, at this point, could be suspect.One criticism leapt into my head a few times while reading this: some of the larger creatures are poised to crush the protagonists of the story by literally squishing them all with a single blow; instead, they do something else, which gives the characters a glimmer of a chance, which turns out to be just enough for some of them, at least, to survive. I figure that if you're going to posit a creature big enough to swallow a house, that thing is probably going to swallow the damn house whole and move on to the next meal.Another criticism bears mentioning: Keene uses stereotypes to describe a pair of young, black characters, then leads these characters to a conclusion that relies on a terrible racial stereotype: that young black men give into their passions and commit acts of violence against one another. Keene's portrayal of these characters made me uncomfortable, while the fate he gave them just plain disturbed me. Are their young black men who run with gangs and murder others? Sure--at least, they are plentiful in books and films; so why not bring something else to the table?That said, I am impressed that Keene cast his story in such dire circumstances, and the he wrote small moments to go with the big happenings. Some of the best scenes involve shell-shocked people sitting in a kitchen lit by lantern-light, sipping instant coffee while unceasing rain rattles the rooftop. Keene also offers touches of mythology and bits of mystery, all of which suggest further stories. I look forward to the sequel.

  • Bill
    2019-05-17 13:10

    Some pretty solid storytelling from Brian Keene.While I did enjoy it, what I found lacking with this novel was the punch in the gut endings I've come to expect from him. Like in Ghoul and Dark Hollow, which, oddly enough, probably weren't as polished writing-wise as this one.Yet, I rate those ones higher because I simply loved how he finished them off.Note that the edition I read was Earthworm Gods. Keen's apocalyptic vision of what happens when the rain never ends. Scary monster worms! Keene's afterword is very much worth reading. In it, he not only explains the background of these characters, but his frustrations with the publishing industry (Dorchester Publishing, Google this and Keene for details).This also reminds me of the history I read of his novel The Rising. In my review I mentioned my surprise at the terrible typos, only now to realize these were not his fault at all. Terrible how an author can lose all control over his work.Anyhow, I enjoyed Earthworm Gods. I don't know if I will read The Deluge, which is the sequel, but I do know that I will keep reading Brian Keene.

  • Amy
    2019-06-09 06:23

    I liked this book. It was a post-apocalyptic story where the world has flooded due to endless rain and giant earthworms surfaced to wreak havoc on the few remaining inhabitants. The book is split into three parts. Part I is the first person account of an old dude with a bad nicotine habit who believes he is the last remaining survivor until his best friend and neighbor finds him. The Conqueror Worms has a classic B-movie horror vibe until Part II, when the old dudes run into more survivors and we are told their story. At this point the book strays from classic horror to fantasy with Satanists, mythological Biblical beasts, a mermaid, and a being named Ob. Didn't we meet him in City of the Dead? Anyway, Part III returns to the old dudes and it's the few remaining survivors vs. the giant earthworms from there on. All in all this was another good, quick read and the ending was great.

  • Mel
    2019-05-16 09:21

    This is a fun romp into what the apocalypse could be like. It hasn’t stopped raining for days and weird things are happening across the United States. (view spoiler)[ mostly involving very large earthworms and maybe a large kraken like thing (hide spoiler)] It is up to a couple of old timers to save the day. (view spoiler)[Yep…senior citizens are the heroes in this story. (hide spoiler)] Bring your galoshes, a whole lot of ammo and maybe a dry pack of smokes because you are going to need them. Oh yeah and make sure you avoid the white fuzz. 4 out of 5 stars. Oh and best reads pile. I thought the story was pretty original.(view spoiler)[ I liked that older people were the ass kickers for a change(hide spoiler)] and it had some funny parts in addition to the white-knuckle action. A fun read. I will read more of this author.

  • Jason
    2019-06-05 08:35

    1.5 StarsLet me start by saying that I am a huge fan of Brian Keene, and I feel that he is a gifted horror writer. Unfortunately, I hated this book, it made me angry, and I was very disappointed at the ridiculous turn it took.The first half of the book is awesome. The world has ended due to non stop rain everywhere. Our main protagonist is basically an old widowed mountain man who is remembering the better days. Things get interesting when the worms show up. I really thought that this was going to be a book about the cousins of the "Graboids", my favorite creature feature star.At the midway point the book totally changes. A backstory told by a survivor takes this tight thriller and sends it to the circus. This change did not fit in, I hated it, and like I said before it made me mad. Too bad it went down this path, it could have something special....

  • Marvin
    2019-06-07 10:21

    Brian Keene may be the king (with a small "k") of end-of-the-world novels. In The Conqueror Worms, the earth is besieged by Noah sized rains plus water monsters and worms of Lovecraftian proportion. The tale starts at full speed as narrated by 80 year old Teddy Burnett, a live-wire geriatric hero if ever I saw one. As long as he is in the foreground, the book soars. However it slows down when the narration moves to Baltimore and we are given a less-than stellar survivor tale involving surf-boarding satanists. When it returns to Teddy's mountaintop and the worms it gets on track. Despite the wrong turn. it is still a solid novel of doom.

  • Paris Chávez
    2019-05-16 13:17

    I think this was the book I was waiting for from Keene. I have been reading his books for a while now, and they have always been ok, but never really struck me as great. Well now, I really liked this one. It' still very Keene, his books tend to revolve around the end of the world and so on. Perhaps I loved the worm theme, and it reminded me of the crates I raise of the slimy things slithering through rotten sludge. Regardless, I loved it. I recommend it to anyone that likes these kind of things.The mermaid was a bit much. Kind of wish that wasn't in there.

  • Ajeje Brazov
    2019-05-22 12:21

    Reminiscenze lovecraftiane in salsa b-movie anni 80/90, con un pizzico di country e Johnny Cash, il tutto annegato in un mare di pioggia e vermoni.Di certo si parla di una situazione al limite dell'impossibile, ma con le continue piogge che hanno caratterizzato tutta l'estate appena passata, una scossa di brivido lungo la schiena l'ho avuta!"Poi chiusi gli occhi e smisi di ascoltare."