BN.com Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

Straw Men

Average Rating 4
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

One of the greatest books I've ever read

This book was absolutely amazing. From the very beginning it has you hooked and takes you into a journey of our deepest fear; the dark side of ourselves. Two stories weaving into one throughout the story leave you breathless and turning pages faster and faster to the in...
This book was absolutely amazing. From the very beginning it has you hooked and takes you into a journey of our deepest fear; the dark side of ourselves. Two stories weaving into one throughout the story leave you breathless and turning pages faster and faster to the incredible climax. A five star book I STRONGLY RECCOMEND this book.

posted by Anonymous on August 17, 2002

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Could've been better

I thought the story line to this book sounded so eery and good. Unfortunately, I found that the book tended to drag on with too much wordy detail. Mr. Marshall definitely sounds like a good writer but the detail was killing me. The book hit many lulls during reading ...
I thought the story line to this book sounded so eery and good. Unfortunately, I found that the book tended to drag on with too much wordy detail. Mr. Marshall definitely sounds like a good writer but the detail was killing me. The book hit many lulls during reading and I found that I mostly read it to discover who the straw men were and finished it out of determination to just plain finish the book.

posted by Anonymous on December 25, 2002

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2002

    One of the greatest books I've ever read

    This book was absolutely amazing. From the very beginning it has you hooked and takes you into a journey of our deepest fear; the dark side of ourselves. Two stories weaving into one throughout the story leave you breathless and turning pages faster and faster to the incredible climax. A five star book I STRONGLY RECCOMEND this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2004

    A Compelling Read

    I stumbled across this paperback on a recent visit to my favorite bookseller, seeking a nice literary escape that might hold my interest for a few nights running. I found what I was looking for. Although I'm not a huge fan of Stephen King, his quote on the book's cover ['a masterpiece'] did catch my eye and sealed the purchase of this little (well, okay, 389 pages) gem. While probably not a true masterpiece, Marshall's character-driven novel is a fine edition to the genre. Equal parts crime story (serial killings), psychological thriller, and social commentary, the book lags only briefly -- when the major protagonists first intersect about 2/3rds through, at which point it reads too much at times like a contrived screenplay -- before roaring towards a sustained and satisfying conclusion. But only a temporary conclusion, as Marshall's latest offering ('The Upright Man') promises to pick up where the Straw Men left us... expertly drawn, once again, into the shaken psyche of Ward Hopkins. And into a world where we are never safe from our own species. This guy can write.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2002

    Could've been better

    I thought the story line to this book sounded so eery and good. Unfortunately, I found that the book tended to drag on with too much wordy detail. Mr. Marshall definitely sounds like a good writer but the detail was killing me. The book hit many lulls during reading and I found that I mostly read it to discover who the straw men were and finished it out of determination to just plain finish the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Fascinating

    The best word for this tightly woven tale: fascinating.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Fascinating

    Truly riveting story. Like another reviewer i found some parts that were too wordy. I skimmed those areas. A very deep and psychological thriller.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2011

    Creepy

    The plot was, on occasion, hard to follow, however it was still an exceptional read. I throughly enjoyed it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2011

    dont miss

    one of my all time favorite thrillers first of a trilogy. there is no writer like him. intense and believable. ive read the whole trilogy three times.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    A really good story, although I was a little perplexed at the ending.<BR/><BR/>Reads really quickly though, and pulls you right into the mysteries of what's going on.<BR/><BR/>Great for those who love a good thriller!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2005

    Superb!

    Marshall twists the mind in this great thriller to help kill a few hours. Just when you think you know, you have no idea. The story is definitely believable. The characters are easy to root for, or hate for that matter. They're not to perfect, not too flawed. You won't be disappointed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2005

    not quite a masterpiece, but close

    This book was one of the most interesting I have ever read. The way it starts out, with the Upright Man's first killing spree, really grabs your attention. The only downside to this book was there were several occasions where Ward would ramble on and on about something. Half of the time it seemed unimportant but later on you find out the memory was important. The other half the time they have no relvence at all and probably could have been edited out. But overall this is an excellent book and I plan on reading the sequal.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2004

    This book is far from a masterpiece!

    The only way to describe this novel is this, picture yourself in a lecture hall and your professor is talking and talking and talking, on and on for the whole hour and you are sitting there in your seat listening to what he is saying but not hearing most of it-WELL that is the way I felt while reading this book. Too much rambling going on! This book was a slow read with way too much yapping about things that had nothing to do with the story. A lot of stuff could have been edited out and the book would have moved along much better than it did. The book was okay though and good at parts, needless to say I won't be rushing out to read it's follow up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2003

    'STRAW MEN' IS MOVIE-MATERIAL!

    I really enjoyed Mike Marshall's book. I hope he considers making a sequel. Mike, if you're reading this I'M READY FOR 'STRAW MEN II'!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2003

    Great read!

    I loved it! I was looking for a great book that grabbed me from the first page and this was it!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2003

    The Unscary Men

    I didn't get it. The Straw Men were never explained in such a way as to make them frightening. The whole thing never came togethor in a satisfying way and I'm still trying to tie in the mass murder at the start of the book. Anyone who is chilled by this book should never leave home after dark.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2002

    Alarming, Stunning, clever,

    The blurb on the cover by Stephen King added to the fact that this book was so well written, made me wonder if Stephen King was writing under another name...again. Speaking of the promotional blurb, don't let it mislead you into thinking the book is a horror book. It is an alarming thriller that grabs your attention and doesn't let go. The author, Michael Marshall (Smith), has a winning debut novel with a twist on serial killers and family secrets. The pace is rapid, the asides are smart, and the plot is clever. I suspect I'll be reading more books of his in the future.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2002

    Brilliant and Effective!

    As I finished this book last night I found myself the only person awake in the house. As I lay there thinking about the fact that I was a grown woman and these books are fiction, I decided to call it a night. I suddenly found myself checking my children to see that they were safely tucked in, checked the locks on the doors and windows, and assured that the cordless was close at hand. This book was incredible. The content was researched to assure all the little details that make it real for the reader where there and the content of the story will spook the pants off of you. I have not enjoyed a book this much in awhile. I am looking forward to his next masterpiece. The characters in this book are as real as you and me. Pick it up and be prepared for a great story and a real spook.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2002

    A JOURNEY INTO THE DARKNESS OF HUMANITY'S SOUL!!!

    Michael Marshall (a.k.a. Michael Marshall Smith, author of SPARES, ONE OF US, and ONLY FORWARD) has written one of the best novels of 2002¿THE STRAW MEN. Unlike his previous futuristic novels, this one takes place in the present day with flashbacks to the past. It¿s actually two stories (each story could have easily been turned into a successful novel) in one, which come together in the last hundred pages to create an ending that will scare the living daylights out of you with regards to the evil that mankind is capable of perpetrating. The first story deals with Ward Hopkins, ex-C.I.A., who returns home to Dyersburg, Montana to attend the funeral of his dead parents, both of which were killed in a tragic car accident. What Ward eventually discovers while going through his old home is that his parents may not have been who he thought they were and that quite possibly they may still be alive, but in hiding from a deadly organization that refers to itself as The Straw Men. With the help of his good buddy, C.I.A. agent Bobby Nygard, Ward starts searching for answers and inadvertently sets in motion several attempts by The Straw Men to eliminate both him and his friend. The second story deals with a serial killer known as The Upright Man who takes his victims from the Los Angeles area of California. When young Sarah Becker disappears one evening while sitting in front of a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Santa Monica, waiting for her father to return, F.B.I. agent Nina Baynam realizes that The Upright Man has returned after being dormant for two years. She enlists the help of ex LAPD Homicide Detective, John Zandt, who¿d once helped her to hunt this serial killer, until his own daughter became a victim. John, however, is determined that Sarah Becker isn¿t going to die. He¿s going to do everything in his power to save her and to kill The Upright Man in a final act of revenge for destroying his life two years before. Both stories will slowly converge into one as Ward, Bobby, Nina and John discover that¿s there something much more deadly out there than just a single serial killer, and that it¿s going to take all of their strength and courage to fight this force of evil that¿s killing our children. THE STRAW MEN is a tour de force for Michael Marshall. The plot is intricately woven with strong, compelling characters that drive the story forward like a battering ram. Mr. Marshall knows how to end each chapter with a hook that keeps the reader glued to every single page in a frantic attempt to find out what¿s going to happen next. The last forty pages of this novel blew me away and will leave you literally speechless, not to mention fearful that the possibility of what the author suggests is, in fact, true. I sincerely hope that Mr. Marshall is already at work on a sequel to this breathtaking, utterly scary novel about man¿s capacity to commit evil and that Hollywood, if it has any sense, has already picked up the screen rights. THE STRAW MEN is one of those tremendous surprises that all readers of suspense crave from the inner sanctum of their souls. Buy it, read it, pass it on to your friends, then see if you can sleep at night without having nightmares that The Straw Men may be coming for you. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2002

    Highly recommended.

    This is a very well written book with believable characters and storyline. Not once did I find the book to start dragging. The review in the book from Stephen King desribes the story as scary, but I didn't find that. I found it to be more of a sinister mystery. There are a number of twists and turns, which refreshingly enough are all meaningful and explained. It all comes together beautifully at the end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2002

    One of Writings Best New Voices

    I truly enjoyed this first (non sci-fi) book from Mr. Marshall. While I have not read his titles written under 'Michael Marshall Smith', this one was good enough that I will pick one up even though I'm not a fan of science ficiton. This is a riveting thriller with great plot twists, and kept me turning pages way past my bedtime. What really makes this book 'great' however is the authors attention to detail. He can write of the complexities of emotion with an authenticity and honesty that make this book a very compelling study of human nature. Great characters, great plot. Whether you're a fan of thrillers or character studies, you will find something to interest you in this book. The blurb from Stephen King hooked me, but I will definitly be reading more from this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2