The Losers

The Losers

4.3 6
by David Eddings
     
 

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Raphael Taylor was a golden boy—blond, handsome, charming, a gifted athlete and a serious student, an angel in every way. Damon Flood was a scoundrel—a smooth, smilling, cynical devil, as devious and corrupt as Raphael was open and innocent. The day Raphael met Damon was the day he began his mysterious fall from grace. And the golden boy fell very fast and

Overview

Raphael Taylor was a golden boy—blond, handsome, charming, a gifted athlete and a serious student, an angel in every way. Damon Flood was a scoundrel—a smooth, smilling, cynical devil, as devious and corrupt as Raphael was open and innocent. The day Raphael met Damon was the day he began his mysterious fall from grace. And the golden boy fell very fast and very far....

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Stepping out of the fantasy genre, bestselling author Eddings (the Belgariad and Malloreon series) fashions a searing indictment of the social-welfare system in this sometimes compelling but unfortunately didactic novel about society's down-and-outers. During his first year at Oregon's Reed College, Raphael Taylor, a promising student and athlete, is introduced to the fast life by his roommate, wealthy debauchee Damon Flood. Trying to flee Flood's controlling personality, an inebriated Raphael crashes his car and loses a leg as a result of his injuries. After months of frustrating rehabilitation efforts and group meetings led by self-serving social workers, Raphael flees to Spokane, Wash., to try to construct a new life. Settling down in a poor neighborhood, he observes--without joining them--the people he calls losers, who exist from one self-inflicted crisis to the next. Then Damon arrives, precipitating death and destruction, but also providing the possibility of salvation for Raphael and the woman he has come to love. Eddings's condemnation of social workers as incompetent often stretches credibility. With its plot and characters barely fleshed out, the only slightly suspenseful narrative maintains a simplistic, fable-like quality that patronizes its audience. (June)
Library Journal
Raphael Taylor's life seems marked for greatness until his exposure to a world of hedonistic pleasure by college roommate Damon Flood culminates in an accident that leaves him physically and emotionally shattered. Raphael's struggle to rebuild his self-esteem in a society where government assistance programs encourage a loser mentality is the focus of Eddings's latest foray into mainstream fiction. Known for his best-selling fantasies (the ``Belgarian,'' ``Malloreon,'' and ``Elenium'' series), Eddings here attempts contemporary social commentary with problematic results. Society's outcasts are treated as archetypes, while characters' names imply symbolic connections that are never fully developed. Stripped of their fantasy trappings, the author's opinions assume a heavy-handedness that verges on the polemic. Readers drawn by Eddings's name and reputation may come away disappointed. Purchase only where demand warrants. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/92.-- Jackie Cassada, Asheville-Buncombe Lib. System, N.C.
Kirkus Reviews
A rare mainstream outing (High Hunt, 1973) from bestselling fantasist Eddings: an often disconcerting scrutiny of people seemingly fated to end up on life's scrapheap. Young Raphael Taylor has it all: he's handsome, charming, a gifted athlete and serious student—until he becomes entangled with cynical, affable, devious Damon Flood, a fellow student with some sort of secret agenda. Damon introduces Raphael to the seductive Isabel, an older woman who comes dangerously close to consuming Raphael utterly—until Raphael perceives his peril, tries to extricate himself by getting aggressively drunk, and winds up the victim of a horrible accident: he loses his leg and his manhood. Later, trying to shake free of the smothering social-workers whom Raphael regards as little better than parasites, he finds himself in a rooftop apartment in a seedy back-street in Spokane, from where he observes the wretched lives of his neighbors: the alcoholics, petty criminals, obsessives, and welfare defendants he calls the "losers." And, still bedeviled by them himself, Raphael continues to blame the social-workers for perpetuating the entire miserable sequence. He finds a job and becomes friendly with fellow worker Denise, a beautiful woman with a withered arm. Then Flood shows up, pretending amicability but seemingly intent on Raphael's destruction. Yet, gradually, despite himself, Flood begins to identify with the losers and to adopt their lifestyle, falling in with a blustering, second-rate biker gang; and when the gang goes to war with a rival gang, Flood, now packing a pistol, self- destructs. Only then does Raphael, rehabilitated at last, commit himself to Denise and unravel thebizarre impulses behind Flood's need to destroy Raphael. Offbeat, intriguing, sometimes compelling work (though social- workers will probably find some of the opinions expressed here downright offensive). For non-fans of Eddings's fantasies, to which this bears not the slightest resemblance: an unexpected pleasure.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345385208
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/04/1993
Pages:
295
Product dimensions:
4.17(w) x 6.87(h) x 0.86(d)

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The Losers 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read most of Mr. Eddings' work thus far, I was interested in this because of my enjoyment of his work. This is a very different book than what Mr. Eddings usually writes, but it has his trademark good vs. evil plot and strong and interesting characters. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to others.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good social commentary on our entitlement society, but written in the 80's. Caution, if you are a social worker, this book may make you angry, but there is a lot of truth in it.