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A Family of Violence

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Stanley and Richie, two naive teenagers, entered the woods in search of a haunted house. The pair hoped to capture evidence of the supernatural for their classmates. It was supposed to be a fun and simple weekend excursion. Unfortunately, the friendly pair were unaware of the terror lurking in the woodland – a family of savages, a family of violence. Only one of them would Stanley and Richie, two naive teenagers, entered the woods in search of a haunted house. The pair hoped to capture evidence of the supernatural for their classmates. It was supposed to be a fun and simple weekend excursion. Unfortunately, the friendly pair were unaware of the terror lurking in the woodland – a family of savages, a family of violence. Only one of them would emerge from the woods unscathed, only one would be allowed to join the family in a shocking crime spree... Jon Athan, author of Mr. Snuff and Butcher Road, brings you an uncompromising vision of provocative horror. Are you willing to join the family? WARNING: This book contains scenes of graphic violence, disturbing themes, and some sexual references, including references to sexual abuse. Many of these scenes involve minors. This book is not intended for those easily offended or appalled. Please enjoy at your own discretion.


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Stanley and Richie, two naive teenagers, entered the woods in search of a haunted house. The pair hoped to capture evidence of the supernatural for their classmates. It was supposed to be a fun and simple weekend excursion. Unfortunately, the friendly pair were unaware of the terror lurking in the woodland – a family of savages, a family of violence. Only one of them would Stanley and Richie, two naive teenagers, entered the woods in search of a haunted house. The pair hoped to capture evidence of the supernatural for their classmates. It was supposed to be a fun and simple weekend excursion. Unfortunately, the friendly pair were unaware of the terror lurking in the woodland – a family of savages, a family of violence. Only one of them would emerge from the woods unscathed, only one would be allowed to join the family in a shocking crime spree... Jon Athan, author of Mr. Snuff and Butcher Road, brings you an uncompromising vision of provocative horror. Are you willing to join the family? WARNING: This book contains scenes of graphic violence, disturbing themes, and some sexual references, including references to sexual abuse. Many of these scenes involve minors. This book is not intended for those easily offended or appalled. Please enjoy at your own discretion.

30 review for A Family of Violence

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mort

    This is the best Jon Athan book I have read so far. The basic idea is a young teenager, Stanley, who has psychopathic tendencies. A chance meeting with two killers, Ed and Kat, pushes him in a new direction, one that embraces his dark impulses rather than suppressing them. With their help, he realizes his 'full potential'. It's a dark story, as you can expect from Athan, but there are issues raised that are very true and frightening for society today. And - you will have to be a Jon Athan fan to u This is the best Jon Athan book I have read so far. The basic idea is a young teenager, Stanley, who has psychopathic tendencies. A chance meeting with two killers, Ed and Kat, pushes him in a new direction, one that embraces his dark impulses rather than suppressing them. With their help, he realizes his 'full potential'. It's a dark story, as you can expect from Athan, but there are issues raised that are very true and frightening for society today. And - you will have to be a Jon Athan fan to understand this statement - I found it very powerful that he didn't overdo the violence. Yes, it's brutal, but minimal and effective. What I liked the most about this story is the very real question I ask myself when I hear about all the bad things happening in the world: Why can't people take responsibility these days? We all make mistakes, we all mess up, we all get punished in some way or another...but why can't anybody own up to it anymore? It's easy for the psychopaths to justify their behavior, to blame everybody else for everything that goes wrong, but to blame others for every single thing that happens does not solve any problems. Look at the so-called 'Leaders' in the world... Is honor a dying emotion with the youth? I liked this story a lot.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tim Miller

    This was a great extreme horror story. Not as graphic as some stuff out there, but plenty of violence and doesn't hold back and no one in this story is safe. Characters were really well done. Even the killers were likable. It was almost like Stand by Me meets the Otis Driftwood and Baby Firefly. it was just the right length too. I see so many books with filler and padding. This one had great pacing with plenty of action and a great buildup and ending. Highly recommended. I look forward to checki This was a great extreme horror story. Not as graphic as some stuff out there, but plenty of violence and doesn't hold back and no one in this story is safe. Characters were really well done. Even the killers were likable. It was almost like Stand by Me meets the Otis Driftwood and Baby Firefly. it was just the right length too. I see so many books with filler and padding. This one had great pacing with plenty of action and a great buildup and ending. Highly recommended. I look forward to checking out more from this author.

  3. 5 out of 5

    John

    This was really good, but it was brutal and disturbing!

  4. 5 out of 5

    JESSICA

    Hi Jon Athan - *waving* this book sounds dark, disturbing and delicious! Right up my alley! But my trigger is: child sexual abuse! And I wanted to stop by and say, THANK YOU for putting that in your warning. Most authors don't even give a warning about that. I appreciate it greatly! Thank you. =) Hi Jon Athan - *waving* this book sounds dark, disturbing and delicious! Right up my alley! But my trigger is: child sexual abuse! And I wanted to stop by and say, THANK YOU for putting that in your warning. Most authors don't even give a warning about that. I appreciate it greatly! Thank you. =)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tam

    An explicitly-gory but heart-wrenchingly-sad tale of butchery committed by a bullied, misguided and pathological young teen who desperately desires acceptance, a feeling of empowerment and a sense of belonging. #JonAthan #AFamilyOfViolence

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shadow Girl

    I grabbed this title pretty much 'sight unseen'. I just read Mr. Snuff, and really liked it - so I figured this would be a safe bet. I LOVE THIS STORY! As messed up as things in this story may be... I swear to Dog that I got misty eyed - THREE TIMES!! Full review to come! I grabbed this title pretty much 'sight unseen'. I just read Mr. Snuff, and really liked it - so I figured this would be a safe bet. I LOVE THIS STORY! As messed up as things in this story may be... I swear to Dog that I got misty eyed - THREE TIMES!! Full review to come!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lori Spinks

    Violence in chrildren I absolutely loved this book. It kept up late at until I finished and at the end it left me thinking how horrible children become if their dark side is nurtured. This book is very real in so many ways The characters are very believable and Stanley is the very worst kind of horror.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Frances Murillo

    Love all his books so far It could have been a little more sick. I wish they could have been together a little bit longer, But that's why I'm not a writer and you are. Love all his books so far It could have been a little more sick. I wish they could have been together a little bit longer, But that's why I'm not a writer and you are.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karrie

    For this genre Athan is at the top. This is what I would call extreme horror \Gore to splatterpunk. And it definitely has the horror and violence of these books. Taboo subjects, and not for the the squeamish. More intellectually written than many of these books out there. Not a major brainbender or anything, but above average in the extreme horror category.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ken Glisson

    Disturbing When I purchased I assumed it was a true life crime story. I am glad it's not, the idea of it could have some base truth to it. Sociopathic, cannelabalism, incest, and non provoked murder. Different, not the worst book I' ve read but not in my top 100 either. Disturbing When I purchased I assumed it was a true life crime story. I am glad it's not, the idea of it could have some base truth to it. Sociopathic, cannelabalism, incest, and non provoked murder. Different, not the worst book I' ve read but not in my top 100 either.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Starr

    Not my favorite. I am all for a horror story....dare I say it’s my favorite genre, but this book was more torture porn than horror.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mark M J Green

    A Family of Violence tells of two boys who head out in to the local woods in order to explore a supposed haunted house tucked away somewhere amongst the trees, only to find that a couple of cannibalistic serial killers have set up residence within. When only one of the boys leaves alive he is forever changed y his encounter as his own psychotic tendencies rise to the surface. Overall I enjoyed the story and I read the whole thing in just a couple of days as it was a fairly quick and easy read tha A Family of Violence tells of two boys who head out in to the local woods in order to explore a supposed haunted house tucked away somewhere amongst the trees, only to find that a couple of cannibalistic serial killers have set up residence within. When only one of the boys leaves alive he is forever changed y his encounter as his own psychotic tendencies rise to the surface. Overall I enjoyed the story and I read the whole thing in just a couple of days as it was a fairly quick and easy read that got to the point without too much meandering or getting lost in irrelevancies. This is a good little tale and I will definitely check out more of the authors work at some point in the future. There were however a few things that just stopped me from giving it a higher rating, in fact I almost feel guilty about giving a three star review as I’m probably being overly judgemental in regards to the faults, but then again the whole point of writing a review is to give your personal opinion so I have to include my dislikes as well. The downsides were that I found some of the sentence structure to kill the narrative flow. There were instances of short sentence usage that seemed a little out of place to me and they changed the pacing in a way that I found detrimental to the story. The other main thing that dipped this into three star territory (and yes I realise that this is probably a little pedantic) but there was a bit too much repetition especially concerning the word “crepitated.” Now I’ll admit that it’s a pretty good word but it felt as though the author had just discovered it and decided to throw it in all over the place and it was noticeable due to the fact of its rarity in normal everyday usage. It’s a great word but another synonym could have been used. When you’re using it to describe snoring you’re probably overdoing it in my mind. Anyway, like I said, that’s probably just me being picky and I actually quite enjoyed the story. It hit that balance of being dark, without going too dark and putting off some of the potential audience and it kept me engrossed enough to be reading it at every available moment. The story isn’t especially gory (if that’s not your thing) and it focuses more on the psychological side of things as we get to witness a young boys descent into psychopathy. The ending felt a little too abrupt for me, especially considering the supposed care certain characters had previously been taking in order to keep themselves off the grid, but that didn’t really harm the story in anyway. So to wrap things up, I enjoyed the book and although there were a few things that stopped me from rating it higher, I do still recommend it and I will hopefully read more from the author at some point in the future because despite the faults, I still enjoyed the time I spent reading this story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Krisaundra

    So So... * POTENTIAL SPOILERS RE:SOME ASPECTS OF THIS BOOK * I enjoy a good horror story every once in a while. My very first horror novel was a book by John Saul that was about child victims killed by another child and while not graphic it was written in a way that created quite horrific mental images. For whatever reason I never really found this book to be that frightening or left me feeling like it was actually a horror story. I think a large part of that was as a result of the author seeming So So... * POTENTIAL SPOILERS RE:SOME ASPECTS OF THIS BOOK * I enjoy a good horror story every once in a while. My very first horror novel was a book by John Saul that was about child victims killed by another child and while not graphic it was written in a way that created quite horrific mental images. For whatever reason I never really found this book to be that frightening or left me feeling like it was actually a horror story. I think a large part of that was as a result of the author seeming to work quite hard at including, and in my opinion to some degree even going too deep in general to focus on many of the most common traits that a real life disturbed child would display. As someone who has worked with deeply disturbed youth and knowing that the behaviours Stanley developed almost overnight in the book, yet would take years to develop in reality, I just couldn't fully believe the character. If instead he had been building up in those same behaviours over many years but not understanding them, having many secrets of things he'd done but had never felt like he could come to terms with his history of harming animals, his fascination with fire, his deviant thoughts, etc until meeting up with Ed and Kat and being initiated into their world via the first incident with Ritchie, I think the story would have been both more believable (since the author seemed to want that aspect to the story), and potentially would have come across as more horrific and disturbing since Stanley 's progression into violence wouldn't have been so hurried. Plus the backstory of a 4 or 5 year old innocent appearing child torturing, maiming and killing defenceless pets combined with sharing his incredibly disturbing thoughts and fantasies would create a much stronger imagery befitting a horror novel. Either that, or not bother with trying to tie the story in with real life facts regarding children who kill.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marjorie

    This is actually a pretty decent book but it is more a psychological tale than a horrific one. It is definitely a gory one and the descriptions of murder are lavish in their descriptions of blade and boot. If you are of a squeamish disposition this is not the book for you, I can promise you that. This short tale follows Stanley King and his gradual dissolution from bullied school boy to a member of a gleefully psychotic family. Ed and Kat believe that you should do what you want, when you want an This is actually a pretty decent book but it is more a psychological tale than a horrific one. It is definitely a gory one and the descriptions of murder are lavish in their descriptions of blade and boot. If you are of a squeamish disposition this is not the book for you, I can promise you that. This short tale follows Stanley King and his gradual dissolution from bullied school boy to a member of a gleefully psychotic family. Ed and Kat believe that you should do what you want, when you want and that only they are free; free from the rules of society, free to kill. We get to watch the descent from relatively normal teen to cold blooded killer. The descriptions of his mental deterioration are handled well and you can feel his warring emotions of terror at his acts and glee at the same. What spoils this book is the reliance on certain words and phrases; I am pretty sure Mr Athan has just come across the word crepitation in his thesaurus and loved it - goodness knows it appears often enough in the book. In fact it appears so often that loud tuts would be heard from my end of the couch roughly every 5 pages when it made it's umpteenth appearance. Couple this with the overuse of adjectives (we get that Stanley is a wicked/deviant youth/teenager), you do not need to stress how poor this boy's psyche is - we get that from his actions. The plot is barely there but it does move very rapidly from gorefest to cannibalism to bed wetting and back. Although it was an enjoyable read of the the genre it smacked of being thrown together and tossed out there rather than crafted. Hence the multiple repetitions of reactions (mentioned by other reviewers) and poorly constructed sentences. However, if this is a genre that you enjoy then this is a good read and is short enough that you stay just on the right side of wanting to throttle the author and his style.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Note: Spoiler alert in this review. This is the first book that I have read by Jon Athan. Boy, what a choice of a book to start with to be introduced to a new author. A Family of Violence was a fascinating read. For the length of the book, the characters were surprisingly well developed and actually, even though they were terribly disturbed, almost likable. It was totally believable that the three obviously psychotic characters made a loving family. More so than the "normal" family that Stanley Note: Spoiler alert in this review. This is the first book that I have read by Jon Athan. Boy, what a choice of a book to start with to be introduced to a new author. A Family of Violence was a fascinating read. For the length of the book, the characters were surprisingly well developed and actually, even though they were terribly disturbed, almost likable. It was totally believable that the three obviously psychotic characters made a loving family. More so than the "normal" family that Stanley came from; who's father was distant and non attentive, mother who was overly protective and the brother who was simply a bastard because he could be. It was not at all surprising to me that Stanley eliminated his family and went to live with Ed and Kat; both of whom truly loved Stanley for who and what he was. For a book about serial killers, it wasn't overly gory. Psychologically it was a very disturbing book especially in light of the fact that it could really happen in this day and age. I would not recommend this book to those who are disturbed by stories with psychologically disturbed individuals as main characters.

  16. 4 out of 5

    David Wright

    Immensely enjoyable. For me, this ticks all of the boxes. A teenage boy has a spectacular psychotic break in a story that will have you racing through the pages. This is an incredibly dark, brutal and gory story, and yet it does not break the boundaries of bad taste. Everything within the pages could (and probably has) happen/ed at some stage. The characters are instantly believable and the mindset is spot on. I love my true crime / serial killers and this was like diving in to one of those enco Immensely enjoyable. For me, this ticks all of the boxes. A teenage boy has a spectacular psychotic break in a story that will have you racing through the pages. This is an incredibly dark, brutal and gory story, and yet it does not break the boundaries of bad taste. Everything within the pages could (and probably has) happen/ed at some stage. The characters are instantly believable and the mindset is spot on. I love my true crime / serial killers and this was like diving in to one of those encounters. Some people may find certain aspects a bit hard going - a strong constitution may help, but as mentioned, this is not purely to shock / upset and is quite tastefully done considering the subject matter. My first book by Jon Athan - It will not be my last! Another writer who has instantly impressed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Janie C.

    A teenage boy befriends a couple of cannibalistic psychopaths who live their lives precariously and freely. As the couple take Stanley under their wing, they encourage him to follow his own violent urges and to be free of society's restrictions. As Stanley begins to regard the degenerates as his new family, his own behavior becomes increasingly horrific and dangerous. Can such an unfeeling and savage "family" survive in today's world? Follow Stanley as his morals continue to deteriorate. This is A teenage boy befriends a couple of cannibalistic psychopaths who live their lives precariously and freely. As the couple take Stanley under their wing, they encourage him to follow his own violent urges and to be free of society's restrictions. As Stanley begins to regard the degenerates as his new family, his own behavior becomes increasingly horrific and dangerous. Can such an unfeeling and savage "family" survive in today's world? Follow Stanley as his morals continue to deteriorate. This is a violent and thought-provoking story about the power of persuasion and the influence of sociopathic urges.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robin Mortiboys

    It kept me hooked from page 1 A very interesting triangle of people. This is more about Stanley's relationship with Ed and Kat than with his family and friends. While trying not to give too much away on a personal level I think I would have liked the family to have been together a little longer to see how the relationships developed. Anyone know where I can get thigh stakes, human of course. I will certainly look for more titles by Jon. It kept me hooked from page 1 A very interesting triangle of people. This is more about Stanley's relationship with Ed and Kat than with his family and friends. While trying not to give too much away on a personal level I think I would have liked the family to have been together a little longer to see how the relationships developed. Anyone know where I can get thigh stakes, human of course. I will certainly look for more titles by Jon.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Allie

    A simple read but... A simple read but a lot of material covered. The book started of juvenile, two boys going to the woods but the fast paced murderous scenarios and alternating family dynamics. I was pleasantly surprised. The ending was both beautiful and horrendous. All in all a easy read with complex themes of criminals, family and mental stability. I wouldn't let someone under 18 read this book. It seems to violent for young minds. A simple read but... A simple read but a lot of material covered. The book started of juvenile, two boys going to the woods but the fast paced murderous scenarios and alternating family dynamics. I was pleasantly surprised. The ending was both beautiful and horrendous. All in all a easy read with complex themes of criminals, family and mental stability. I wouldn't let someone under 18 read this book. It seems to violent for young minds.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Randy

    Family Values! Wild and crazy yarn about a young disturbed boy, who stumbles across a couple who are cannibalistic serial killers and decides to join their family! Full of mayhem and sadistic murder, this is not your average family! This was one of the craziest stories I've read! Family Values! Wild and crazy yarn about a young disturbed boy, who stumbles across a couple who are cannibalistic serial killers and decides to join their family! Full of mayhem and sadistic murder, this is not your average family! This was one of the craziest stories I've read!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Cahill

    Good read! I did enjoy this book, just wish it was longer. It is blunt, freaky and a little creepy. I too have an interest in criminology and psychology, currently studying towards a degree in those subjects. The human mind is a labyrinth, and intriguing. Delve into the depths of madness, and meet 'The family' 😊 Good read! I did enjoy this book, just wish it was longer. It is blunt, freaky and a little creepy. I too have an interest in criminology and psychology, currently studying towards a degree in those subjects. The human mind is a labyrinth, and intriguing. Delve into the depths of madness, and meet 'The family' 😊

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenelle

    Well, I tore through this book in a few hours. I guess I'll say it kept me absorbed and it read quickly! This was good! The characters were unsettling, yet likable, in a mad kinda way. The story itself was well written and interesting. I have no real complaints, this was a good little horror book. Well, I tore through this book in a few hours. I guess I'll say it kept me absorbed and it read quickly! This was good! The characters were unsettling, yet likable, in a mad kinda way. The story itself was well written and interesting. I have no real complaints, this was a good little horror book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mick

    A family of violence Carried on reading hoping it would get better but alas no.But admittedly this was not really my genre so i must admit people who have read this book seem to rave about it.I will certainly read another book by Jon Athan because one book does not make a career and i always give benefit of the doubt

  24. 5 out of 5

    Page Turner

    This is my first book by this author and I can't say it disappointed. I wasn't prepared for the level of depravity described in the pages, and I liked the psychological insight into these crazy and ferocious characters. I enjoyed it, and it creeped me out This is my first book by this author and I can't say it disappointed. I wasn't prepared for the level of depravity described in the pages, and I liked the psychological insight into these crazy and ferocious characters. I enjoyed it, and it creeped me out

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa-Jaine

    This book had a comprehensive warning about the violence etc which was appreciated, although I have read far worse. I enjoyed this story; it wasn't overly long or dragged out and it was a fascinating gory read. This book had a comprehensive warning about the violence etc which was appreciated, although I have read far worse. I enjoyed this story; it wasn't overly long or dragged out and it was a fascinating gory read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Good horror This book was very well written with a great storyline and characters. It is very graphic and had me hooked from beginning to end. If you like a good crime and horror book then I would highly recommend.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Donna Ryan

    Good read Very good book. Creepy to think your child could go into the woods and come out a deviant like Stanley did. I really liked how the author brought the characters together. I will certainly read other books nby Jon Athan.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Pam Williams

    A very sick and depraved book, the warning at the beginning of doesn't prepare you for such a disgusting book.A very violent book full of cannibalism,child molestation and other sickening things.I definitely wouldn't recommend this book. A very sick and depraved book, the warning at the beginning of doesn't prepare you for such a disgusting book.A very violent book full of cannibalism,child molestation and other sickening things.I definitely wouldn't recommend this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bev.proffitt

    Two teenagers, one abandoned house what can go wrong? A thoroughly intriguing look into the psyche of a teenager who is naive and bullied,a situation arises, what does he do Will he or won't be...... Is he Born evil or has he been manipulated........ Two teenagers, one abandoned house what can go wrong? A thoroughly intriguing look into the psyche of a teenager who is naive and bullied,a situation arises, what does he do Will he or won't be...... Is he Born evil or has he been manipulated........

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jen Schoeberlein

    I just couldn't I hate to do this but I have to be honest. I couldn't follow the book. Had to tap out by 15%. The way it was written made it hard to read because it wasn't written well. Not a very believable story either. I just couldn't I hate to do this but I have to be honest. I couldn't follow the book. Had to tap out by 15%. The way it was written made it hard to read because it wasn't written well. Not a very believable story either.

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