Read Stinger by Robert McCammon Online


In the remote Texas town of Inferno, a creature of evil beyond anything the world has ever encountered descends. He traps the town and ravages the land with grisly executions and horrible mutations . . . until the people rise up in a final, desperate battle. From the author of Swan Song. Original....

Title : Stinger
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780671737764
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 538 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Stinger Reviews

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-02-21 03:42

    The town of Inferno has been slowly dying since the copper mine went bust. The school is closing for good in two days. Most people are leaving town and the two gangs, The Rattlesnakes and the Renegades, are like vultures on Inferno's corpse. Everything gets turned upside down the day an alien ship crashes and the alien takes over the body of a little girl. It's a picnic, however, compared to the second alien that shows up...Stinger is the story of a dying town turned upside down by two aliens. Just as he did in Swan Song, McCammon creates an ensemble cast that grips the imagination. Cody Lockett and Rick Jurado, leaders of the Renegades and the Rattlesnakes, were both three dimensional characters and neither were scene-chewing villains. The rest of the cast was also well done, the Hammond family in particular. Even Vance, the douche bag sheriff, and Curt Lockett, Cody's alcoholic father, ended up not being all bad.The aliens were pretty interesting. Daufin was an artificial intelligence contained in a black sphere and Stinger, well, Stinger was complicated, parts man, scorpion, and other components. The story was fast-paced, especially after Stinger showed up, and reminded me of the movies The Predator and Tremors at times. No one knows when Stinger will strike but he always comes from below ground. One thing I found funny was that Stinger's ship surrounded the town with an impenetrable dome seven miles in diameter, cutting off the power and supplies. McCammon gets a lot of flack for being a Stephen King wannabee but he beat old Steve to the punch by over twenty years with the dome concept.The ending was believable and done well. Not everyone survived and you got the idea that Inferno would never be the same.Stinger was a page-turner and shouldn't be missed by horror fans. It's gory and really intense at times.

  • Dirk Grobbelaar
    2019-02-21 06:45

    Deep down, in the centre of the blackness, something might have shifted—a cautious, slow stirring; an ancient thing, contemplating the shine of light that touched it through the murk. Then it was still again, pondering and gathering strength.McCammon takes some time to set up his story and his characters. This is one of the aspects I enjoy about Horror novels like these; it’s quite the immersive experience. On the other hand, I didn’t care much for the whole Renegades vs Rattlesnakes gang war thing; it felt forced and unnatural in the setting, and just a little bit cheesy. But then… [Her] face had begun to bleach of colour, taking on a waxy, greyish cast. Her legs had started trembling, and she whispered it again: “Sting-er.”And in that whisper was the sound of utter terror.…enter Stinger in spectacular fashion. Things go downhill fast from here, in the best possible kind of way. The shape came out of the smoke and lurched into the candlelight that streamed from the church’s windows.Stinger isn’t a very subtle novel. The horror that it dishes up is rather gory and unabashedly in-your-face, with some rather interesting descriptive prose to nudge things along. In broad strokes, the Stinger of the title is in fact an Alien critter that terrorises a small Texas town, much like the synopsis will lead you to expect. There is, however, a lot more than that lying just beneath the surface (no pun intended), and the plot was a little more layered than I had anticipated.What had sounded like an army was only one creature, but the sight of such an ungodly thing speared terror through [him]. He felt as if his insides were shrivelling.Stinger doesn’t break a lot of new ground (again, no pun intended), and you could conceivable draw comparisons with other 80s horror novels where the antagonist manifests itself in different forms, although the scientific spin McCammon introduces here does at least attempt to make some sense of what would otherwise have been a lot of metaphysical weirdness. This is where the novel differentiates itself from the pack.The story does get pretty scary, but it’s also somewhat relentless with lots of close encounters and chase scenes that, even though it will leave you with palpitations, does slightly blunt the spook factor. I really enjoyed it though, and could have considered a five star rating, but, like I’ve already mentioned, the “gang” dynamic (rattlers vs ‘gades) wasn’t quite to my taste and I can’t help but feel that the novel would have been a better one without it.Recommended for fans of 80s Horror and SF Horror.He stood up, in no hurry, and walked toward her with the knife upraised and the merry shine of madness in his eyes.

  • Paul O'Neill
    2019-01-23 05:45

    Holy Stinger, this was unbelievably good! I'm in shock. McCammon is cementing himself as one of my favourites. What can I say about this book?- It's one of the creepiest books ever Where's the guardian? - The atmosphere is vividly described and stays with you throughout- The characters are all great and you learn to care for them as a collective - I like what it says about humanity - Two alien races who aren't just dumb monsters laying waste to the land, they have purposes - The writing is concise. It's the only time where I've seen 'mind hopping' done effectively - It all takes place within 24 hours and is non stop - Did I mention it's creepy as all hell??A must read for all horror fans and those who like a good alien story. I will be reading this one again. Dare I say, this has creeped its way into my top 5 of all time...

  • Adam Light
    2019-01-28 06:41

    McCammon masterfully spins 80's horror/sc-fi tale for the ages. This one ranks right up there with the author's spectacular epic Swan Song as one of his best, most enduring works. I'm completely satisfied with this book. Read it!

  • Karl
    2019-02-14 06:44

    This is copy 285 of 1000 signed numbered copies signed by Robert McCammon.

  • Char
    2019-01-25 04:48

    I'm pretty sure I read this as a teenager, but if I did, I sure don't remember it, so this book was entirely new to me. And what a great book it was! I'm a HUGE fan of Robert McCammon and have slowly been reading and re-reading all of his books. By doing so I've been treated to to the birth and growth of an incredible author, and a damn fine good time. Stinger has everything a horror fan could want, great characters, a great setting, humor, wit, and downright creepiness. Oh, and nasty monsters, warring gangs, and I could go on, but I think you get the picture. All this in a late 80s story that still rings true today. I LOVED this story, and if the above sounds good to you, I'll bet that you will love it too! Highly recommended!

  • Chris Berko
    2019-01-28 09:33

    4.5 actually. I have not read an unentertaining book by Robert McCammon. I've read the great: Swan Song and Boy's Life, and the good: Mine and The Five, but not yet the bad. Stinger is close to being great and I can't quite put in words what it's lacking. The 80s vibe was killer and it successfully straddled the line between horror and sci-fi, with a little bit of the whole teen/angst The Outsiders thread thrown in. Maximum fun-ness.

  • Obsidian
    2019-01-25 09:39

    I have to say that it appears besides "Boy's Life" I'm not destined to like any of Robert McCammon's books. "Stinger" dragged forever. I almost DNFed it, but I just decided to finish it so I could count it as a bingo read. I ended up not caring about any character we are introduced to, I wasn't scared, and I just went than goodness when I got to the end. The dying town of Inferno, Texas is on its last legs. In a few months when the local high school closed there won't be anything left of the town. When a spacecraft crashes, the remaining members of the town are left to fight off an alien calling itself Stinger. Stinger is after another alien that calls itself Daufin. Ultimately I think if the book had been edited a bit more, or we stuck with very few POVs that it could have worked better for me. I also didn't really like Daufin that much. Taking over the little girl named as Stevie and using her as a "guardian" isn't something that I thought a good alien would do. The writing didn't move me at all. And McCammon has been able to make me cry due to his writing. I just felt bored. The flow was pretty bad too. I think jumping between 10-15 characters is what did it. Some chapters were long, some were only a few pages. The ending unfortunately fell flat for me.

  • Courtnie
    2019-02-12 08:31

    McCammon delivers for me a second time. Gruesome and riveting but with a lot of heart. My sample size is small yet as this is only my second McCammon, but I might prefer him to King.A small Texas town is rocked by the crash landing of an object of unknown origin. While something a little strange is going on with a local veterinarians young daughter who interacted with the busted up remnants first, the foreign object is not anything that the nearest air force base and personal can't contain and research...that is until a follow up arrival on a much larger scale brings a less than friendly visitor with a mission - one who traps a whole town for one terrifying night.At 550 pages, I really expected to be reading this for awhile. Fortunately, it moves at such a great pace that I didn't even notice the pages flying by until I reached the end.McCammon creates not only a story that sucks you in, but an atmosphere that is palpable. A hot, dying Texas town, isolated, and withering since the local mine shut down and took away all the jobs, not only feels uncomfortable and weathered, but also desperate...and thus the book opens. It's inhabitants are beaten, on edge and divided - when the unspeakable comes and threatens their very lives and the lives of everyone on the planet really, they are given one good reason to fight, for each other.And in case I am making this sound like puppies and bedtime stories, know that I'm glossing over the fact that this messed-up mucous monster from deep space likes to snatch people, eat them, and use it's advanced alien technology to recreate symbiotic extensions of itself in the skins of its victims to go out and destroy more people with a mouth of needle teeth and metal saw type hands.There is plenty of death and gory violence and characters of all walks and colors - everyone is a little rough around the edges, but the hope in humanity is what really makes this book shine. I loved it.

  • Dreadlocksmile
    2019-02-09 02:56

    First published back in 1988, Robert McCammon’s sci-fi horror novel ‘Stinger’ followed on from the successful novels ‘They thirst!’ and ‘Swan Song’. Already with quite a well respected name for himself within the horror world, McCammon’s ‘Stinger’ was a widely anticipated release for this author.Set in the not too distant future within a dusty Texas town named Inferno, the books starts off setting the scene in this scorching hot dying town. Work is hard to come by and life is hard for the residence of Inferno. Rival gangs rule the streets, fighting amongst themselves on almost a daily basis.The plot soon gets underway when two spacecrafts land close to the town. One of these is inhabited by an escaped alien named Daufin, who takes over the body of a little seven year old girl named Stevie Hammond. Daufin is hiding after being hunted down by the alien bounty hunter known as Stinger. The town’s people are dragged into a war for their survival as the Stinger kills everyone in its path to reach Daufin.With a vast array of b-movie-esque characters fulfilling every possible cliché going, ‘Stinger’ is a non-stop sci-fi horror thrill. McCammon uses a thick slab of exaggerated personalities for each one of the characters, in order to bring a life to each character. This further enables the reader to identify with certain selected characters as well as building up a love for each one.With a number of inner sub plots raging through the storyline, McCammon draws them all together to allow them to fight side by side against their common enemy. This delivers the usual b-movie message of overcoming each others rivalries in order to face the common evil.The pace of the storyline takes a few chapters to get going, but once it’s underway the novel maintains a constant fast pace throughout. With the interwoven subplots surrounding the main storyline, McCammon manages to keep a highly entertaining novel going, with action packaged chapters leaving the reader with regular cliff hangers.The novel ends with a dramatic and well managed conclusion. The storyline is suitably built towards the eventual climax, wrapping up the story well and leaving the reader somewhat satisfied.The warfare between the two gangs ‘The Renegades’ led by a youth named Cody and the gang ‘The Rattlesnakes’ led by Cody’s nemesis Rick Jurado, is throughally entertaining in a sort of post-apocalyptic gang warfare way (Class Of Nuke ‘em High, Mad Max, Doomsday, etc).For a lowbrow entertaining sci-fi horror with an action packed storyline then you can’t go far wrong with McCammon’s ‘Stinger’. This is 576 pages of pure gritty horror with comic book characterisation and nail biting suspense.

  • Bill
    2019-02-19 06:31

    For the most part, Stinger was a fun read. I love a good mixture of horror and sci-fi, and this tale of an extraterrestrial on the run was an okay one.I liked the concept of Daufin, and her pursuer, and I liked the relationship between Rick and Cody. Apart from that, though, I don't much else to say about it.I think the story could easily have survived with 200 less pages. By the time I was 400 pages in, it seemed action was just a little too drawn on, and I was getting to the point of, okay, can we please just wrap this up already?One thing did bother me because I am a stickler for accuracy: It seemed every time these gang members were in a battle-lust, it was after they had smoked marijuana. I don't know how much, if any, experience McCammon has with this, but I can't ever remember seeing a stoner engage in violent activity.Now don't mistake me for defending the use of dope...while I admit it was a part of my youth, I think its true menace is causing lethargy, ambivalence, and loss of drive and ambition.Hardly violence.McCammon might have been better to choose alcohol has the gangs' battle fuel for credibility's sake.

  • Kimberly
    2019-01-28 10:29

    Re-read remains a solid 5 stars!

  • Marvin
    2019-02-21 03:53

    Robert McCammon is quite gifted at taking old ideas and infusing them with new life. He also tends to write like he is writing with the movies in mind. He wrote Stinger like he had a TV movie in mind. The idea of good alien being chased by bad alien while endangering the human race is somewhat of a standard idea. The author does manage to write some excellent action segments and the ending moves like a runaway train ablaze. Yet his characters are cardboard cutouts. McCammon uses every small town cliche in the book and throw in a little Romeo and Juliet too. For an action-adventure novel it ranks a solid three stars. Yet I really wished he had thought enough of the plot to infuse some new life into his protagonists.

  • Devonta
    2019-01-28 06:48

    Stinger is a very straightforward book that doesn’t leave you guessing in any way. McCammon even tends to go out of his way at points to explain things to you. The characters are given some back story but I found them to be mostly two dimensional. The rivalry between Cody and Rick as the big bad gang leaders felt ridiculous and poorly written. I attribute this to the fact that it was written in the 80′s and not that McCammon is a bad writer, the decade just called out for cheesy rivalries like this. Additionally the friction between Cody and is father (the drunken Curt Lockett who’s all sad about his dead wife) feels transparent and cliché right up to the inevitable redemption of the father that feels like it came right out of Independence Day (again, this predates that movie by a decade so I can forgive that).All that said, this is a book that will keep you reading and provide some entertainment. It may not be great, world changing, fiction but it is a good read.

  • Carl I.
    2019-02-22 05:50

    Yup, I'm giving this one the ol' "5 Star" rating! Basic premise: Alien shows up on earth, takes over the body of little girl, another alien shows to bring back the other alien who we find out is an escaped "prisoner". The power within this book is 100% the characters. McCammon gives us such string characters that we have no choice but to get wrapped up in the story. His whole book could have been about the stuggle between the two gangs, or the relationship between Cody and Curt (son and drunk dad), or just about the Hammond family. Heck, even the rich older lady could have been a decent story. But what it all boils down to is he made a book crammed full of wonderful characters, a book where the only REAL bad guy is Stinger. Even the bad guys in the town are not really that bad, with the exception of one person, and he is removed from the game almost as quick as we meet him. It's books like this that made me fall in love with reading.

  • Trev Twinem
    2019-01-26 10:34

    Lets face it some people love a certain story...others just cannot or do not enjoy. Now there are a lot of McCammon fans out there and I rate Wolf's Hour and Boy's Life as superb novels....but I could not enjoy Stinger and had great trouble finishing. I'ts basically the story of an alien invasion on a small community and the effect that this has on the day to day life of the residents. I did quite enjoy the first 200 pages (before the baddies arrived) and found some likeable characters and looked forward to the development of the plot line...however...once the invasion happened we have the big fight of good v evil (in the form of a scorpion like stinger alien!)and this struggle went on for some 300+ pages and frankly it bored the *** of me. I really fought to finish this story but somehow managed to hold on until the bitter end (which was no real surprise)...Sorry not for me:(

  • Alondra
    2019-02-11 08:57

    4 StarsWhat a blast, that was! It was like a B-Movie on acid. Much better than Invasion of the Killer Tomatoes. It had all the elements: Fat, loser sheriff; goody-two shoes family, crotchety old rich lady; town drunkard, racial tension, bullied-by-everyone-town-nerd, and gangs. Oh, and did I mention the gloriously, disgusting monster who also happens to be a "bounty hunter!??" It doesn't get any better than this. I really had no expectations of greatness, but this was a great horror story, and would be great on the small screen with a bunch of friends on a Friday night. I ain't young no more, so Fridays will have to do. ;)

  • I. Clayton Reynolds
    2019-01-24 10:29

    What can I say? McCammon's got it as usual. It wasn't on the same level as Swan Song, Boy's Life, or Usher's Passing, but it was still a solid five star read. Excellent B-Movie style sci-fi horror premise that went on to a fun story with some heart.

  • Benjamin Thomas
    2019-02-08 09:51

    An alien spaceship crashes near a small Texas border town, its occupant a bounty hunter on the trail of another alien of a different species who has recently escaped from a prison planet. That certainly sounds more like science fiction than horror but the way Robert McCammon unfolds this plot is pure horror. Trust me. The nature of the bounty-hunter alien (nicknamed “Stinger”) is a scorpion-like, mucus producing, monster with the ability to rapidly replicate allies using spare machine parts and captured human bodies. In effect it can build its own army in its effort to capture its quarry. Awesome!Most of the novel is devoted to developing the many characters of the small town of Inferno. It’s a town that is on its last legs due to the local copper mine being played out so all of the citizens are being forced to close up shop, finish their last few days of the school year, and prepare to move elsewhere. There is a wide variety of characters in this town, from all walks of life. The town also suffers from a racial divide due to its proximity to Mexico and a perception that illegals are taking local jobs. But a common enemy can bring even the most viral enemies to work together and begin to understand one another a little better. My only quibble with this novel is that there may have been too many characters. That served to lengthen the novel a bit and slow down the build-up to the action sequences.A UFO/alien/horror story can be pretty standard fare but in the hands of this author, it truly shines. I first discovered Robert McCammon through his historical mystery novel, Speaks the Nightbird, a novel that was so impressive that it made my all-time favorite list. Subsequent novels in that series did not disappoint. But I also knew his roots lay in the horror genre so I sampled his masterpiece, Swan Song and was, once again blown away by the quality of his writing. So now he is on my list of must-read-everything-he-has-ever-written-including-his-grocery-list authors.

  • ♥ Marlene♥
    2019-02-13 03:59

    While reader a paper book I prefer falling asleep while reading with my kindle (voyage had an inbuild light that switches off after a short while so I am reading 2 books.The Dark Son and this one. I have been thinking of picking another ebook to read because the town he sketches, the people that he describes are all so depressing and the story began so slow. Is still slow. However the pace did pick up just a little bit and I will give it another try tonight.I love this author's writing but perhaps not this particular book.Update: In the end I did not finish the book. perhaps it was me but even when there was some action I did not care very much but I do think that was because of the characters. Most were not appealing and I did not care for them so then you as a reader do not care what happens to them.I did read nearly half so It was just not my book but I will definitely read more books written by Robert McCammon

  • Charles
    2019-02-04 04:33

    I’m generally a big fan of Robert McCammon but Stinger is my least favorite of his so far. Part of it may have been in my mood, and part due to what else I’d been reading previously. I was in the mood for an alien invasion story, and Stinger is that. However, despite a prologue that seemed to set the stage for the horrors to come, nothing really happened that had anything to do with aliens until about 80 pages in. We were introduced to the characters at some length, and they were interesting and well drawn, but I wasn’t in the mood for a character study. When the alien is introduced, it seems more friendly than threatening, and this proves to be accurate. The dangerous aliens don’t appear until page 197. And even though they are pretty cool, by that time I’d largely lost interest. Part of my issue may have been that I’d just been on a Harlan Coben binge and his books rocket along with frequent twists and turns. I did finish “Stinger” but was not very emotionally involved in it. I was curious about what would happen to certain characters, and I really enjoy McCammon’s prose. If I were going to recommend some McCammon, I’d recommend a book like “They Thirst,” or his short story collection, “Blue World.” Both are outstanding works. And if you’re in the mood for a kind of ET meets Alien book that builds slowly, “Stinger” might be for you.

  • Albert
    2019-02-16 04:45

    Very entertaining, I liked pretty much everything about this book. McCammon did a great job with the two alien races, very original.

  • C. Lorion
    2019-02-10 04:50

    I read Stinger about six years ago and liked it. After rereading it, I have a deeper appreciation for it. If you like your aliens mean, unmerciful, and horrifying, then you need to meet Stinger. Written in 1988, the story takes place in one 24-hour period and centers on the Texas town of Inferno where one alien (the bad guy) is in hot pursuit of another alien (the good guy). The inhabitants of Inferno have the unfortunate luck of being caught in the middle. Needless to say, Inferno will never be the same again. What I love most about McCammon's writing is the way he writes characters. Sure, he can write descriptions--"The screen door's hinges shrieked like a scalded cat" (not only do my ears hurt after hearing this sentence, but there's alliteration too!), and he can pace the story just right, and he can leave a few surprises till the end. But what sets McCammon apart from mediocre writers is the way he writes characters. I always feel for the people I meet in his stories, and this story is no different. Empathy, sympathy, anger, frustration, love, hatred, I felt all these and more for the characters in Stinger. That's why I read Robert McCammon's stories. The characters. It's why you should read him, too.

  • Paul Nash
    2019-01-27 04:29

    This was a nice sci-fi \ horror adventure! It totally reminded me of a high-budget X Files episode. I also found it interesting that this alien drops a energy dome over an entire city. So the whole dome idea, I guess, was done before the Simpsons and King. Over all the story ran smoothly and fast and wasn't ever boring. 4 stars

  • Constanza
    2019-02-01 06:55

    3.5Very entertaining and fast paced SciFi-Horror. It's got all the elements of those 80's horror movies that I love. I just wish it would have been a bit shorter, it slowed down towards the middle, still really fun! :)

  • Robjr73
    2019-02-11 10:29

    Simply's books like this which are the reason I read books. I'd give it six stars if I could as it's tops most of my favorite five star books.

  • Rob
    2019-01-23 09:48

    2.5 stars.If you're writing genre fiction, it's a gamble to swing for the fences. In some ways it's easier (and maybe more satisfying to some readers) to forgo things like character development and thematic resonance in favor of plot momentum. Just strip it down and let it rip. If, on the other hand, you want to go for longevity, you've got to give the reader more than just cheap thrills, and that's where Robert R. McCammon's almost successful Stinger (1988) ultimately fails. Because if you're going to take the time to dig a little deeper into character and story, you'd better be good at it.The novel is almost begging for the first approach I described above. A benevolent alien, escaping from an intergalactic prison, crashes its craft near Inferno, a remote Texas town, and takes over the body of a six-year-old girl until it can find a way to escape. Meanwhile, one of the creatures maintaining the prison traces the escapee to Inferno, activates a skygrid around the town, and proceeds to hunt it down, wreaking havoc in its wake.When McCammon gets there – when Stinger, as its called, crash lands in the center of Inferno and begins its violent search – the book is a narrative steamroller. It's creepy and thrilling and does all the things you want a pulpy horror novel with literary aspirations to accomplish. The problem, however, is that it literally takes over 200 pages to get there. Here we are, on page 203 of 539:"The fireball – almost two hundred feet across – roared down and crashed into Mack Cade's autoyard, throwing sheets of dust and pieces of cars into the air. Its shock wave heaved the earth, sent cracks scurrying along the streets of Inferno and Bordertown, blew out windows, and flung Cody Lockett off his feet . . ."As fun as Stinger ultimately gets, what precedes that passage is 200 pages of deathly tedious world-building and attempts at developing characters we care about. We're treated to these various plot threads:• Tension between the white residents of Inferno and the Mexican-American residents of Bordertown, which usually manifests itself in gang violence between high school students (and some frankly atrocious racist language and attitudes, which I think is meant to be critical of the white townspeople, but because it's handled so clumsily just comes off as garden-variety racism).• The activities of the Hammond family – parents Tom (high school teacher) and Jessie (veterinary doctor) and their children Ray and Stevie – which include Ray's creepy obsessing over his female classmates and Tom's attempts at motivating two students, Cody and Rick, who are – surprise, surprise – key members in the two opposing gangs.• A World War II vet who takes care of an imaginary dog.• The arrival in town of Rick's hot sister Miranda, who exists for no reason other than to create more tension between the gangs because Cody, natch, thinks she's "a smash fox" (a dumb phrase McCammon overuses the first time it appears).• A whole lot of clichéd father-son tension between Cody and his neglectful alcoholic father Curt.• The arrival of two Air Force men – Barnes and Gunniston – on the search for the crashed spacecraft.It goes on and on in that vein for almost half the book, just a lot of generic prefab family drama that might as well have come out of a kit. I know why it's there: McCammon's trying to ultimately show how different groups of people who don't particularly get along can band together against a common enemy. But the payoff isn't satisfying because the setup is so hokey.And again, that's kind of a shame, because from the moment Stinger lands, the book gets a whole lot more interesting. As Stinger tracks down Daufin – the name the escapee gives itself after taking over Stevie's body – it does so by killing Inferno's residents and reanimating their bodies in variously creepy ways: human form but with needle teeth and claws; a man with half a dog growing out of his chest; a horse with a scorpion tail. In this way it removes any threats from the town while in its different human forms it tries to blend in in ways not totally dissimilar from John Carpenter's adaptation of The Thing. It ultimately becomes a race against time for the town's survivors to help Daufin escape before Stinger brings its entire army to Earth for colonization.I first read Stinger in high school (McCammon was one of the authors I discovered around the same time as Stephen King) but remembered very little about it. What I really need to do now is revisit some of his other books because I actually have very warm memories about them. I'm not sure if Stinger is a weak spot in his bibliography, or if I just hadn't developed the critical faculties to help me see how disastrously ordinary the first half is. If McCammon had cut out most of the ancillary world-building and structured the first half to focus on the discovery of Daufin's pod, the takeover of Stevie's body, and the arrival of Barnes and Gunniston, and then skipped straight to Stinger's arrival and the town's imprisonment, the book would have been a lean, balls-to-the-wall thriller. Right now, though, it's just needlessly flabby: a 530-page novel flailing about for importance when it could have been a hugely satisfying 300-page book that just wanted to scare the bejsus out of the reader.

  • Shae Wilemon
    2019-02-16 06:29

    It took me forever to get into this book, kept putting it down for something else. Then I made myself finish. Once I hit the halfway point of the book I couldnt put it down. I read the second half in a day. It is a very good story if you give it some time to come together.

  • Andy H
    2019-01-27 03:57

    I had read perhaps half of Robert R. McCammon's horror novels in paperback when I happened to begin this one. Now, don't get me wrong; his books are all good. Boy's Life and Gone South in particular stood out to me at the time, as well as the apocalyptic epic Swan Song, and I recall They Thirst being one of the few horror novels that made me jump a few times and actually scared me at others. And perhaps this shouldn't enter into it, but Mr. McCammon is apparently one hell of a nice human being; I wrote him a letter when I was perhaps 13 and he actually *wrote back to me* and answered my inane questions. It doesn't get much better than that, folks; needless to say, the letter is still hanging framed in my bedroom as an adult.As good as McCammon's work gets in other ways, nothing will prepare you for the adrenaline ride Stinger comprises. It gets going pretty much the same way McCammon's others often do: Introduce a few characters going about their everyday routine, this time in a sunblasted desert town called Inferno. But where so many of his stories then segue into exposition of some kind (perfectly justified in service to the novel)--this one explodes instantly with the meteoric arrival of two alien creatures, one after the other: a benevolent, gentle creature contained in a metal sphere who takes control of a little girl's body--and the bounty hunter chasing the first. It's the bounty hunter who really takes center stage creatively, since it is nothing like the first and instead throws up a laser net spherically around the town and begins tunneling through the ground and snatching people down to be replaced with evil, hive-minded doppelgangers.When I think of all the subsequent books and movies which have explored these concepts in detail, I can only hope that someone recalls Robert R. McCammon's unlikeliest kickass book from the mid-80s and gives him his due. A movie was rumored long, long ago but like Frank Darabont's adaptation of Mine, it never seems to come to pass. I hope Robert R. McCammon made a million on Stinger and makes a million more; it couldn't happen to a nicer guy, and the work is more than deserving.

  • Cody | codysbookshelf
    2019-02-14 03:31

    Before reading Stinger I read three other McCammon titles and considered myself a fan. I wasn't a rabid, hardcore fan -- but a fan nonethless.Stinger changed that. I'm now a very dedicated fan of Robert McCammon. This book is about two opposing terrestrial forces that comes to a small, dying town in Texas. One -- Daufin -- is on the run and the other -- Stinger -- is a bounty hunter looking for the criminal alien force.I know what you're thinking -- that sounds like the plot of a cheaply-made B-movie, and not a very good one at that. Yeah, this book would lend itself pretty well to a sci-fi thriller or SyFy miniseries. It's quick, lots of fun, and not too deep. However, what sets this 1988 novel apart from your run-of-the-mill alien stories is the characters McCammon creates. They leap off the page and practically demand the reader fall in love with them. Among the wide cast of characters is an alcoholic, teen gang members, a rich old biddy, a veterinarian, a mentally ill military vet, a sheriff who feels he isn't making a difference in his small town, a high school teacher about to lose his job, and many others. Everyone here -- including Daufin and Stinger -- have a story and chances at redemption. As well as great characters, Stinger simply flies. I couldn't stop turning the pages and only put down the book when I absolutely had to. I could have finished the 450-page novel in two days if it weren't for, ya know, my job and other responsibilities. *sigh* I digress.... McCammon is now 4/4 with me, and Stinger is probably my second favorite book of his out of those I've read so far. If you're looking for a quick and fun summer read filled with a great cast of characters, lots of scares, and a good deal of heart, look no further. McCammon's sci-fi is totally accessible for those who aren't really into spaceships and weird life forms (like this guy) -- he makes it enjoyable and understandable and, frankly, believable. I heartily recommend this one.