You Come When I Call You

ISBN: 0843946954
ISBN 13: 9780843946956
By: Douglas Clegg

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Reader's Thoughts

Brian Steele

Clegg is a good writer, great at atmosphere. While I enjoyed what he did with this book, the themes he played with, I imagine many readers never finished it. This book started out very confusingly, slipping between various characters who weren't always named and jumping time periods. Honestly, I had no idea what was going on until about halfway through the book; but then I was hooked. If you tried to read this and gave up, give it another go.


I can deal with a good amount of nasty guts and gore when I am interested in a story, or if a book is particularly imaginative and well written. Sometime during the first hundred pages I had guessed the ending, so there wasn't suspense to keep me interested. This is my first, and probably only Clegg novel, so I don't know how well written his other books are. In this book he seemed to employ a stream-of-consciousness writing style that I tire of very quickly and makes me think "Holy run-on sentences, Batman!" If you want to read a nasty book that's imaginative and well-written, pick up a Clive Barker novel. If you like the "kids dealing with evil in a small town" idea, pick up Summer of Night by Dan Simmons. I wouldn't really recommend this unless you are just a huge fan of demon stories with cannibalism.


2.5 stars for the second novel I read by Douglas Clegg.

Lhizz Browne

This is definitely a classic horror novel, with echoes of Stephen King and Peter Straub at their best. Not one for readers with short attention spans, as the narrative jumps back and forward and the suspense is slowly and intricately woven. I would recommend it to horror fans, esp. those who like a bit of gore mixed with the creepiness.

Robert Beveridge

Douglas Clegg, You Come When I Call You (Leisure, 2003)There's something about horror novels (or movies or anything else) set in the desert that just plain works. I've never been quite sure why this is-- perhaps my obsessive reading and re-reading of Robb White's Deathwatch when I was in fourth and fifth grade-- but take a horror story and stick it in a place where there's a lot of sand and very little water and I'm sold from the get-go. Such was the case with Douglas Clegg's awkwardly-named You Come When I Call You, which I assumed was going to be about an abusive mother or something. Happily, this is not Mommie Dearest Clegg-style, but a fine-tuned, if small-time, apocalypse novel (the apocalypse is limited to two small desert towns).In 1980, something happens that destroys the town of Palmetto, California, and a nextdoor ghetto-style white trash slum. When it was over, the few survivors were interrogated, then locked away until their minds healed. Which assumed that their minds would eventually heal. We open twenty years later, when all have been long-released and trying to make their lives in the real world despite the memories that have fractured them. But something is happening in the desert, something that's bringing their memories to the forefront-- something that convinces them that the job they thought they'd done twenty years before was, in fact, unfinished, and that they needed to return and finish it.We bounce back and forth between the present and flashbacks of the days before the destruction, getting to know the characters in both times and how they've changed. This gives us a much fuller picture of the characters than we might otherwise get, and it was a very good decision for this book. The downside (but only if this annoys you the way it does me) is that much of the suspense goes along the “we're going to create suspense by leaving cliffhangers everywhere and restricting the information we give the reader.” Which is okay when it's not so transparent. (Call it the Curse of Foreshadowing, perhaps.) But still, in the long list of “things that can annoy Your Favorite Goat when he's reading”, this one ranks pretty low. The other thing that didn't quite work for me was the pace, which seemed to flag now and again, but when it's on, it's on.I liked this one, and I do recommend it, but I don't think it's Clegg's strongest work. ***


So very well done. I was kept on my toes the whole time. Enjoyment.


Could not even finish this after making it two-thirds of the way through... Forcing myself to continue.... Just a horribly written story.

Eric Weule

My favorite Clegg book. I've read it five times over the last ten years and I still don't quite understand why this book messes with me in such a powerful way.


When i read it my senior year of highschool, i LOVED IT!!! made every single one of my friends read it because it was so twisted.... I will need to re-read it again because its been a long time... lol


This is the second Clegg book I've read, and while I dig his style of storytelling, I thought this book started out strong, but kind of lost its way, as did I, as the plot unraveled. And there's a lot of talk about "demon juice" which is just odd.


This book was one of the most unique, individual, and bizarre things I've ever read. You don't find the typical vampires, werewolves, or ghosts in this one, nor do you find the average demon or demonic-possession. The first time I read it, I went through fast, and I thought, " was okay." But I went through it again recently, and it really took me by surprise of how deep it is. The pain the four main characters endured, how reality, dreams and insanity blended into one, and the craziness of humanity's greed and want that brought an end to an entire town...this book is really intense!



Eric Miller

By far my favorite Clegg book, and one of my favorite horror books of all time. I was kind of stunned to see how many people didn't like it here, but that's what personal taste is for I guess. It IS dark, very dark, and oh so harsh, but it doesn't put me off like "torture porn" movies or books do- the gore and violence came out of story and characters here for me, so I didn't see it as gratuitous. To each his own, but I recommend this book all the time, and am doing so again here.


I love horror, but this book fell flat for me. I enjoyed the story Douglas Clegg created and the characters, but the ending was a let down. I expected something a little more fanatastical and it fell flat, however that being said I plan on reading another of his books. His has a rich imagination that reminds me of Richard Laymond and Edward Lee and he really does know how to create a great story. I think i'll be reading The Halloween Man the next time I reach for Douglas Clegg.


I've known of Douglas Clegg's books for some time, just hadn't had the opportunity to read a full one until now. I found this to be very well-written. I'm looking forward to being able to read the other books he has written.

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