Cover image for The deep
The deep
Cutter, Nick.
Personal Author:
First Gallery Books hardcover edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Gallery Books, 2015.
Physical Description:
394 pages ; 24 cm
"A strange plague called the 'Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget--small things at first, like where they left their keys...then the not-so-small things like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily...and there is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Marianas Trench, an heretofore unknown substance hailed as "ambrosia" has been discovered--a universal healer, from initial reports. It may just be the key to a universal cure. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste, has been built eight miles under the sea's surface. But now the station is incommunicado, and it's up to a brave few to descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths..."--
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From the acclaimed author of The Troop-- which Stephen King raved "scared the hell out of me and I couldn't put it down.…old-school horror at its best"--comes this utterly terrifying novel where The Abyss meets The Shining .

A strange plague called the 'Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget--small things at first, like where they left their keys, then the not-so-small things, like how to drive or the letters of the alphabet. Their bodies forget how to function involuntarily. There is no cure.

But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Mariana Trench, a heretofore-unknown substance hailed as "ambrosia"--a universal healer, from initial reports--has been discovered. It may just be the key to eradicating the 'Gets.

In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste , has been built eight miles under the sea's surface. But when the station goes incommunicado, a brave few descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths…and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.

Author Notes

Nick Cutter is the pen name of Canadian author Craig Davidson. Cutter has won the inaugural James Herbert Award for Horror Writing for his title The Troop. The award carries a monetary attachment of $3800.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Cutter follows up his successful horror debut (The Troop, 2014) with another story rife with dread and violence. As a worldwide pandemic threatens to unhinge world civilization, Dr. Luke Nelson is summoned to his brother's research station far below the ocean's surface, where there resides a possible cure Ambrosia, a strange organism that appears to have great healing properties. Unfortunately, Nelson's personal demons are causing him nightmares, and things only get worse when he enters the station and is greeted by the apparent insanity that reigns inside. Cutter combines a haunted protagonist, a deeply claustrophobic atmosphere, and visceral violence to create an over-the-top thrill ride for horror fans. There's a palpable tension as the story builds, and the author doesn't pull any punches with the gore either; between the descriptive hallucinations and the very real threats, readers may find themselves begging for a respite or cheering for more of the same.--Clark, Craig Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Fans of unflinching bleakness and all-out horror will love this novel. Expecting to assist in the study of a miraculous cell-regenerating substance discovered deep undersea, veterinarian Luke Nelson descends eight miles to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. What he finds there, in a research lab warped by incredible pressure and trapped in utter darkness, is a mounting wave of physical and mental aberrations. Something down there is testing-or playing with-the scientists and their lab animals. Readers watch as Luke is unpeeled, layer by layer, and reshaped into something terrible. The novel's horror is notable both for quantity and quality. Where some writers shovel gruesome details into their fiction, Cutter (The Troop) uses a front-end loader. However, his sharp observations and choice of details keep readers from getting numbed by the accumulation of catastrophes; each new shock is freshly disturbing. Genre fans will find this an admirable addition to the list of horror novels that share its title. Agent: Kirby Kim, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

In Cutter's second dark thriller (after The Troop), the boundary between real horror and terrifying delusion blurs. The story follows Luke as he travels to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean where his brother and two other scientists are studying an unknown substance called "ambrosia." The scientists have not been heard from for days. Earth's human population is succumbing to a plague named the 'Gets, which causes people to slowly forget everything until their bodies no longer know how to live. Ambrosia has miracle-like healing properties, so the scientific probe is a last-ditch effort to save humanity. Luke's arrival at the undersea lab immerses him into a world where the nightmares of his past come alive, and new nightmares fill the darkness found at the bottom of the sea. Is he hallucinating, or is something driving him to insanity? VERDICT Cutter does a good job of using his characters' histories to flesh out their personalities and advance the plot. Intense scenes of gore and adult themes make this horrific psychological thriller unsuitable for teens, but these elements will appeal to readers who enjoy Stephen King or Lovecraftian stories.-Matt Schirano, Magnus Wahlstrom Lib., Bridgeport, CT (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Deep 1. THE OLD MAN'S HEAD was covered in mantises. At first Luke thought it was a wig or some weird toupee--but he was at the southern tip of Guam, a few miles from the Pacific, and the man was wearing tattered clothes and what looked like strips of old radial tires lashed to his feet. Why bother with a toupee? The driver saw the old man, too. He hissed between his teeth--an uneasy tssshk! He said something under his breath: a curse, maybe a prayer? Luke didn't speak the local dialect. "I'll do it," Luke told the driver. "You wait here." He elbowed the Jeep's door open. Sweet Jesus, the heat. It'd hit him like a fist when he stepped onto the runway at the Agana airport. It hit him again now--the tropical air, laden with the nectar of heliotropes, caused beads of sweat to pop along his brow. The old man stood facing the wall of a one-story workshop. The ground was strewn with hubcaps and crankcases snarled in rusted wiring. Wrist-thick vines snaked out of the greenery to twine around the industrial junk; with nobody around to hack it back, the jungle would reclaim this spot in a matter of months. The old man was walking into the wall--his sandals made a gentle whush-whush as they brushed the yellowing adobe. The spotting was pronounced on his bare arms and his throat. The scabs were dime-sized, bigger than what Luke was used to seeing. Some of them had cracked open and were leaking grayish pus. Luke had no clue what had drawn the mantises. Maybe they'd dropped from the creeping ivy snarled across the shop's roof. Or maybe something on the man's scalp, or leaching out of it, had attracted them. They were the largest insects Luke had ever seen. Each mantis was the length of his thumb, and muscular-looking. They had swollen, cantilevered abdomens that curved above their sharp, considering faces. A baker's dozen or so carpeted the man's skull. Luke got the sense of them turning to stare at him, all at once. Luke retreated to the ditch. His feet sank into the muck. He didn't like the way it sucked at his boots--greedy, a lipless brown mouth. He found a stick and went back. The insects squirmed quarrelsomely on the man's head, which was covered with wispy white hairs as downy as those on a baby's skull. Their exoskeletons made a brittle chitter. What the hell were they doing? Luke watched their choreographed manner. The stink of burned diesel mixed with the heliotropes to create a sticky vapor that coated his throat. Distantly, he heard the driver repeat what he'd said before--that breathless curse or prayer--and Luke was worried he'd set the Jeep in gear and take off, leaving him with the old man and the mantises, the heat and the crawling jungle. What in God's name were those bugs doing? One mantis pinned another in a violent vise grip, then widened its jaws and bit down, cleaving the other's head in half. Their abdomens were wed. What was clearly the female continued to eat the male's head while his antenna whipped about frantically. Using the stick, Luke brushed the mantises off the man's skull. A decapitated male skittered wildly across Luke's fingers; he shook it into the mud with the rest of them. The urge arose to step on them. Squash them all to paste. Instead, Luke set his hands on the old man's shoulders to turn him around. His expression was familiar: The Big Blank. His eyes gone milky, the edges of his eyelids pebbled with nodules of acne that gave his skin the look of an orange rind. His mouth wide open, his tongue coated in white film. He may not have drunk water in days. He'd forgotten to, probably. That's how it went with the 'Gets: you forgot the little things first, then the not-so-little things, then the big ones. Next, the critical ones. In time, your heart forgot how to beat, your lungs how to breathe. You die knowing nothing at all. As soon as Luke pointed him in a new direction, the old man started to walk. He'd go on until he fell down or stepped off a cliff or stumbled into a leopard's den, if they had those around here. And Luke couldn't do a damn thing about that. He climbed back into the Jeep. The driver eased past the old man as he tottered down the road, that clingy mud sucking up past his ankles already. Luke watched as they pulled away, the old man's body becoming indistinct through the stinging fumes. Excerpted from The Deep by Nick Cutter All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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