After having travelled west for weeks, the party of pioneers comes to a crossroads. It is time for their leader, George Donner, to make a choice. They face two diverging paths which lead to the same destination. One is well-documented, the other untested but rumoured to be shorter.
Donner’s decision will shape the lives of everyone travelling with him. The searing heat of the desert gives way to biting winds and a bitter cold that freezes the cattle where they stand. Driven to the brink of madness, the ill-fated group struggles to survive, and minor disagreements turn into violent confrontations. Then the children begin to disappear. As the survivors turn against each other, a few begin to realise that the threat they face reaches beyond the fury of the natural elements, to something more primal and far more deadly.
Based on the true story of the Donner Party, The Hunger is an eerie, shiver-inducing exploration of human nature pushed to its breaking point.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Simon on 07-04-18
History Merged With Supernatural Imaginings!
Alma Katsu has taken the real life historical tale of The Donner Party and moulded it with considerable respect to the factual detail into a horror story. It seems likely that the real-life version ended in cannibalism which you might say is horror enough but Katsu throws a supernatural angle into it too.
A wagon train of 100 people sets off on what back in 1846 seems like an incredible journey to even consider. Travelling across obstacles like the Sierra Nevada and the Great Salt Lake Desert Donner and his party encountered a myriad obstacles. Poor decisions and delays meant they missed a proposed rendezvous with a larger group and from there everything but the terrain went downhill.
I enjoyed the book and thought the near seamless integration of the supernatural element with historical fact was done extremely well. I couldn't quite see it as a five star read though because the book took a long time to get to the meat of the story and then an awful lot happens in a very short space of time. Even then though there are one or two long flashbacks which added little right when it all got exciting.The narration by Kirsten Potter is strong if a little mechanical in the quieter, more descriptive moments.
So it's a clever concept executed fairly well to create an enjoyable listen.
17 of 21 people found this review helpful