Read Testament by David Morrell Online


Reporter Reuben Bourne has broken a promise - to cast a paramilitary white supremacy group in a favorable light. Now, one basically peaceful man, one with a paradoxical attraction for violence, must confront a force of unrelenting hate. Somehow, he must survive - as he leads his family on a desperate flight into a wilderness as unforgiving as the fanatical humans who pursuReporter Reuben Bourne has broken a promise - to cast a paramilitary white supremacy group in a favorable light. Now, one basically peaceful man, one with a paradoxical attraction for violence, must confront a force of unrelenting hate. Somehow, he must survive - as he leads his family on a desperate flight into a wilderness as unforgiving as the fanatical humans who pursue him....

Title : Testament
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780446364485
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 341 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Testament Reviews

  • Blake Crouch
    2019-04-08 01:32

    David Morrell’s second novel, TESTAMENT, was published in 1975. You might have heard of his debut. Little book called FIRST BLOOD that introduced the character John Rambo and in the process invented the action novel. TESTAMENT is Morrell’s darkest book, and that’s saying something pretty profound. It opens "It was the last morning the four of them would ever be together" and heads downhill from there. Downhill being a good thing in this case. TESTAMENT is about a family being torn apart and having to fight for its survival under the harshest, most excruciating conditions. To give the briefest plot-tease, the husband/father has pissed off the wrong people, and those wrong people intend to murder his entire family, who’s forced to flee their home. There are scenes of such despair and power in these pages that they level you. But this is a book that must be read, and part of the fun is knowing TESTAMENT was written thirty-four years ago, in the age of Forsythe and Ludlum and the Big International Thriller. In contrast, TESTAMENT feels contained and intimate and linear. Very much a prototype of things to come, and without question one of the best thrillers I’ve ever had the joy and horror to read.

  • Arun Divakar
    2019-04-16 01:29

    One story thread that never ceases to go out of fashion is David v/s Goliath. By this I do not appeal to biblical themes but rather to that of the underdog defeating the giant. We see and read and observe it all the time in the world around us. Even when you start off on such a story, you do know that your protagonist will win in the end no matter how mighty the odds are. David Morrell builds his story on this archetype but his story is effective in delivering the goods. This is a damn fine yarn of a thriller that borders slightly on the edge of becoming a horror story. Not much, it perhaps puts a toe or two across the line into horror !Testament tells us the harrowing accounts in the life of Reuben Bourne after he rubs a white supremacy paramilitary group in the wrong direction. Reuben has his own share of private hell in his family life even before the violent shock waves of hatred from this group starts hitting him. In short, Reuben's world goes to hell in a hand basket ! The opening scene of the novel is quite a shocker and gave me a little glimpse of what I was getting into. Morrell is very effective in conjuring an atmosphere of utter dread for the little family of Reuben in the chapters. Unable to deal with the bloodbath surrounding him, Reuben flees to the wild with only a theoretical notion of how to survive. There aren't many light moments in this tale and even when there is such a moment, there is a small chill clawing at your mind telling you that it will go wrong again. The bleakness builds with the chapters and as the end of the tale approaches, I had almost given up hope. Then again there is the climax which is anticlimactic and did not rather meet my expectations. It really isn't much of a climax either. Just a way of switching the story off !Even when I had closed the book, one thought lingered in my mind : if instead of Reuben, we had Morrell's more famous protagonist along for the ride ! Yes, I do mean John Rambo for the backdrop here is one which he would take to like a fish to water. Morrell also quotes First Blood in this book, cleverly hidden away among some chapters !

  • Wafaa
    2019-03-25 20:15

    4.5This was my first ever thriller. I've got to say I was quite impressed. Not what I expected at all.

  • Martin Hill
    2019-03-29 00:19

    This is a very difficult book to read. Not that it is poorly written; the writing is some of David Morrell's best. However, the story is very disturbing and, at times, gut wrenching.Testament was Morrell's second published novel, following the success of First Blood, the book that introduced Rambo. It is the story of a man who has made mistakes in his life. His first was having an affair with another woman, an event that nearly destroyed his marriage. His second mistake was writing an unflattering magazine article about the leader of a right-wing extremist group. In retaliation, that group marked him and his family for death.This book starts with a heart-rending scene in which the writer's infant son and family cat are poisoned by the extremists. From there on, the tension is unrelenting. The extremists have operators in every walk of life. Unable to trust even the police, the family flees to the backcountry then, after being discovered, into the depths of the wilderness.Where First Blood's plot was about a deadly chase, Testament's plot is about survival and endurance under the harshest conditions, and the lengths to which a man will go to protect his family. Known for his detailed research, Morrell took a wilderness survival course before writing Testament. As a former wilderness search-and-rescue medic myself, I found his research added both a greater depth of authenticity to the book, as well as gruesome realism.This is not an easy book to read, but it is a book well worth reading.

  • itchy
    2019-04-17 21:13

    to think that i was dragging my feet on the onset;sure beats the crap out of first blood

  • Alex Budris
    2019-04-04 22:38

    In his first novel - First Blood - David Morrell invented the character John Rambo. Isn't that a statement? A man walks into a bar and announces "I created Rambo! I am one notch of a man above Sylvester Stallone!" Swarthy gentlemen all around buy him double-shots of the oakiest whiskey in the world. After closing they all don finely-tuned custom hunting rifles and march into some remote and hostile wilderness, avoiding many cunning booby-traps, and meticulously assassinate their enemies. They cook the flesh of their foes for food and don the hides of the bears that they single-handedly strangled for warmth. They wander the snowy woods for months, seeking vengeance. Some do not survive, the ones that do are fueled by the fires of Survival and further Vengeance. None of these men have any formal outdoor training. Most are stock-brokers or stay at home Dads. Their enemies are trained militia. The men hide in camouflaged shelters strategically constructed in the middle of the woods during a raging blizzard. There is five feet of drifting snow in the desolate wilderness. They manage to skillfully kill all their enemies with carefully planned maneuvers.The question that lies at the heart of reviewing this book: Is This Ridiculous?Answer that question and you will find the only issue that I have with this otherwise excellent novel. It is finely written, suspenseful, heartbreaking, and merciless. But, again, without giving away any plot-points, please refer to the stated question above. It's just this nagging inability to suspend disbelief that a middle-class family can become John Rambo overnight. Otherwise, like I said, it's one king-hell of a read. And I haven't even gotten into the vaguely supernatural ghost-town that appears on no maps. Or the strange old man who is half mad with memories of more than heinous* atrocities from long ago. Maybe one is supposed to suspend disbelief and just soak in the deeper, possibly allegorical elements of the book. Who knows? I just know that I enjoyed it and it stands very tall over Morrell's more recent novels such as "Scavenger" and "Creepers"... While entertaining, those books are mere beach-reading compared to this disturbing, psychologically-probing book. Read it, take it as it is. WWRD. (What Would Rambo Do)*Remember: "Heinous" is not a word to be used lightly.

  • Nona
    2019-03-25 22:29

    This starts out with all the trappings of a thriller, but then it becomes something more. The protagonist fails to fit the mold of your typical Hollywood Thriller Hero; instead he's just an average man trying to run and hide from skilled and tenacious killers. The results are devastating.I've read a lot of books with a higher amount of horrifying content, but this one has stayed with me.

  • Chrisb
    2019-04-19 00:14

    This began as a great read and the plot was very interesting yet the ending quit telling the story and eventually became an internalization of the lead character. Leaving all aspects of the great book it began as, to become a horrid finish.

  • Danny
    2019-03-31 00:17

    Great bookI have read this book a few times and it's a great book even better than first blood in my opinion, would make a great film thanks David for writing this book.

  • Oliver Clarke
    2019-04-15 03:18

    Gripping and full of decently taut prose but really, really bleak.

  • Joni Fisher
    2019-04-10 02:13

    A breathtaking thriller set in the wilderness. Believable, brutal, and bitterly relevant with the current state of society. Start this book early in the day or you'll lose sleep to finish it. Morrell's you-are-there feel proves he thoroughly researched surviving in the wild.

  • Goat
    2019-03-29 21:15

    I didn't realise till halfway through the book - it's a fast read, and you could reach halfway in an evening - that I'd read it before back in high school a couple of decades back. I reached a scene (a minor character's anecdote) that had struck me as bizarre then and was even weirder this time around. And not weird in a good way. It still didn't make much dramatic sense, even though it was the most'disturbing' (numerous readers' critiques on Amazon describe the novel thus) scene in the book. As I had the first time, I merely found myself thinking, "What the hell was this scene included for? Who is this guy?"Actually, coming from an Eng Lit professor, I was astounded on this read by the sheer ineptitude of much of the grammar and syntax. There was a lot of sloppy wordplay, WAY too many adverbs of manner, some of them very clunky, and an unbelievably lazy reliance on participles as an 'action' device. This is partly what makes it such a page-turner: Morrell is a fan of the short sentence and the -ing verb ("and he was running, sweating, shouting, screaming as he arrived, panting, gasping for air, at the house..." - not a real quote, but close to it.Yet his characters are indifferently constructed, even the protagonist (who cares when the wife and daughter suffer? I didn't), the dialogue (especially the wife's and the girl's) wooden, the plotting is linear (no problem with that but it lacked the drive and climax that would allow this very simple story to satisfy) and unsurprising, and it's all ultimately unconvincing. His house in the suburbs is attacked several times in a short period even after his child has been poisoned - no media interest, no decent police protection? No mention of parents, family, friends who might be affected by such a violent, disturbing attack on a child. Similarly when the daughter is attacked at her school - no media interest? And that ghost town scene? Come on. Straight out of the Brady Bunch episode, the numerous buildings still standing and perfectly functional, bottles in the saloon, even 'town records' surviving, but NOBODY KNOWS THIS PLACE IS THERE?! (Except one grizzled and perplexing old-timer). Again, doesn't Bourne have any family or colleagues wondering where he's got to? The snow survival scenes are unconvincing at best - many months sheltering in snow caves and the odd shack in freezing winter, sleeping on the snow in a sleeping bag with no ground sheet. The wife and daughter have no trouble mastering horse-riding and are able to flee assassins on their heroic mounts. This could have been a great survival tale if there was a tad more plausibility.And the ending? Such a cop out. The enemy was wasted - Kess could have been a great villain but is hardly mentioned until near the end. His henchmen are cutouts - even as Bourne tortures and kills one of them, the victim isn't even described - age, hair colour, nothing. Overall, a great disappointment from the author famous for 'Rambo'. I read 'First Blood' way back then as well. At the time I recall enjoying it, but maybe a return visit as an adult will force another reappraisal...

  • Phillip Harben
    2019-04-13 19:34

    I read this book years ago and re-reading it now, it doesn't hold up very well. The editor appears to have gone on holiday for long stretches during this book and whilst the opening chapters are as shocking as I remember - more so, in fact - the rest of the book is lacking. ****SPOILERS****Nowhere does it state in the book exactly what was written that upset Kess so much. It stretches belief beyond breaking point that an author (in the book) is able to survive in the wilderness and where he came upon his fieldcraft. The author appears to have downloaded a Rambo databank and is as adept in the woods as he was on a typewriter. Characters are sketched and unlike the supremely magnificent "First Blood" by the same author, there is no competing point of view. In fact, one would suggest that this was written before the more famous book referenced above as it doesn't hold together very well. It appears that this is almost a rough draft, due to large sections of text that don't make sense (referencing the photo scenes). However, inside this gritty oyster is a pearl - there are several setpieces which work very well and heartstrings are plucked. There is some convincing action and a heavy resistance to a happy ending, where many authors may have taken the easier road. Worth a read, but not entirely satisfying. I'd like to see an expanded and revised version, because it is a cracking story that if it had more meat put on its bones, would be a classic, but that just isn't on the cards.

  • John Reeves
    2019-04-06 22:37

    I give this book four stars, it started strong, it was written well, it had a lot of feeling associated with it, but the ending was really not that good. The story had pieces left out, and they were things that I thought needed to be told. We know that Bourne wrote an article about a white supremacy group ran by Kess, and they ended up trying to kill him and the family, but we never really find out much surrounding the conflict. Bourne is on the run from them, because they killed his son and wanted to do the rest of them in too. There's nothing that tells us what he wrote, nor is there anything solid about the group in general. We're just expected to understand that, he wrote something bad, and that they had limitless power to destroy his life. Bourne wrote something putting them in a negative light, although we don't know what. This is the second David Morrell book that I've read, and I'll continue to read others, but this book wasn't quite as good as First Blood. I give it four stars because it was interesting, it was very well written, and because it had a great deal of action in it. I could have easily given it 5 of 5 stars, but there was more I wanted to know, and the story ended badly in my humble opinion.

  • Jeff
    2019-04-17 03:37

    1st Read: March 3, 1996 - March 7, 1996 (**** ) I really had a hard time getting through this story. As I reached the concluding seventy or so pages, my interest soared! It would make an excellent survival guide.2nd Read: December 12, 2012 - December 31, 2012 (**** Rating) January 1, 2013 - January 3, 2013 Still a pretty good story and an equally good survival guide. I'd remembered much of the story and other parts were new to me, as I'd missed them the first time around. I will be keeping this one as well. Turned out to be a better story all around and I learned of the shit he went through, which involved taking his family into the wilderness for sanctuary. I am so glad I kept this novel! 3rd Read: June 11, 2017 - June 19, 2017 (**** Rating) A great story with never ending suspense and action. I'd love to see this turned into a movie, if it hasn't already been.

  • Lon Casler Bixby
    2019-04-05 19:13

    This book is a good read... one of my favs from David Morrell. I read it when I was a kid, and just re-read it again. Even after all these years it still holds up as I remembered: very good, fast paced, believable characters. "Testament" definitely delivers a thrilling dose of powerful reality... and reality doesn't have a happy ending. I highly recommend this book.

  • RJ
    2019-04-04 20:37

    First let me say that I like Morrell's writing. This book is a little odd to me; interesting, but odd. Limited number of characters, unknown mysterious persistent attackers, our unlucky hero loses everything and survives to dispense his idea of justice. Somewhat suspenseful, bizarre and obscure story of survival and revenge.

  • Sidney
    2019-04-13 22:28

    This nail-biter has a real contemporary Western feel to it, and it's a real page-turner. A writer, who's angered a right wing paramilitary group leader, goes on the run with his family. A cell of henchmen pursue, forcing the writer, named Bourne, to live off the land. Very dark and chilling throughout.

  • Del
    2019-04-21 03:13

    I read this a good few years ago and was pleased to find it on Kindle as I'd lost the original copy! I enjoyed it back then and I've enjoyed re-reading it but I've only given it four stars because I think the ending is quite disappointing... I it had been me in the protagonists situation NOTHING would be left alive at the end!

  • David Burke
    2019-03-31 01:16

    This is a fast paced thriller about a writer who does an expose on a mafioso and the subject takes offense. The writer's entire family is targetted by the crime boss. It has been a while since I read it but I remember it being gripping and at times disturbing.

  • DJMikeG
    2019-04-05 19:33

    I abandoned this book about 270 pages into it. It starts off incredibly, a great, gritty, fast moving thriller. At about 260 pages in, I stopped caring about the characters and got bored with it. Morrell is a good writer, but this one loses steam rather quickly.

  • David Agranoff
    2019-04-18 03:23

    This is the best thriller I ever read. It's also one of the best non-supernatural horror novel I've ever read. Girl Next door by Jack Ketchum is up there too. Nail-biter from the creator of Rambo.

  • Travis Nacke
    2019-04-22 20:11

    The book was written very well but like a lot of readers, the ending was poor. It didn't make sense what Bourne did about Kess. I still enjoy reading the Morrell books as you can feel the scenes he creates.

  • Jeff
    2019-04-18 23:18

    I would have given this one 4 stars except the ending sucked. The premise was great and the story was intense. I'm glad I read this now, as a father, rather than when I was younger as the story had more impact.

  • Chicagomarc
    2019-04-12 21:27

    Great book, but super dark and depressing.

  • Ashley
    2019-04-01 19:27

    I don't remember much about this book, other than I liked it enough to keep it, but I think that this one was better written than some... It is good though.

  • Shaun
    2019-04-04 03:30

    Started well with a compelling enough story that made me want to read all the way through. The ending was a bit of an anti-climax though.

  • Bill Powers
    2019-04-04 23:22

    A very well written and very dark tale...

  • Jaime
    2019-04-10 21:09

    real-life scary!

  • Charles
    2019-04-05 00:24

    This is another favorite among Morrell's books.