Hater was self-published online in 2006 by author David Moody. It became, we are told in the dust jacket copy, an internet phenomenon and Moody--who apparently is a great self-promoter--sold the movie rights, sans agent, to Guillermo del Toro.
I'm here to tell you, folks, that just because something is an "internet phenomenon," and just because a great director has the ability to recognize a good movie within a story, doesn't mean that story will translate into a great book. Because it didn't, my friends, it didn't.
The premise is intriguing: over the course of a few days the world realizes that certain violent, unprovoked, usually homicidal attacks are occurring with increasing frequency, and with a modus operandi that is distinctly similar each time. First uneasiness develops, then families and friends begin to circle the wagons, but soon full-fledged panic breaks out. The people committing the unprovoked attacks are dubbed Haters, which is an apt enough designation. We follow the story mostly through the first person narrative of one Danny McCoyne, a low level civil servant barely able to support his wife and three kids.
Unfortunately, Moody is not a good enough writer to sustain the level of horror and panic necessary to move a novel like this along at the proper brisk pace. It's not until three quarters of the way through, when we finally get inside the head of a Hater, that the suspense is elevated, but by then it's too little too late.
Hater, I suspect, will turn out to be a far better movie than it was a book.