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Seriously, Read a Book!

Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...

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Scowler - Daniel Kraus

Personal prolegomena:

This book fell into my mitts courtesy of another round of library roulette. About a quarter of the way in, things reached such a level of WTF that I broke one of my (made up) roulette rules, and just had to look it up to get a bead on this Scowler business.


Given the bit that I had just finished, I was surprised (at the very least) to find that it's actually classified as "young adult" and/or juvenile fiction. I'm relatively new to this "horror" business, but, still, really?!? That's not to say that a "young adult" couldn't handle it, but, nonetheless, this had me picturing "juveniles" à la Mary Ellen Mark's photograph, "Amanda And Her Cousin Amy."


Amanda and Her Cousin Amy by Mary Ellen Mark


'Bout the book:

Trudi's take will probably give you a better sense of things than I'll be offering here, but the gist involves a college-aged protagonist, Rye, who tends to the farm, his mother, and his younger sister, Sarah, in the wake of their (now imprisoned) menacing father, Marvin Burke. Things are not going well, the land is dried up, they've never recovered from whatever it is that Marvin did, and we know there's something involving "the unnamed three" looming over it all.


What, if anything, felt "young adult" to me about this book was the dearth of subtlety in foreshadowing. The book took me by surprise big time early on (if you've read it, then I'm guessing you know what I'm hinting at here)*, but after that I felt like the twists and turns were a bit too projected. On the flip side, I suppose that's how one builds suspense.


Cartoon connections:

For fans of South Park, the parallels with Cartman's trajectory in the 1% episode are pretty great (though, I'm guessing, unintentional). 


Cartman Goodbye Sally Prissy Pants



* Fine, I'll spell it out for you: 


I was not expecting Jo Beth to be sewn to the mattress. In fact, I immediately had to ruin the book for everyone in the house by reporting this incident in graphic detail.

Also, I feel like it's a rule of thumb that a book with the line,“You think there aren't worse things than sewing someone to a mattress?" might be best shelved as "hard" YA (if that's a thing). 

(show spoiler)

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