June 1984. Timmy Graco is looking forward to summer vacation, taking it easy and hanging out with his buddies. Instead, his summer will be filled with terror and a life-and-death battle against a nightmarish creature that few will believe even exists. Timmy learns that the person who’s been unearthing fresh graves in the cemetery isn’t a person at all. It’s a thing. And it’s after Timmy and his friends. If Timmy hopes to live to see September, he’ll have to escape the Ghoul.
©2011 Brian Keene (P)2011 Audio Realms, Inc.
"The enormity of Keene’s pulp horror imagination is both rare and wonderful." (Publishers Weekly)
"Keene is a virtuoso writer." (Fangoria)
Yes, I would recommend this book to those who are into horror. The book follows three boys who come from three different family dynamics. The boys have both inadvertently and knowingly entangled themselves with a Ghoul who is demented, terrifying, and the stuff nightmares are made of. After listening to the book my first thought was
The most interesting aspect was how Brian was able to manipulate the readers emotions through the lives the three boys. The descriptive details of their environment and perceptions helped me connect and care about the boys, which in the end brought only emotional devastation.
Must read for horror fans!
I dislike giving negative reviews but this book's description gives the impression of real dark dread. Not so. More like an after-school special with bad words and a sex scene. I really wanted to like this book and given all the good reviews, I thought I would... For one thing, the constant reminders this took place in the 80s was heavy handed and annoying because they were poured onto scenes that did nothing to add to the story - simply serving as yet another overbearing reminder that it's 1984. Second and most unforgivable, the monster speaks (bummer) but it's not just that, it's a massive verbal info dump, explaining his plans right in the first chapter of the book.
At the start I made the adjustment that I would simply ignore that the author named the main character Timmy and made myself beleive that it would not be an indication of how the rest of the story would unfold, but it is. Come on. Timmy? Were it not for the clumsily written sexual opening to the story and a few F bombs here and there, this would be a children's book worthy of "Goosebumps".
Last, the narration is fine. In fact the timbre of June's voice is soothing and appropriate. But when it came time to do the ghouls voice, it quickly turned into a circus. Imagine your grandfather reading to you the story of the Jack and Beanstalk and you'll get the picture. Worst of all, whenever a point of tension, suspense or drama came around his words would come out of his mouth in a stilted Shatner-esqu pace that became difficult not to focus on and ultimately made me want to chuck my iphone into a corner and stomp on it. This audiobook does not get my recommendation and I feel sorrow at the loss of my $14 which I'll never see again...
I didn't hate this book, in fact, I was really getting into it after I got past the tone of the reader. It started out a lot like King's novel, IT, but trust me when I say it fell very short. It threw in parts that led nowhere and became quite cliche in other spots. I was hoping that when Keene started talking about the dead, that he would do something with it but nope, not a thing. He spent all of that time going into the 'how' the people died and then just left it. He also made a pretty big deal over the grandfather but he left that trail cold too. My final criticism of this story was the moral point Keene tries to throw in at the end. It's suppose to be a scary story about a ghoul, I could care less about getting a lesson at the end of it, which by the way was really kind of pointless. I would have rather he spent that last fifteen minutes tying up all the loose ends that he seemed to forget about.
I think that Keene might have earned an extra star from me had he taken a little more time to give his straggler storylines a little more vitality. I can't say that I would be interested in anything else by this author but if you just want a quick read with a little fright (not much) and you don't mind the moral lesson, this one isn't terrible.
This was the best horror book I have read (heard) in a long time. I couldn't stop listening so I used up my credit way too fast. The author really made you care about what was happening to the characters. The story was not original but it was told in a compelling way, The narrator was just right for the story. If you like horror books, give this one a try.
You have to be a master horror writer to have your monster talk in the first few chapters of a book. We dread what we don't understand at first. Keene's monster has his "villain dialogue" right up front, telling us his evil plan and defusing any scares this tale might have brought, if I'd been awake enough to continue. I'll add this to my long list of abandoned audiobooks.
This was a great listen. It really made me feel for the young characters. My only problem was that it built up the whole story and then sort of came to a quick end. Like this author.
I am an Avid Reader, I love all different kinds of books, from Mystery to Sci Fi and Horror.
Just last night I saw that they were going to make this book into a movie, and I say yeahh, it was a great book and I would recommend it to everyone from the ages of 12-99.Brian Keene knows how to do it right, and I would buy another of his books anytime.
I did have an extreme reaction to a part of this book, but I can't say which parts, because it would ruin it for anyone wanting to read it.
Great Job, an excellent read.
Not a bad read. The storyline of the kids in this book held my interest. It captured the joys and horrors of what some kids must suffer through. And yes, not all monsters are fictitious beasts - but real people.
June did a great job with the 'Ghoul' character!!
Of course the main character, 'Timmy', was the most memorable - a brave kid. The story brought back memories of my own childhood.
C O Ehren
I've only listened to this book, I have not read it, but I did think the performance the narrator gave helped you feel the urgency, the tweenaged awkwardness, eew gross factor of being a kid on a bike back in the old days. I imagine you would have felt it in print, but maybe not with the same feeling of shared surprise and shared danger.
The author nails the kid conspiracy, the summers nailed together out of junk and found on the side of the road and all that high drama of enemies and friends and feuds and forts and all that stuff that if our parents had known what we were doing they'd have been afraid for our lives and had us in twice a year for tetanus shots (and I was a girl. God help the boys). It makes a fabulous gritty, dirty backdrop for a monster story.
I have not, but if I see his name I will hope for another good performance.
It was very true. Things that have truth in them, that capture something like that can be very emotional.
There maybe should be a trigger warning (I know, but people who are tired of this can ignore it, and people who need them need them) for sexual assault & child abuse. People who have trauma that they are dealing with don't want to stumble on that unprepared.
Yes, a younger friend though.
It was good but exactly what I expected.
This novel was like Pumpkinhead meets Stand by Me. Well written, a little drawn out at times, but nicely done. Worth the money.
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