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Scavenging Book Stores and Libraries

Currently I'm a librarian and before that I was an archaeologist, a journalist, and definitely a bit of a world traveler.  I tend to mostly read science fiction and fantasy, though I do love a good mystery and I'm a bit of a book dabbler overall. I've been doing Goodreads for awhile, but a friend thought I might enjoy this as well. Let's see, yeah?

Truly Frightening

14 (Trade Paperback) - Peter Clines

I don't about you, but for there is a huge difference between being grossed out and being creeped out.  I have quite a few friends whose idea of horror hinges solely on how many organs are going to ripped out by zombies/psychopaths/werewolves/etc and how far the blood splatters go.   Some of that stuff can work for me in moderation -- it's rarely necessary, but I can see that a little stomach churning can add a special edge to the terror...   My threshold is very low, however, and disgust can quickly overwhelm any fright and if I'm just going to be grossed out then I don't want to read the book.


Peter Clines' 14 is the kind of horror story I most love.  Not only is gore low (really, practically non-existent), but it had me so chilled and creeped out that part of me didn't want to turn off the lights at bedtime!  This level of horror, for me, tends to come from books where I can't analyze why it's got me scared.  Things are happening, for sure, and some are definitely unsettling...  But there's not one thing I can point to and say, "There!  That's the scary thing!"  Perhaps it means the author created the perfect creepy atmosphere for me?  I can think of three other books I read in the past ten years that got me that way: Haruki Murakami's After Dark, Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan (this one is actually a novella), and Stephen King's From a Buick 8.


At any rate, what is the book actually about?  It's about a tenants of a strange apartment building who start pooling together the oddnesses they notice about their home and then start a real investigation of it.  There are so many elements to the mysteries...  It's fantastic.  I know that is a bare bones summary, but I don't want to spoil anything.  It's just so much fun (and so creepy) to discover the strangeness along with the cast of characters!


I thoroughly enjoyed most of the characters and wouldn't be at all upset to have them as neighbors.  Most of the story is told from the point of view of one man -- and he's got a good voice.  There is the occasional chapter told from another perspective...  I'm not sure all of those work, but it doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the story.


The only other quibble I'd have is that part of the reveal is pretty obvious, but it's just one small component.  Overall, I was very pleased with where the reveal took us -- surprised and satisfied.  I am so glad that this book didn't fall prey to the biggest problem with most suspenseful novels -- once things are solved, the tension dies and then the end game ends up being a snooze fest.


Trust me, this is a great scare.  Read it!