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Full of nothing but satire and accurate demonstrations of what I believe goes through every horror writer’s head, The Horror Writer is equal parts hilarious and creepy.
After crash landing in the jungle, author Thom Hearn and his companion, Carrie Alexander, finally made it to their paradise retreat. Only, they came to find out that Thom wasn’t supposed to be there. It was a mistake. Except, those at Echchols don’t make mistakes. Ever. What was really going on was far more sinister and surprising.
The life of an author isn’t always glamorous. I think oftentimes it ends up romanticized into something it’s not. I really liked the way the author conveyed the darker, less attractive side of the writing world. At the same time, it also showed that inspiration could happen anywhere, at any time, for any reason. There were definitely some bright notes for aspiring, and current, authors.
Points of the plot were confusing at times. Thom tended to have some long-winded monologues—which, usually was okay because it worked with his personality—but occasionally it sidetracked me as a reader. I lost track of what was happening more than once. There were time jumps in funny places. Perspective switches weren’t always the smoothest.
The writing style was great for the narrative. There were weird allusions and metaphors. Odd, satirical descriptions. To be honest, the tone felt as though the author had personal dealings with some of the themes, and was looking for a good, comedic outlet. The characters really helped that along. They were snarky, sarcastic, and up to the challenge of the circumstances. However, it doesn’t feel like an overused character stereotype. Nor is it annoying. I have to say I didn’t feel like there were many commonly used tropes. It was very different—and sometimes bizarre—but in all the right ways. Creativity really shows in the way the novel was constructed.
As for the plot, it was done well. Keeping with the rest of the novel, the plot twist was fairly out there. It made sense, though, and it didn’t take it to an unbelievable extreme.
I love when novels aren’t afraid to go the extra mile to be weird. I think it makes them fun and entertaining, as well as differentiating them from everything else. The Horror Writer managed to do just that. I would recommend it for authors that need a good laugh at their own industry. A good read for anyone, however.
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