A family goes on a Holy Week pilgrimage to a desolate stretch of the English coastline called the Loney for penitence, prayer, and to heal the oldest son of his muteness and intellectual disability. Wrought in Hurley’s exquisitely menacing prose, the eerie details and sinister plotlines build. With a hint of foreshadowing here, an exquisitely macabre detail there, the reader is swept along with the crescendo of creepiness in a narrative that explores the symbiotic relationship between God and the Devil and the blurry boundary between superstition and religion.
Oskar is a twelve year old boy living with his mother in Blackeberg, Stockholm in the 1980s. Bullied at school and obsessed by morbid thoughts, Oskar is frequently alone, brooding on revenge fantasies. One evening at the playground in his housing complex he encounters a new neighbor his own age. Eli, a child who only comes out at night, never feels the cold, who sometimes looks thin and wasted and sometimes appears the picture of health. United in their isolation, they become friends. Meanwhile, a series of perverse murders haunts the town, and soon the whole country... Entirely creepy, emotionally complex, full of original scenes and compelling characters, Lindqvist pulls off a vampire novel that defies the conventions of this now-pervasive subject to produce something original, atmospheric and in many ways deeply compassionate.
What if The Exorcist had the soundtrack of Top Gun? Or if Ray Russell’s The Case Against Satan had been republished as a Trapper Keeper instead of a Penguin Classic? Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism answers those questions head-on with humor, satire, and horror. Set in a private high school in 1988, the novel is as much about the religious and consumer values that posses the culture as the devil that possess the best friend. But unlike Satin, Hendrix has a light touch and My Best Friend’s Exorcism’s cassette tape of social commentary is wrapped in a Teddy Ruxpin of drama and suspense. Hendrix’s writing is fun, smart, and a must-read for both fans of horror and for children of the '80s. But you don’t have to take my word for it.