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Scowlerby Daniel Kraus
Synopses & Reviews
Equal parts haunting and horrifying, this literary horror novel gives readers insight into the mind of a controlling homicidal man and the son who must stop him.
Imagine your father is a monster. Would that mean there are monsters inside you, too?
Nineteen-year-old Ry Burke, his mother, and little sister eke out a living on their dying family farm. Ry wishes for anything to distract him from the grim memories of his father’s physical and emotional abuse. Then a meteorite falls from the sky, bringing with it not only a fragment from another world but also the arrival of a ruthless man intent on destroying the entire family. Soon Ry is forced to defend himself by resurrecting a trio of imaginary childhood protectors: kindly Mr. Furrington, wise Jesus, and the bloodthirsty Scowler.
"No stranger to dark and disturbing stories, Kraus (Rotters) continues to push the envelope with this hallucinatory, dread-soaked tale set in 1981. Nineteen-year-old Ry Burke lives with his mother and sister on a dying Iowa farm, still haunted by the events that landed his abusive monster of a father in prison nine years ago. A freak meteorite strike gives Ry's father the opportunity to escape and come home, resulting in a brutal struggle for survival. To save his loved ones, Ry summons up the three imaginary friends who helped him last time, risking the same descent into madness that claimed his father. While Ry's desperate journey into manhood is gripping, with Kraus skillfully amplifying a sense of tension and claustrophobia, much of the book's subtlety is lost in the chaotic latter half, which is part fever dream, part slasher film. The narrative is littered with graphic violence and extreme body horror, which may be too much for many readers (though perhaps not for fans of The Marbury Lens). The end result is a memorably brutal assault on the senses, not for the fainthearted or delicate. Ages 14 up. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Daniel Kraus writes raw and deft and dangerous. Consider yourself warned." Adele Griffin, two-time National Book Award Finalist
“Marvin [Burke] is one of the great monsters of literature, a figure of immense, credible terror and savagery.” Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and coeditor of Boing Boing
“The demon offspring of Stephen King’s The Shining and Hitchcock’s Psycho.” Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Gone and BRZK
“A boldly visceral coming-of-age story that explores the darkest spaces in family life and the shocking resilience of the human psyche.” Booklist
“This book has the pacing of a Stephen King movie, and it never lets up in its gruesomeness.” School Library Journal
“Connoisseurs of the grotesque have come to the right place, as Kraus’ impeccable sense of thriller timing spins out the terror.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A Midwestern gothic family saga that will hook readers.” Kirkus Reviews
“For lovers of dark thrillers and horror narratives, Scowler is one crazy roller-coaster ride.” Portland Book Review
“Bound to scare up many jaw-dropping reactions.” Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Daniel Kraus is a writer, an editor, and a filmmaker. He is currently working on an adult novel with Guillermo del Toro, scheduled for late 2013. Daniel lives with his wife in Chicago.
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