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A Living Nightmare: Book 1 in the Saga of Darren Shan (Cirque Du Freak: Saga of Darren Shan #01)

by

A Living Nightmare: Book 1 in the Saga of Darren Shan (Cirque Du Freak: Saga of Darren Shan #01) Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Introduction

I've always been fascinated by spiders. I used to collect them when I was younger. I'd spend hours rooting through the dusty old shed at the bottom of our garden, hunting the cobwebs for lurking eight-legged predators. When I found one, I'd bring it in and let it loose in my bedroom.

It used to drive my mom crazy!

Usually, the spider would slip away after no more than a day or two, never to be seen again, but sometimes they hung around longer. I had one who made a cobweb above my bed and stood guard for almost a month. Going to sleep, I used to imagine the spider creeping down, crawling into my mouth, sliding down my throat, and laying loads of eggs in my belly. The baby spiders would hatch after a while and eat me alive, from the inside out.

I loved being scared when I was little.

When I was nine, my mom and dad gave me a small tarantula. It wasn't poisonous or very big, but it was the greatest gift I'd ever received. I played with that spider almost every waking hour of the day. Gave it all sorts of treats: flies and cockroaches and tiny worms. Spoiled it rotten.

Then, one day, I did something stupid. I'd been watching a cartoon in which one of the characters was sucked up by a vacuum cleaner. No harm came to him. He squeezed out of the bag, dusty and dirty and mad as hell. It was very funny.

So funny, I tried it myself. With the tarantula.

Needless to say, things didn't happen quite like they did in the cartoon. The spider was ripped to pieces. I cried a lot, but it was too late for tears. My pet was dead, it was my fault, and there was nothing I could do about it.

My parents practically hollered the roof down when they found out what I'd done — the tarantula had cost quite a lot of money. They said I was irresponsible, and from that day on they never again let me have a pet, not even an ordinary garden spider.

I started with that tale from the past for two reasons. One will become obvious as this book unfolds. The other reason is:

This is a true story.

I don't expect you to believe me — I wouldn't believe it myself if I hadn't lived it — but it is. Everything I describe in this book happened, just as I tell it.

The thing about real life is, when you do something stupid, it normally costs you. In books, the heroes can make as many mistakes as they like. It doesn't matter what they do, because everything works out in the end. They'll beat the bad guys and put things right and everything ends up cool.

In real life, vacuum cleaners kill spiders. If you cross a busy road without looking, you get whacked by a car. If you fall out of a tree, you break some bones.

Real life's nasty. It's cruel. It doesn't care about heroes and happy endings and the way things should be. In real life, bad things happen. People die. Fights are lost. Evil often wins.

I just wanted to make that clear before I began.

One more thing: my name isn't really Darren Shan. Everything's true in this book, except for names. I've had to change them because...well, by the time you get to the end, you'll understand.

I haven't used any real names, not mine, my sister's, my friends, or teachers. Nobody's. I'm not even going to tell you the name of my town or country. I don't dare.

Anyway, that's enough of an introduction. If you're ready, let's begin. If this were a made-up story, it would begin at night, with a storm blowing and owls hooting and rattling noises under the bed. But this is a real story, so I have to begin where it really started.

It started in a toilet.

Copyright © 2001 by Darren Shan

Product Details

ISBN:
9780316905718
Author:
Shan, Darren
Publisher:
Little, Brown Young Readers
Subject:
Social Situations - General
Subject:
Horror & Ghost Stories
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Fiction - Horror
Subject:
Social Issues - General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st U.S. mass market
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Series:
Cirque Du Freak: Saga of Darren Shan
Series Volume:
01
Publication Date:
April 2004
Binding:
Mass Market Paperbound
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
6.90x4.22x.73 in. .30 lbs.
Age Level:
09-12

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Related Subjects

Children's » Scary Stories » General
Young Adult » Fiction » Horror
Young Adult » Fiction » Paranormal

A Living Nightmare: Book 1 in the Saga of Darren Shan (Cirque Du Freak: Saga of Darren Shan #01) Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316905718 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Fast-paced and compelling, full of satisfying macabre touches — Cirque Du Freak explores the powerful fascination of the dangerous and unnatural and also, movingly, the obligations of friendship....A plot full of twists which leaves the reader hungry for more."
"Review" by , "Poised to capture a wide audience of series horror readers....The scenario is compelling, and the author mines the exploitative history of early 20th-century sideshows to create an artfully macabre Cirque Du Freak."
"Review" by , "The gripping plot moves forward at a lightning pace....[A] rip-roaring story full of oddities, low-key horror, and occasional, unexpected poignancy."
"Review" by , "Reluctant readers and fans of shows such as Buffy and Angel are the perfect targets for this first installment....This wry twist is sure to start some great urban legends about this vampire story and its origins."
"Review" by , "The author's choice of using a 'mock-umentary' style is a brilliant one....Readers will be howling for the sequel to this bone-chilling novel."
"Review" by , "The slowness of the plot in the beginning might turn some readers off, but once the supernatural enters, they will be hooked. The fun here is in the details and in the uniqueness of the non-evil vampire monster."
"Review" by , "If you love scary stories, read this one for the thrill of your life!"
"Synopsis" by , Now available in mass market paperback — the first two books in the bestselling horror series that introduced the world to the Vampire Prince.
"Synopsis" by , Darren Shan is just an ordinary schoolboy who loves to ride bikes and hang out with his three best friends. Then one day Darren and his friends stumble across an invitation to visit the Cirque Du Freak, a strange and mysterious freak show. The boys can only buy two tickets, so they draw straws to see who will go. Almost as if by destiny, Darren wins one of the tickets, and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires.
"Synopsis" by , In the tradition of Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot, Cirque Du Freak is the frightening saga of a young boy whose visit to a mysterious freak show leads him on a journey into a dark world of vampires. Filled with grotesque creatures, murderous vampires, and a petrifying ending, Cirque Du Freak will chill, thrill, and leave readers begging for more.
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