Postcards From a Dying World
News, views, book reviews and commentary from the Science Fiction and Horror fiction underground. Home of the Wonderland award nominated author of Vegan Revolution...With Zombies and Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Book Review:The Summer I died by Ryan C.Thomas
The Summer I Died by Ryan C. Thomas
This book sat on my shelf for too long, not sure what I was waiting for. I have long been a fan of Ryan Thomas’ writing. What got me to pick up this 2006 horror novel was a press release. A film has just been greenlit based on a script adapted by the author himself and staring Bill Mosley (The Devil’s Rejects). I knew I wanted to read the novel before seeing the movie.
The Summer I died is a sub-genre horror classic in the making. In that stalker in the woods horror subgenre made popular by movies like Wrong Turn and Wolf Creek for two examples. Not a supernatural story a lot of the strength of the novel comes from how real the stalker serial killer character known only as “The Skinny man” is.
This novel is brutal, a hard to read affair with so many cringe-worthy moments I can honestly say it is not for everyone. Not for a lot of people actually. It is the story of Roger Huntington who is home for the summer after his freshman year of college. He and his slacker best friend Tooth take a drive up in the mountains to drink and shoot the cans. Things are going OK until they decide to investigate the sound of a screaming woman.
They find a creepy house, and blood drenched screaming woman running away from a psycho they call the Skinny man. The guns in their pockets are not enough to save them they end up prisoners chained in the basement being kept alive for torture by the Skinny man.
Don’t let the simple premise fool you this is a really excellent horror novel. The strength of which is entirely in the characters and the vivid realism not of the torture and gore but the friendship of Roger and Tooth. Don’t get me wrong Thomas really takes the violence and cranks it to 11 but the thing that makes it all so awful is the strong characters.
Vivid and powerful horror, well written and engaging, it is not for the faint of heart but certainly if you dare you’ll enjoy. On a personal note, I tend to not enjoy first person narrative for horror fiction but Thomas pulled it off for sure. I forgot and lost myself in the book. Well done.