The Twisted Ones

Yours always
by T. Kingfisher | Horror |
ISBN: 9781534429567 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 2/23/2020
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, February 23, 2020
I got this softcover at Toadstool Books in its new Nashua location, for another release copy. It's by T. Kingfisher, a pseudonym for Ursula Vernon (whose graphic novel Digger I loved).

This is a modern day story in which the protagonist winds up an a remote North Carolina hamlet to declutter her late grandmother's house. Turns out the late grandmother was a hoarder - and, much worse, the house is located near the entrance to an eldritch Otherwhere, into which our heroine stumbles... Some found-document bits that I enjoyed (including a strong nod to Arthur Machen), and some delightfully snarky humor from the protagonist. (Among these: while reading bits from one of the found documents, our narrator - who works as a freelance editor - notes "I disbelieved in the semicolon. Getting adult authors to use semicolons is like pulling teeth. They distrust them. Teenage girls handwriting in journals do not use semicolons." And, later on, "Why does every secret society have a crappy web page?" "Immutable law of the universe," replies barista Enid.)

Now, at times I did think that the snarky tone undercut the horror a bit, but as the character - who narrates the story - reacts to trauma with humor (as I tend to do myself) it made a kind of sense. And it was very refreshing to have someone recognize the horror tropes in the events as she was living them, from the first foreshadowings to the revelation of just how horrible the Things in the Woods really were. The buildup of creepy goings-on, the discovery of the journal, its hints as to a not-yet-discovered manuscript, the madness-mantra "I made faces like the faces on the rocks, and I twisted myself like the twisted ones..." - it's very atmospheric and effective, and contrasts will with the modern-day touches (the narrator struggles with a defective cell phone that keeps losing charge as the battery heats up).

The side characters are great too, from the savvy and mostly-unflappable aging hippy Foxy to the helpful barista Enid. And of course the smelly hound Bongo!

I also appreciated that the narrator tells us up front that the Dog Is Fine. {wry grin} And the notes at the end, explaining how she drew inspiration from Machen's "The White People".

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, Little Brook Farm in Carlisle, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Released 1 mo ago (2/26/2020 UTC) at Little Free Library, Little Brook Farm in Carlisle, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book in the Little Free Library; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2020 Great Backyard Bird Count challenge; GBBC info here. ***

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