The Twisted Ones

by T. Kingfisher | Horror |
ISBN: 9781534429567 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 1/28/2022
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, January 28, 2022
I got this softcover at Barnes and Noble, 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".

[There's a TV Tropes page on the book, with some entertaining tidbits. And check out Kingfisher's follow-on novel The Hollow Places, which I liked even more than this one!]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, Hartshorn Mill Rd in Amherst, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, February 24, 2022

Released 2 yrs ago (2/25/2022 UTC) at Little Free Library, Hartshorn Mill Rd in Amherst, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in the Little Free Library ahead of an upcoming snowstorm; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

** Great Backyard Bird Count challenge. (Submit your own bird-counts here!) **

Journal Entry 3 by cherylgeorge at Amherst, New Hampshire USA on Friday, June 10, 2022
Just found this book in a little free library/geocache in Amherst NH. Can’t wait to read it and I’m excited to learn about another way to share books!

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