Books

Penpal

It’s so much fun that it’s only been the half of the year and I’ve read TONS of books already. My deep love for books is starting to come back again 😀

I promised to give you a review of John Green and David Levithan’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson, but I was not touched enough by the book to remember it very well. It was a fun read, but not a very remarkable one.

Also, the next book I read after WG, WG was pretty awesome, so I’m going to review that instead.

PENPAL
Dathan Auerbach
Paperback, 252 pages
Published June 2012 by 1000Vultures (first published January 1st 2012)

Warning: May contain some spoilers, but I won’t give away the ultimate ending. I’m not gonna rob you of that great reading experience.

Penpal, a novel of Dathan Auerback, is a series of short stories of a man’s recollection of his childhood. Pretty vague, huh? Well. Yeah, that’s what I thought when I read the synopsis of the book.

Actually the book is divided into six chapters which are also short stories. In a way, each chapter has a story on its own, but you need to read all of them to totally understand the book.

The author recalled some childhood memories which did not make any sense he once was. There’s a forest behind his house and something creepy is happening in their. It was a monster. He was a kid.

An engrossed reader will definitely have chills after each chapter.

– It would have been more effective if I live anywhere near a forest. I probably would not even finish the book if I were not living in a city where there are lights and awake people all the time.

– too much words.

– I had a problem with the chronology of stories, though. My only mark was the cast (he broke his arm at one point – which I don’t know when exactly since chronology is craaazy). So my timeline was ‘pre-cast’, ‘cast’, and ‘post-cast’.

– I love, though, that it was written in a way that we hear (or read) the side of the story of the dude, as remembered by the child he once was. There’s a certain kind of naivety to the POV, a very effective story-telling technique if you ask me. It’s like we, the readers, know that there is something really really wrong, but the innocence of the kid and his sense of adventure made the protagonist not realize this. Not yet.

Then there are these snippets, specially the climax, wherein the dude is now telling the story through his mother’s point of view – an adult’s. Everything fell into place. Then chills. Only then would you realize that something REALLY CREEPY is going on. Or WAS going in.

– i remember a Doctor Who episode (Tennant Era), titled Midnight. The ‘monster’ there never really appeared an no one really know what it looked like. There was just this certain kind of fear that surrounded the air, but no one really knew what they are afraid of.

Penpal has that same effect. The monster is not a vampire or a zombie or your mother-in-law. The monster is faceless. The readers don’t even know what they are afraid of.

Goodness gracious, and it was very, very, utterly creepy.

– My only complaint about the book is that there’s something missing. I think it lacked an extra ‘umph’, and extra ‘something special’. Sure it very much creep the hell out of me, but there’s something missing or lacking.

– The ending. Oh the ending was superb. It was very harsh and heartbreaking, but I don’t want it any other way, I guess. Everything became clear. Everything became simple. Everything was explained. I was deeply shattered by the story. I felt very traumatized.

– would I recommend it to anyone? I would. So effing would. It’s not on it’s way to become a classic or whatever, but the chills and creepy feeling – the experience this book give its readers – it is a feeling not many books can give its audience.

4/5 stars

July 14, 2013