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Review of I Found Puppets Living in my Apartment Walls




It has been a long time since I’ve as excited to read a book as I was when I got this one for Christmas.  The general idea of puppets being the core of the horror book sounded fun.  A bit different take from the Five Nights at Freddy’s theme.

 

This book is a Bizarro book.  It fits in very well with the others I’ve read.  It hits in a lot of places others miss and misses where others hit.  It falls much closer to the horror line than some of the Bizarro books, but that works in its favor.

 

Starting with the writing.  Farthing has a pretty good control of the English language.  He is a bit overly descriptive in parts that felt like it slowed the action, but in general it is an easy-to-read book that doesn’t allow the writing to take you out of the experience. 

 

The characters are interesting.  The main character is pretty fleshed out and the support characters are interesting to the point that by the end of the book I wanted to go back and relook at some of the actions versus motivations of them earlier in the story. 

 

There is a lot of talk about a former kid’s television show in the book, it is crucial to the plot.  I found the description of those characters and their quirks and motivations more interesting than most of the stuff happening in the present time.  I really wish there was a better tie in to those stories.

 

The plot is a strange issue.  The plot is fun, unique, absurd, creepy…  It is what makes this book a Bizarro book.  And I loved what was going on the whole time with a couple of exceptions about confusion as where the characters were physically in the world.  But, I felt the climax and epilogue fell flat.  There was very little information on why things were happening.  There were some questions in my head about what some things were.  It felt like the book took a shortcut in explanation by way of keeping the narrator uninformed. 

 

I really wanted to love this book, but in the end, I thought it had a huge miss and I didn’t get the payoff I was hoping for.  A rewrite of the ending and this book could go from a 2 star to a 4 star, easily.

 

The author does mention a possible sequel.  Would love to see it with a bunch of flashbacks to the old kid’s show as well as more information about what exactly was happening at the end of the first book.

 

If I can make a suggestion.  If you are interested in this book, can I recommend some other Bizarro books?  They are books with impossible and outlandish plots, themes, or scenarios.


Every Time We Meet at the Dairy Queen, Your Whole Fucking Face Explodes by Carlton Mellick III

He is the master of Bizarro.  I could recommend quite a few by him, but this is a good one that gets you into the genre.




 

Help! A Bear is Eating Me! By Mykle Hansen

This one is closer to a real possibility than most, but as it goes on the idea is more and more outlandish. 



 

The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl by Ishbelle Bee

This is an example of truly out-there worlds created for the sake of strangeness.  It is crazy and violent which often is a calling card of Bizarro.




 


Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow

I include this just because it is the most mainstream example I have of Bizarro.  Not my favorite by Doctorow, his near future sci-fi is unbeatable.  But it is the story of someone trying to create a pirated internet for the masses but ends up going down a rabbit hole of craziness with a girl with wings and living Russian cupping dolls.  It is odd, interesting, but at times a bit much to take.




 


Finally, I have to recommend my own book.

 

The Cattercorns of Cloudville Arizona by Richard W. Kelly

My own attempt at the Bizarro genre.  It is wild, crazy, outlandish…  It is a tale about a former call center scam artist who loses his job and is convinced to go on a treasure hunt with his roommate.



 

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