In one word: Disappointing
Cannonball Read Bingo: Libations
Alright y’all. I am here with a story of heartbreak. I absolutely ADORED Grady Hendrix’s 2016 “My Best Friend’s Exorcism.” I judged it by its cover immediately as it was styled to look like an old VHS tape, so I was sold from jump. Set in the 80s, it was a seamless blend of horror, humor, and coming of age, a book that I fell into completely and had on my best of the year list. I was so sure I was going to love this one that I shelled out the funds for it to add it to my library and even got another friend to read along with me! And wow I have never fallen out of love with an author so hard and so fast.
My favorite review on Goodreads hilariously summed up my feelings on this book in six simple words. “no!!!! i think the f*** not!!!” And I couldn’t agree more (and will never stop laughing about that review).
The thing is, the bones of this book are GOOD. Set in the 90s, a group of housewives turned friends and book club hostesses are intrigued by a new handsome neighbor who moves to their little subdivision in a small safe Atlanta suburb. And then things go wrong. And I’m not just talking about IN the book, but the actual writing of the book. His ideas are great, but the execution is sloppy, gross, and flat misses the mark. When all was said and done, I found myself trying to rationalize for him. I was making a lot of “well what I think he was maybe trying to do” creative leaps and just couldn’t get there. I positively detest his writing of the women in this book and don’t find them to be believable. The women are weak caricatures. The men are buffoon caricatures. The vampire is a cowboy caricature. The non-white characters are token magical caricatures. This reads like a Stephen King book, but one of the ones that he wrote with all the cocaine, like Tommyknockers, or the worst written parts of It. The blurb of this book is great, but the delivery left me wanting.
So, with all that said, this paperback is collecting dust at my house and if you are interested in giving it a whirl holler and I’ll gladly ship it your way. I’m hopeful that someone else might have a different experience with this book, or at minimum, you were forewarned and we can lament it together. 🙂