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Henry Franks: A Novel Paperback – September 8, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-It's been nine months, but Henry still can't remember the accident that killed his mother and left him covered in scars-or anything before that. With a sweltering summer starting, the teen has a lot of time on his hands, but he just can't piece together who he is or, more mysteriously, why he has no feeling in an increasing portion of his body or why his father spends so much time at his job at the morgue. As a hurricane approaches and a serial killer roams the island off the Georgia mainland, Henry and his neighbor Justine begin to unravel a tangle of lies and connected horrors. Salomon begins with an interesting premise, modernizing the Frankenstein story, but doesn't deliver. The first two thirds of the novel fail to build any tension despite the twin threats of an oncoming hurricane and an unidentified serial killer, which leaves the ending feeling rushed. The final reveal depends on a completely new character never mentioned before and allows things to be wrapped up too tidily, and the epilogue is completely preposterous, even in a story where the readers' belief has already been suspended. The dialogue never feels natural, and descriptions are often repetitive. This story is full of disparate elements stitched together in a final product that is unbelievable and unsustainable.-Gretchen Kolderup, New Canaan Library, CTα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* It took 4,317 stitches to put 16-year-old Henry Franks back together again following the car crash that killed his mother. But some pieces are still missing. Suffering total amnesia, panic attacks, and a spreading numbness of his flesh (“parts of me are dying”), Henry is beset by dreams in which a little girl calls him “Daddy,” while his days are spent in loneliness—aside from the neighbor girl, Justine, who is not repelled by his spiderwebs of scars. With Justine’s help, Henry begins to uncover the truth of his identity. His mysterious father, who works at a hospital (or is it a morgue?), offers him little information, but each night leaves huge piles of fast food on the back porch as if feeding something in the woods. And what does that have to do with the local rash of murders via “blunt force trauma”? Salomon’s Frankenstein homage churns through its often confounding but highly unnerving plot like a slow nightmare—readers won’t be entirely sure they even want to know how it ends. The scenes are clipped, the dialogue spare, and the prose rewards meticulous reading, making this debut the thinking teen’s horror choice of the year. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Flux; Original edition (September 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738733369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738733364
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,481,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Adam Salomon graduated Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a BA in Theater and Film Studies in 1989.

He is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the Horror Writers Association, the International Thriller Writers, the Science Fiction Writers of America, the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and The Authors Guild and is represented by the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. His debut novel, HENRY FRANKS, published by Flux in 2012, was named one of the ten 'Books All Young Georgians Should Read' by The Georgia Center For The Book in 2014. His second novel, ALL THOSE BROKEN ANGELS, was published in 2014 by Flux and was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in the Young Adult Novel category.

His short fiction has appeared in the Demonic Visions series and he was the featured author for Gothic Blue Book III: The Graveyard Edition. His poem 'Electricity and Language and Me' appeared on BBC Radio 6 performed by The Radiophonic Workshop in December 2013. In addition, he edited the first book of poetry released by the Horror Writers Association, Horror Poetry Showcase Volume 1.

He was a Judge for the 2006 Savannah Children's Book Festival Young Writer's Contest and served on the Jury for the Poetry Category of the 2013 Bram Stoker Awards. He was also a Judge for the Inaugural Horror Poetry Showcase of the Horror Writers Association and is the Chair for the Jury for the First Novel Category of the 2014 Bram Stoker Awards. He also serves as a Judge for the Royal Palm Literary Awards of the Florida Writers Association.

Peter Adam Salomon lives in St. Petersburg, FL with his wife Anna and their three sons: André Logan, Joshua Kyle and Adin Jeremy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BoA on August 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Due to an accident that killed his mother, Henry Franks has no memory of his life before he woke from a coma a year ago. All he knows is that his body is covered in stitches, he can't feel pain in his appendages, and he doesn't quite fit in anywhere, including his own home, where his father hides behind simple conversations and locked doors, unwilling to provide Henry with details about his life beyond what can be gleaned from a scrapbook of generic photos (unfamiliar birthdays, unfamiliar friends, etc)...

Henry tries to come to grips with his continuing amnesia with the help of a therapist and the girl next door, a girl who sees well beyond Henry's disfigurement. As their relationship progresses, a serial killer pops up in the area, Henry's father starts acting even stranger, and Henry begins to realize all is not as it seems.

This book moves at a furious clip. Mr. Salomon builds up intrigue and mystery with an expert touch. Thought i had things figured out halfway through, but I was wrong. The romance element is beautifully intertwined. The horror builds with subtle tension until it comes crashing down with tremendous effect. Highly recommend this. At times sweet, at times dark, always intriguing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brooke B. on December 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

I could hear the scratching wind, see the swinging moss, feel the heat create sweat on my brow, and fell in love with a monster.

Though, it all depends on how you define a monster. That's what this book is about. I don't want to spoil anything, but this book is thrilling and makes you think. It's thoroughly enjoyable, mysterious, dark, twisting, and so goddamn good. It stays good if you can't read it in a single sitting, and it certainly lingers when you've finished reading it.

I'm all about characters, building them, progress them, and making them come to life.I like to guess, wonder and try to figure out the mystery but I do not like it when I can see it coming so early. I love the visualization, the feeling, the little details. I see things in my mind as I read and it's so vital that an author shows instead of tells, so that way I can really get into a book.

Basically, that's Henry Franks. It has everything I love, and I can't see a single downside. It's like the perfect book for me and I'm so thankful to have won it, to get to read it. I had an inkling where the book was going to go, but it didn't turn out exactly like I expected. I was gripped by the story and was attached to all the characters, in different ways. I could really see and feel the setting, and the characters.

I always say, adults should read young adult books too. It's not just for children, it's not junior books. There are so many great books that people miss out on just because of the genre. This is on my list of favorites. This book will get recommended by me for everyone. This is an example book of a great YA fiction.

As for what the other reviewers said, I do agree the ending unfolded so quickly.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Serenissima on September 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Henry Franks has scars, lots of them. But no accompanying memories. Life with his recluse father who doesn't say very much is bleak, until Henry befriends Justine, the girl next door. Together they try to unravel the dark mystery of his past.

I loved the dark atmosphere of this Georgia-based suspense novel, and how every detail added to the eerieness. Trees drip with Spanish moss and branches scrape at windows. Even the nightly dinner ritual is creepy.

The dialog between Henry and Justine is so authentic it feels like eavesdropping to read it. And the mystery had me riveted from beginning to end.

Although this book is classified as young adult, I foresee it having a ton of crossover appeal to adult readers as well.
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Format: Paperback
This unusual and most original story is about one young boy's inner struggles as he searches deep within, to find out about himself. "Four thousand, three hundred and seventeen stitches...his father had told him once. All the King's horses and all the King's men had put Henry Franks back together again..." This story begins with the horrific accident in which the young boy's mother dies together with all his memories of happiness within the past sixteen years, just simply fade away with her memory. His distant, aloof father is the only person who can bring Henry back into the light again by explaining to him who he is, and how his scars were created so that they can begin to heal. But trusting his father is easier said than done, especially when he is surrounded by death all day working at the local Morgue and who buries himself in his work (metaphorically and symbolically speaking). Henry has visions and memories of a sweet, young girl calling to him `daddy' which is only the beginning of more sinister happenings to come, as soon his mind is filled with more deadly visions such as the urge for killing, revenge and even murder. Dead bodies fill both Henry Frank's waking hours and his mind as he struggles to remember the past and all that he deep down wants to uncover, even if it is easier to forget. Then, when suddenly a serial killer appears in their small Georgia town, Henry uncovers the bitter harsh truth behind his mother's death and the terrifying secrets that mask his own dark past. Along the path of destruction that the killer leaves behind him, this young boy finds out the answers to all the clues as the dark veil is lifted.Read more ›
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