The 8th: A Tale of Horror and Revenge Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B00A673V6C
- Publication date : November 11, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 1044 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 102 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,326 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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If anything I think Matt shows here that there are others going through this sort of thing and in a way that can help other kids and in its own way show that this isn't the solution. I also completely understand and relate to the feeling within that teachers and authority figures will often talk about not bullying but can even be bullies themselves.
On the whole a very wonderful and enjoyable story that is touching and still contains all the wonderful elements of extreme horror. One of the great things of Matt Shaw's books is they always have substance and a point which gets lost on in a number of extreme horror writers work. A pure 5 star here I recommend highly.
This book is about a teenage boy. We never find out his name, probably because he can be anyone; any person who doesn't fit in, who doesn't look just right or talk just right or whose parents don't make enough money or any of the myriad reasons bullies find to torment. He's always the new kid in school because his father moves around for work, which automatically makes him the target of bullies everywhere he goes.
He's lucky enough to find one good friend, David. David is also bullied--for a different reason--so they are at least lucky enough to find each other.
All the adults portrayed in the book are indifferent or blind to what's happening or just don't care. I wanted to reach into the book and throttle them. Adults have the ability to make a difference, to change things for the better for kids being bullied, but sometimes adults are just grown-up bullies and just turn their heads and laugh along with them.
The book starts with the narrator's first day of school and ends with his last. In between, we go back and forth in time to the times he and David were bullied and their reactions to things that take place in school. My heart was breaking for both of them, and I really wanted to know what it is in humans that make the strong--who already have everything--take advantage of and hurt the weak. We've all heard the excuse that bullies are just insecure themselves; perhaps that is true in some cases, but it isn't the case in this book. These kids are bullies because they enjoy being bullies and because they know no one is going to stop them.
Something terrible happens to David. We really can't tell if this drives the narrator over the edge or if he is perfectly sane and just wants revenge. I think it's ambiguous on purpose. How can we ever know how much it takes to push someone over the edge of insanity? It must be different for every person. Kids who are bullied have two choices: withdraw into themselves and try to survive or get revenge. Our narrator chooses to get revenge.
The rest of the story is about how he goes about that and the things he realizes about himself as he does so.
Matt Shaw starts the book with a prologue telling us that he was bullied and that he fought back. He doesn't condone violence, and neither do I, but what is left when all else fails? The bullies don't hesitate to use violence. Does it bring us down to their level if we strike back? Or are we just standing up for ourselves?
The thing is: bullying never ends. It may not be called bullying as we become adults, but just take a look at what is happening in the US these days. The rich are taking advantage of the poor; those in power take advantage of those not in power (minorities, women, the old, the young); and politicians encourage us to live in fear of each other to their own personal advantage. All that is just a more sophisticated version of bullying. I guess we learn better techniques as we grow up.
This book will resonate with anyone who was laughed at or beat up or humiliated just for being different. I wonder if any bullies--or former bullies--will recognize themselves in here and regret who they are or used to be.
I think we can look around us and see the bullies are winning so far. I don't know if there are enough people fighting back to change that. I don't have much hope of that because people in power do not give it up easily. We need to reach the point as a society, a country, a world, where we finally say, "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore." Many people believe that can be done without violence, but if you look at human history, violence has always been part of us. We aren't that great of a species. Others of "less" intelligence get along much better than we do. Something is wrong with us and we better figure it out before too many more kids suffer and society heads down a path we can't recover from.
This is an excellent book. It may hurt to read it, but, if it does, I think that proves you're one of the good guys.
Top reviews from other countries
Being the new boy is school, he is used to all the stares but when he stands up for David, a quiet lad who was constantly bullied by Piers and his cronies, he became the new target for the bullies.
Written from the main protagonist’s POV, it emphasises what damage the constant bullying has done to him. The story started at the point when he wants to teach the bullies a lesson. Alternating between the present and the past you learn what drove him to breaking point.
As a Mom who has had teenagers through school, my biggest fear was for them to get bullied. Whilst we tell our children to tell us if they are getting bullied you do worry that people will not believe them or the authorities will not act upon it. This story shows the worse in people, students and teachers alike and whilst I cannot condone what he did, I could understand why he did it. These children where regular kids, who had done nothing wrong but to the “IT” crowd they were different and easy targets. The build up to the final scene was intense and my heart was breaking at the end. I would love bullies to read this book and see what damage the name calling and the beatings do to people, but they are bullies so they would not get it.
A great story with some harrowing scenes, a must read for everyone
This tale of revenge follows a boy who finally snaps after the psychological damage that he and his friends have suffered from not only the school bullies, but also the adults that turned a blind eye, or brushed matters aside without a second thought.
This school boy who finally can't take any more of the beatings, the name calling and the humiliation; takes matters into his own hands and decides that it's time for him to teach his classmates a lesson that they won't forget.
The story is short and can easily be read in around an hour or so, although that is a rough guess as I had to read it in 2 sittings as I unfortunately had to go to work in the middle of reading the book, and as I work in an 'establishment of learning' the details of the story sat in my head scratching away until I finally got home and finished it.
I'm not going to go into too much detail here as you can see that I've given it five stars and clearly enjoyed it. That combined with the fact that at the time of writing this review, the kindle edition is free; should really be enough incentive for you to give it a read.
Sure the subject matter is a little controversial and it does go to places that not every reader will be comfortable with; for me that's not a problem but I can understand how it might not be to everyone's taste.
Still, as it stands you've got nothing to lose here - download it, read it and if like me you enjoyed it, then you'll probably be joining me in reading more titles by Matt; and judging by what I've seen in the little samples you can read in the 'look inside' section here on amazon; Matt's written some very interesting and messed up titles (I just read the opening to SIck B*stards).
This story has got me hooked and I look forward to reading more.
There was more potential in this book than was actually included and some of the actions on the boy did not sit well with me. As a victim of bullies I thought I could relate to the main character it the other victims of the bullies, but the actions of the main character put a dampener on that.
It is an average read which had so much potential.
This is a short story and I finished it in 2 sittings but it packs in a hell of a lot, the thoughts and feelings of a troubled bullied teen, a revenge story, a hell of a lot of graphic violence and sexually content and above all a very strong moral message.
Without giving away the plot Matt has crafted an extremely well written short story that makes you think about bullies, the bullied and your time at school. We're you a bully, we're you bullied, did you stand by and watch whilst others suffered or were you one of the strong ones who spoke up for the ones being bullied. An extreme example I'm sure but one that will stay with you.