Knuckle Supper Paperback – April 1, 2013
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|Paperback, April 1, 2013||
"Regretting You" by Colleen Hoover
From New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters. | Learn more
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- Item Weight : 1.15 pounds
- Paperback : 356 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0984978283
- ISBN-13 : 978-0984978281
- Product Dimensions : 5.98 x 0.79 x 9.02 inches
- Publisher : Blood Bound Books; 2nd ed. Edition (April 1, 2013)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,707,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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While it's a highly compelling read, I found a couple of things holding it back from greatness.
- The violence - My complaint isn't with the content so much as the descriptions. While a lot of it is handled with splatter punk ingenuity (the bong kill was especially upsetting), much of the descriptions (especially further into the book) become confusing and somewhat rushed (again, further into the book) given the blocking of certain characters within scenes. It feels as though Drew became so swept up in the carnage (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) that he left out logic. Once certain fights happen, the violence becomes akin to a stream of consciousness where a lot of bad things are happening but they're not connected well as character positions/placement change without description. I kept having to reread certain sections of action because it didn't make sense given where the characters were in relation to their environment/other people. In a lot of way, it reads like a screenplay, merely addressing the action point by point, but not filling in the "how" in between. One example: Two characters are facing each other talking. The very next line has RJ grabbing him from the back of the head (from the front) and simultaneously holding him (from the back), jabbing one finger into the spine and one finger through the eye socket... Tell me how that works with two hands.Using one hand to hold, one hand to poke an eye and one hand to stick through the back of the neck. Obviously RJ doesn't have three hands. Obviously, it's a point of "then this happens, then this happens, then this happens" I'm not stupid, I got obviously got what he was going for--anyone could. But it simply doesn't read well or fluidly when there's nothing separating each action. Instead, it's like everything monstrous act is all happening at once. I kept having to think of the choreography with each scene thinking, "Wait, this character was just described as doing this, right here. How is he now on this side of the room standing in this such way to be hit like that?"
- RJ - (SPOILER) He's a walking contradiction so I won't go into some of the problems I had with his bouts of morality as he consistently feels empathetic/sympathetic about certain things, but then completely neglects his most unjustifiably malicious act. My main gripe is that his character endures so much ridiculous damage that it stops coming off as "cool" and becomes eye-rolling. He stops feeling like an anti-hero and starts feeling like an indestructible Superman. Yes, he's got healing powers, but that justification only goes so far when he's been shot in the neck, head, has been dissected, impaled, his vertebrae shattered and his eyes nearly melted out (a lof this stuff also happens one after the other and yet he's still mushing on like a snowflake hit him). By the end, I knew that, despite the onslaught of graphic descriptions, he'd be fine as nothing actually hindered him. I'm all for a protagonist being put through the worst, but it still needs to maintain pacing and believably (even when they're vampires).
- Dialogue - Some of the verbiage herein is blatantly expository to the point where certain scenes/characters were only placed in to forcefully describe the vamp characteristics/mythos. It didn't flow, but came off as obvious/forced. But I do get it. There's a lot of story here and it's gotta be conveyed somehow...
- The climax - (SPOILER) This is where things really needed to be addressed. This was a moment that could have really addressed the friendship and betrayal between RJ and Dez. As RJ has come a long, moral way, this moment of final interaction could have been fantastic. Unfortunately, it's so rushed that it's only in here to set up a sequel. And if there's one thing I hate more, it's narratives that are purposefully written to be sequelized. There was no reason for this story not to come full circle as it had everything laid out for a showdown of words and action. Since Dez disappears for a large portion of the book, I expected this moment to hit hard and play out verbally and emotionally rather than violently. Unfortunately, Dez comes back into play for MAYBE two pages and then flees so that Drew could get to do another book. It's so anticlimactic that it feels kinda shameless. Like DLC for a video game. Oh, you wanna know how it ends? Buy the add-on! Yes, I loved that he had the audacity to kill Bait (and loved the book's last line when RJ meets Pinball), but this ending could have been so much more impactful had it simply taken another 5-10 pages to just finish the story!
Also, reinforcing the whole sequel-grab thing was the fact that the typos and misspellings increase a lot within the last few chapters. As if he was rushing to cliffhang it so as to move onto the sequel.
So yeah, Knuckle Supper is flawed, but it's still a brutally engaging read that I wanted to finish as soon as I read the first page. That, and the sheer scope and creativity of its narrative overrides a lot of the negatives. For anyone wanting a down and dirty horror read that has some clever ideas up its bloody sleeve, I definitely recommend.
Written by: Drew Stepek
Reviewed by: Josh Haney
To be honest I'm getting kind of tired with vampires. I know that is tantamount to blasphemy as far as horrornerds go, but seriously when you can go to the local mall, or worse yet Wal-Mart, and buy a shirt that says bite me or team vampire we've kind of lost track of what these creatures of the night really are. Knuckle Supper, the new novel by Drew Stepek, turns that around with a whiplash force that damn near takes your head clean off in the process.
Unlike the sparkling (seriously?) or brooding hunky movie-star vampires of the past thirty plus years, the bloodsuckers here are ugly, devoid of any of the romance that pop culture has placed upon the creatures. There is no moping woe is me mentality of Goth either, only a hardcore punk world of violence fueled by drugs and a sheer loss of humanity most folks may not be able to stomach. The exploits the vamp gangs of Knuckle Supper get up to would make Jeffery Dahmer lose his lunch and Charles Manson blush.
At the same time, though, the humans that inhabit Stepek's world are just as bad, if not worse, than the junkie blood addicts. Flesh peddlers and molesters, these are just some of the miscreants who exploit, rape, murder and demean in a sickening display that really makes you question who here is truly the soulless being, man or vamp.
RJ is the leader of a gang called The Knucklers, and we enter his world during a late night feast of pimp and heroin. This act, which he and his friends have partaken in thousands of times in the need to get high, is also where he becomes an unwitting adoptive parent to a preteen prostitute named Bait. From these humble beginnings comes a story that will have you laughing out loud one minute, then loathing our whole damn race the next, since there aren't really any good guys in the book, just different levels of bad.
The machine gun prose style Knuckle Supper is written in will keep you glued throughout the adventures, if one could actually call them that, of RJ and his ward. The ideas contained within the pages are put forth with all the subtlety of a baseball bat to the face, and that's what makes it a hell of a read. It paints vampires into an urban landscape that is just as bloodthirsty as them and creates a totally new vision of the undead far removed from the impotent vamps that have become mainstays in horror. This is splatterpunk with a vengeance mainlined right into your brain, the only question being can you handle the rush?
1. This is a kick ass vampire novel.
2. You get 2 chapters of the sequel "Knuckleball"
3. Part of the proceeds of the sale of the book go to the Children of The Night Foundation.
Top reviews from other countries
One such gang - the Knucklers - is run by RJ. When he encounters a young child prostitute called Bait, he finds himself slowly regaining his humanity while struggling to keep control of his cronies. After a drug deal goes bad, the other gangs are after his territory, and the church draw in to take advantage of the infighting. RJ and Bait have to fight harder than ever to survive, relying on razor sharp wit, ultraviolence and a whole heap of drugs.
The real strength of this book comes from its reinvention of the vampire origin. The idea about where vamps come from turns everything that went before on its head, making you think again about how you've been interpreting everyone's behaviour. With such a creative ida, and by investing so much work in the world and the tragic characters lurking its shadows, Stepek had me reduced to tears by the end.
There's no finer compliment I can give this book. Sure, it's extreme in terms of graphic violence, but it also has a heart ten times bigger than most vampire novels. You've never read anything like this before, unless you're reading it again like I am.