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The Last Final Girl Paperback – September 16, 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephen Graham Jones is the author of thirteen novels, four collections, and two novellas. He does horror and literary, thriller and science fiction. Most recent are The Least of My Scars, Zombie Sharks with Metal Teeth, and Flushboy. Up in 2014 are Not for Nothing, STATES OF GRACE (SpringGun Press, 2014), The Gospel of Z, and the YA novel Floating Boy Meets the Girl Who Couldn't Fly (with Paul Tremblay). Stephen's had some hundred and seventy stories published, from Alaska Quarterly Review to Weird Tales, from Asimov's to Prairie Schooner. His stories have been picked up for the The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, The Best Horror of the Year volumes 2 and 3, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror (2010, 2011, and 2012), and Dzanc's Best of the Web 2010. He's also been in a lot of anthologies (The Weird, Creature, Zombies, Heroics, Ghosts, more) and some textbooks (Writing Fiction, Behind the Short Story, Architectures of Possibility). Stephen's books have been finalists for the Bram Stoker Award, three Shirley Jackson Awards, the Colorado Book Award, and he's won the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Fiction, the This is Horror "Novel of the Year," the Independent Publisher's Award for Multicultural Fiction, and he's been an NEA fellow in fiction. Stephen earned his Ph.D. from Florida State University. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Lazy Fascist Press (September 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621050513
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621050513
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David J. Keaton on July 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This review is apt to be a bit bias, as this is what usually happens when readers becomes delusional enough to think a novel was written specifically for them. That's the case here though, as Mr. Jones has crafted a book so far up inside the head of a horror movie fan that its likely to read like Morse Code to a civilian. Their confusion is their loss though because something very unique is happening with this narrative, something that will likely be misinterpreted as an attempt to half-novelize a screenplay. But it only resembles a screenplay at first glance, mostly because of the clever arrows and whiplash descriptions of the next "shot." But the difference here is all the difference - what is usually lost in a screenplay format (and in a film), particularly the moves only a novel can make up, down, and all around the action (and up in everyone's heads, of course), can now be relished instead of distilled, making this not quite screenplay, not quite novel, but a new hybrid machine hand-tooled for maximum enjoyment by a specific audience. The premise, a gathering of familiar names, "Jamie (Lee Curtis)," "Ripley," "Crystal (B)lake," etc., all of them "last final girls" who should have earned the right to finally relax after surviving their respective horror movies, now in danger of being picked off by a nut in a Whacko Jacko mask, is just as fun as Jones' previous Zombie Bake-Off (also put out by Lazy Fascist), and just as smart and subversive as that book. Things get twistier, and in spite of the positively Aztec levels of bloody sacrifice, what Jones would never dream of sacrificing are the expectations of any good horror show. The author is so confident in his knowledge of horror tropes that he never subverts those expectations when it comes time to satisfy them.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Told at the full-tilt pace of a teen slasher pic, The Last Final Girl by Stephen Graham Jones effectively conveys the author's love and respect for the form. Divided up into very short bites, like a movie is divided into shots of a few seconds each, the story proceeds at a rapid clip, with none of the typical novel's digressions or introspection. It's something like 90% dialog, interspersed with tags almost like shorthand, describing character actions.

The slasher is probably one of the most straight-forward, accessible kinds of movies, but this book is told in an experimental style. Others have likened the format to a screenplay, but it's actually more like an overseeing narrator describing the on-screen action of a film as it happens. It's a verbal play-by-play, describing shots, character movements, what the camera (and audience) sees and notices. The narrator is well-versed in the actors, directors, references, inside jokes and tropes of slasher films.

This results in a fun, cheeky stream-of-consciousness running description, complete with winking asides from the characters and sometimes also the invisible narrator letting the reader in on any references they might've missed. Though the story takes place in the present day, these high school kids are very familiar with cultural touchstones of the 80s (the golden age of the slasher film, as well as the coming-of-age era of the author) so that lines from popular movies and other culture from my own high school years pop up all through the story.

In a sense this is less about literature, in the sense of inward reflection, and more about the kinetic energy of film told in written form. It's clever, full of attitude, crafted by a person who clearly loves, values and understands slasher films as a genre.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For anyone who watched waaaaay too many slasher flicks in the 80s and 80s, this book is a cyclopedic homage to every movie Jamie Lee Curtis ever starred in, every Jason, Michael, and Freddy, every sorority house and boy scout camp and cabin in the woods. I watched a lot of those movies as a teen, but Stephen Graham Jones must have a DVD collection to raise Vincent Price from the grave. I probably only caught two-thirds of the references.

The story is, of course, a slasher flick. With a twist.

<blockquote>
"Lindsay's right," Izzy says, collecting the leftovers. "Billie Jean is coming back for her. With a little help from his friends."
"So . . . so is this a horror movie now, or a teen comedy?" Brittney says.
"It's an afterschool special," Izzy says, Hoddering her head over to study Billie Jean. "Know what the take-home message is? Don't **** with Izzy Stratford."
</blockquote>

Lindsay, the "Final Girl" in the movie that ended in the opening chapter, survived an encounter with a slasher-killer in a Michael Jackson mask. Now as homecoming queen, she's going to lead her high school in a celebration of life and survival, and she's chosen a handful of other very special girls for her court.

They're all Final Girls who survived their own teen bloodbaths.

Since this is a slasher film, and Stephen Graham Jones is not going to neglect a single trope, even Izzy, the confused odd girl out, knows that a homecoming game with a cast right out of every scary movie ever can only end in blood.

The Last Final Girl is fun, if you find movies like Halloween and My Bloody Valentine and Nightmare on Elm Street fun. And it tries - it tries so very, very hard - to be clever.
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