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Like Death Paperback – October 25, 2011
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Top customer reviews
Don't rush into this story if you can't handle gore and horror. Don't rush into it if you can't stand constant WTF moments. Don't rush into it if you don't like talking/reading about killing, screwing, blood, guts, and all other manner of darkness.
This book was certainly all of those things; it was deep in the world of a sick mind (Scott Raymond's, the main character). There was a lot of sexual innuendo mixed in with the horror and gore; everything, even the most trivial things seemed to be tinged in debauchery and innapropriate sexual encounters. Take for example the murder of Scott's family (which is in the books blurb), the young Scott sees his dead mother partially naked, due to ripped clothing, from where he's hiding. It did get a little, dare I say it, boring, tedious, same-same.
There were things I did enjoy. Some of the craziness was absolutely unexpected. I liked that feeling of being completely thrown off balance by a twist in the story. I also found the ending to be a bit odd, but I felt that it was a good ending to this truly strange book.
I didn't feel creeped out by this book. I wanted to. Some of the scenes were heading down that path, but I didn't feel the tension, I didn't feel goosebumps on my skin or the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. This left me feeling a little disappointed.
One final thing, I was very disappointed that the marvellous creature on the cover wasn't in the book. I stumbled across the original artwork on DeviantART and thought it was AWESOME! I wanted to see how it was used in this horror setting, I was unhappy that it wasn't utilised.
But he's not pretentious (it's easy to read, he chooses the clearest and easiest word and syntaxes almost every time), he approaches his writing the only way he can, by being true to his story, to his characters and to himself, and all this makes his book a lot better. He is harsh when the story and characters need to be harsh, and he is tender when the story and characters demand to be tender. Just the same, he is twisted, crystal-clear, obscure, funny, abstract or explicit when it can make the reader's experience more satisfactory.
All in all, 'Like Death' is a hell of a ride, a memorable read like that binge you don't remember about but everyone keeps telling you it was fantastic. And it was. Do yourself a favor and go get a copy.
I took one look at the cover of Tim Waggoner's newest novel, Like Death, and had to read it. An eyeless monster screams into the darkness, revealing long, sharp fangs and a tongue reminiscent of a proboscis. In what strange and horrifying world could such a creature exist?
As it turns out, "strange" and "horrifying" barely begin to describe what goes on in Tim Waggoner's fertile imagination. Like Death is creepy, then terrifying, then truly disturbing. Some of the sequences made me squirm in my seat. As a warning: Quite a bit of the violence is sexual in nature, so if that sort of thing is a trigger for you, you might want to avoid this book.
If sexual violence is right up your alley, however, then welcome to the weird world of Like Death. Our protagonist, Scott Raymond, is a true crime writer. I can hear you saying now, "Another horror novel about a writer?" - but bear with me. Scott Raymond is different. As a child, he was the only survivor of the brutal massacre of his entire family. Trouble is, he blocked out most of the memory, so he has no idea who killed his family or why.
Since then, Scott has managed to eke out a fairly normal existence. He even had a wife and son, but things have been getting weird lately, and his long-suppressed violent impulses are surfacing. He blames the crime writing, but something much darker is at work in Scott's life. The book opens with Scott's move to Ash Creek in an effort to reconnect with his estranged wife and son...and also do some research on the recent abduction of a little girl for yet another true crime novel. But what Scott finds in Ash Creek is more than he expected. Strange occurrences become more frequent and, eventually, Scott wonders about his sanity. Hallucinations ensue, until he feels like he's trapped in a nightmare he can't escape. Horribly, the truth is actually even darker than Scott can imagine!
The first half of this novel is a slow burn. Waggoner takes his time with dream sequences and conversations and characterization, sometimes describing scenes down to the very last detail. Scenes were sometimes a little slow for my taste. The second half of the novel, however, is the payoff for all the time invested in strong characters and a really creepy setting. The truth is finally revealed and it's pretty satisfying after so much buildup. Armed with the truth about the very nature of reality, Scott must battle his own demons in order to save those he loves. That sounds cryptic, but I really can't tell you more than that without giving away the mystery that makes this book such an entertaining read.
Be assured, however, that Waggoner pulls no punches. Just when you think that he might spare the protagonist some misery, he doesn't. Nearly everything horrible you can imagine happens to Scott Raymond in this novel. But the ending is satisfying, wrapping up all the loose ends and involving all the sundry characters (and monsters) we met along the way. More importantly, it's an ending that's about as happy as it can be for a man who endures so much horror. Even in the darkest depths of Tim Waggoner's imagination, there's still hope, and ultimately, it's that which keeps us reading along with Scott's difficult, sometimes harrowing, journey. And in that, the book does not disappoint.
Most recent customer reviews
Apparently, Like Death, is not a new book. It's just new to me and I couldn't be happier that the folks at Apex Publications are putting it back out there...Read more