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Penpal Paperback – July 11, 2012
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a quote "That moment when you finish a book, look around, and realize that everyone is just carrying on with their lives as though you didn't just experience emotional trauma at the hands of a paperback." That is ecactly how I felt when I read this, it's such amazing story telling.
This is definitely a must read for all, just be prepared to have nightmares afterwards ;)
However, Auerbach's expanded edition may succeed in building upon the original work in word count, but his often rambling and incidental additions to the text actually diminishes the story overall. I found myself dragging through the work during sections that had originally captivated my attention online, and while I appreciated the honesty of the narrator's voice, Auerbach's writing skills are simply not strong enough to hold up under the pressure of sustaining the reader's attention during prolonged periods of relative inactivity for the main character.
The underlying plot is incredibly strong, the tension building and suspense is strong (but, I hate to say it again, much stronger in the original text) but the writing is actually fairly average. I actually found that the additions to the text showcased Auerbach's iffy writing ability and drew the reader's attention away from his strong points -- the aforementioned plotting ability and ability to shock and sustain the reader's interest. A sparser writing style really helped him and made him seem like a much stronger writer than he may actually be.Read more ›
MY RATING: 4 Stars
PROS: Uneasy, disturbing, psychological, traumatic, and paranoid-inducing.
CONS: Chronologically confusing, abrupt ending.
BOTTOM LINE: Auerbach took something with childish innocence and twisted into a haunting tale of obsession. I look forward watching Auerbach improve with future works that are bound to give me nightmares.
I love the horror film genre but I don't have a high opinion of it. My generation's horror films tend to be knock-offs of popular Asian movies or torture porn. I've never found slashers particularly scary, and as such I don't view the previous generation's iconic villains (Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, or Freddy Krueger) with much respect. I find the best horror to be the low-key, the mundane, and the psychological. For this reason I'm a big fan of The Blair Witch Project and I only wish I could have seen it in theaters when it was believed to be a true story. What brilliant marketing that was. The point of all this is that despite my infatuation with the genre I tend to avoid novels fitting under this category. It's one thing to spend an hour and a half laughing as college kids get hacked to pieces due to their own stupidity on the big screen. It's another thing to dedicate several hours to reading about it.
Penpal was recommended to me by Amazon. Given the short nature of the story (252 pages) and the multitudes of praise (123 reviews at the moment and a five-star rating) I decided it was a risk I was willing to take. Apparently Penpal was written on Reddit as a series of short stories and then compiled into novel format after a super successful Kickstarter campaign.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Certainly a compelling read, I found it hard to put down. Maybe a few things not totally resolved but maybe it was supposed to be that way.....Published 5 days ago by Diana Hanisch
I had low expectations for this book but it's actually an amazing read!Published 6 days ago by Gabb
Well, I wanted to like this - I did. It's an interesting story with some genuinely creepy moments but the execution left a lot to be desired. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Courtney R. Wells
I love this book! It's so creepy in such a subtle way. You'll keep thinking about it for days after you finish it. And the more you think about it, the more connections you make. Read morePublished 9 days ago by gab
I loved it when it was posted on Reddit and I love it even more now. The combined text draws an even more haunting picture. Well done.Published 10 days ago by Jennifer Short
This was a really creepy book. It's written to be the memories of a child remembered by an adult... a lot of the things mentioned in the book had no significance for the narrator... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Liz S.
Penpal is one of the rare books that has stuck with me since I read it years ago. Genuinely terrifying and disturbing while also being a beautiful story. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Allen
this book was well written but i hated it. it totally creeped me out (which i think was the point) but i don't even want to give it to Goodwill b/c i don't want anyone else to... Read morePublished 17 days ago by jesica love
Excellent read! Scary because it is a horrifying real life situation. I love all the twists and how the author pulls the whole story together.Published 18 days ago by Ashleigh