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Tentacle Death Trip Paperback – April 9, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"The literary equivalent of the Hot Wheels Octoblast track set and a hip-flask of Motor Whiskey, Tentacle Death Trip is pure post-apocalyptic, ultra-violent muscle-car madness. Think Death Race 2000 meets Mad Max by way of William S. Burroughs' The Place of Dead Roads on the way to H. P. Lovecraft's R'lyeh, but with Krall's unmistakably bizarro pulp sensibilities." -Ross E. Lockhart, editor of The Book of Cthulhu

"Feelin' drab and norm? Need dazed? Shoot up with this hell-poppin' BIZARROization of 5 post-apocalypso drivers/1 DEATHrace/FreAkS.s./mutants/mystery/and more tentacles than Cthulhu, and WHAM!-CRASH!-ThrAk! all yer ills are cured!"-Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. author of The Orphan Palace

"Krall has quite a flair for outrage as an art form." -Edward Lee, author of THE BIGHEAD and THE DUNWICH ROMANCE
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Eraserhead Press (April 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621050254
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621050254
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,821,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christine on January 28, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of those books you’ll probably finish and then sit there a while, wondering, “what the heck did I just read?”

Sure, the initial premise seems straightforward enough. Cue movie-announcer voice, in an apocalyptic near-future etc. etc., the crumbling ruins of society, radioactive mutants, food scarce fuel scarcer, ultimate in entertainment and competition is the death race.

With souped-up, customized, uber-weaponized mean machines. And drivers who are chosen partly for skill and partly for sheer larger-than-life character or personality. There’s the spoiled rich girl, the hard-drivin’ bible-thumper, the cross-dressing slaveboy, the occulty/cyborg dude, and our protagonist. The everyman, the good guy in a bad world, who’s already found out to his sorrow that niceness is a dangerous liability.

The five of them are brought to the starting gate and introduced to the race’s sponsor, Mr. Silver. The prize is the chance of a lifetime, the course is laid out, the rules are simple … and off they go.

What follows is the high-speed road rage you might expect, as the competitors seek to eliminate each other while avoiding their own destruction. Obstacles along the way include hostile swarms of flying teeth, robot monsters, cannibals, cultists and zealots.

But wait, there’s more! Because the finish line is at this miraculous city that’s arisen from the ocean depths. Destination R’lyeh (though in the Atlantic instead of the usual South Pacific). The drivers who get that far might be inclined to wish they hadn’t, and we’re also shown in a series of flashbacks how they reached this point … as, for some, their pasts return to haunt them.

It’s a weird, weird, extremely weird book. It would make one wild movie if the effects budget could hold up. Like the race it describes, it’s high-speed and pretty much non-stop; once you start reading you’re most likely in it for the duration.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You know when you're reading something and you stop and think "what on Earth is happening here?". You get that feeling with this book, and in a good way. I am a sucker for certain horror plots (road trip, asylum, trapped on an island, etc), and Tentacle Death Trip offered that (road trip, obviously), but with a Lovecraftian twist.
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I struggled with this book, especially towards the end. I almost gave up and quit reading it. Now that I've finished it, I really can't say that I have a clue where the author was trying to take me. The book kind of descended into a bad acid trip and never came back. I actually kind of liked some of the character development, and the ideas of the characters. But the end of the book was just utterly bizarre, and not in an enjoyable way for me.
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By Raf on October 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book had plenty of kicks and brought alive lots of memories, childhood dreams of racing a killer car through town but when it was all over I wasn't completely satisfied. The race itself is really cool but well, kicking an open door here, there's a lot of racing. I expected Krall to drift a little more.
The characters were a little too cartoonish for my liking, especially when Krall decided to pour some emotional depth into the gas tank.
Also, the book got interrupted each time to explain the history of each of the five race car drivers. Spending a lot of time talking about five characters, who are all basically doing the same thing, made it a little repetitive. Fun part is that you can pick a driver to root for and hope (s)he survives. Almost like a choose your own adventure book.

I had fun, but I enjoyed Squid Pulp Blues, Piecemeal June and Fistful of Feet a lot more. I recommend all of them. This one, I'd recommend if you're looking to turn your brain off for a cartoon-like book about a weird car race where only one will survive.
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I really enjoyed the racing aspect of the story. The characters were interesting. Drac, the kid with the glass skull full of gasoline was my faborite. Would've been nice to have had more characters in the race just to see more high speed deaths. Character backstories were fun too. I found the Old Ones mythos that is sprinkled throughout the story a great idea it still had some weak points. Overall it worked, the car was cool, the characters were fun, more Drac please, a bit anticlimactic at the end. Still a fun read for those who dig their Mad Max with their Cthulu. 3 stars.
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Tentacle Death TripTentacle Death Trip by Jordan Krall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

2025 - The last millionaire in the country recruits five of the best race drivers to compete in a deadly race across New Jersey with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. The prize: the winner will be allowed to live in the recently risen city of R'lyeh for the rest of his days...

I say this every time but this may be my favorite Jordan Krall book yet. While a Cthulhu-laden homage to Deathrace 2000 at first glance, Tentacle Death Trip rises above its roots and delivers one hell of a ride.

Krall crafts a larger cast of characters than he normally works with and does it well. You have Samson, the loner with a tragic past, Junko, the cross-dressing former sex slave, Gabby, the cold hearted mall girl, Mamma Hell, the Christian with a shawl of human skin, and Drac, the man with the tentacled car. All of the racers have distinct personalities and Krall does a great job playing them off of each other.

The denizens of the post-nuclear wasteland of New Jersey are an interesting menagerie. You get a tornado of human teeth, mutants, cannibals, a giant marionette, and assorted other beasties.

Another thing I liked was the way Jordan Krall was able to incorporate flashbacks into the narrative without stopping the momentum of the story.

The only bad marks I can give this book are because of the ending, but that's a matter of taste. I shouldn't have expected it end much differently considering R'lyeh was the prize.

Four easy stars. Jordan Krall is an author to watch!
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