Published: Del Rey Books, July 2021
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
“The mind is less precarious than we think it is, Nate. Often, I believe it is our fear of losing it that’s more dangerous than actually losing it, if you’ll follow my logic. The fear of a thing is quite often worse than the thing we fear.”
To be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy The Book of Accidents as much as I did. Horror has been hit or miss for me lately, and I can’t say I’ve had a consistent track-record with Chuck Wendig either. The idea of his take on a haunted-house story intrigued me however, so I went in without too many expectations. It didn’t take me long to get completely sucked in, and I found myself franticly turning pages until the small hours to get to each next chapter.
The Book of Accidents combines the horror of childhood-trauma with the supernatural threat of an entity that haunts the premises of our protagonists new home. It’s one of my favourite tropes out there, and Wendig pulls it off to near perfection.
We follow a young family; Nate, Maggie and their son Oliver, after they reluctantly move into Nate’s childhood home, which was left to them in his abusive fathers’ will. Soon, strange occurrences start to take place, echoing of trauma’s they thought they left behind long ago.
The entire novel is filled with a deep atmosphere of lingering dread that ominously seeps it’s way into the characters minds, and yours as a reader. It kept me engaged and a bit on-edge all the way through its 500 pages, which is a testament to not only its vivid ambience but its restrained but immaculate pacing.
Wendig takes tonal inspiration from- and pays homage to Stephen Kings best eighties works (Pet Sematary, The Shining etc.) and reads like a modern take on that era of horror. For sure one of the best horror-books and biggest surprises of my reading lately. Shows that sometimes, letting a book surprise you can be the best thing. I highly recommend this one!
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