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Night of the Mannequins: A Tor.com Original Kindle Edition
Award-winning author Stephen Graham Jones returns with Night of the Mannequins, a contemporary horror story where a teen prank goes very wrong and all hell breaks loose: is there a supernatural cause, a psychopath on the loose, or both?
We thought we'd play a fun prank on her, and now most of us are dead.
One last laugh for the summer as it winds down. One last prank just to scare a friend. Bringing a mannequin into a theater is just some harmless fun, right? Until it wakes up. Until it starts killing.
Luckily, Sawyer has a plan. He’ll be a hero. He'll save everyone to the best of his ability. He'll do whatever he needs to so he can save the day. That's the thing about heroes—sometimes you have to become a monster first.
"Suffused with questions about the nature of change and friendship, “Night of the Mannequins” is a fairy tale of impermanence showcasing Graham Jones’s signature style of smart, irreverent horror." —The New York Times
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
- ASIN : B082RTDL2S
- Publisher : Tordotcom (Sept. 1 2020)
- Language : English
- File size : 958 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 138 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #178,349 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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NIGHT OF THE MANNEQUINS.
Okay, so mannequins are kind of creepy. Especially in the nighttime. Worse than clowns.
Then I read the first line in the first chapter.
Check it out here.
So Shanna got a new job at the movie theater, we thought we’d play a fun prank on her, and now most of us are dead, and I’m really starting to feel kind of guilty about it all.
That's the first freaking line of the novel.
I mean, that one line kind of kicks the door down, throws to the floor, and catches you by the throat and squeezes until your face gets all pale and choked up.
Cool, I thought to myself.
We've got a freaking mannequin walking around the town in the night.
I mean, I can get behind that.
Only that isn't the whole story.
The story gets a whole lot darker than that.
An animated mannequin - well that's just the gift-wrap on 130+ pages of mind-gripping horror. You might think you've got it figured out when you start to read and then the plot gets a little darker until you realize that you are looking at a novella with more twists and tangles than a barbed wire tourniquet.
This is dark, baby. I mean darker than midnight eclipsed in pitch black shadow.
Pick up this book. Hold your breath and jump right in.
You won't regret it.
yours in storytelling,
I liked the concept of this novella and it was somewhat entertaining, but ultimately I found it didn't have enough depth. I would have liked to find out more about the protaginist's friends, to know what they were thinking. Also, that twist at the end... what the heck? Again, I would have liked details. As I saw someone mention, perhaps this would have worked better as a full-length novel. I think this is really meant to read like a slasher film. If that sounds appealing to you, you'll probably enjoy it more than I did.
The writing and characters were both excellent as I have come to expect from Graham Jones. His work always has a literary flair, but this one leaned more into the genre fiction with a gripping narrative plot.
As a novella, this was the perfect length. Horror works so well in the short form and this one maintained it's suspense from start to finish.
From the premise, I initially expected some killer dolls horror, but this story was very far more psychological in nature. I would love to say more about the plot, but it's best going into this one without knowing too much.
I would highly recommend this one to just about any horror reader. I think this one of those stories that will appeal to a wide audience.
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher, Tor.com.
This is one of those books that you can't say too much about without spoiling the plot. It is terrifying and surreal. I felt like I could relate to Sawyer, which became a slippery slope in and of itself, almost like a sinkhole pulling me in with no hope of getting out.
There were some fantastic lines that synced up beautifully with what's going on in the plot and I was often awestruck by them:
"It takes real imagination to connect the dots the right way. Imagination with a little helping of guilt."
"Sometimes you just know what you're doing is the only thing to be doing. That the world is conspiring all around you to make it happen, like, not just giving you permission, but herding you the direction you need to go, giving you secrete nods and obvious hand signals, and getting everything out of the way so you have the clearest path possible."
The pareidolia in the second quote is all too relatable and makes everything happening even more disturbing and scary. It helps that I am also terrified of mannequins. When I was a child, I would always make a point to talk nicely in front of my Barbies, lest they gang up on me and murder me in my sleep for shit-talking them or treating them poorly.
This book really connected with me and I believe I'll be reading everything Stephen Graham Jones has to offer. I also recommend reading this book during the Autumnal season because it just feels a little Halloween-ish, even though it wasn't explicitly suggested. Read it!
Review now on Horrorbound.net!
Top reviews from other countries
By Stephen Graham Jones
I feel like this book got me expecting great things... just to be let down.
I felt like the title of this story was misleading and the blurb didn't accurately describe the story.
There was literally one mannequin in the whole book and we literally read about it for about four pages and then it was gone. I mean, basically Sawyer didn't take his meds for three days, he hallucinates a bit and then decides the mannequin has come to life – his next bit of logic is then to murder all his friends before the mannequin does.
My biggest annoyance with this book? The first sentence tells you everything that is going to happen in the book. Spoiler alert anyone?
For new, there was nothing to raise this above any other number of stories.
Maybe others will fare better better with this