“A Good and Happy Child”

October 30, 2008 at 4:42 pm | Posted in Fiction | 1 Comment

If you’re scrambling for a scary book to read on Halloween, I’d like to recommend A Good and Happy Child.  I’ve been reading horror off and on since grade school (remember Lois Duncan?) but it had been many years since I could say a book even really creeped me out, much less actually scared me.  I started it Tuesday night, but I had to put it away before bedtime because I kept looking over my shoulder.  Last night I was reading it on the treadmill, and I had to keep stopping to check out every mysterious sound when the house settled.

Justin Evans apparently works as some sort of executive in New York.  It made me wonder just what got him to contemplating the nature of evil.  It also made me wonder whether any of his coworkers knew he was working on a book, and whether he intends to take time off now that he’s published successfully.  Will he write another book?  Will it also be a horror story?

What works about A Good and Happy Child is that it’s a very smart book.  Evans could probably write anything.  While he uses many familiar tropes, this is no genre fiction.  The story is unpredictable, and keeps you hooked until the very last paragraph.  Even then, it’s unsettling because you can still interpret the book in more than one way.  It raises questions that don’t go away once the covers are closed.

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  1. You got my attention with this one. I don’t usually read spooky or scary stuff, but I might have to look for this.


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