Reviews of dark fiction (Under Construction)

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

Since reading last year’s WANDERERS, I’ve become a fan of Mr. Wendig. Now, with his latest book, my fandom is locked in. THE BOOK OF ACCIDENTS is full of heart, while packing in the pain and the scares, in new and delicious ways.

Nate’s estranged father is dying which is fine with Nate because he hates the man. Both Nate and his wife grew up in the same town and they decide to move back into Nate’s childhood home along with their son, Oliver. Right from the beginning things are not right; Nate sees his dad’s ghost, his wife Maddie carves wooden animals that sometimes disappear and Oliver? Well, Oliver feels pain. Everyone’s pain. How will this family cope with these odd happenings? Are these events harmful? Will the family survive this house? You’ll have to read this to find out!

In some ways this narrative reminded me of old Stephen King novels, and other novels of the late 70’s and early 80’s. A small rural town in Pennsylvania, old mines, the town’s history so vivid you feel like you can touch it. For me, those portions reminded me a lot of Salem’s Lot specifically, and how we got to know that town.

Then there’s the characters-Nate, troubled by his abusive childhood. Maddie, driven to create art even if she doesn’t know why. And Oliver, the poor young man who is so empathetic he feels the pain of others as his own. The author makes us care for them so much, and then he rips our hearts out.

There is a lot going on here, and I can’t get into it all, but Chuck Wendig blends it together seamlessly. There are other worlds than these, right? (Another thing that put me in mind of Stephen King.) The protagonists here are easy to love and the antagonists easy to hate, but these are not simple characters. They’re complicated and messy and even more realistic as a result.

This is a long book, but never once did I feel it was too long; I was too immersed in the story to care. THE BOOK OF ACCIDENTS is a marvelous read that will have you on the edge of your seat, either cringing or cheering, and who doesn’t love that?

Highly recommended!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!

The Book of Accidents Book Cover The Book of Accidents
Chuck Wendig
Horror, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Supernatural
Del Rey
07/20/2021
E-Arc
521
NetGalley

A family returns to their hometown—and to the dark past that haunts them still—in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers

“The dread, the scope, the pacing, the turns—I haven’t felt all this so intensely since The Shining.”—Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Only Good Indians

Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father—and has never told his family what happened there.

Long ago, Maddie was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn’t have—and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures.

Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels and the mountains and the coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania.

Now, Nate and Maddie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver.

And now what happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic.

This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family—and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this battle: their love for one another.

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