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Book Review #30: Rotters by Daniel Kraus

Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It’s true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey’s life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.

Everything changes when Joey’s mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey’s father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey’s life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.

Daniel Kraus’s masterful plotting and unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.”

If you are a horror buff or you like good writing and don’t mind the horror aspect of this novel then you need to read it. What can I say more? This novel was probably one of the best books I have read. It wasn’t perfect, but it was perfect in the way the story went and played out.

Joey was completely relatable and his personality changes quite a bit in the novel (for better and for worse), but you still consider him to be a likeable character.

Everything was described so gorgeously–especially the horrific bits–and I wanted to eat it all up, (call me Hannibal Lecter).

What I really liked was the things that happened to Joey. Things just got worse and bleaker for him as the novel went on and I loved it. Call me a sadistic bastard all you want, but I found this to be one of the great factors of the novel. Kraus, like many authors, likes to put their characters through hell.

Overall, this novel was great and I would like to see more from Daniel Kraus.

My Rating

My Rating

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Book Review #29: Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kerman

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate number #11187-424–one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison–why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.

This novel is only the second adult memoir I have ever read and it gives a bit of improvement from the last one which you can read the review I gave for it here.

I found this novel really inviting and Kerman really relatable. At times this novel was a bit stale, as nothing much really happens, however, I found her daily life in prison fascinating. The friendships she made in this novel were very dear to her and as a reader, I could tell this wasn’t going to a be a novel about the oddities and atrocities of prison in America. This novel was about women and their relationships.

Now, I don’t mean to say I want to go commit a crime and jump into prison just to have close and sincere relationships with women of all ages, however, it seems like a good way to do it. Just kidding… but I wish I could be close with someone like that.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has seen the series and recognizes the fact that it is also about women and their relationships. I can also recommend this novel to anyone who wants to pick up a non-fiction novel and gain something from it.

Now, with this novel being adapted into a series I can’t help as a reader to look at differences between the novel and acclaimed Netflix Original Series (That people should watch! Because it’s awesomely good and I mean…Laverne Cox. ‘Nuff said). Some of the more recognizable characters in the series like Red, Sofia, and Pennastucky were actually characters from the novel. Events obviously, were not all the same, but I was surprised the peeing incident was in the book.

In conclusion, watch the show, read the novel. ‘Tis good. No matter which way you swing. (Could that be a reference to Kerman’s stint as a lesbian? We just don’t know.)

My Rating

My Rating

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