Tonight I headed out to the Powell’s in Beaverton to hear Dan Wells read from his new novel, Mr. Monster. I went because I like Dan, even though he’s threatened to kill me, he’s seen me twice since then and hasn’t acted on his threats. I figure that makes him a nice guy. In this context.
Also because I really loved his first book I Am Not A Serial Killer and I’ve been waiting for the second book to come out. Dan is writing these in first person and the thing you need to understand is that the viewpoint character is a fifteen year-old boy who’s a diagnosed sociopath.
And Dan makes him sympathetic.
Bear in mind, that I’m a girl who writes Jane Austen books because I like mannerly people and that Dan’s writing makes me root for a sociopath. Mr. Monster is a strong, utterly compelling first person narrative that is terrifying in part because uses the fear to make you think. Seriously, it is horror, psychological thriller and also, somehow, a heart-warming coming of age. About a sociopath.
You need to buy these books because they are damn good writing.
Two pieces of advice though:
- Do not start Mr. Monster immediately after the reading, while waiting for a train late at the night.
- Do not plan to do anything else, because you will read it in one sitting.
And… um… it’s now 2am and somehow I need to go to sleep. Maybe I’ll read Peter Rabbit. You, know the book about the cute little bunny and the sociopathic Mr. McGregory who tries to kill him and eat him!