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Scowler Hardcover – 12 Mar 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers (12 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385743092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385743099
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,214,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One of my new favorites (book and author) 10 Nov. 2013
By Shannon Mawhiney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Much like Kraus' other book that I read two years ago, Rotters, Scowler is extremely well-written both in description and story and is themed around some seriously messed-up daddy issues. Also similar to Rotters is the constant, weird expectancy that something supernatural is about to happen, when in fact it all remains solidly based in Kraus' made-up reality... which is very, very crazy, but with a distinct lack of magic.

The setting of this book is beautiful and one I've never experienced, in a book or anything else: part farm-life, part '80s horror movie (minus the camp), and part psychological thriller. It works perfectly. I would absolutely love to see this made into a movie, especially the interactions between real characters and imaginary friends. I think my only complaint is that Ry's sister, Sarah, never quite seems like a real, complete person, even though she's a pretty important character. A couple of other characters weren't, in my opinion, fleshed-out enough either, but they didn't have as big of roles as Sarah. She still isn't an entirely badly-done character though, so my complaint is minor.

The book gets very dark, for a good portion of the book, and a little gory in spots. But if you're squeamish, you could probably skim over those parts and keep going. Otherwise I'd recommend the book for high school and older.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Brutal and riveting... 9 Feb. 2014
By Anthony A. Hains - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Scowler defies classification. The novel is promoted as YA fiction, although this title deserves a place in an adult reader’s shelf as well. This is the second novel I have read by Daniel Kraus – the first being Rotters published in 2011. Both works can be easily classified as horror – but there is nothing supernatural or other-worldly in the plots. I suppose they can be classified as thrillers or even coming-of-age stories, but these labels wouldn’t do the books justice either. They are definitely the creepiest and most haunting stories I have ever encountered. Rotters involves a present-day, father-son grave-robbing team, and scenes were gruesome but compelling. I think this is the only book that actively engaged by sense of smell – a putrid, decaying scent was ever present. The story was imaginative and unforgettable.
When I saw that Mr. Kraus had another novel out, I jumped at the chance to read it. Scowler has a similar father-son dynamic, and it is clear that pathological relationships between fathers and their teenage sons is a central theme for Mr. Kraus. I hope his relationship with his own father is or was better than the characters in his books. Martin Burke is a brutally abusive man, capable of inflicting torture-like abuse of his wife and children. When he goes one step too far with an act perpetrated against his wife that is so repugnant and horrific, his then nine year old son Ry risks his own life to rescue his mother. Ry is brutally beaten by his father as result, but still manages to disable his father long enough (in an incredibly unnerving passage) so that his father is arrested and imprisoned for ten years.
Most of the action in the book takes place ten years after the incident leading to Martin’s arrest (which is dramatically and effectively told in flashback). Ry is 19, still living at home with his mother and younger sister. In a freak meteorite shower – and I realize this sounds really lame, but believe me it fits perfectly within the story – Martin escapes from prison and returns home and terrorizes his family. The ensuing action takes place in about 24 hours – and the portrayal of Martin Burke is so convincing that the purest evil of this monstrous psychopath comes alive in every sentence. When he isn’t “on stage” his presence is felt. The main character, though, is Ry. Now a young man of 19, Ry did not escape unscathed from the nightmare of ten years ago. This was a defining moment in his life and it colored everything that happened during his adolescence including his relationships with his mother, peers, and a potential love interest. When Martin reappears to the utter horror of his family thanks to an errant meteorite, he renews his savage attacks on them. In the process, Ry’s fragile makeup is shattered. Whatever strengths he possessed are carved away with an astounding rapidity. Indeed, the Ry’s psychological disintegration is devastating to the other characters and the reader. The finale was loaded with thrills and anguish and is quite unforgettable.
Scowler is an outstanding novel. Don’t be put off by a YA classification. The story is gripping, unsettling, and haunting. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not a big fan... 28 Jun. 2014
By E. Tomasek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Although the descriptions were good I had a hard time visualizing this storyline and setting. I was bored at the beginning of the story which made it difficult to care about the characters. Once the story became more interesting, three quarters of the way into the book, I still had a hard time understanding why I cared about this family. It just wasn't my cup of tea.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I Swowl Upon The Fool Who Does Not Immediatly Purchase 24 Nov. 2013
By S. Beaudoin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Did ever wish you were reading a Steven King novel, except one that was vastly smarter and more intense, except with teenage characters and none of the cliches and also really awesome and sort of brilliant but dark and scary and gritty and fantastically weird? Well, hey, this is just the book for you. Actually, you should buy it twice, because it requires two readings, because it is so excellent. Buy this. Now.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Amazing 22 Jun. 2013
By Kami - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this down. I almost pulled an all nighter and then almost ignored my kids all evening to sneak in reading time. One of the fastest reads I've ever had.
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