- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2575 KB
- Print Length: 267 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Crossroad Press (26 Jan. 2018)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B079CK3R53
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer reviews: 15 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,419,708 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Doll Face Kindle Edition
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I have seen so much on so many sites about Tim Curran I thought this would be a good opportunity to see what all the fuss was about when this came up on NetGalley. After reading this one I’m left feeling a tad disappointed.
Six friends are returning from a night out when they get caught in a storm. The driver, being a bit drunk decides to take a short cut that he doesn’t know. As they are entering the town of Stokes, someone walks in front of the van and they run him over. When they get out of the van to see if he is ok, they discover it isn’t a human. It appears to be some sort of mechanical mannequin. When they try to get the emergency services to come help them, it appears Stokes no longer exists and they are trapped in a nightmare in the year 1960 with seemingly no way out. They must battle unseen forces, and their own minds to try and escape and get back to the real world.
Now – when I started reading this book it got me excited. It also got me super creeped out. The “evil” that the friends must battle against takes the form of “puppets” if you like. Mechanical mannequins that seem to be easily destroyed but have an uncanny knack of putting themselves together again and re-attacking. The friends are all separated and you end up with a few different stories and battles going on within the main story.
The way it is written initially it is very creepy. The idea of being chased around a town that doesn’t exist, by puppets that take many forms and knowing you can’t stop them, is scary. The tension in the book is fantastic in making you read with one eye open as the characters try to hide and can hear the “enemy” coming after them.
It takes on another turn in that it starts to mess with the minds of the characters and in turn your own. They start to see and hear things that can’t possibly be real and must try to keep themselves sane in order to escape. This again is very effective in messing with your own mind and creeping you out further.
Unfortunately, that’s as far as the story went for me. You discover all of the above fairly early in the book and then the rest is filled with more of the same that sadly became a bit boring for me. I found it hard to keep my concentration and when I came to the end of a page, couldn’t remember what I had read because I was thinking of other things. I hate when this happens in a book and generally lose interest at this point.
I kept going hoping it would get better or something different would happen to peak my interest again but it didn’t. It was just a case of going through the motions until I got to the end. I don’t want to sound nasty or cruel but I found this one a bit of a struggle. I would read Mr Curran again to see what he produces because I did like his writing style. I just didn’t like this one too much.
2 stars from me.
It is a sick and twisted book. Don't get me wrong, I can love that about a horror book sometimes, but this just was bad. It starts off great, lots of creepy tension and the usual chaos that comes from the initial panic setting in. But then it slows right down and as it jumps from character to character with each chapter, it was a little confusing picking up the threads of what was happening at times.
Then there's the events that actually happen - or don't, as the case may be. They split into little groups of two or three and then they hide, basically. Something will come after them, and they hide, then they get discovered, then they hide again. It's very repetitive.
Throughout the whole book there is a sexual undertone to it: the dolls are naked, they keep talking about wanting to please them, the characters all seem to be really perversely attracted to the idea of being dominated by the dolls. It's really twisted and not something I found easy to read. I was repulsed by it, if I'm honest.
The sexual violence nearer the end was really disturbing. I almost put the book down, but by that point I was practically finished so I soldiered on. It's very graphic and detailed in the description of not only the horrific events that happen to each of the characters, but also in the aftermath of it too.
While the overall story isn't bad, the sexual violence that is littered throughout the book really killed my enjoyment of it. Most of the time, I felt it was there for no reason other than for the shock factor. I think this could've been a really good horror story if it had focused more on the fear and less on the sex.
I have nothing against reading books with sexual scenes in them, this one just took it too far for my liking. Not one that I would recommend or pick up again.
Top international reviews
This book is INSANE! I don't even know where to begin. An old town that doesn't exist now does. Things that don't exist, now do. A few of them? Frankendoll. Spider Mother. The Puppeteer. The Controller. Yeah, think about what those look like. Go ahead, I'll wait.
From the unsettling mind of Tim Curran comes this crazy tale of the town of Stokes, which to most, no longer exists. The occupants of which are mostly animated dolls and mannequins. But there's something much worse in Stokes and this group of 6 friends are soon going to find out who or what that is.
I found this story to be slightly repetitive in the middle portion, but not enough for me to start skimming. (Mostly because I was worried that I would miss something incredibly creative and cool. ) Also, I felt that I didn't get to know a few of the characters as well as I would have liked. Those are the only two complaints I have and they're both minor.
Overall, I thought this book was crazy good. Tim Curran is one imaginative son of a B., I don't know how the man sleeps at night. I recommend this book to fans of creepy dolls, wild imaginations and nightmares. This book delivers all that, and it delivers it in spades.
*If you like Tim Curran as much as I do, please tune in to HAD at the beginning of March for my interview with the man!* -Char
*I received this book free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. This is it.*
Few horror authors deliver as consistently, or get under my skin quite as effectively, as Tim Curran. He is a master at description, and he fills Stokes and its inhabitants with carefully sketched details, and his gory details are enough to send up shivers. I’ve often referred to him as Michigan’s answer to Stephen King, and I think that Doll Face captures this assessment fairly well. The premise is rather outlandish, and would likely prove to be ridiculous, if not outright comical, in less capable hands, but Curran is able to, somehow, make it work. The murderous, doll-like villains are certainly not your average Barbies or even your basically creepy Hummel figurines. They’re axe-wielding, rapey psychopaths hell-bent on murder, their lust for blood utterly insatiable. Curran kicks it up a notch further with an intriguing history of Stokes as a factory town, infusing his story with a solid dose of industrial horror and truly awful spidery creations and rampaging Frankenstein-ish weirdos.
Anyone familiar with horror in general, and Curran in particular, know that these six lost souls are largely cannon fodder. Most of them are pretty well-developed, thankfully, and it makes losing them a bit hard to take given the perversely macabre ways of their dispatch. One meets an end that is not only revolting and squirm-inducing, but truly heart-breaking.
I have only one complaint, and it’s that Doll Face gets a little too long in the tooth. The middle portion of the book dragged as the group basically finds themselves running in circles from one danger to the next, and I wished that Curran would just get to the point already. Still, that last third of the book is terrifically well-done and the climax is positively outstanding, with a chilling final sentence. While it’s not my favorite Tim Curran book (Dead Sea still holds top honors), it is certainly well worth reading. Go get it!