Scowler Hardcover – 12 Mar 2013
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"Daniel Kraus writes raw and deft and dangerous. Consider yourself warned."
--Adele Griffin, two-time National Book Award Finalist and author of "All You Never Wanted"
"Marvin Burke is one of the great monsters of literature, a figure of immense, credible terror and savagery." --Cory Doctorow
BoingBoing.net, March 12, 2013:
"This isn't gross-out horror: the terror comes as much from piano-wire taut tension and spectacular characters as from viscera...Kraus's masterful raising-of-stakes makes this into the sort of disaster you can't possibly look away from."
School Library Journal, May 2013:
"This book has the pacing of a Stephen King movie...The metaphor of the meteorite countdown enhances the tense, dark, and creepy chill factor of this gritty, well-written thriller. It's a perfect choice for mature horror readers who are looking to bridge the gap between YA and adult selections."
Publishers Weekly, January 21, 2013:
"Ry's desperate journey into manhood is gripping, with Kraus skillfully amplifying a sense of tension and claustrophobia."
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2013:
"A Midwestern gothic family saga that will hook readers."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April 2013:
"Fans of Kraus's "Rotters "have come to expect that beneath his darkest literary impulses flow thought-provoking undercurrents, and this is no exception. At the edge of the horror is a gripping story of a family paralyzed by its own fear, and an examination of the strange places of emotional refuge a tortured mind will find."
Bloody-Disgusting.com, March 6, 2013:
"Kraus's story also functions as a look at how intense trauma can fracture and eventually break the human psyche, as seen through the eyes of the fragile, tormented Ry and his three imaginary friends. But above all, "Scowler" is a hard-edged tale of teenage survival, told with a grim-faced respect for the real life horrors that lurk behind closed
"Marvin [Burke] is one of the great monsters of literature, a figure of immense, credible terror and savagery." --Cory Doctorow, author of "Little Brother" and coeditor of "Boing Boing
""The demon offspring of Stephen King's "The Shining" and Hitchcock's "Psycho."" --Michael Grant, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Gone" and "BZRK
"A memorable, brutal assault on the senses, not for the fainthearted or delicate."""--"Publishers Weekly
"Daniel Kraus writes raw and deft and dangerous. Consider yourself warned." --Adele Griffin, two-time National Book Award finalist
"A boldly visceral coming-of-age story that explores the darkest spaces in family life and the shocking resilience of the human psyche." --"Booklist
"This book has the pacing of a Stephen King movie, and it never lets up in its gruesomeness." --"School Library Journal
""Connoisseurs of the grotesque have come to the right place, as Kraus' impeccable sense of thriller timing spins out the terror." --"The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
""A Midwestern gothic family saga that will hook readers." --"Kirkus Reviews
""So unrelentingly bleak, it stretches the very definition of YA horror." --Bloody-Disgusting.com
"Scowler is dark, poetic, and challenging." --Rue-Morgue.com
"For lovers of dark thrillers and horror narratives, Scowler is one crazy roller-coaster ride." --"Portland Book Review
""Bound to scare up many jaw-dropping reactions." --"Chicago Tribune
"A Tayshas Reading List Selection
A Junior Library Guild Selection
"From the Hardcover edition."
Marvin [Burke] is one of the great monsters of literature, a figure of immense, credible terror and savagery. Cory Doctorow, author of "Little Brother" and coeditor of "Boing Boing
" The demon offspring of Stephen King s "The Shining" and Hitchcock s "Psycho." Michael Grant, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Gone" and "BZRK
A memorable, brutal assault on the senses, not for the fainthearted or delicate. " " "Publishers Weekly
Daniel Kraus writes raw and deft and dangerous. Consider yourself warned. Adele Griffin, two-time National Book Award finalist
A boldly visceral coming-of-age story that explores the darkest spaces in family life and the shocking resilience of the human psyche. "Booklist
This book has the pacing of a Stephen King movie, and it never lets up in its gruesomeness. "School Library Journal
" Connoisseurs of the grotesque have come to the right place, as Kraus impeccable sense of thriller timing spins out the terror. "The Bulletin of the Center for Children s Books
" A Midwestern gothic family saga that will hook readers. "Kirkus Reviews
" So unrelentingly bleak, it stretches the very definition of YA horror. Bloody-Disgusting.com
Scowler is dark, poetic, and challenging. Rue-Morgue.com
For lovers of dark thrillers and horror narratives, Scowler is one crazy roller-coaster ride. "Portland Book Review
" Bound to scare up many jaw-dropping reactions. "Chicago Tribune
"A Tayshas Reading List Selection
A Junior Library Guild Selection
"From the Hardcover edition."" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
DANIEL KRAUS is a writer, an editor, and a filmmaker. He lives with his wife in Chicago. His newest work, "Trollhunters," is written with Guillermo del Toro. Visit him at DanielKraus.com and follow him on Twitter @DanielDKraus.
"From the Hardcover edition." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
Ry's father is currently in prison and Ry and his family are still trying to cope with the abuse he caused them all. They live in a secluded farmhouse, the land being the prize of their fathers heart. But after years of having to run the farm on her own, Ry's mother has finally decided it's time for them to move now that it's been desolated and dried out. One day when meteorites begin to fall from the sky, one lands on their land. Bringing with it not only memories of the past, but also some bad characters as well.
This story is told with several flashback scenes in which we learn more about our characters and the events that lead to the present day event. This story does take place over a matter of a few days and chapters sequenced by counting down to the time of the meteorite landing and immediately after. The whole book being told from Ry's perspective, his flashbacks take us through his youth to present day events.
With this writing style the reader is introduced to Ry's mother and little sister, their growth throughout the years and the events that have lead them to the current situation with them fighting for their lives from a madman. Each character fully rounded out to the point that you hate them, you love them, and our heart will break for them.
Scowler is one of the scariest young adult books I have ever read. Author Daniel Kraus takes no niceties in guarding the readers from the events that unfold. It's a bloody, terrifying and emotionally wrenching story that can and will cause loss of sleep. Deeply disturbing and well crafted novel of suspense and a thriller that any horror lover will enjoy
Though this book is aimed at teens, there is nothing juvenile about it.
The themes are dark, and some of the scenes are so gruesome that -- like a car wreck -- you won't be able to look away.
A quick note, the first few pages are well written, but a little slow, and may turn off some readers.
Stick with it, the pacing picks up fast, and the writing is fluid there after.