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The Summer I Died


Ryan C. Thomas

The Summer I Died
average rating is 5 out of 5

Horror, Extreme, Disturbing

R. Alex Jenkins

The first third of this book is a basic tale about two young guys getting into trouble. They fight, swear, drink, talk about sex and let off firearms in the woods. It's entertaining but only a solid three-star read at this point.

And then the book goes full brutal and I totally loved it because it doesn't let off for a minute, mostly taking place in a single location, like Sydney Lumett's 1957 film 12 Angry Men, which (unlike this book) is very profound, but just to emphasize that you don't need a billion-dollar budget and stellar effects for good entertainment.

This book gets five stars because it's totally gruesome, unpretentious and unafraid of popular opinion. It gets five stars because it came after reading a bestseller 'horror' novel that was commercial and pretty naff. Rated five stars because one minute you're shitting your pants and feeling mildly guilty for enjoying torture-obsessed horror, the next laughing at some silly retort from someone in no position to do so.

Saying things we sometimes think but dare not utter: a woman in distress, desperately needing help, but more importantly, is she hot and is she naked? Juvenile but funny.

And some great quotes:

"And to top it off the dog stared howling, too, like we were all in some insane fuck-all butcher shop quartet."


"The makeshift lock pick was having about as much effect on this lock as a finger would have on a woman with ten kids."

and (profound)

"Because we’re all part of God’s master plan, a master plan that lets evil men take away the lives of innocent people, that lets some of us live while our friends and loved ones die before our eyes."

Sometimes it's best to go in blind with low expectations, which is why I enjoyed this book so much. If the sequel Born To Bleed is half as entertaining as this I'm in for a real treat.

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