When I picked up this book, I did so with a degree of skepticism because the cover was enough to creep me out. I’m not the bravest of souls. After JUST recovering from a two week unable-to-sleep stint thanks to watching The Woman In Black, I wasn’t ready to be afraid of the dark again. It also happened to be book 13 in my #70bookpledge and while it’s my favourite number…you know. So I made the happy decision that this would be a daytime read only. As it happens, today has been a pretty dreary, rainy day–perfect for staying in and finishing an entire book in the AM! That’s what I did.
The photographs are the creepiest part of this whole book, especially when you realize that hardly any of them have been altered. They’re vintage, real, and peculiar. Their presence throughout the book left a constant nagging thought in my head: “Real or not real?”, only this time it wasn’t in the romantic Katniss/Peeta sense.
Photographs are precious things. Every thing and soul depicted in them has a story to tell. When I was little, I used to come across old photographs and they’d inspire my imagination enough to leave me occupied all day, weaving dramatic tales about the occupants. To have a book written based on these photographs is completely awesome! He did what I tried to do all the time as a child and the story was nothing short of what my imagination would have desired. Also there’s a twist at the end that every reader will love! I absolutely didn’t see it coming, and I’m usually good with those predictions!
I won’t go into details but there is one strong statement to make about this book:
It is not scary.
Naturally you start out thinking it is because of all the unusual photographs and the foreboding images depicted in the first few chapters, but soon you realize it’s just a really good fictitious story–one that you could probably read at night! This is coming from a self-proclaimed scaredy-cat, so trust me. If you started this book but didn’t have the guts to finish it, don’t worry–no guts necessary!
There is another reason I really enjoyed this book and it has to do with a Sociology class I took back in college (university for all you Canadians). The class was called “Deviant Behavior and Social Control”. That class was bad-ass and I loved every second of it. I got to research the Amish for a month and gave an A+ presentation on it with an A+ group, got to watch Goodfellas in class and then write a paper on it, and the latter half of the semester was dedicated to the concept of The Freak Show. The textbook was a bit boring but it was filled with old pictures just like the ones in this book–vintage memories of the peculiar folk in society. They made their living and got semi-acceptance by working in side shows or ‘freak shows’ at circuses, etc. I actually had all my theories come back to me as I was reading, which brought the book completely to life. Yes there’s a lot of paranormal activity in the text, but it all seemed so damn believable and all because those pictures were present.
It’s amazing; a picture really does paint a thousand words. They bring out the true beauty of this book. Minus the whole monster aspect of the book, I would believe every word could easily be true (and I’m still not that scared).
So go ahead and pick up the book, whether you’re starting it for the first time or resuming what you thought would be too scary to read.