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The Boy Who Drew Monsters: A Novel by Keith…

The Boy Who Drew Monsters: A Novel (original 2014; edition 2014)

by Keith Donohue (Author)

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2342649,373 (3.49)12
Title:The Boy Who Drew Monsters: A Novel
Authors:Keith Donohue (Author)
Info:Picador (2014), Edition: 1st, 288 pages
Collections:To read

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The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue (2014)



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An interesting premise that fizzles in execution. Jack Peter has Asperger's, and since he and his best friend, Nick, nearly drowned three years ago, he has refused to leave his house. Lately, he has been obsessed with drawing monsters, which his parents and Nick have glimpsed outside--and they seem to be getting closer to the house.

As this story was set in Maine, I can't help but compare it with pretty much everything Stephen King has written, and Donohue definitely comes up short in both the scares and the suspense departments. The stakes just never seem to become real enough to matter. Jack Peter's parents don't act in ways that I find believable, and the "monsters," while sometimes grotesque, never seem all that menacing. I also can't help but compare to the last book I read that was set in Maine, Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand, which used the remote coastal setting and the conceit of a storm to much better effect, amplifying the emotional damage and isolation of the characters. I appreciated the twist at the end of The Boy Who Drew Monsters, which I didn't anticipate, but the journey to that destination seemed labored and often tedious. Bringing in a magical Japanese woman (as opposed to a magical Negro) to help explain some of the paranormal concepts also seemed like a crutch. In this case, I think this story would actually make a much better movie than a book. Disappointing. ( )
  sturlington | Mar 18, 2017 |
In The Boy Who Drew Monsters Jack Peter is a peculiar boy who has a complete and utter phobia of going outdoors who spends all of his time inside of his house. Besides his mother and father, his only companion is Nick, his one friend in the world, although they have a relationship that is contentious at best. Oh, and he likes to draw. Without giving any spoilers, that is something that factors heavily into the novel. His parents, along with Nick’s parents are experiencing their own personal and relationship issues. Strange things begin to happen as peculiar things and monsters are witnessed by the characters in the story. There are several red herrings along the way to draw the reader away from what is actually happening.

The novel had good atmosphere and good horror elements along the way. The stark and bleak New England setting added to that sense of foreboding. On the down side, I thought there were dead spots in the novel where little was happening and it seemed drawn out. The characters were flawed but compelling. One thing I didn’t quite get was that Nick and Jack Peter didn’t seem to actually like each other, so I wasn’t sure why they were friends. Perhaps, the best part of the novel was the twist at the end, which I didn’t see coming. There was a strong buildup and the ending really delivered. Although the novel, had a couple of flaws, all was forgiven with the final twist, which is the kind that will stick with me for a long time to come.

Carl Alves - author of Conjesero ( )
  Carl_Alves | Feb 9, 2017 |
Steady interest-holding reading. Great details, loved the characters and setting. The ending, even though somewhat predictable as you got closer to the end, still gave me chills... great book! ( )
  Bertha_ | Aug 6, 2016 |
When I read the the synopsis of this story, I was totally interested! The title alone makes you think it's going to be a horrific tale. Okay, people use the word 'gothic' now... but I found this book nothing of the sort. I decided to do this review differently. I posted my thoughts While Reading and when Completed Reading, to provide an honest review.

While Reading Review:: I am currently depressed with this book! The characters are delicately explained and you can almost relate to them... except for Jip, or Jack Peter, the boy the story is about.

The story is so dire, glum and heavy, you almost want to throw the book and run into a field of daisies and sunshine, spinning to "The Sound of Music". The story is a life of problems and now you've got monstrous sightings, counseling sessions and a boy who can behave like a brat outta Hades! If I had to rate the story now, It would be two specs.
Completed Reading Review: When I finished this book, I felt exhausted...

For the full review: http://bit.ly/1PNAWD4
**Book is from my personal library. ( )
  AReneeHunt | Jan 25, 2016 |
First, I want to thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. The title caught my attention immediately. When I read the story line included an autistic child that lives in his self-absorbed world with monsters I was hooked.

I must say, having read other titles by the author, that his book disappointed me. It was entertaining but I felt that the story dragged along. The parent's emotional conflicts with the house bound child felt real but the evolution of the monsters into their reality didn't feel like a smooth transition.

Overall a good read but seemed to drag toward what I thought was the books best moment...the startling conclusion. ( )
  Itzey | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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For Robert Andrew Larson
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In the dream house, the boy listened for the monster under the bed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Ever since he nearly drowned in the ocean three years earlier, ten-year-old Jack Peter Keenan has been deathly afraid to venture outdoors. Refusing to leave his home in a small coastal town in Maine, Jack Peter spends his time drawing monsters. When those drawings take on a life of their own, no one is safe from the terror they inspire. His mother, Holly, begins to hear strange sounds in the night coming from the ocean, and she seeks answers from the local Catholic priest and his Japanese housekeeper, who fill her head with stories of shipwrecks and ghosts. His father, Tim, wanders the beach, frantically searching for a strange apparition running wild in the dunes. And the boy’s only friend, Nick, becomes helplessly entangled in the eerie power of the drawings. While those around Jack Peter are haunted by what they think they see, only he knows the truth behind the frightful occurrences as the outside world encroaches upon them all.
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