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Slights by Kaaron Warren
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Slights

by Kaaron Warren

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Slights by Kaaron Warren is a disturbing book. This should not come as a surprise to people familiar with the author’s other work (or anyone who read the quote from Russell Kirkpatrick on the cover).

Stevie (short for Stephanie because her parents were expecting a boy) is a psychopath in the literal sense of the word: she lacks empathy, consideration, is obsessive and fairly self-centred. She is not a sympathetic character, but she is fascinating.

After a car accident which kills her mother and puts her in hospital, she has a near-death experience. Instead of seeing a white light or a tunnel or something like that, she finds herself in a room filled with all the people who she’s slighted at some point in the past. Hence the title and hence the cover. (Speaking of the cover, how creepy do the rightmost dude’s eyes look?) And her slighted people do unpleasant things do her.

Beyond that, it’s a difficult book to explain. It doesn’t exactly have a plot, it’s more an examination of Steve’s life, told in first person, including her learning new things about her past as she gets older. Her life isn’t particularly pleasant. I found the first third or so of the book quite confronting and it squicked me out a bit. I had to take breaks from reading it, although that became less necessary as it progressed (or I became desensitised). I wouldn’t suggest this book to anyone with any sort of conventional triggers (particularly sexual ones). Fair warning.

As the book progressed, I felt it became less about horrible things happening to people (sometimes Steve, sometimes others around her) and more about the things happening in Steve’s head. And towards the very end, aspects of her family history that she wasn’t necessarily aware of when they were happening in her youth.

I knew why the people were in the room and who they were; each and every one had been slighted by me, and each slight, by me or anybody else, snapped up a bit of their soul and sent it to the dark room of some unknowing person. Or to my dark room.

The progression of her understanding of the room she goes to when she has near-death experiences (yes, they’re plural, the story would have much less impact if they weren’t) is interesting. I felt it was the kind of book that might be studied in a high school English class, if it was a bit more age-appropriate. I certainly found it more meaningful than some of the novels by Tim Winton I was forced to read.

In case you didn’t pick it up, Slights is definitely a horror novel. Don’t read it if you don’t like icky things or being inside the minds of disturbing people. On the other hand, if you like being disturbed and enjoy a dark psychological read, then this is a good book to pick up.

4 / 5 stars ( )
  Tsana | May 6, 2012 |
Very strange. Not sure why I chose this one in the book shop. Was quite dissapointed in general. Left feeling a bit puzzled as to what the point of the book was. Not sure either how this was classed as a horror. Had tiny elements that hinted at something sinister but not even frightening in the same league as other non-horror books I've read. Really wasn't compelled to finish it and not particuarly glad that I did either, other than relief that it's finally over. WIll not be looking at any more books by this author. ( )
  fothpaul | Feb 6, 2012 |
Gave up on this for now. Have been on this book for a week, reaching only page 115. It is not bad, really, it is not. Even the "unlikeable" protagonist (that reviewers have been turned off to) I found intriguing. What makes her want to crap on everybody? I do have an interest to find out; yet, I do have a sense as to where all this may be going and it just seems to be taking a long while to get there. I keep falling asleep on it. Maybe it is the pacing. Anyway, at 500 pp and only having read approx 100 pp in a week, 5 weeks seems an inordinate amount of time right now. Will keep it as a current read for now and pop back into it here and there because I do really like Kaaron Warren’s style. And I do like this menacing young woman.
  magnumpigg | Aug 18, 2011 |
Pros: creepy premise, strong writing, good pacing, interesting family mystery

Cons: unlikable protagonist, didn't feel like a horror novel

Stevie is an unreliable narrator.

She remembers her father, a cop, as a good, quiet man. Others remember him differently. He was the kind of cop who didn't like to see the guilty get away with their crimes, even when there wasn't enough evidence to convict them.

Stevie was 18 when her mother died, passenger in the car Stevie was driving. The accident gave Stevie her third near death experience. Before, she'd been too young to understand what happened. This time she realized that when you die you enter a room. A dark room. A dark room where those you've slighter want to hurt you.

The book is presented as a horror novel and the premise is quite terrifying. But in execution, it's less about horror than it is about the mystery of who Stevie's father was and what death actually holds for her. And while she runs from the first mystery, wanting to believe her father was a great man, she runs towards the second, trying to get back to her room to see if it changes.

As a protagonist she's a thoroughly unlikable character. She's rude, disrespectful and goes out of her way to anger the people in her life. And yet, her story is fascinating and she somehow remains sympathetic.

The writing is strong and the pacing good, doling out enough clues to keep you interested.

One word of caution, try not to read the synopsis on the back of the book. It contains a spoiler that makes part of the mystery a lot easier to figure out. If you want to get a sense of the book, read the first few pages. ( )
  Strider66 | Feb 18, 2011 |
This was not a bad book, but it was not great either. I think it all has to do with the main character Stevie, I just did not like her. I had to find out what happened to her at the end of the book, but overall I was not impressed with her. I do believe that this was the aim of the author, so I think I got it from that perspective. For me a decent read, just not something calling me back to read again.

The cover and publisher is what attracted me to this book. I am glad I decided to read it and would like to see what else this author has to offer, so I am intrigued for sure. ( )
  irunsjh | Jan 27, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0007322429, Paperback)

Stevie is a killer. When she kills people she asks them: "WHAT DO YOU SEE?" She's about to find out...After an accident in which her mother dies, Stevie has a near-death experience, and finds herself in a room full of people -- everyone she's ever pissed off. They clutch at her, scratch and tear at her. But she finds herself drawn back to this place, again and again, determined to unlock its secrets. Which means she has to die, again and again. And she starts to wonder whether other people see the same room! when they die. The most disturbing novel of 2009. Read it if you dare. FILE UNDER: Horror [Real-Life Terror / Damaged Lives / Family Secrets / Beyond Death]

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:09 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Stevie is a serial killer. When she kills people, she asks them: 'What do you see?'. She's about to find out.

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