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The Chalk Man: A Novel by C. J. Tudor

The Chalk Man: A Novel (original 2018; edition 2018)

by C. J. Tudor (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,15212012,726 (3.68)83
"Narrated by 'Eddie' who receives a chalk drawing of a stick figure that hurtles him back to an innocent childhood game 30 years before which went terribly, terribly wrong. As history begins to repeat itself, it seems the game was never really over" --
Title:The Chalk Man: A Novel
Authors:C. J. Tudor (Author)
Info:Crown (2018), 288 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor (2018)


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» See also 83 mentions

English (118)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All languages (120)
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
This is just a strange book.

“C.J. Tudor knows the twelve-year-old who still lives in all of us, that kid who chills himself to the bone with an intuition of what lurks in the woods, or in his own closet, and The Chalk Man walks the haunted bridge between then and now—between sheer childhood terrors and a true crime so grisly and personal it’s cold hand never leaves the back of your neck. Suburban adolescents on bikes, squeamish love, nascent sexuality meets adult-world obsession and lust and violence . . . and through it all runs an affecting story of friendship, loss, and the inescapable frailties of mind and body.” —Tim Johnston, New York Times Bestselling author of Descent ( )
  EdGoldberg | Jun 7, 2021 |
This novel follows Eddie and his friends. I'm not sure where to continue... is the book about the incident that happens in the beginning of the book? The ending? The many events in between? I had a hard time following the plot of this book. I'm all up for complicated plots but this felt unorganized and jumbled.
I also had a hard time connecting with the characters. The scenes and dialogue felt shallow and forced.
This was a very quick read. I wasn't hooked by the first chapter but was intrigued. ( )
  booksforbrunch | May 5, 2021 |
Loved this book. When you think you know what's going on and who did what. Guess what...no you don't. ( )
  Gotcha3613 | Apr 19, 2021 |
This was pretty amazing. I found it very hard to put down. The characters were believable and interesting. I did not have any idea until very close to the end who the killer was and that’s always fun. I like how the story went back-and-forth in time; I think the author did it very well because I never found it confusing. ( )
  purple_pisces22 | Mar 14, 2021 |
Parts of this twisty, well-plotted thriller are inevitably going to be compared to “Stand By Me”, since it involves a small group of pre-teen buddies finding the body of a murdered girl in the woods. But it’s not a true comparison, because in “The Chalk Man”, the echoes of the crime resound through their lives for 30 years, and the tendrils that twined the group together never really let go.

Tudor has chosen to present the story by flashing back and forth between the period when the body was found and the characters’ present day – a technique not quite as annoying as it might have been, because it allows key bits of information to be doled out at the most appropriate times to keep the reader engaged and guessing. I found the early parts of the book a bit of a hard go at first, but the final 75 pages or so were definitely un-put-downable.

There’s a fairly large cast of characters, not all of whom are carefully drawn. Some of the parents, particularly, are vague presences. This would normally not be an issue in a book about children’s friendships, but in this case, the parents come in and out of the story throughout. Some of the British-isms may make give readers accustomed to American English a bit of a brain-stutter, but they're not overwhelming.

The mysteries (there are more than one) are nicely plotted, and the twist at the end may not be as big a surprise as the promotions promise, particularly if one is familiar with the concept of an unreliable narrator. Because Eddie, who is the exclusive POV character, isn’t always forthcoming. He lies to his parents (what 12-year-old boy doesn’t?), he steals things – sometimes the things most kids steal like candy or small toys, but also things he really has no use for – a stray earring, a china figurine – just because he wants them for his “collections”. And the adult Ed is a solitary, somewhat neurotic man, still living in his childhood home and still unable to lay the ghosts that haunted his childhood.

The motif of the chalk man is nicely used throughout. Something that started as a “secret code” within the group becomes more and more menacing as the contemporary sections of the book unspool. It’s an interesting device, with just enough unanswered questions about who is leaving them and why.

Overall, it’s a fine read once it gets into gear. I’ll be looking for more from this author. ( )
  LyndaInOregon | Dec 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
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For Betty. Both of them.
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The girl's head rested on a small pile of orange-and-brown leaves.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Narrated by 'Eddie' who receives a chalk drawing of a stick figure that hurtles him back to an innocent childhood game 30 years before which went terribly, terribly wrong. As history begins to repeat itself, it seems the game was never really over" --

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Average: (3.68)
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