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Camp Damascus (2023)

by Chuck Tingle

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3571672,758 (3.91)7
""A joyful, furious romp through dark places, Tingle proves he's as good at fear as he is at love." --T. Kingfisher, bestselling author of What Moves the Dead From beloved internet icon Chuck Tingle, Camp Damascus is a searing and earnest horror debut about the demons the queer community face in America, the price of keeping secrets, and finding the courage to burn it all down. Welcome to Neverton, Montana: home to a God-fearing community with a heart of gold. Nestled high up in the mountains is Camp Damascus, the self-proclaimed "most effective" gay conversion camp in the country. Here, a life free from sin awaits. But the secret behind that success is anything but holy. And they'll scare you straight to hell"--… (more)
Recently added bykiesa, TheLostNoun, private library, jellybeanette, Irina79, cryley, Amateria66, jnhk, andyl, s3raphic
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» See also 7 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
A culty cosmic queer coming of age horror story. Dig it! ( )
  Amateria66 | May 24, 2024 |
Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle is somewhere between a horror and science fiction, where the horror part is nil. The plot had a steady start with some added pieces of horror. But after a few pages it was all blurry. Characters were just not up to the mark. The plot goes back and forth in time and the basic idea of the book was just not right. It was horror mixed with science.

It was so difficult getting into the book. The LGBTQ angle was nice but there were inconsistencies in the plot. But, you need to read first to find those. I know the book is a bit famous among the horror readers and I had high expectations from it also. I read the book as a part of #52booksin52Weeks Challenge. I would give the book only 3 stars. ( )
  Sucharita1986 | Apr 22, 2024 |
I was so excited for this book when I heard about it – a horror story about a gay conversion camp written by a person named Chuck Tingle, I mean what more do you need in life? – but I was disappointed with the actual thing. The premise is so promising: the fundamentalist a-holes who run the camp are both metaphorically and literally evil, using demons to keep the kids from gaying it up via Pavlovian torture. But Chuck doesn’t seem to be able to deliver the goods. The actual story he writes around that premise is weirdly unimaginative; for example, the solution to getting rid of the demons seems too simple and too easily executed, and the explanation for their existence involves poorly explained Science and Latin (?) thrown in for good-intentioned purpose. Also, there’s just no palpable tension. I wasn’t ever all that nervous or scared for the characters. And then there’s the writing itself, which is…not great. Not every single noun needs an adjective, and you don’t always have to go for the $20 word when the buck-fifty word is perfectly fine and in fact the better option. So, in the end, I did need more and that’s sad. ( )
  electrascaife | Feb 16, 2024 |
When I read stories like this, I gather that my personal feelings build a vendetta bigger than the wronged afflicted. I suppose I wear my heart on my sleeve and when it's broken I pull out the brick walls and teeth. That being said, I felt the afflicted in this novel were very kind to their antagonists. I mean, the other stuff that just happen to take place in the end was warranted and maybe that was a sort of egg shell line the writer decided was best.
I was positively surprised that my subgenera was flirted with a bit in this novel, because who doesn't love a good possession. The idea behind that really drove me forward along with the intellect of the main character. This book did not go the way I thought it would, and that was quite enjoyable. I just wanted those teeth. ( )
  cmpeters | Feb 2, 2024 |
Camp Damascus was a decent horror debut with a great love is love message.

Despite that this book is marketed for adults, it's very much a slow-burn YA novel. The book went in a completely different direction from what I was expecting. From the description, I thought this was going to be a super dark and disturbing tale that takes place at a conversion camp, but the conversion camp just gets talked about a lot and we don't actually get to see it until near the end.

I really liked the world-building, Neverton felt real and the Kingdom of the Pine church gave me the ick. The characters were well-written and I loved all of the lame dad jokes.

I'd recommend checking this one out if you're looking for a YA horror story with a happy ending and a positive message. ( )
  hisghoulfriday | Dec 20, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Tingle takes his time getting to the awful reveal, allowing the intensity of the dread to build while featuring the all-too-real horrors of a community steeped in religion without love. Violence, gore, and body horror abound, yet Rose's journey, in which she learns to be her authentic self, including differentiating her faith in God from her faith in this specific religious community, is entirely sincere and hopeful. Readers looking for queer horror will find this triggering but also hopeful.
added by Lemeritus | editBooklist (Jul 1, 2023)
 
Two-time Hugo finalist Tingle (Straight) has a huge cult following, and his brilliant mainstream debut does not disappoint. Suggest to fans of authors such as V. Castro and Hailey Piper, who take well worn tropes and explore them through marginalized perspectives, creating something breathtaking and wholly new.
added by Lemeritus | editLibrary Journal (Jun 1, 2023)
 
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"You've got no shadow," Martina informs me, gazing down at my feet and then shifting her eyes back up to mine.
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""A joyful, furious romp through dark places, Tingle proves he's as good at fear as he is at love." --T. Kingfisher, bestselling author of What Moves the Dead From beloved internet icon Chuck Tingle, Camp Damascus is a searing and earnest horror debut about the demons the queer community face in America, the price of keeping secrets, and finding the courage to burn it all down. Welcome to Neverton, Montana: home to a God-fearing community with a heart of gold. Nestled high up in the mountains is Camp Damascus, the self-proclaimed "most effective" gay conversion camp in the country. Here, a life free from sin awaits. But the secret behind that success is anything but holy. And they'll scare you straight to hell"--

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