In lieu of a review of Danger Slater’s book PUPPET SKIN, I will just transcribe the conversation I had with my 17-year-old daughter about it.
Me *tries doorknob to Zoe’s room and finds it locked* *knocks*
Zoe *opens door*: What?
Me: Do you think that, ultimately, PUPPET SKIN is a commentary on, like, how adults always tell you “that’s the way things are” or worse, “because I said so” or like, how we don’t really question our own beliefs and motivations once we are adults and expect you to have it all figured out just because you’re about to be 18?
Zoe *sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce on the floor, leaning into a mirror, meticulously applying eyeliner*: It’s a lot about how… Like, how everything is sort of pointless and trying to find meaning in a meaningless life. But like, in this nightmare world that’s really not that different from the one we live in, if you think about it. *sighs* There is no god.
Me *notices the kitchen shears and a pile of hair*: Tf you do?
Zoe: Oh, I cut off all my hair. *flips jagged locks over shoulder*
Me:… It’s up to us to decide what has meaning in our lives. *closes door* CLEAN YOUR ROOM!
Find Danger Slater and more of his work on Goodreads.
Next up, Nathan Carson’s raucous romp of a story STARR CREEK. Who knew Lovecraftian themes could be so fun? Maybe you did, but I didn’t! Lovers of STRANGER THINGS rejoice! This little novel is similar in theme and story but… Grittier, dirtier. There’s even an authentic 80’s style bike vs car chase—but with ATV’s and an old pick-up truck. The prose is beautiful (“With no moon they could see the cold x-ray smear of the milky Way… And young minds on acid just loved to do rail slides down that vast spiral arm.”), juxtaposed with the dialogue and antics of foul-mouthed, drug-addled, backwoods characters like that of one of the story’s main antagonists, a man named Puppy (“A gallon of undigested dry dog food sprayed out of Puppy’s mouth on a wave of bile and beer froth.”). This is Nathan Carson’s debut novella and I, for one, will be keeping a sharp eye out for his next one.
Find Nathan, his work, and his website here on Goodreads.