[HDNA #02] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

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[HDNA #02] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Post by Alien Redrum »

The second book in the official Horror DNA Book Club!

My Best Friend's Exorcism: A Novel Kindle Edition with Audio/Video by Grady Hendrix

Image
An unholy hybrid of Beaches and The Exorcist that blends teen angst, adolescent drama, unspeakable horrors, and a mix of ’80s pop songs into a pulse-pounding supernatural thriller

The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries—and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Post by Alien Redrum »

I haven't got much to say yet, but I will say I love the chapter titles, and I thought the little animation on the cover was cool.

I also love the book cover. (The VHS one.)
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Post by Alien Redrum »

Spoilers for Chapters 01-03:
Don't You Forget About Me
We Got the Beat
That's What Friends Are For


Okay, first and foremost, I had to restrain myself some from just blowing through this book after the first three chapters because I'm already that into it. Hendrix has to be about our age because he is really capturing my youth. It's not just the obvious things like the '80s-songs-for-chapter-titles (which I think one or both of you are probably rolling your eyes at :lol:) or the ET-themed party. He really, really nails the entire Roller Skating Rink experience. I was pulled back to those days so hard, man. :lol:

These first three chapters do a fine job of establishing the characters as well as putting a dollop of mystery in that throws you just enough to want to plow through. For example, Abby's father suddenly acting all weird (sleeping on a cot in the shed???) and Gretchen's own family being...off.

So far, this feels very similar to Devil's Rock in that Hendrix, like Tremblay, is capturing childhood perfectly while also putting subtle things in the mix that something isn't quite right. I'm very excited to see where this is going. I didn't expect to dig it this much this fast.

Oh, and fuck Margaret and her fucking horses. :mad:

Tommy is awesome and dreamy. :yay:
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Post by Alien Redrum »

Image

:lol:

I really love this book. I want to talk about it! :lol:
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Post by shiki-jitsu »

Alien Redrum wrote: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:42 pm Spoilers for Chapters 01-03:
Don't You Forget About Me
We Got the Beat
That's What Friends Are For


Tommy is awesome and dreamy. :yay:
Yeah I know i am, what does that have to do with the book? :shrug:

I am actually agreeing with everything you have said so far, and believe it or not, I am not rolling my eyes at the chapter titles yet. :lol:

I agree that it feels like Tremblay in the capturing of childhood. He really does succeed and unlike Tremblay I haven’t gotten annoyed by the way they speak to each other.
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Post by Alien Redrum »

shiki-jitsu wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:59 pm
Alien Redrum wrote: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:42 pm Spoilers for Chapters 01-03:
Don't You Forget About Me
We Got the Beat
That's What Friends Are For


Tommy is awesome and dreamy. :yay:
Yeah I know i am, what does that have to do with the book? :shrug:
:lol:

WTF. I didn't even think of that. I'm slipping. :(
shiki-jitsu wrote: Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:59 pmI am actually agreeing with everything you have said so far, and believe it or not, I am not rolling my eyes at the chapter titles yet. :lol:
:eek: I would have sworn it would have bothered you. But awesome that it doesn't. I perused the rest and, yeah, every single one is a title that I saw. :lol:
I agree that it feels like Tremblay in the capturing of childhood. He really does succeed and unlike Tremblay I haven’t gotten annoyed by the way they speak to each other.
GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!

That's funny. I'm already through the next three, and one thing I wanted to mention was how well he's capturing the kids' voices without it being annoying. As much as I liked Disappearance at Devil's Rock, the dialog did get tedious. Here, though, so far (and through chapter 6) it's been really great. You can tell their teens, you can tell they would annoy you because they are teens, but it's without those slang words that got so annoying.
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Post by shiki-jitsu »

I’ve read pretty far ahead now without realizing, when do you want to discuss the next batch of chapters? I am working on my post.
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

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You do the next three now. I'm ready to discuss.
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Post by shiki-jitsu »

Spoilers for Chapters 04-06:
Party All the Time
The Number of the Beast
Sunday Bloody Sunday


This seems to be where the story really seems to start. I loved the part about taking acid. Mainly because I loved taking acid, but also, that really captured the feeling of when you know you just took some that was complete bullshit and you are just trying to WILL any sense of a trip out of it. :lol:
I did look up Hendrix and yeah he seems to be either 44 or 45, so right in our range. I am just a few years younger, but he really captures that time for me as well.

The events at the lake…. Not sure how I felt about this part. I loved the frenetic-ness of reading it, but I also honestly felt a little lost. Actually now that I am typing this out I think I am going to go back and read that part again to get a better handle on it. Maybe I was too tired when I read it. I don’t know.
So I re-read. Yeah, it’s still very frenetic, but I must have been tired when I read it because its not as choppy on this read as I initially thought. Really does give that sense of dread and anxiousness that Abby especially was feeling when searching for Gretchen and then the fear when she was/thought she was being chased through the woods.

I wish I understood more about what physically happened with Gretchen. I do not understand the lake life, so what is the assumption here, that she jumped into a couple feet of water and knocked herself out got confused and wandered (lured maybe?) into the abandoned building? I had to look up what pluff mud was as I had no fucking clue what that meant. :lol: Some hick shit.

Again another parallel with Devil's Rock with the searching for their friend.

Anyway I am intrigued. Curious to see where this is going, like I said earlier in the thread I am already further ahead. The book just keeps pulling me in which is always a good thing. Maybe this will change by the end but so far I am not annoyed by the constant nostalgia reminders and mentions of bands or things (Margaret looks up from her Trapper Keeper, etc). Normally those things are heavy handed and just needle at me, but I don’t know if it’s just a good amount of them or the book kind of set it self up so much as a nostalgia trip with that cover alone that I knew what I was getting into from the word go.
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Post by Neon Maniac »

Wow. I just finished the first 3 minutes ago and you've already moved on. :(

Sorry I don't have a lot of reading time like you all apparently do.

I'm really not big on nostalgia, so to be honest, the first 3 chapters were fairly annoying in some regards.

I think they did do a good job of setting up the friendship and explaining the characters a bit. I think Abby's dad isn't acting strange so much as he's been kicked out of the bedroom by his wife and doesn't have anything going on in his life so watches TV.

I think Gretchen's parents are just the right wing christian parents that existed back then. They'd be the people who believed in backwards masking and how every song and movie was about Satan or at least luring you away from God's kingdom.
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Post by Neon Maniac »

I'll be back next Monday night with my thoughts on the next three chapters, if we can try not to have moved on yet again please.
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

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Neon Maniac wrote: Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:02 amI'm really not big on nostalgia, so to be honest, the first 3 chapters were fairly annoying in some regards.
I had a feeling there would be people who disliked this. :lol:

I'm all for it, but I can see the annoyance.
I think they did do a good job of setting up the friendship and explaining the characters a bit. I think Abby's dad isn't acting strange so much as he's been kicked out of the bedroom by his wife and doesn't have anything going on in his life so watches TV.
:lol: :lol:

Yeah, but he also sleeps on a cot in the shed. I think there's slightly more to it, although I do like your explanation. :lol:
I think Gretchen's parents are just the right wing christian parents that existed back then. They'd be the people who believed in backwards masking and how every song and movie was about Satan or at least luring you away from God's kingdom.
I can see that. They are off, but not by much. Maybe it's just their weirdo ultra-Christian values. TBH, at first I thought they were that religion that doesn't celebrate Halloween (is that the Jehovas?) because they didn't let Gretchen watch movies.
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Post by shiki-jitsu »

Alien Redrum wrote: Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:40 pm
Neon Maniac wrote: Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:02 amI'm really not big on nostalgia, so to be honest, the first 3 chapters were fairly annoying in some regards.
I had a feeling there would be people who disliked this. :lol:

I'm all for it, but I can see the annoyance.
Normally it does bother me, for some reason it isn't here. Its one of the things I don't like about Stranger Things. It's a crutch that a lot of people are relying on now, and it gets annoying.
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

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Spoilers for Chapters 04-06:
Party All the Time
The Number of the Beast
Sunday Bloody Sunday

shiki-jitsu wrote: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:36 pm This seems to be where the story really seems to start. I loved the part about taking acid. Mainly because I loved taking acid, but also, that really captured the feeling of when you know you just took some that was complete bullshit and you are just trying to WILL any sense of a trip out of it. :lol:
:lol: My god, this is so accurate. I never did acid for the reasons Gretchen didn't want to, but I distinctly remember the first time I tried weed and it was exactly like that. I'm quite confident now what we had was garbage, but we acted like we felt it. :lol:

He fucking nailed it.
shiki-jitsu wrote: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:36 pm The events at the lake…. Not sure how I felt about this part. I loved the frenetic-ness of reading it, but I also honestly felt a little lost. Actually now that I am typing this out I think I am going to go back and read that part again to get a better handle on it. Maybe I was too tired when I read it. I don’t know.
So I re-read. Yeah, it’s still very frenetic, but I must have been tired when I read it because its not as choppy on this read as I initially thought. Really does give that sense of dread and anxiousness that Abby especially was feeling when searching for Gretchen and then the fear when she was/thought she was being chased through the woods.

I wish I understood more about what physically happened with Gretchen. I do not understand the lake life, so what is the assumption here, that she jumped into a couple feet of water and knocked herself out got confused and wandered (lured maybe?) into the abandoned building? I had to look up what pluff mud was as I had no fucking clue what that meant. :lol: Some hick shit.
YES! I'm glad I wasn't the only one. I read it, cocked my head, re-read it and still didn't really get it. Maybe Neon will get it and make us feel like hoppleheads.

As far as it being frenetic, I do agree, but I think it really works. I don't think Hendrix was rushing anything, but rather this is the characters' state of mind. They are panicked and EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING FAST AND WE HAVE TO FIND GRETCHEN AND DO WE CALL THE COPS NO WE DON'T CALL THE COPS BECAUSE MARGARET COULD GET IN TROUBLE STOP BEING GAY GRETCHEN IS FINE WHERE IS SHE I'M SCARED OH SHE'S FINE GET HER A SHIRT LET'S GO HOME.

And it was like once she was found, things slowed the fuck down. She gets home, has that weird ass scene with her dad, and heads off to work.
shiki-jitsu wrote: Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:36 pm Anyway I am intrigued. Curious to see where this is going, like I said earlier in the thread I am already further ahead. The book just keeps pulling me in which is always a good thing. Maybe this will change by the end but so far I am not annoyed by the constant nostalgia reminders and mentions of bands or things (Margaret looks up from her Trapper Keeper, etc). Normally those things are heavy handed and just needle at me, but I don’t know if it’s just a good amount of them or the book kind of set it self up so much as a nostalgia trip with that cover alone that I knew what I was getting into from the word go.
I think I'm okay with stuff like Margaret looks up from her Trapper Keeper because it's really no different than
Margaret looks up from her iPhone
, you know? It's an easy way to put you RIGHT THERE without beating you over the head.

However, I suspect there will be only so much I can take, especially when they are talking about music (like the car ride when "Don't Worry, Be Happy" came on). But I hate that fucking song, so that might be why it kind of stuck out as me going 'enough'.

But, like you said, there's definitely an expectation due to the book's nature, so I will be very forgiving with it.

And totally disagree about Stranger Things. :mad:
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Re: [HTBC] - My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Post by Neon Maniac »

I think nostalgia is a big crutch, and one the author's using here. And all that damn ET talk just reminds me of Mr. Blonde.
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