I received this book for free from NetGalley to facilitate my review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Dunnie by Keith Thomas
Published by Night Platform Book Company on 10/31/2022
Genres: Fiction / Horror, Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
Praise for Keith Thomas' work:
"Keith Thomas has a handle on the mechanisms of fear and the tradition of the terror tale that makes him a salient voice in the genre today." - Guillermo del Toro, filmmaker
"Taut, riveting... I wanted to read it all over again once I turned the last page." - James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of Kingdom of Bones
"Truly unforgettable..." - Suspense Magazine
"Thomas maintains the believability of his tightly coiled plot throughout." - Publishers Weekly
From the writer/director of the critically acclaimed film THE VIGIL and director of the "Pickman's Model" episode of Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities (now on Netflix) comes a terrifying debut novella.
Over a long fall weekend, Asher, twelve, travels with his mother, Beth, to his beloved grandfather (Pa)'s house-a wild place stuffed with rare books, strange art, and collected curiosities. With Pa's dementia worsening, Beth and her sister, Zoe, plan to move him into a nursing home-this visit is to break the news and pack the house up.
While Asher adores his doting grandfather, Beth recalls her dad as a very different person: a belittling man with a hair-trigger temper. Though Beth had been frightened of her father her whole childhood, he changed, seemingly overnight, ten years earlier into the affable man Asher now loves spending time with.
But Pa's increasing forgetfulness masks a much more unsettling reality: his anger didn't just vanish; it was "excised" in an arcane ritual that birthed the horrifying creature he's locked away in the depths of his home-the Dunnie. And now, with Pa's memory failing, the Dunnie won't remain contained . . .
Ok, so when I go into reading an “indie” horror novel, I usually go in expecting to intensely dislike it because, honestly, that’s usually how it goes for me. I end up hating it because it’s either horribly written, makes no sense, or is just not fear-inducing whatsoever. I was pleasantly surprised by The Dunnie.
Now, I’m not going to pretend that this book was super fear-inducing, because for me it wasn’t. But I’ll be honest, I don’t scare easily when it comes to horror novels or movies. But this book was very creepy.
It took me a bit to get into it, but once I got going, I flew through the book. Granted, it’s only about 150 pages long… but still. Once I got into it, I just didn’t want to put it down. In fact, I don’t think I did except for when I absolutely had to (aka, I had to tend to certain physical and medical needs).
I loved the concept – having a creature born of the qualities that a person wants to rid themselves of, then later on them having to fight that creature off and destroy it as best they can to ensure the safety of their loved ones. It made for a very interesting story line and one that honestly, I’d read again… which is good because The Dunnie isn’t the only book Keith Thomas has written in this particular vein.
The book is extremely well written…. which I’d hope so since Keith Thomas is a screenwriter and director who wrote/directed THE VIGIL and directed the “Pickman’s Model” episode of Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (on Netflix, at least in the US).
I give this a solid 4 stars because it’s a great, short horror novel. I’ll definitely be looking into reading some of the others that follow it!