I have a signed copy of Elizabeth Knox’s WAKE up for grabs! Here’s why… I’m a wimp.
So, Elizabeth Knox was kind enough to send me a review copy of WAKE. I curled up on the couch with a cup of coffee, excited to dive in, albeit a little apprehensive. I’d seen the reviews that called it “terrifying,” but I thought I would cope, which in hindsight, was an eye-roll moment, because I Am Not Good With Scary Things.
I’ve been known to walk out of cinemas five minutes into a movie, and put books in the freezer. (For some reason I thought this would protect me from the monsters inside. It seemed logical at the time).
I watched Stephen King’s IT when I was 14 and I couldn’t go to the bathroom by myself for three weeks. I still have horrors about a short story I read when I was ten that had a pig with red eyes in it. *shudder.* I have an extremely vivid imagination and a chronic nightmare problem. Neither of these things needs much provocation.
In a journal entry about the book, ‘Where Wake came from,’ Knox says “I wanted to see if I could scare people.”
I would say she succeeded, because I coped for an amazing six pages. SIX PAGES. This must be a new level of wimpery.
So here’s my review: Any book that is so well written it can scare the shit out of me to the point where I can’t continue after just six pages must be pretty damn good, and I don’t hesitate in recommending it to anyone who is into horror or psychological suspense.
I’ve been told, by Knox herself and several others who have read it, that the scariest part is the first few pages. Those are a “gateway to a book about helplessness and responsibility,” says Knox. It’s an exploration of human endurance. Clearly, I don’t have any, haha.
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‘Knox keeps the monster off stage and examines the psychological consequences of its depredations on the survivors, subverting the norms of the horror genre and thus making the ambiguous finale all the more startling. Wake reads like a collaboration between Dean Koontz and John Wyndham, rewritten by Margaret Atwood.’
‘… the novel is a triumph all of its own. Knox writes with a rare psychological acuity about humans under pressure in a baffling, intolerable predicament.’
‘When policewoman Theresa Grey arrives in the New Zealand spa town of Kahukura to investigate reports of a downed helicopter, she finds the locals in the grip of madness. In an action-packed, chaotic opening, the town succumbs to a malevolent and mysterious force. The place is soon littered with corpses. But the massacre ends as abruptly as it began and we home in on a group of 13 survivors. They find themselves unable to escape, but with no immediate threat apparent and enough supplies to last months, the novel moves from splatterfest to quietly rendered psychological horror. Have they been lulled into a false sense of security? Is there a monster still at large? Elizabeth Knox’s Wake is literary horror that subverts horror’s hoary cliches to brilliant and chilling effect.’
Sydney Morning Herald
*Winner pulled next week using a random number selector.
UPDATE: THE WINNER WAS KRYSTLE FIELD! THANKS KRYSTLE, I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING WHAT YOU THINK!