My Heart is a Chainsaw
By Stephen Graham Jones
Gallery / Saga Press, 9781982137632, August 2021, 416pp.
The Short of It:
Dark. An homage to slasher films of the 80s.
The Rest of It:
Jade Daniels is an angry young woman living in the small town of Proofrock. Forced to live with her abusive father, she takes comfort in the form of slasher films, especially ones where the killer deals out revenge for something, think Jason from Friday the 13th. Her knowledge of such films is extensive. So much so that it spills into her schoolwork. As the story unfolds, some of it is told through the term paper she is about to submit. Slasher 101.
Something is amiss in Proofrock though. Two young people were ripped to shreds by something while out on the lake. The town calls it a bear attack. Jade sees it for what it is, the beginning of all slasher films and immediately acts to find the killer.
This was a very strange read. It reminded me a lot of American Horror Story: 1984, which brought up the concept of “the final girl”. You know the girl. The one that lives at the end of the killing spree. Jade pieces things together but in doing so, has to also find the final girl. It can’t be her. She is not final girl material. When she finds her, the action quickly ramps up and it’s hard to keep track of who is alive and who is dead. It’s a crazy ride.
I’m not sure this book is for everyone. Yes, horror fans will enjoy it to a degree but it’s very surreal in the telling. By the end of the book, I was fully into the characters but also felt like I had been taken for a wild ride. It is very different. I anxiously waited for this book to come in for the RIP Challenge but although it totally fits the challenge, it wasn’t the atmospheric read I was hoping for.
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9 thoughts on “Review: My Heart Is A Chainsaw”
Here’s one that has no appeal for me. Yet, somehow I noticed I downloaded it at some point??
This is so not a book for me! I’m glad you enjoyed the read though.
Hmmm…I’m intrigued by your review here. Not sure if I’ll try it or not, though the ‘final girl’ thing has appeared in several I’ve read. I’ll check if my new library has a copy and go from there I guess.
I started this one but ended up DNFing shortly after the main character’s suicide attempt. There was something about her flippancy towards it – which I know is the point as it shows her shaky mental health – struck me the wrong way, and I could not finish the story because of the disgust I felt. I also thought what little I read was so choppy and almost incoherent that I knew I was going to struggle with it. It sounds like I might have made a wise decision after all!
You made the right choice. It has merit in the way it was told but it was very chaotic in places.
Well, I’m probably not the right reader for this one. 😉
This sounds like a darker take on the concept of “final girls” than the one I’m reading—listening to—The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix.
This sounds like a read that would take me a bit to get into a groove with but it also sounds like a horror book that I would read. If that makes any sense at all.