Monday, August 21, 2023

I Found Puppets Living in My Apartment Walls by Ben Farthing - Book Review

Johnny awakes. A puppet looms over his bed.

He recognizes the furry Grandpa was its puppeteer on the children’s television show R-City Street . But Grandpa went missing a year ago. He disappeared from this very apartment building, which was converted from the old R-City Street studio.

Desperate to see Grandpa again, Johnny follows the puppet inside the building’s walls, ever deeper into a puppet-infested labyrinth...

I Found Puppets Living In My Apartment Walls is a horror tale from the “darkly inventive” purveyor of uncanny places and wondrous evils, Ben Farthing.

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My Review
So before I get to my review, let me tell you how I discovered this book. I was standing in my kitchen with my husband, randomly scrolling through Facebook on my phone while he made lunch. I wasn't really paying much attention until this random book cover caught my attention. I had to scroll back up, and as soon as I saw the cover and title fully, I said to my husband, "Look at this book." I clicked the ad and was taken to Amazon, where I was able to read the synopsis. I also read some of the reviews, and my husband insisted it sounded interesting and he wanted to read it if I bought it. So I did. And then I read it first. It took me a little less than 2 hours to finish. And then I went and told my husband he absolutely had to read it. And now, here's my review...

This was honestly one of the strangest books I have ever read. And I have read many strange books. I've been reading horror since I was a kid, and as a teenager/young adult, I discovered some weird things (like Bryan Smith's book Freakshow, and anything by Bentley Little, really). This book is kinda in the same vein, albeit a bit more tame. It's like if Sesame Street mashed up with Five Nights at Freddy's mashed up with Poppy Playtime. Throw in the Muppets. Maybe some Fraggle Rock (am I showing my age yet?). Or something along those lines. You get the idea.

The story starts off with a very creepy scene. No lead-up to anything. No backstory to ease you into it. Nope. Just a dude waking up in his dark bedroom after hearing a noise and then discovering the source of said noise. I think, had I been reading this before bed rather than in the middle of the day, I probably would have scared myself silly. I have been afraid of the dark since I was little, and even now, as an adult, I can't sleep without at least a nightlight and/or the TV (on the darker setting so it's not blindingly bright) on. My overactive imagination gets me every time. And just thinking about waking up and seeing a human-sized puppet at the side of my bed... Absolutely not. I would die.

This scene sets off the events of the rest of the story. Johnny and his cousin Brittany decide to investigate the old apartment building they've been living in after their grandfather disappeared and was declared dead. It used to be the old studio for a kid's show (like Sesame Street), but now it's an apartment building. Their grandfather was a puppeteer, and they both believe he could still be alive after Johnny tells Brittany what happened. So into the walls they go, but the cousins get way more than they ever could have bargained for.

I can't say anything else, because I don't want to spoil anything, but this book, man... Wow. It's creepy. Unsettling. Weird. Strange. And a little sad. And that ending... I did not expect that. It definitely went in a direction I hadn't anticipated. I liked that about it. I also found the author's note to be a nice little addition to sort of explain his own backstory for writing this.

If you're looking for something different that you can read in 2 hours or less, and/or you're a fan of the weird stuff Bentley Little writes, give this one a go. You might just be pleasantly surprised.

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  1. Great review and you sold me on it. Just went to Amazon and grabbed a copy!


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