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Something Like a Review – How to Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith

“Welcome to the Terrorverse!”

Quirk Books and Seth Grahame-Smith have done it again. Another book of theirs has won my heart. In Danse Macabre, Stephen King speaks of the fine line between horror and humor…this book manipulates the line in an undeniably fun way for a fan of the genre. This book takes the reader’s hand and helps them determine a.) if they’re in a horror movie, b.) what kind of horror movie they’re in (and whether its a sequel or not), and c.) the best way to survive it. Grahame-Smith pokes fun at the beloved tropes of the genre in a way that manages to somehow still remain respectful of everything that has come before.  He tackles the how-to’s that anyone trapped in the Terrorverse will need to know, like how to kill a zombie, vampire and includes information like “what to do if there are snakes on your plane.”

This is not a new book, but one I happened to stumble across as I was looking for another of his, and had I read it first, I probably would have been sucked in to his brand of humor and storytelling a lot sooner. As it stands, it has just made me a bigger fan, hungry to see what’s coming next.

I listened to this one as an audiobook on the way to work, and I giggled all the way. I don’t think this book is going to be appreciated by those who aren’t fans of the genre, but for someone who likes to watch slasher flicks like Friday the 13th while wrapping Christmas presents (well, it does have red and green in it – it’s seasonal!) and isn’t terribly serious about the artistic and intellectual merits of the genre, this would certainly tickle them and may even be a resource. Don’t be terribly surprised if they look at you in horror after reading page 15, though.

“Someone gave it to me as a gift.” Yikes. Getting a book called How to Survive a Horror Movie as a gift. That’s like getting a young Liz Taylor How to Survive a Divorce. “Oh, I just thought it’d make a nice gift, Liz. I’m sure you’ll never need it.”

If they read further and start to conduct recon and amass an arsenal, you’d better stick with them. They are the one with the book, after all, and they might be able to help you survive the 21 hours of night in a horror movie. 😉

If you’d like a taste of what’s inside, or if you think that even a mention of this book in your world may indicate that you are, in fact, in a horror movie, there’s a YouTube channel for the webseries spawned by this book. It may keep you alive long enough for the book to show up at your door. Maybe. If you pay attention.

As an added bonus, I found a great review on Goodreads that was written in the spirit of the book and made me laugh as hard as the book. Take a look and I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Medium: audiobook from Audible.com

Other: other formats available from Amazon.com

Overall rating: 5 stars

Potential re-read: Yes, but not for everyone. For me, this is going to be one of those things I pick up when I need something of a reminder about why I love the spook factor in scary books and movies. After you read/watch enough, you can become immune to the chills or numb to the tactics. Sometimes, you just sit and critique it. I’m pretty sure this book will appease the inner grump when those moments happen and remind me of why I love it so much.

Dead tree worthy?: Yes, but not for everyone. For this to be worth the space on the shelf, you’ve got to have a love for horror movies, horror stories, and have a sense of humor, especially about the things you love. This is a rare combination, but a magic one. For the average reader, this would probably be a fun novelty, but not one that would inspire the removal of green or plastique from the wallet to procure it. The audiobook version is fun and light-hearted, though you miss out on the format of the text and the illustrations.

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