Posted on 10/07/2019 at 02:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

After twenty years, Stephen Chbosky has published a follow-up to his beloved-by-many debut novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Imaginary Friend takes a decidedly different track than its predecessor: It's a seven-hundred-plus-page horror tale of a little boy who disappears into the woods and emerges with the ability to see things others can’t.

Reviews of the novel, which came out October 1, seem mixed so far.

The New York Times's critic, while noting some weakness, praises Chbosky for turning a scary story into something uplifting.

Similarly, TIME’s reviewer would’ve preferred more nuance in how the author depicts society and makes use of religious themes, but declared the book to be overall well worth the time.

But the Guardian’s critic found herself growing weary of the horror clichés, while her counterpart at the Los Angeles Times was just tired, period, of what he called an “undisciplined mess.”

If you’ve gotten your copy of Imaginary Friend and finished it already, feel free to share your views of it.

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Book reviews, Horror

Comments
I was getting just as restless as many of the critics. The ever repeating storyline of the evil moving about the town was getting tiresome. BUT — I found myself wondering why the author (and his editor) would allow it. There had to be a reason. As I finished the book, I came to believe that the author strategically used that seemingly endless and section of the book to 1) make the readers just like the frogs in the slowly heating water. We didn’t even recognize that as the story looped, the nice man was the orchestrator and the entire town was boiling. 2) We were becoming board with evil. EVIL. Our compassion of what was happening to all those people was or did run out. We simply went along with what sweet Mrs Henderson did because her husband (whose side of the story was never told) was a jerk. I think this book has been greatly misrepresented as merely “horror” when it truly captures and illustrates the human condition with brilliant clarity.
Scott | 01/24/2020 at 07:27 PM
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