Review Blog

Feb 14 2020

Imaginary friend by Stephen Chbosky

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Orion Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781409184812. 704 pp.
(Age: Adult) Fans of horror stories and who have the constitution to read this massive volume of 704 pages will find a different story to Chbosky's famous The Perks of Being a Wallflower. After Kate leaves an abusive relationship she hides in the small community of Mill Grove, where she hopes she and her 7 year old son Christopher will be safe. Christopher makes friends with a boy named Special Ed. He and a group of boys spend a lot of time in the Mission Street Woods where they build a tree house, given instructions by a strange man that only Christopher can hear. Christopher appears to access a strange world through this treehouse and disappears for six days, reappearing with his learning disability gone. Then the town goes into meltdown.
There is a sense of menace hanging over the narrative that is quite frightening as Christopher gets headaches and a hissing lady whispers into people's ears. Fear is the overarching theme of the book and this pervasive fear may keep some readers reading to the conclusion, with its overtones of Christianity. Verdict: Horror fans will enjoy this, but other readers may find the repetition, strange spelling and length of the story a problem.
Pat Pledger

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