My Review of Crooked Hills by Cullen Bunn
On October 23, 2010 Neil Gaiman wrote, “I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they’ll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they’ll enjoy… If you don’t know what kinds of books there are, or what would be appropriate for the person you’re giving a book to, talk to a bookseller.”
Or better yet… talk to me.
My recommendation for this year’s “All Hallow’s Read” kills two birds with one proverbial stone. Why? Because it’s all-ages appropriate, suitable for young and old alike. The book I’m suggesting is Crooked Hills by Cullen Bunn.
The best thing about Crooked Hills, for me, was the sense of nostalgia I got from it. Sure, it’s contemporary, but it still took me back to my childhood in so many ways. We used to spend our summers in the sticks of Arkansas, which seemed like an alien world to me when I could still count my years on this spinning blue marble in single digits. Prowling around late at night with my cousins, exploring abandoned houses and barns, stumbling about in caves and the backwoods, scared half out of my mind at nearly every turn. Crooked Hills brought all that back to me and more…
The author does a fantastic job of providing a terrific cast of characters that speak to his audience in a believable fashion. There’s no sense at any time that the writing has been dumbed down for younger readers. And Bunn pulls no punches. There are thrills and chills aplenty even for a seasoned horror fan.
Crooked Hills is, plain and simple, a hell of a lot of fun for the whole family. It harkens back to some of the best childhood “horror” classics. I really can’t recommend it highly enough. A must read if ever there was one, especially if you’ve children to share it with.