Discover more from Maureen Gil's Newsletter
Plus a short review of Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge
The Husband and I do not participate in Halloween trick or treat night. Of course, when the kids were little, we used to take them around (if Halloween landed on our custody night), but it wasn’t a huge deal, either. Well, last year, we received an invitation for “Adult Trick or Treat” in our neighborhood. Being as it was the first year in our new house, we decided to buy candy bars and turn on the porch light.
If you want to know what an adult Halloween trick or treat night is, we wouldn’t have been able to tell you. We assumed that meant that adults were going to trick or treat in our neighborhood. But since I already had a ton of candy, I didn’t need to go get anymore.
The thing is … every other person in our neighborhood apparently assumed the same thing. And did the same thing.
Except one person. This person was the person who sent around the flyers about adult Halloween night. She is college-age, and apparently, she has a very large group of adult friends. Or, maybe she posted about the adult trick or treat night in our neighborhood, idk.
Whatever the case, her and her very large group of adult friends cleaned up because they were the only people to actually go trick or treating.
The point of this entire story: leave the porch light off if someone wants to have adult trick or treat night.
A missing surf legend. Waterlogged clues. Can Sheriff Jax Turner trust his gut instincts to end the wave of murder?
We have a second book to feature this week, One Deceptive Game by Nora Kane. This book also looks really good. From the Amazon page:
It’s no secret that Private Investigator Margot Harris and her sister Melanie who is serving time in jail are not on the best of terms. But when Melanie gets accused of a murder she insists she did not commit Margot steps in to help against her better judgment.
As Margot chases the truth, her perilous journey unveils shocking secrets and risks her very life.
And perfect for All Hallow’s Eve, we have Witching Hour Wonders, an Enchanting Book Giveaway. Find something spooky to read this week!
A Short Review of Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge
This book got a bunch of accolades and awards, including the very prestigious Bram Stoker Award. It was also made into a 2023 movie directed by David Slade.
The book starts in a Midwestern town. I mean, it literally starts that way. The first line is “A Midwestern town.” The time is 1963. What follows is a whole bunch of exposition, e.g. boring as hell, with the author slipping into the second person a number of times.
The second person is annoying and distracting in a book unless the author intends to use the second person as a literary device (which, imho, most often times fails). There’s a reason why most stuff is written in the first or third person.
I also had to read the first part twice to understand what was going on. And then, I looked it up anyway.
So after all that exposition, we finally end up figuring out that Sawtooth Jack (or October Boy) rises up each Halloween. All the boys (none of the girls) participate in trying to kill him. And they have to do it before midnight, before he reaches the church.
For some unknown reason, the “winner” of the hunt (the dude who kills October Boy) is allowed outside. And the family is bestowed riches and notoriety, etc. etc.
Except, there’s a bit of a gruesome twist: the winner turns out to be next year’s October Boy. And the town’s fathers are aware of it.
But since we’re in the middle of a novel, October Boy sets the town ablaze this year. Despite that Jerry Ricks, the town police officer, wants the ritual to continue.
This book borders on fairy tale/urban legend/horror story in what I would define as “classic” horror: no one knows what the F is going on. Thems just the rules, and we have to deal with it. Like why only boys participate in this particular ritual. Or why the dads allow it to happen. Or why it happens at all. Or why people can’t leave the Midwestern town.
If you are okay with suspending most of your belief, then Dark Harvest is an okay read. Just plow through the first part.
Since I’m not much for Halloween, I made you Fireball Cinnamon Whisky Pumpkin Pie, instead. I made this with canned pumpkin instead of actual pumpkin guts. The pumpkin you make those Jack o’ Lanterns with isn’t the same pumpkin that you bake with.
Also, this post is a little old, but I made a DIY meme costume list for ya. I updated it for 2023.
Happy Halloween, my friends! Watch out for October Boy.