Monday, February 13, 2012

Rotters, by Daniel Kraus


An excerpt from a new review posted on Children's Books and Reviews:
[...] Thus begins Joey’s sordid and grotesque adventures as a grave robber. His father teaches him all he knows, and Joey comes to find a certain confidence in his ability as a ‘digger.’ However, when they meet up with his father’s ‘colleagues’—particularly a deeply disturbed, odd looking man known as ‘Baby’—things get very dark very quickly and Joey’s struggle for social survival morphs into a struggle for physical survival. As Joey comes face to face with human depravity (including his own), he learns that the living can be far more rotten than any corpse. [...] 
Credit must be given to Kraus for so effectively immersing his readers in this deeply uncomfortable story. 
Then again, it is just that: an uncomfortable story. It gets dark very quickly and it stays dark for the duration of the book—dark and disturbing. [...] 
At the end of the day, this is an extremely well-written and unpleasant book, with no admirable characters, no real lesson, and not much in the way of substance or redeeming value. Given the darker nature of the story, I would be disinclined to recommend it to younger readers—the book is billed as being appropriate for ages 14 and up, but I would not recommend it to anyone under 15 or 16. Then again, I don’t know that I would recommend it to anyone of any age.
Full review available here.

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