RedReviewStarGr 10 Up—There exist monsters—ones with dripping fangs and razor sharp talons—that claw their way up from nightmares to terrorize us during the darkest parts of the night. But perhaps even more horrifying are the real monsters, the human ones, who are capable of atrocities far more twisted than what the average imagination could dredge up. Daniel Kraus's novel (Delacorte, 2011) casts the later into vivid and disturbing relief. After his mother dies, Joey Crouch's life spirals rapidly downward. He is shipped to rural Iowa to live with his estranged father, a hulking and reclusive man who scrounges a living as a grave robber. Miserable at school, bitterly lonely, and desperate for some semblance of a father-son bond, Joey demands to join his father on a digging expedition. Thus, Joey is plunged headlong into the (under)world of a millennia-old vocation that excites him as much as it fills him with revulsion. What follows is both a coming-of-age story and a frightening glimpse into the darkest depths of the human psyche. Kraus's writing is exquisite. Listeners will be equally intrigued and repulsed by this stunningly gruesome story that is riddled with graphic details of decomposing corpses and overflows with the pain of teen angst pushed past its limits. Narrator Kirby Heyborne expertly embodies Joey, and his adept reading elevates an already fantastic story to a whole new level. Not for the faint of heart, but highly recommended—and guaranteed to haunt listeners long after the gripping conclusion.—Alissa LeMerise, Oxford Public Library, MI

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing