Beware! Paul Tremblay is not interested in writing stories readers can walk away from unscathed. Survivor Song will leave emotional trenches in your heart long after you’ve finished trying to ugly-cry and read at the same time.
Paul Tremblay’s path to becoming the bestselling author he is today was quite different from that traveled by most other writers. “I would say it was atypical,” he observes. While Tremblay remembers Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” as being something that resonated with him in elementary school, he didn’t find much enjoyment in reading as a child. He certainly had no aspirations of becoming a writer. What he really wanted was to be a professional basketball player.
“I’m terrible at remembering plot and character specifics…if the story is successful, what I do remember and will never forget is what and how that story makes me feel.”—Paul Tremblay in the “Notes” of Growing Things.
Exquisite Corpse: an old parlor game in which players take turns writing on a sheet of paper folded to conceal part of the writing, and then pass it to the next player for another contribution. The results of the first use of the technique was a sentence in French: “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau,” meaning “the exquisite corpse will drink the young wine.” — Artopium
On Friday, October 19, Serial Box presents its latest literary experiment, a terrifying celebration of Halloween featuring 10 award-winning horror authors playing a game of Exquisite Corpse. This multimedia storytelling event will see a new, FREE episode released each hour between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST. Readers can sign up for this special email list which will not only let you know when the story begins, but will provide chances at all kinds of free horror goodness — think stickers, promo codes, signed books and more!
The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
William Morrow (June 26, 2018)
288 pages; $21.59 hardcover; $12.99 e-book
Reviewed by Jonathan Reitan
Before you know it, and in just one breath, you’ve already read the first 50 pages of Paul Tremblay’s summer release The Cabin At The End Of The World. It’s that good.
As you get older, you find that many of the things that scared you when you were little are actually so tame, so silly, that it was crazy that they ever frightened you to begin with. For example, I used to dread the 1988 version of The Blob (the part where the titular monster devours this kid Eddie in the sewer was particularly traumatizing). Now I can watch it and laugh at the dated effects and ridiculousness of it all, at least with the light on….
Paul Tremblay, whose 2015 novel A Head Full of Ghosts “scared the hell” out of Stephen King, had a similarly mortifying experience as a boy. While Tremblay sees that film as “pure cheese” today, it did help instill a love for horror in this award-winning author, and for that reason it’s worth looking into.
Quiet horror is the hardest kind to get right; but when it is done right, it’s a showcase of the best the genre has to offer. Stripped of gimmicks and gore, quiet horror takes people you’ve come to care about and makes you watch as something terrible slowly creeps in from the edges.
The “something terrible” happens early in Disappearance at Devil’s Rock, Paul Tremblay’s highly anticipated follow-up to his 2015 breakout, A Head Full of Ghosts. Elizabeth, a single mom raising two kids, gets the phone call every parent dreads when her son, Tommy, goes missing while fooling around with his friends in some nearby woods. But it’s the mystery surrounding Tommy’s disappearance—lost? abducted? running away? sacrificed?—that is the true “something terrible” here, as Tremblay lays out a number of possibilities, each more troubling than the last.
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
William Morrow (June 2015)
304 pages; $14.58 paperback/$12.99 ebook
Reviewed by Michael Wilson
Paul Tremblay’s fiction has been gracing bookstores and bookshelves for well over a decade. No stranger to horror, Paul’s picked up three Stoker Award nominations – including First Novel for The Little Sleep – and has been on the Board of Directors for the Shirley Jackson Award since it was founded in 2007. In spite of all his accolades, A Head Full of Ghosts has put him on the horror map more than anything he’s released or achieved previously. It’s the horror novel of 2015 that everyone’s talking about. Even Stephen King took to Twitter to give his approval, declaring, “A Head Full of Ghosts, by Paul Tremblay: Scared the living hell out of me, and I’m pretty hard to scare.” But is such unadulterated admiration really warranted or are we dealing with over-hyped and under-delivered horror art?