Tuesday, 3 May 2011
The Snowman by R.L Stine
Looking back on my childhood I believe they were happy times; no job, not too much pressure, a lot more free time and no 'Dark Romance' or 'Paranormal Erotic Romance' novels. The trashy teen novels of my day were 'Point Horror' stories and I can remember enjoying them. Point Horrors were always a bizarre cross between a 'Scream' movie and any 'Scooby Doo' episode; Teenage kids are attacked and often gruesomely murdered by some benevolent force which always turned out to be one of their own group gone crazy with a kitchen knife. The stories were always predictable and short but I remember being entertained by them.
I scoff at some of the trash kids find exciting and worth reading these days and fool myself into believing teen horror stories were so much better when I was young so I reacted with genuine interest when my wife gave me a copy of a 'Point Horror' story printed in 1991 she found in a charity shop.
'The Snowman' is about a teenage girl named Heather who lives with her uncle and aunt after the death of her parents in a car accident. She has a boyfriend called Ben and works in a local diner. One day she meets a mysterious boy with a shock of bright white hair who tells her his name is 'Snowman' of course Heather instantly falls head over heels for him (despite knowing absolutely nothing about him, not even his real name) and soon kicks the hapless Ben into touch clearly not aware she is a character in a point horror novel and will soon be stalked by a crazed killer who, I was willing to guess, would turn out to be the mysterious Snowman all along.
The storyline is terrible and very predictable. I saw what was coming about 20 pages before it actually happened. The story is supposed to be horror and yet I was not frightened for one moment throughout the whole book. Nothing even mildly horror related actually happens until page 71 by which point I had almost lost the will to live. What is the point of this horror book? (spot the deliberate pun)
The characters are all two dimensional and boring, even the murderer. Heather is an obnoxious cow who is easy to dislike right from the beginning. Some of her more sparkling personality traits include being; selfish, lazy, ignorant, dishonest, short-tempered, paranoid, ungrateful and stubborn. She divides her time between drooling over 'Snowman', fantasising about murdering her uncle and whining. I took an almost instant dislike to her which remained with me throughout the entire book. I prayed that she would be dispatched presently but alas it was not to be. The plot was ridiculous and laughable but I wasn't laughing much, just wincing a lot.
Looking back I am almost ashamed that I ever found books like this entertaining. I can't say I've read all of them but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess they are all as bad as this one. I don't approve of the practice of book burning but for the Point Horror series I am more than willing to make an exception. The futility of youth!
Still, there is always Dark Romance...
Final verdict 1/5