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The Last Final Girl

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  260 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
"The Last Final Girl is like Quentin Tarantino's take on The Cabin in the Woods. Bloody, absurd, and smart. Plus, there's a killer in a Michael Jackson mask." - Carlton Mellick III, author of Apeshit

Life in a slasher film is easy. You just have to know when to die.

Aerial View: A suburban town in Texas. Everyone's got an automatic garage door opener. All the kids jump off a
Paperback, 216 pages
Published September 22nd 2012 by Lazy Fascist
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David Keaton
Jul 18, 2013 David Keaton rated it it was amazing
This review is apt to be a bit bias, as this is what usually happens when readers becomes delusional enough to think a novel was written specifically for them. That's the case here though, as Mr. Jones has crafted a book so far up inside the head of a horror movie fan that its likely to read like Morse Code to a civilian. Their confusion is their loss though because something very unique is happening with this narrative, something that will likely be misinterpreted as an attempt to half-novelize ...more
Ross Lockhart
Dec 08, 2012 Ross Lockhart rated it really liked it
A meta-textual homage to the slasher flicks of the 80s with an encyclopedic understanding of the genre's tropes, Stephen Graham Jones's The Last Final Girl out-references such films as Scream and Cabin in the Woods through virtuoso literary technique, cinematic jump cuts, dizzying POV shifts, buckets of blood, and a tongue planted firmly in cheek. As stylish as it is grotesque, The Last Final Girl is a campy, absurdist fright-fest, with rival final girls jockeying for survivor status, small-town ...more
Oct 19, 2014 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jason, Freddy, Michael, Norman, Leatherface, Jamie Lee Curtis
For anyone who watched waaaaay too many slasher flicks in the 80s and 90s, this book is a cyclopedic homage to every movie Jamie Lee Curtis ever starred in, every Jason, Michael, and Freddy, every sorority house and boy scout camp and cabin in the woods. I watched a lot of those movies as a teen, but Stephen Graham Jones must have a DVD collection to raise Vincent Price from the grave. I probably only caught two-thirds of the references.

The story is, of course, a slasher flick. With a twist.

Orrin Grey
Sep 25, 2012 Orrin Grey rated it really liked it
This isn't necessarily Stephen's best book, and I missed the footnotes from Demon Theory, but it feels in a lot of ways like the book he was born to write, the book he's been training for all this time. At once quicker and more effortless than Demon Theory, it uses the same film-treatment-as-novel format to create the ultimate meta-slasher, something that is at once a perfect slasher novel and the perfect deconstruction of slasher stories, at once more traditional and more clever than the movies ...more
Paxton Cockrell
Sep 16, 2016 Paxton Cockrell rated it it was ok
I'd heard about this book long before I picked it up, and I thought the premise was cool so I really wanted to like it. Unfortunately, the book just wasn't put together that well. Now, I still think the premise was interesting and done a little bit differently, it could be really awesome.

So, the primary problem with The Last Final Girl, is how it was written. It's clear that Mr. Jones saw this story in film form. So the book is written in some pseudo script form with lots of lines describing cam
Boden Steiner
Nov 14, 2012 Boden Steiner rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: horror slasher movie fans with
Cabin in the Woods was certainly cool for any horror fan, but I'd rather have my winks and nudges self-aware, yet played dramatically straight. Horror for the horror audience, and in this case, a slasher to stand on the shoulders of every slasher, on top of it, perhaps allowing the mask to come off a bit, but, in the subtext of that, revealing that our modern life, steeped in trivia and the realities created by our pop culture passions (demons), is self-aware, but can still prove to be a very fl ...more
M Griffin
Feb 06, 2013 M Griffin rated it really liked it
Told at the full-tilt pace of a teen slasher pic, The Last Final Girl by Stephen Graham Jones effectively conveys the author's love and respect for the form. Divided up into very short bites, like a movie is divided into shots of a few seconds each, the story proceeds at a rapid clip, with none of the typical novel's digressions or introspection. It's something like 90% dialog, interspersed with tags almost like shorthand, describing character actions.

The slasher is probably one of the most str
Steve Lowe
Apr 02, 2013 Steve Lowe rated it really liked it
Very good meta-romp of a novel disguised as a slasher film, chock full of nods to classic horror slashers, and some inventive verbs that movie fans will appreciate (like: the killer "Hoddering" after his victim). The style is unique and rather like reading a screenplay, but that has its limitations in that the narrative seemed to lack characterization while also speeding a bit too fast through scenes. I had to re-read a couple parts to get the mental image. It took a bit to adjust to the style, ...more
Simon Logan
Mar 06, 2014 Simon Logan rated it liked it
Shelves: on-hold
Gah, I really wanted to like this one but in the end I lost the battle.

I can understand why Jones went for the stylistic approach of giving it a cinematic feel and after an initial struggle I began to find my way with it however in the end I found that the style got in the way of me connecting to and enjoying the book, rather than having it enhance the story.

I got about 1/2 the way through before giving up and I may well return to it in the future.
Oct 04, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
A fast, dizzying novel that's a slasher movie script, with players who know all the rules, and break them and rewrite them, and expose them, and like the best traditional tragedies, succumb to them.
Feb 09, 2013 Hamilton rated it really liked it
i'm a fan of stephen graham jones and the way he seems to seamlessly combine a script format to a regular novel format. it's always a blast to read because it reads quick and makes you feel as though you're right there in the action and not at home reading the action. it's a way to make moments actually fearful and filled with tension.
this book doesn't disappoint in that regard. i need a quick read because i just don't have the time to deal with the bullshit books that come out these days, fille
Edward Rathke
Jun 22, 2015 Edward Rathke rated it it was amazing
Sort of dangling between a five and a four. Could easily be either, which means it may as well get the five stars. It's no Demon Theory, but it's different enough that it's not a problem.

Where Demon Theory is kind of an encyclopedia of horror as a genre, The Last Final Girl pulls all that encyclopedic novel and throws it right into the slasher genre. Makes this a fun, funny, smart, and scary read, which is no easy thing to pull off.

Jones hits everything you're looking for in a genre and he does
Melanie Page
Mar 12, 2013 Melanie Page rated it it was amazing
If you don't care about horror films (especially slashers), you won't appreciate this book at all.


The camera cuts, demonstrated with an arrow and paragraph break, tell us where to "look," as if this was a movie. However, if you're a fan of slashers, you know that you often yell at the TV and wonder why people do things (like repeat names awkwardly, notice certain details, end up in certain places). The book format allows the narrator to comment on what we're probably thinking, bringing you into
Mar 27, 2013 Chris rated it it was amazing
I need more Stephen Graham Jones. His books read like movies, complete with casting and sound track. This is the kind of slasher flick I wish would make it to the big screen. Will someone hurry up and adapt it?
Emilie Pagano
Jun 24, 2013 Emilie Pagano rated it did not like it
Perhaps the worst book I've ever read.
Jul 18, 2015 Bean rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2014 Rechan rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
I should have liked this, but the author made it unbearable to enjoy.

The first stumbling block is the text's presented. Little arrows, camera direction such as 'we pan over/zoom in, from character X's POV' - it reads like a screenplay with an extra sentence of description. Not only is it jarring, but it leaps around so much with jumpcuts that anyone without ADHD is going to get whiplash. Even more confusingly, you will have two characters' dialogue in the same paragraph. But fine, let's just cho
Hannah Stoutenburg
This is, hands down, the biggest reading disappointment for me of the last few years. When a book is so unanimously loved by reviewers and compared so often to Cabin in the Woods, I expected it to be a lot better.

One of the hardest things about this book was the narrative style. It works like a film, cutting away for effect, sometimes ending a scene mid-sentence. We're treated to the image of somebody hammering a sword, masks floating in the water, and newspaper clippings. Close-ups, POV images
Feb 23, 2017 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: dnf, read-in-2017
DNF at 61%.
Eeeeeeeh.... I wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. The story would make a good slasher movie (and it was full to bursting with horror references which was fun) but the way it was written like you're watching a movie really threw me off, I kept getting confused and not quite grasping what was happening. Still definitely want to give this author another shot though.
Mar 03, 2016 Zach rated it it was amazing
My own understanding of the concept of "genre savviness" can probably be traced back to watching slasher movies in my teens. It helped that all the genre elements one could be savvy about were thrown into people's faces with self-aware slashers like Scream shortly after I took an interest in them, but either way, the expectations an audience should have of a slasher film are fairly well-known. Which means you really need to take a really unique approach to the genre if you want to be savvy about ...more
Eric Juneau
Oct 19, 2012 Eric Juneau rated it it was ok
I was practically glomping all over the starting pages. It's so genre-savvy, it hurts. The basic premise is "What happens to Alice after Friday the 13th?" (assuming no Friday the 13th Part 2). It hosts a cast of potential Final Girls living through the sequel, waiting for the killer to strike again, full of fake-outs and jump scares. Everyone's anticipating the slasher's return, but is the slasher really the one they need to worry about?

The problem was once it got past the initial prologue, it g
Jan 07, 2013 Dane rated it it was ok
The best part of this book is the quality of the paper it is printed on, it's excellent quality. There isn't much of a positive to it besides that.

This book is written like a screenplay, except, it isn't. Imagine a person who, while watching a movie, paused it constantly to write down exactly what happened. This involves camera movements, whose POV the camera is meant to be representing, what a certain look or perspective is meant to imply to the viewer. That's how this book is presented. It's l
Dec 25, 2012 Petr rated it did not like it
I was looking forward to this book but I was left utterly down by it. The premise itself is great. Story starts right in the last moments of the slasher finale where the last girl finally wins over menacing killer in a Michael Jackson mask. Then we move right on to the sequel.

That's right. This book is meta slasher horror where author uses all the tropes and tools of this genre of movies. It's also filled with tremendous amount of references and quotes. More slashers you seen and remember the mo
It's a slasher movie! No, wait, it's a book! No, it's a slasher movie in book form! And it's a lot of fun.

Popular kids get sliced, diced and chopped to death ☑
Lone survivor is a hot and popular girl ☑
Sexual situations topless teens and smart assed antics ☑
Gore galore ☑
Outcast teens who know the slasher genre well ☑
Clueless adults giving little to no adult supervision ☑
Several references to slasher movies and to the well known characters and actors in them ☑

My only real criticism of The Last Fin
Mark R.
Jan 21, 2017 Mark R. rated it it was ok
A couple of high school girls, obsessed with slasher movies, decide the killings in their home town resemble those in the films they love. Another girl's father sliced up some folks a while back, and he disappeared. Now people are being off'd again, amidst flying movie quotes and references. This SHOULD be right up my alley.

But the girls in Stephen Graham Jones' "The Last Final Girl" get on my nerves a bit, after a while. We never get much of an idea of why, or when, main characters Izzy and Bri
Sep 07, 2014 MidnightMovieGay rated it it was ok
Sigh. I was expecting to love this but I just couldn't. The style it's written in, like some others mention, makes it difficult. And before you think I'm just not familiar enough with different styles/formats of fiction, allow me to let you down easy. I went to several screenwriting courses after graduating. The movie biz wasn't for me but I'm apt at reading scripts and scene descriptions. This should have been a breeze for me.

Instead of finding it interesting though, I just found it difficult.
Apr 12, 2016 Alex rated it liked it
Oh man, what a fun ride! Like others have said, this is like the book version of watching Scream with yr best friend in the basement at midnight. It's not a thinker or overly complicated but a really well plotted, funny, insightful send-up of the classic Golden Age of slashers/horror films. The fact it's written in a way that reads very much like the actions of watching a movie I found to be very effective. It's almost like reading a paper edit. I'm still not quite clear if these characters are ...more
Apr 16, 2016 Wendy rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this. I enjoy post-modern fiction, meta-fiction, and horror movies. Like many texts before it, style was favored over character development. I'm fine with that when the move shifts my attention to structures and other narrative questions. Unfortunately, the references, narrative structure/trickery, and meta-commentary weren't rich enough to catch my fancy. I was left in the middle and so my response to it all is pretty lukewarm.

It's not a bad book. The premise is clever. There
Mar 20, 2016 Daveski rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
This isn't just a slasher movie in novel form - it's the experience of watching a slasher movie translated into a book. It's written as if the narrator is literally describing a film to us, including not only the dialogue and actions of the characters but also how each "shot" is framed. This technique is interesting, as it allows the author to use the language of film to tell the story. It also results in a very fast-paced book.

The whole "self-aware slasher" thing has been done to death in movie
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Stephen Graham Jones is the author of fifteen novels and six collections. He really likes werewolves and slashers. Favorite novels change daily, but Valis and Love Medicine and Lonesome Dove and It and The Things They Carried are all usually up there somewhere. Stephen lives in Boulder, Colorado. It's a big change from the West Texas he grew up in. He's married with a couple kids, and probably one ...more
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