Jack and Mr. Grin
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Jack and Mr. Grin

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  184 ratings  ·  45 reviews
A surreal and horrifying thriller from Andersen Prunty.

Jack Orange is a twenty-something guy who works at a place called The Tent packing dirt in boxes and shipping them off to exotic, unheard of locales. He thinks about his girlfriend, Gina Black, and the ring he hopes to surprise her with. But when he returns home one day, Gina isn't there. He receives a strange call fr

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Paperback, 196 pages
Published March 5th 2008 by Eraserhead Press
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Bizarro
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Dan Schwent
When Jack Orange's girlfriend Gina goes missing, he soon gets a sinister phone call from a man that sounds like he's constantly smiling, Mr. Grin. Mr. Grin has Gina and Jack has 24 hours to find them. In the mean time, Mr. Grin is going to have some fun...

This is the ninth book in my Kindle Unlimited Experiment. For the 30 day trial, I'm only reading books that are part of the program and keeping track what the total cost of the books would have been.

This is my fourth Andersen Prunty novel and m...more
Melki
Jack returns home from procuring a greasy fast food breakfast intending to propose to his lady-love, Gina. BUT...Gina is nowhere to be found.
Jack's cell phone rings and suddenly a nasty man is saying nasty things and making nasty promises. Jack now has just 24 hours to find Gina, or Mr. Grin will make her disappear forever.

And so begins a sick, twisted, and twisty treasure hunt..

This is a taut horror/thriller with supernatural elements and nightmarish imagery. It is violent and oh yes, NASTY a...more
Kathryn
First, thanks for the loan Marvin!

I'm sure I've said this before but I'll say it again - Prunty has a wonderful talent for writing relatable bizarro fiction. His characters are not flashy, they are more along the lines of everyday folks, and they have everyday problems. I like this. I also deeply appreciate how the weirdness in his stories creep up on the reader. Prunty writes real stories not for the sake of shock. His stories have something called a plot. I dislike the trend of bizarro writer...more
Lea
I'm not going to lie, parts of this were pretty brutal, but the story really kept me guessing and it was one of those books that you just can't put down until you find out what happens.

Jake leaves his girlfriend, Gina, at home while he runs out to pick up breakfast one Sunday morning. When he returns, Gina is missing and in that moment Jack just knows that something terrible has happened. When he receives a phone call from Mr. Grin, his worst fears are confirmed, and Jack has 24 hours to find th...more
Jordan
May 16, 2008 Jordan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: weird fiction / horror fans / bizarro fans
Recommended to Jordan by: some invisible author guy
Just imagine David Lynch directing an episode of the Twilight Zone..

Considering that the only thing I have read of Andersen Prunty’s work was his flash fiction collection THE OVERWHELMING URGE, I was a little unsure about how the author would approach a full length work. As I stated in my review of his previous book, I’m not a huge fan of flash fiction and prefer longer works. Well, Prunty answered my prayers with this bizarro cat-and-mouse suspense novel.

JACK & MR. GRIN really captures th...more
Edward Lorn
I listened to this one, which is narrated by the author. First thing I'll note is the melatonin-laced delivery of Andersen Prunty. Throughout the entire audio book, Prunty seemed on the verge of coma. I could see him, bracing himself on his desk with his elbows, his head held up by a ruler jabbed into his brow to keep him upright as he fought wave after wave of imminent slumber. Him popping Ambien like M&M's. In other words, the fucker sounded sleepy.

I decided to listen to this book solely...more
Lance
I read Prunty's Overwhelming Urge first and thoroughly enjoyed his short stories/flash fiction. So, I was looking forward to reading Jack and Mr. Grin. Jack and Mr. Grin was not what I expected after the Overwhelming Urge (not nearly as bizarre, tasteless, gross, etc.) but I once again enjoyed it a great deal. While the story deals with the supernatural and is brutal at times, I don't really consider it to be Bizarro fiction, at least not from what I have seen from some of the other Bizarro auth...more
Anita Dalton
All in all, this is a tight, well-told horror/bizarro tale. Every detail matters in the game Mr. Grin forces Jack to play. Anyone who has either tried to write a mystery/thriller/horror novel will know how hard this is to do, and more important, anyone who has read a novel that cannot pull it off knows how marvelous it is when a writer gets it right. Since I don’t want to spoil the plot, I can’t go into depth about all the ways that Prunty makes every word matter, but I can say that Prunty doesn...more
Marvin
This book is strange. The plot is strange. The author clearly must be strange. Normal people don't write things like this. And I must be strange cause I loved this novel.

This bizarre but delightful horror novel has a "down the rabbit hole" sense of wonder. The main character sounds fairly average in every way but his job (packing dirt?) and his biggest problem is how to propose to his girl friend. He then get a call from someone who has his girl and sounds like he has a perpetual grin (shades of...more
Katy
Dec 11, 2012 Katy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of mystery/thrillers w/ paranormal aspects, bizarro
Shelves: ebook
Book Info: Genre: Bizarro
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of mystery/thrillers with paranormal twist, bizarro
Trigger Warnings: Violence against women, including sexual assault

Disclosure: I picked up this book from Amazon on a free promotion. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: Jack Orange is a twenty-something guy who works at a place called The Tent packing dirt in boxes and shipping them off to exotic, unheard-of locales. He thinks about his girlfriend, Gina Black, and the ring he hopes...more
Tressa
Aug 08, 2009 Tressa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: bizarro fans
I really enjoyed this book, much more than I thought I would. I like when non-superhero, garden-variety Joe Schmo characters face extraordinary situations. That's what Jack is and does.

I related to Jack, who has a job he's not necessarily turning cartwheels over but puts in his hours so he can get his fulfillment through his personal life. This is working out fine until his beloved girlfriend Gina is kidnapped. Let me just say that as a woman, I appreciate the positive aspect of Jack and Gina's...more
Kim Rox
What a joke and utter waste of time. I know I coulda, shoulda quit while I was still ahead but hey, I'm not a quitter or rather am a glutton for punishment. I think this was written in a cut and paste fashion with the author either reading or viewing childrens programming... No, that wouldn't be fair to childrens programming. Either that or he was on a good one. I can't believe it's published work nor that anyone would find this worthy reading material, summer or otherwise.

Full of contradictions...more
Christy Stewart
A great book for people who aren't acquainted with the bizarro genre, and for ones who are. It's has the integrity that a mainstream novel strives for with it's characters and yet still brings the mind fuck aesthetics that fans of bizarro have come to expect.

Despite the fact that the author is gorgeous, he is also very talented.
Jeff
Andersen Prunty is a new name to the horror fiction scene. He has had many short stories published and one collection of flash fiction ("The Overwhelming Urge"). With his first novel, "Jack & Mr. Grin," Prunty shows that he is a new voice that all dedicated fans of horror fiction should take note of.

Jack Orange has been living with his girlfriend Gina for a few years and now he feels ready to take their relationship to the next level. He goes to get the ring and comes back home to propose, G...more
Matthew Vaughn
My first experience with Andersen Prunty was his book The Sorrow King, which I thought was a fantastic read. After finishing it I immediately wanted to read more of his work. I was a little concerned that since I started out with his newest work that maybe I wouldn’t enjoy his previous work as much, but that was just dumb, apparently all his books are great.
Jack and Mr. Grin isn’t straight forward Bizarro, it has some Bizarro elements to it, but really it’s more of a Bizarro thriller. One lazy S...more
Kristin
Kinda reminded me of Twin Peaks a little. Seemingly normal characters who aren't like that at all, and then the Hotel Eternity (Black Lodge, anyone?). Well, since I love Lynch, this was a good thing for me. And I read the book in 1,5 sessions, which I didn't do with any book in a long time - so that's good, too.

It's the best bizarro fiction I've read so far. Which is primarily because it's weird but it still makes sense - and it's not too difficult to follow the plot (which in bizzaro can be rea...more
Donald Armfield
Jack Orange returns home and his girlfriend Gina Black is missing. A phone call reveals a thought of a man with a huge "Grin" on his face. Now the real game begins.

Jack goes on a journey to find his girlfriend, a couple twists brings us to a utility shed with what he lease expected.

A bloody horror read for Halloween (or anytime of the year) of what a man will go through to bring his lovers soul back to him.
Morris
Jack Orange was a normal guy, albeit a normal guy with a strange job. He packed dirt into small boxes for shipping to places unknown. One Sunday, his only day off, Jack went out for breakfast. When he came back his girlfriend, Gina, was nowhere to be found. He received a disturbing phone call from a man claiming to have Gina. He was given a deadline of 24 hours to find Gina, with the condition that he would have to kill her captor or else be killed by him.

Jack & Mr. Grin was my first bizarro...more
Thomas McAuley
I found this actually a bit disappointing, it being suggested by someone whose taste I trust very much. They made their suggestion knowing that my own writing had clarified into something close to bizarro, a genre that I hadn't yet read. The closest I had come were books like Juster's "The Phantom Tollbooth" or Bulgakov's "Heart of a Dog."

My biggest complaint is that, though was written by one of the masters of bizarro, it's sloppily written and filled with annoying "author patches," errors the...more
General H. Sassafras
Before I continue with my mindless prattling, I want to say that I spent literal weeks hyping myself for this book. Was it great? Yes. Jack & Mr. Grin was a wonderful, fast read. However, while I loved it - I also created the expectation for it to be god-tier.

The story itself is interesting - but by far the best part of the entire story was the way Mr. Grin speaks. As the quick blurb in the listing on Bizarro Central suggests, you can literally feel the creeper grin in Mr. Grin's words. I al...more
Brennon Thompson
Jack returns home to find his girlfriend Gina, missing. His confusion turns quickly to terror, with a ring of his cellphone. The voice on the other end sounds like he is grinning as he informs Jack that he has 24 hours to find Gina, or Jack will never see her again.
This book is a thriller, that amps up the tension with every turn of the page, as Jack tries to rescue his love from the twisted Mr. Grin. The story is more of a waking nightmare, than Bizarro, but still very entertaining. With a smoo...more
Brandon Nagel
The first 3'quarters of the book rolled along nicely and then...wham! Flipped upside down and as crazy as the loony down the street off his meds. Liked it. Nice change of pace and not a typical read for me. 3.5 stars
MeinKampfy
lazy writing, predictable plot, no character depth. maybe it being a novella worked against all this, maybe it's lazy writing, predictable plot, and no character depth. there are interesting other-dimension elements in the architecture...but, there is no real Mood: despite the blood, sweat, semen, and screaming, everything feels very sanitised. sterile. more late-night SyFy channel than Twin Peaks. i'd skip this, and watch The Lost Room, instead.
Rodney
Prunty is a master...I loved this from beginning to end. Jack's quest to find Gina, the vague nature and location of Mr. Grin never ceased to pull me along for the ride. This may not have had the overt shock factor of some of the other material I have read, but was so strong that I have nothing but good things to say. Andersen confirms himself as one of my favorites.....
Mike Tager
Indie presses and self-published books (one or t'other, not sure which) are getting better and better these days. This isn't a perfect book by any means, but it's creative and fun and gets from A to B in ways I wasn't expecting.

This is the 1st book I've read by this guy and I kind of want to find numbers 2 and 3. So, that says something.
Nikki
Started out slow until Sam entered the picture and livened up the dread fest this read put me in. The story itself was cool and had some 4star moments, but in all actuality Jack was a very boring character, almost as sleep inducing as my old World History teacher. An Okay read I had to push myself to finish.
Heather
I don't know about this one. It was okay but didn't have that wow factor. I love for a book to grab me and pull me, to have me not wanting to put it down. I found myself not wanting to read this, having to make myself finish it. It did pick up midway or so. I will read more of his work.
Chris Bowsman
Take a really good Dean Koontz book, remove the generic characters and golden retrievers, and swap the disappointing ending for some bizarre surrealism, and you'd wind up with a pretty enjoyable read.

Jack and Mr. Grin would be fairly similar to that book, but probably a little better.
Penny Ramirez
This was certainly a strange book, and fits the term "bizarro" to a T. The imagery was fascinating, kind of like looking at a crash site that you don't want to see, but can't stop looking.

Interesting premise, interesting twists - perhaps could have been fleshed out a bit more?
Evan Peterson
This book held no surprises for me.

While it was very predictable, it was still an engaging read about a man trying to find his abducted girlfriend and rescue her from the possibly supernatural evil that had taken her.

I just wish it had been a little more surprising than not.
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Andersen Prunty lives in Ohio. He writes novels and short stories. Visit him at www.andersenprunty.com.
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