Tracy Poff's Reviews > Night of the Living Dummy

Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine
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M_50x66
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Aug 26, 11

bookshelves: childrens-books, horror, other-stuff-exists, location-fiction
Read on August 25, 2011 — I own a copy

Kris and Lindy Powell are twin sisters. They share not only their birthday, but also their room, their clothes--just about everything. It's a blessing and a curse--they're very close, but they can really irritate each other, too.

One day, when looking around next door, where a house is being build, Lindy finds a ventriloquist's dummy among the garbage, and names it Slappy. As she practices and gets skilled with the dummy, Kris becomes jealous, wanting her own dummy. Their father finds one at a pawn show, very cheap--the owner of the shop seemed to be glad to be rid of it. Kris names her dummy Mr. Wood, and sets to practicing.

However, strange things start to happen with the dummies. They seem to be moving around when no one is looking, fighting with each other. When Lindy tries to demonstrate to Kris how to move Mr. Wood, the dummy says cruel things, and Lindy claims that she isn't doing it--that the dummy is speaking for himself. Is it all just a practical joke? Or could Mr. Wood be... alive?

The seventh book in R. L. Stine's Goosebumps series, Night of the Living Dummy explores the classic 'evil dummy' story. It's undoubtedly one of the most famous Goosebumps books, though, for my money, the best ventriloquist and evil dummy are Batman's Arnold Wesker and Scarface.

(Spoilers removed. The full review, including spoilers, is available here.)

Night of the Living Dummy isn't bad, but it's got poor characterization, even for a Goosebumps book. The story's okay, though, and as usual it's a quick read. It's probably worth reading once, or rereading for the sake of nostalgia. It's available for the Kindle as Classic Goosebumps #1, so those who want Goosebumps ebooks can pick it up that way, or else get one of the abundant used copies--the world is fairly drowning in used Goosebumps books.
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