Becky's Reviews > Rotters

Rotters by Daniel Kraus
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Aug 15, 12

bookshelves: 2012, teen, horror, fiction, coming-of-age, bullying, audiobook, realistic-fiction
Read in August, 2012

Dark, macabre, disturbing

I picked up this award-winning audiobook to experience the considerable talents of the narrator, Kirby Heyborne. But I am not a reader of horror fiction and this book truly disturbed me at times. I’m sure that is reflected in my stars.

Sixteen-year-old Joey Crouch lives with his single mother in Chicago until a bus accident claims his mother’s life. Joey’s only option is to live with his father, a man he does not know. Still reeling from the shock of his mother’s death, Joey makes a lonely bus trip to his father’s home in rural Iowa only to find a man who is the town outcast and who clearly does not want a son in his life. To make matters worse, Joey’s new high school is populated with some shockingly abusive bullies.

Then Joey discovers that his father is a grave robber. This horrifies him at first. But when the bullying at school intensifies, Joey escapes by becoming an apprentice to his father. The grave-robbing business introduces him to quite an unusual cast of characters and some truly macabre experiences.
There are plenty of grisly graveyard scenes, but the cruelty of human beings to one another is the most horrifying aspect of this book

Kraus is an extremely talented writer, but this plot needed tightening up. The book was just too long and I thought the pacing felt off at times.

The audiobook won the Odyssey Award for best children's/young adult audio and is amazing. It is a showcase for Heyborne's abilities. 5 stars for the audio.
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