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The Mall

(Downside #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  903 ratings  ·  150 reviews
A deliciously terrifying mash-up of horror, fantasy, thriller and satire:
Saw crossed with Fight Club, with an extra shot of adrenaline!

Dan is an angsty emo-kid who works in a deadly
dull shopping mall. He hates his job.

Rhoda is a junkie whose babysitting charge ran off
while she was scoring cocaine. She hates her life.
Rhoda bullies Dan into helping her search, but as
they exp
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published December 25th 2010 by Corvus
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3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  903 ratings  ·  150 reviews

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i'm not sure what i can even say about this book except: fun fun fun gory fun.

i don't know how big the south african horror writing community is, but even though i have only read this book and two by lauren beukes, i can safely say i am a fan. this book is actually very reminiscent of lauren beukes, in all good ways, and may be why she liked it enough to include in her list of horror novel must-reads.

first things first - s.l. grey is a pseudonym for Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg, so i'm going
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Carmen by: Ellen
Once again I'm cowering in a dark place, in fear for my life.

Wow, this book was actually excellent.

Patrons are advised to enter the market at their own risk. Management will not be responsible for injuries resulting from choking on small parts, exsanguinations, unlicensed amputations, theft, transplants, broken pointy bits of glass or death.

Now. I want you to take my five-star rating of this book with a grain of salt. You should know beforehand that I have a real weakness for horror. I love horr
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was my induction into the world of horror fiction. Interestingly enough the actual content of the book is not scary as much as it is grimy and gross. I must admit that there were moments where I became very weary of the dark corridors of my local mall and looked very carefully at sales people and shoppers. There are moments in the book where skin will crawl and your toes will curl. Descriptions are present, but not overtly, the content provides a platform for our imaginations to run wi ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)

Rhoda is supposed to be watching the child of a friend of a friend. Rhoda goes to the Highgate Mall to score cocaine, and when she steps away to collect, she loses track of said child. Desperate not to be turned into the police, she, er, asks (if you call a knuckle sandwich asking) a clerk named Daniel to help her. He claims to have seen the child running through the back corridors earlier, so that’s where they start, and that’s exactly when things start g

From what I gather this tripe was written by two authors - it fucking shows.


What's even worse; the whole frackin' book is a set up for a sequel. oh fuck no, that shit ain't cool.

The ESLR don't fucking read this stamp of approval.
Jul 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure whether I liked it or not really. An odd book that leaves you with more questions than answers.

Haralambi Markov
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-dark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren Smith
Nov 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Review first published on my blog Violin in a Void

Rhoda was supposed to be babysitting someone’s kid, but she lost him when she left him at Only Books in Highgate Mall while she went to score crack from her dealer. Dan’s an emo bookseller at Only Books. He hates his manager, he hates his job, he hates his life. He also seriously pisses Rhoda off when he tells security that he didn’t remember seeing her with any kid, because he didn’t think that a scruffy-looking black woman with a scarred face w
S.A. Partridge
Jan 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: south-african, horror
The Mall is the debut novel of S.L. Grey, the pseudonym of established South African writers Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg. It’s not so much a horror story, as the cover image might suggest, as it is a reflection of the darker side of humanity.

Rhoda needs to get to Highgate Mall as soon as possible to score cocaine from her dealer. She’s supposed to be looking after someone else’s child, but decides to take the kid with her, thinking she won’t be more than five minutes and what’s the worst that
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chelsea Moreen
Jul 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Old review:

It started off well but it just wasn't /in my opinion/ a good book. I suppose coming from a 17 year old who reads mainly YA it explains many reasons why it just didn't do it for me but I know that it does have mostly positive reviews so it must be good to a lot of other people.
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, owned
So I was reading this creepy book about scary things that happen in the mall when it closes for the night, and then I had to work a late night close and when I finished it was dark and creepy and all my usual exits were blocked off and I kind of wanted to run screaming down the empty corridors.
This book had me thoroughly creeped out at times, and was an addictive read. It's got that great, ominous beginning where you're not quite sure what's going on and I think if I hadn't accidentally read the
Maraya21 (The Reading Dragon)
🎃 👻 Picking it back up cause Spooktober! 👻 🎃

Original start date: October 27, 2017
Put On Hold: February 23, 2018
Restarted: October 11, 2018
Well, this has definitely been the most original of the books I’ve read this season. The Mall is the tale of two very different people who find themselves trapped together in the bizarro-nightmare version of their local shopping center. It’s weird, gross, and gory, and as one might expect from that premise, centers around vague social commentary and a totally OTT horror-ization of consumer culture, which is in actuality the least interesting thing about it. That is clearer in hindsight, though, ...more
Monique Snyman
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

At first, I thought this would be another yawn-fest. Kid gets lost, unlikable babysitter needs to find kid, unlikable loser can't remember kid being in the store... blah, blah, blah... You know, the type of books that really shouldn't be categorised under horror/thriller? Well I was wrong. It took me a while to get into the book, but when I was past the first couple of chapters things quickly changed and I was drawn into The Mall's bizarre twists and turns. The spooky atmosphere jumps off of the
Life After Undeath
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror

Take two utterly unlikable characters, lock them up in a seemingly deserted mall and you have the basis behind SL Grey's The Mall.

Rhoda is a supremely messed up addict with aggression issues who loses the child she was taking care of just as the mall is closing its doors. Daniel is the nerdy employee who she drags along on her mission to find this kid, whose name she can't remember. As the lights dim and they get deeper into the bowels of the mall, weird things start to happen that defy all expl

Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
It was supposed to be a quick trip to the mall, make the deal, score a hit and get back before anyone noticed that she, and the kid she was looking after, were missing. But after returning from her dealer to Only Book, the store she left the kid waiting in while she made her transaction, she discovered the kid had disappeared.

A run in with mall security should have been just what she needed, they would find the kid and she could leave, however they are not as helpful as she hoped. Worse still th
Carrie Clevenger
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With a seemingly standard opening, (lost kid) SL Grey drew me in thinking it'd be a read I'd most likely abandon midway from the yawn factor. No. Scary by page 40, it sucked me in until the end with twists and turns, coupled with so many bizarre (albeit greatly-detailed descriptions, yeek) circumstances I was intrigued enough to keep going. It's fast-paced with a delicious lull, just enough to get you all comfortable until the real game begins.

My nitpicks are few about this book because from wh
Lu (Sugar & Snark)
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have, raru
What a strange and creepy book! Dan is tired of his life which seems to revolve around work and his mother. Rhoda is a fish out of water that gets stuck babysitting a young boy, only to lose him in The Mall. The Mall then throws their lives together in a weird mash of events. They are both very different characters who get caught up in a roller-coaster ride of things going wrong. It starts off on a scary note and soon became one of the weirdest books I had ever read! Rhoda and Dan are both chara ...more
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Plot: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Characters: ⭐⭐⭐
World Building: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Twists: ⭐⭐
Enjoyment: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Okay, so for the most part this book was bloody brilliant and had me glued to it.
In-fact, it was almost a 5 star book until it got to "book two" where for a little while it just turned into a completely different book.

"Book One" was so full of suspense and made my imagination go crazy, and my heart was genuinely thumping. "Book Two" was rather mild in comparison and dealt with the "situation" at a completely different angle.

Dec 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I found it hard to rate this, because while I didn't like it very much it did stop me from putting it down as I wanted to know what happened.

As to why I didn't like it, well I'm not a huge fan of body horror, particularly when it's used as a form of social commentary or satire (as it was here in the 'other mall'). Also, I was a shade disappointed that we never get to learn the why and how of it all. Granted, sometimes things can seem more scary when you don't know why something is happening - bu
Andy Sean
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I heard of S L Grey. Prior to my purchase, I was a little skeptical about the title. You know those cheap horror stories of being locked in a mall, the mannequins come alive and you're being chased down the corridor by those creepy stuffs. But hey, The Mall is totally new-level-thing. Let's just say it's a mix of horror + psychological elements that will keeps you turning the page to the end.

Took me few days to get to the middle but once I reached the middle, took me one n
Nerine Dorman
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What more can you ask from if you're looking for an off-the-wall romp that pokes fun at retail and residential hell, all in one? Two misfits, Rhoda and Daniel, form an unlikely partnership when they slip into the Other Mall that exists as an infernal mirror of Highgate Mall in Joburg.

While the author went on a limb creating two thoroughly unlikeable main characters, I found I was nonetheless cheering for them by the end of the story in all their glorious personal dysfunction. Although the tale
Deliciously creepy. I hate malls so this book just fed into my nightmares. I loved the idea of sealed off corridors and abandoned food courts. I loved Rhoda's voice and Daniel's contrast. The way that they both changed due to what happened and also how they were changed by each other.

This is the type of horror that gets to me. Not the horror of hacked off limbs and blood spewing everywhere. This is the horror that gets under your skin. The idea that there is another world that exists besides th
Çok ugrastim ama 100 sayfadan fazla okuyamadim maalesef.
Kitabin gectigi mekan cok karmasikti bi kere. Kitap sozde AVM'de geciyor ama karakterlerin 100 sayfa boyuncagezdikleri yerler AVM'nin neresiydi anlayamadim. Keske bir harita gibi bir sey olsa bile dedim kendi kendime.
Kitap boyunca iki bas karakterimiz bir seyler duyuyorlar, birileriyle karsilasiyorlar ve bir yerlere girip degisik birseylerle karsilasiyorlar. Ama bunlar ne insani geriyor ne de kitabin devami hakkinda meraklandiriyor.
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the most genuinely creepy book I have read in ages. I think what I loved most was the lack of any overly-familiar supernatural antagonist. Not a zombie, werewolf, vampire, or ghost to be found. What does that leave? Think Silent Hill and you might have the right idea. I will definitely be reading the other books (The Ward, and The New Girl) in what I understand is a loose trilogy--probably multiple times. I am now officially a fan of this collaborative duo.
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great little gem from the horror genre. Goes from a Saw/slasher story to a Clive Barker horror realm. Nice feat. Didn't read too much into the overwrought satire. One star off due to a surprisingly dud ending. Still a fun ride, though. Very innovative.
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not normally my style. Creepy / gross yet fun. However, as somebody who likes 1984 I thought I'd give it a go. Read it on the Kindle while travelling on various airplanes. A much safer place to read it than a home with stairs. . .
Chloë Yates
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bloody Brilliant stuff! Wonderfully and mentally inventive. You have to read it. I'm not kidding!
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine authors and editions 2 150 Jul 16, 2012 06:07AM  

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S.L. Grey is a collaboration between Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg. Sarah is a novelist and screenwriter and die-hard zombie fanatic. She writes crime novels and thrillers under her own name, and as Lily Herne she and her daughter Savannah Lotz write the Deadlands series of zombie novels for young adults. Louis is a Johannesburg-based fiction writer and editor. He was a bookseller for several yea ...more

Other books in the series

Downside (3 books)
  • The Ward (Downside, #2)
  • The New Girl (Downside, #3)