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The Boy Who Drew Monsters

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  6,057 ratings  ·  1,018 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Stolen Child comes a hypnotic literary horror novel about a young boy trapped inside his own world, whose drawings blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

Ever since he nearly drowned in the ocean three years earlier, ten-year-old Jack Peter Keenan has been deathly afraid to venture outdoors. Refusing to leave his home i
Hardcover, 273 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Picador
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Average rating 3.48  · 
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 ·  6,057 ratings  ·  1,018 reviews

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3.5 spooky stars.

here's a little backstory about me and the books of keith donohue. when The Stolen Child came out, i read the flap and thought "ooooh, that sounds amazing!" and i bought it. in hardcover. when Angels of Destruction came out, i did the same thing. when Centuries of June came out, i did the same thing. and i just never got around to actually reading any of them. when i saw this one on netgalley i thought "aha! i will request it and then i will be forced to read it because of the t
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Horror Fans
"Listen," she commanded in a hoarse whisper, and he strained to discover what she had heard, but he could find no stray sound.

"There's someone in the house."

He heard nothing.

"Someone's walking around."

I love horror novels and especially one which seems to imitate Japanese horror. Donohue drenches every page of this spooky novel in grey atmospheric tones. He even adds a Japanese side character as a nod to the origins of his ideas.

Jack Peter is an autistic boy. He has refused to leave the house fo
Oct 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
I'm torn about giving this one star. I did not enjoy reading this book at all. It really dragged for me. The story just kept going in circles and I just wished it would be done with. I kept on only because I had to find out what this mystery was all about. Well, to my surprise, the ending completely caught me off guard. I gasped when I found out what was behind all the drawings. Sadly, the ending was not enough to make me overlook the rest of the book.

I don't want to throw any spoilers out ther
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
What an ending!! This book wasn't what I imagined and was different in a good way. I enjoyed this fiction novel like any other book that isn't real. I could sense the setting and see the house and sea in my mind just as if I were in the book, watching it play out as a spectator.

J.P was such a dynamic character and entirely too creepy for me. His friend Nick seemed to just be... there, like he didn't want to be. The parents were so blind to what was actually happening to the boys until the very
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, horror
This is a brilliant novel and one of the best horror stories that I've ever read. I liken Donohue to an American version of Graham Joyce. Both of these superb authors have similar styles. THE BOY WHO DREW MONSTERS just blew me away. Highly recommended. ...more
Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*

Happy Spooktober, everyone!!

This book was provided to me care of the lovely karen and although my copy is an ARC, this came out on October 7th this year.

I wish I could say that I loved this story BUT I didn't. The premise of this story did so much more for me than it's actualization did.

Jack Peter is a unique boy, an inside boy.... he sits somewhere on the spectrum of Asperger's (Or, rather, this is the most consistent diagnosis his parents have come across). As is often the case in such ins
Ashley Daviau
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was thoroughly creepy and unsettling and I loved every minute of it! I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this up but I'm so glad I did. It raised all the hairs on the back of my neck in the very best way possible. I couldn't stop turning the pages once I started reading and I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through, wondering what kind of terrifying scenes Jack Peter would come up with next. And that ending was one HELL of a twist, my jaw literally dropped and I had to ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
This book is another that I might include on the shelf I don't really have but keep threatening to start: "Horror, Sort-Of".

The book has an interesting idea and there are a few moment's of mild horror I suppose. The thing about horror/terror is that it's rather subjective. What I find horror you may not. what you find horror I may not.

It's no spoiler (as it's in the synopsis) that the book concerns a boy who's drawings of monsters begin to come (in some sense) alive. The book however is really c
Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This is a quick suspenseful read with a bit of horror thrown into the mix. The plot is somewhat predictable and none of the twists and turns managed to surprise me. This book tries to be scary and fails, tries to be a thriller and fails but if you’re looking for a nicely paced quick read with a supernatural theme, it’s not a bad way to spend your afternoon.
Diane S ☔
Jip, as his father calls him is a young boy with Aspergers. After he and his friend nearly drown when they are seven, he is afraid to leave the house. Nick is the only friend he has, and when he visits they invent inside games to play. Jip's passion though is drawing. After over hearing a conversation with his parents, his drawing takes on a new menace.

The first part of this book moved very slowly, the tone of menace always in the background, but to me it seemed rather scattered. Both parents he

A-Z and PopSugar Challenges with Karly and Jess

A book with bad reviews - The Boy Who Drew Monsters
D = Donohue, Keith

2.5 stars

Jack Peter is an unusual boy. An inside boy. A boy who likes to draw monsters.

Jack (I'm going to call him Jack because who the hell calls their kid 'Jack Peter' or Jip) is withdrawn. Aside from his parents and his best friend [of necessity] Nick, he has no social interaction with the outside world. Not only does Jack have Asperger's, but he has also been Agoraphobic since
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
“There are moments when even to the sober eye of reason, the world of our sad humanity may assume the semblance of Hell. ”
----Edgar Allan Poe

Keith Donohue, an American best-selling novelist, spun a remarkable story called, The Boy Who Drew Monsters that our sane minds will dare to read it.

Ever since he nearly drowned in the ocean three years earlier, ten-year-old Jack Peter Keenan has been deathly afraid to venture outdoors. Refusing to leave his home in a small coastal town in Mai
Frank Errington
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review copy

The Boy Who Drew Monsters is a hypnotic literary horror novel about a young boy trapped inside his own world, whose drawings blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

Ten-year-old, Jack Peter Keenan has Asperger disorder, a condition characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction. Three years ago, he and his friend, Nick, nearly drowned. Nick actually needed to be resuscitated. Since then, Jack has trouble leaving the house.

The author has done a fine job of capturing
the boy who drew monsters

Jesus, this I'm stunned. I did NOT see that ending coming! That poor, poor boy.....

A cross between a horror story and a mystery, this novel starts slow, and ends with your mind a little blown away. Slightly reminiscent of Stephen King's early works, this novel was GOOD. But it reminded me more of old Twilight Zone shows from TV. I liked it a lot. Some of it frightened me.
I had never read any novels by this author before, so I am quite intrigued as to wh
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

“In the dream house, the boy listened for the monster under his bed.”

Jack Peter hasn’t been the same since he almost drowned when he was seven-years-old. Becoming terrified of the world outside, he’s become something of a recluse for the past three years and his parents, and even doctors, have been struggling to find a reason. When the terrifying things that Jack claims to see become visible to his parents, they begin to think they’re going insane rather than realizi
Leah Polcar
Ugh. Not the worst premise, even though I am tempted to say a la South Park "Stephen King did it" (view spoiler) and did it better -- even though that deus ex machina was very unappreciated by me. Here, the kid Jack Peter's (as someone else mentioned, seriously? Who names a kid Jack Peter?) drawing is the plot, and the idea of whether some autisim spectrum kid makes drawings real, so Donohue can't be b ...more
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This atmospherically chilling (literally) novel takes place in coastal Maine during the days surrounding Christmas. This was a nice addition as I read this book several weeks before the holiday. The plot focuses on a local, isolated family with an autistic, agoraphobic son named Jack Peter. The close-knit family is preparing for Christmas when VERY strange things begin to happen. Do they have something to do with a century-old shipwreck and the souls lost beneath the waves? And what about Nick, ...more
Alisa Kester
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not scary at all, sadly. And I didn't really care for the writing style, or the characters. The twist right at the end was awesome, though - I completely did not see that coming! ...more
I read this for the Horror square.

I agree with Moonlight Reader that ultimately this book really was underwhelming. I think all of the elements of a good horror story were there, but the characters, the slowly moving plot (and not in a good way by the way) and the ending just left me cold. And I also didn't really feel annoyed enough to rate this lower or like it enough to write it higher than I did. I just feel indifferent, hence the three stars. I can see why there are comparisons to "The Tu
3 Stars

*A creepy (but not scary) story of a boy surrounded by monsters*

I first came across The Boy Who Drew Monsters on a list of books set in Maine. I’m not sure exactly what it is about my home state that makes a surprisingly good horror setting, but it does. But I am only in the mood for Horror sporadically, so The Boy Who Drew Monsters has languished on my TBR backlist for a while now. Luckily I was in the mood for something creepy, so I finally got around to reading this.

The story surround
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is my first comment on Goodreads but I feel strongly about my score. This book was a big disappointment. The story wasn't very interesting and I found myself getting bored by it. I pushed on kept thinking that it had to get better but it never did. I wish I could get the time back I spent reading it. ...more
Jay G
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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2.5/5 Stars

10 year old Jack Peter (Jip) nearly drowned 3 years ago with his good friend Nick. Since that day, Jip hasn't left his house. To pass the time, he draws monsters that have begun to terrorize his family. His mother, Holly, visits a priest and his house keeper who tell her tales of a shipwreck long ago. Jip's father is beginning to notice things out lurking in the dark. That's
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shocked by the ending!! Such a clever story.
John Velo
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Warning: It's probably best you don't try to finish this late at night. It spooked me out.

After a long reading slump, I finally felt the urge to grab a book and read again. I didn't really take a long time to choose what to read. I just grabbed a new-ish book in my bookshelf and settled with it.

I started this book without any idea what it's all about. I didn't even know which genre it belonged to but that didn't stop me from finishing it.

The Boy Who Drew Monsters incorporates a mixture of realit
Apr 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Ok, I'm only giving this book three stars (I was originally going to give it only 2) because of the last page and the last sentence of this book, if you read this book (wait for it) . All through this book I was confused as to what I was just reading , some places it feels like horror, others it feels like a psychological thriller, others like a gone bad romance , this book lacks clear goals and therefore the story suffers , it is a story about ghost that are not real ghosts, about a kid that we ...more
May 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Ultimately forgettable, both in concept and in execution. There are things done well here, like the presentation of Jack Peter's Asperger's, but the haunts and frights are neither haunting nor frightening. Even the moments of real-life scary (fights between your parents, nightmares at a young age, etc) don't land with all that much weight and I'm left wondering how much the author cared about the story he was telling. For some reason, to this reader, it feels like not very much at all.

More at RB
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This was a decent horror story until the very end when it transformed into a great horror story! Seriously.....what an ending.

Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
2 boys.
To stay alive.
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Really interesting premise, but very poorly executed. Tension was minimal, the characters were hollow, and the plot glacially paced. Even at 276 pages, it still felt too long.

Most of all, the writing was just plain terrible. Clumsy, CLUNKY 'dialogue' consisted of characters speaking in entire paragraphs, or using airy metaphors, and even (unintentionally) rhyming! You get the impression that passages originally meant for the 3rd-person narrative were simply cut and pasted as 'conversation.'

Susan (aka Just My Op)
I have mixed emotions about this book. I love the title, and chose the book partly because of the title. It promised to be a “hypnotic literary horror novel,” and that especially appealed to me.

The writing at the beginning felt uneven to me, some of it quite nice and some a bit clunky. It seemed somewhat belabored. The writing evened out as the book went on. I liked how the same scene was told from different viewpoints – that worked very well for me. The characters of the two boys was interestin
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Spoiler-Question about ending 3 74 Dec 27, 2016 05:46AM  
The Gothic Novel ...: The Boy Who Drew Monsters 19 46 Feb 18, 2016 07:19PM  
Horror Aficionados : August 2015 - Group Listen #2: The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue 15 58 Aug 21, 2015 05:21PM  
Book of the Month...: November Book: 3 17 Nov 11, 2014 02:07AM  

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Keith Donohue is an American novelist. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he earned his B.A. and M.A. from Duquesne University and his Ph.D. in English from The Catholic University of America.

Currently he is Director of Communications for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the grant-making arm of the U. S. National Archives in Washington, DC. Until 1998 he worke

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