Slender Man by Anonymous #spooktasticreads


Image credit: Photo by Mark Tegethoff on Unsplash

Today I’m reviewing Slender Man and including this as part of Wyrd and Wonders Spooktastic Reads.

Slender ManWhat better way to creep your way through October than to read a copy of Slender Man.  This is a novel that is quite addictive and very quick and easy to read.  I would mention that I didn’t find this as scary as I expected it to be but it has a certain creepiness going on and is a compelling read.

Matt and Lauren both attend an elite private school in New York.  Highly cliquey, this is the type of place where you only attend if your parents are rich or famous or both.

First, a little bit of background information.  As the story begins we learn a little about Matt and Lauren.  Matt is not part of the ‘popular’ crowd, Lauren is, although she has a dark side that she keeps secret.  In spite of their different social standing the two have been friends for many years due to the long-term friendship between their parents although their friendship is not widely known at school.  Matt has been suffering nightmares – or night terrors – and his parents have organised therapy for him to try and work through the situation.  Late one evening, and with no apparent reason, Lauren walks out of her apartment block in the early hours of the morning.  Caught on CCTV she appears to be alone.  She didn’t return home.  What follows is the police investigation and all the rumours that spread like crazy as her disappearance lengthens.

As mentioned above the story makes for compelling reading.  It’s told in epistolary format which makes for very quick reading indeed.  Journals, emails, therapists reports and police interviews combine with online chats and social media sites to provide a gripping and modern style of storytelling.

I have to admit that with a couple of provisos I really enjoyed this and I confess to being curious about the ‘anonymous’ author.

I’ve not read a great deal about the Slender Man but he seems to be a fairly recent addition to the fictional world.  A tall and scary creation that stalks or abducts the young or causes nightmares or other terrors.  The SM haunts the dark and abandoned places.  He can rarely be seen although sometimes a shadow or shape in the trees can capture an outline.  As the story progresses it appears that Lauren has either become intrigued by him or he has taken an interest in her.  Following her disappearance rumours run rife, Matt’s nightmares become much worse and other strange events begin to occur.  It soon becomes apparent to Matt that he needs to take action – even though he’s scared to do so.

Matt is a quiet student.  He doesn’t really interact a lot with anybody, well he has one friend although it wouldn’t appear that they’re particularly close.  Rumours begin to circulate after the police interview him for a second time – word of the secret friendship surface and finally a local newspaper circulates a story which without naming Matt certainly points a finger of suspicion and nobody has any doubts as to which direction the finger is pointing.  To be honest, in some respects he’s his own worst enemy, he’s very closed off and a little bit unapproachable and taciturn.  That being said I felt really bad for him and the way he becomes singled out for such vindictive attacks.

As I mentioned, if you pick this up expecting a real clutch the cushion read then you might be disappointed.  To an extent the SM takes something of a back seat.  There are mentions and sightings, shadows and shapes but nothing really concrete.  There is a sense of things about to go horribly wrong and the overall mystery of the disappearing school girl all tangled in with the general rising hysteria from the school and the poor handling of the case by the detectives leading the investigation.  You know that something is going to go wrong and the anticipation is what keeps you reading.

In terms of any criticisms. This is definitely the sort of read that takes the ‘less is more’ approach.  Much is left to the reader’s imagination and whilst I quite like this approach at the same time it’s something of a double edged sword because ultimately it feels like there is little real explanation or closure.  Ultimately, I really enjoyed the story but I did feel a little bit let down by the ending.  It put me in mind of something else but I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil the read for others.

Criticisms aside this did make for compulsive reading for me and I virtually read the whole story in one sitting because I simply couldn’t put it down.  If I find out who the author is I would definitely be intrigued to read more.

I received a copy through Edelweiss, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.