Slender Man – ANON (Mythology Entertainment LLC)
Reviewed by Fiona Dodwell
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: HarperVoyager (16 May 2019)
A figure that has not only inspired endless urban legends and internet myths but also even a true life crime, Slender Man has become the modern boogeyman. Since his inception at the hands of creepypasta authors online, he has grown in popularity, fans bringing about new versions of his unsettling tales, documentaries and even books.
Just recently I read Slender Man by Anonymous (the book itself, released by Harper Voyager, lists the author inside the paperback only as ‘Mythology Entertainment.’ The cover itself attributes the book to no one.) From the outset, readers of this book know nothing about the writer – nothing of his or her background, age or name. This in itself helps to lend the book a kind of authenticity, which is important considering it isn’t told in a traditional style, but is instead packed full of emails, blog posts, texts, chat room screencaps, diary entries and police transcripts.
I love books that use multiple media forms in this way for storytelling. I used something similar myself in my novella, The Redwood Lodge Investigation. I find this style in fiction reminds me of found-footage films; something raw and gritty and open wide with the possibility that what you are viewing could really be true. Slender Man uses this technique and does it well, for it uses all of these different styles and mediums yet manages to still keep the reader engaged with the central story.
The story itself is simple: a young girl at school goes missing and her friend, Matt Barker, starts to have nightmares and visions soon after. Clues begin to mount and he soon starts to wonder if something supernatural is involved in his friend’s disappearance – specifically, Slender Man. Matt Barker begins to email friends, make posts on Reddit, talks to his therapist and even writes short stories (all of which appear within the book). The story is Matt Barker’s journey to discovering who and what Slender Man is – and whether his friend is missing due to the legendary character.
All in all, I loved it. I read the book in just a few days because I found the style really engaging and easy to read. I loved the chop-and-change way that the reader is taken into the mind of the character through diary entries and emails to friends, and I soon felt as if I was a character in the story myself, witnessing all of the personal insights that were unfolding as he did.
The story was creepy, too. I liked the use of the shadowy imagery and the descriptions of forests, nightmares and visions. I enjoyed the way the author made Slender Man feel like a real being, something to be taken seriously – something to be feared. I won’t mention any spoilers for readers who are yet to discover this book, but I will say I found the ending satisfying – because I like dark and creepy endings.
I rate Slender Man highly. Although I could easily imagine an YA audience enjoying this because it isn’t graphic, I found it creepy enough to engage with and found it a solid piece of storytelling.
LAUREN BAILEY HAS DISAPPEARED.
As her friends and the police search for answers, Matt Barker begins to dream of trees and black skies and something drawing closer.
Through fragments of journals, blog posts and messages, a sinister, slender figure emerges and all divisions between fiction and delusion, between nightmare and reality, begin to fall.
The urban legend of the Slender Man has inspired short fiction, viral videos, and a feature film. Gathered from online
whispers, Matt’s story reveals the true power of the internet’s most terrifying creation.
Fiona Dodwell has been writing fiction for almost 10 years, with several horror/paranormal titles released under various publishers. Alongside this, she is a freelance writer for various websites and magazines. She has written features for Warner Music, Made In Shoreditch Magazine, Music-news.com and Tremr.
Fiona has studied Psychology, Film Studies, Theology and Health & Social Care.
Her biggest passion is reading dark fiction, as well as creating new stories of her own – the creepier the better!
To find out more about Fiona:
Books: Amazon Store
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