The Keeper is not run-of-the-mill typical horror. Looking at the reviews here and on Amazon, people seem to either love or hate it. Having just finished the book, I have really mixed feelings but there is no question that it kept my interest to the end.
Susan, a 23 year old girl, is at the center of the horror. Once a pretty young girl, she has become a mentally ill, promiscuous alcholic who silently wanders the streets of the small town of Bedford. People fear and shun her as she invades the dreams of virtually everyone in the town. And then one night she dies ...but soon she returns. And when Susan comes back to town, she brings all the town's nightmares with her.
This is a very literate, intelligent novel. The horror here is equal parts pyschological horror and gory, monster-in-the-dark frights. The author has a beautiful way of saying things that make you pause in the middle of the story just to reread a sentence. The main character of Liz, Susan's sister, was easy to relate to and I liked both her and Bobby, her boyfriend.
On the flip side, I can think of two reasons why I didn't love this book. First, the tone of the book is too dark for me. I think this probably turns off alot of other readers as well. Most of the characters are not likeable and the author does a good job of showing us all their faults and inner demons. Also, the setting itself is depressing. The town of Bedford is dying because the paper mill, its only industry, is shutting down. The mill has poisoned the environment, everyone is depressed, there are no jobs, it is cold and acid rain continually falls.
The other reason I'm not crazy about The Keeper is probably more of a personal irk. I feel like the author was trying to make a political point in this book and it is not one that I particularly agree with. If you read between the lines, it is all about greedy capitalists taking advantage of the downtrodden workers, industry polluting the land and stealing from the people, the rich versus the poor...I hate being hit over the head with someone's political views (particularly liberal ones) when I just want to enjoy a good scary story.
Even with these faults, I think it is a good book and I would recommend it. Some people will enjoy it and others won't. It made me think much more than it made me shiver, but that is generally not what I'm looking for in a horror novel.
This is one of the worse books I have ever read. Defnitely way, way, off-the-wall. I can't imagine anyone thinking this book was worth reading. Sorry I spent a credit on it.
Just finished this -- a great, creepy, horrifying thriller, wonderfully atmospheric with terrific and unforgettable characters! Read in well lit rooms on sunny days -- it is scary!
This book was definitely different, to say the least. The writing style of the author is unique and sometimes hard to follow. Overall, a good book, but not the best.