Author: Daniel Kraus
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Horror
Length: 448 pages
Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.
Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey's father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey's life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.
Daniel Kraus's masterful plotting and unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.
"He who digs a pit will fall into it." Proverbs 26:27
This book is morbid but I'm sure you got that from the title and cover.
The first sentence reads, 'This is the day my mother dies.'
After the death of his mother, Joey 'Crotch' Crouch leaves Chicago to live with his father in a small town. When things go south at school because he is the odd man out, he turns to figuring out his elusive fathers secrets. He jumps into his dads truck one night and finds himself outside of a cemetery. Then he takes a shovel and starts digging holes in the yard. I wasn't sure what motivated this kid to jump right into the same eerie hobby that his father had. He was a straight A student that played an instrument but by the end of the book he was digging up 'sleepers' on school nights, weekends, and holidays. He just embraced and ran with it.
This kid really have a bad life. Everything turned around for him in a very drastic way. After his mother's death, this kid's life just seems to take a nose dive. He starves, stinks, walks to school covered in mud and corpse stink, gets bullied by the majority of the school and teachers. When he finally does make a friend, it all goes wrong as well. Nothing works out well for this kid. It's like a storm started and though it peters out by the very end of the book, you know that he will always be one of those strange characters that don't quite fit the norm and who secretly have a storm brewing within them.
My 'dark side' - the part of me that loves ghost stories, E.A. Poe, and spooky old houses - really enjoyed the creepy vibe that this story gave off. It really made me think a little differently about the cemetery that I drive by so often.
To be honest, it did take me a while to get through this book. I enjoyed the unique story but it did have some slow parts.
I would not recommend to anyone who does not like horror, even light horror like this, and gets queasy at the mention of, well, the worst sort of things you'd find in coffins that have been in the ground for long. If you don't want to imagine corpses, then DON'T read this book!