Serial = 29 down, 71 to go

4 Mar

Jack Kilborn and Blake Crouch

So I may be fibbing just a bit in classifying this one as a recommendation, unless I count it as a recommendation from Amazon when I looked up “free” books. And it’s probably cheating since it’s such a short book, just about 8,000 words from cover to cover.

But I was incredibly intrigued by its literary concept – two authors decide on a storyline, each writes a part of the book on his own and then they write the third part in 100-word increments via email. Amazon’s description of the book was way more interesting than anything I could commit to screen:

Remember the twin golden rules of hitchhiking? #1: Don’t go hitchhiking, because the driver who picks you up could be certifiably crazy. #2: Don’t pick up hitchhikers, because the traveler you pick up could be raving nutcase. So what if, on some dark, isolated road, Crazy #1 offered a ride to Nutcase #2? When two of the most twisted minds in the world of horror fiction face off, the result is SERIAL, a terrifying tale of hitchhiking gone terribly wrong.

Like a deeply twisted version of an “After School Special,” SERIAL is the single most persuasive public service announcement on the hazards of free car rides. Beyond a thrilling piece of horrifying suspense, SERIAL is also a groundbreaking experiment in literary collaboration. Kilborn wrote the first part. Crouch wrote the second. And they wrote the third together over email in 100-word exchanges, not aware of each other’s opening section. All bets were off, and may the best psycho win.

After reading into the first part of the book, I almost put it down. It was very violent and very graphic. This story is definitely not for the faint of heart. But the approach to its creation was novel to me and worth a read if the concept intrigues you.


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