The Summer I Died by Ryan C. Thomas

The Summer I Died - Ryan C. Thomas

GR Cleanup Read in May 2011


Roger is home from college on break and plans to kick back with his best bud Tooth, drink some beer, shoot some cans and smoke a little dope. They head out to an unnamed backwoods town in New Hampshire to shoot without being disturbed and end up captives of a madman Roger calls “Skinny Man” and his bloodthirsty dog. Being a NH native myself, and being far too close to a town where a real life horrendous slaughter recently occurred, this setting scared the pee-pee out of me. I could see that run down house in the middle of nowhere (where no one will hear you scream) far too clearly. I will never again venture out into the woods without two big dogs by my side. Why did no one mention this mayhem happens in NH?!

This book is hardcore, very much torture-porn and not for the squeamish. It’s bleak, dark and squishy but the worst thing about it is the fact that the characters are written exceptionally well for a book of this sort. They start out as two toss-away goofy guys. Roger is the brighter bulb of the two while Tooth is mostly a laze-about heading nowhere fast but as the story progresses they become so real that you nearly feel their physical and emotional pain and experience their desperation to survive, to fight and to get the hell out of the mess they’ve found themselves in. It’s a tense, stomach churning read filled to the brim with cruelty and unimaginable horror. If you’re up for it, I’d say give it a read. It was impossible to put down, well written and though I won’t ever read it again I will check out whatever this guy decides to write in the future.