How to Sell a Haunted House
February 25, 2023 5:54 PM - Subscribe

Louise's parents have died, and she needs to deal with her ne'er-do-well brother to sell the family home and its collection of her father's academic papers and her mother's puppets. But some houses don't want to be sold.

"Hendrix is a contemporary horror master, and the combination of profound storytelling and unapologetic, campy gore he delivers here will surely have horror fans reading with a gleeful smile on their faces." -- Gabino Iglesias, NPR

"Warm up the VCR and fire up the air popper for a most bitchin’ horror story by a gifted practitioner of these dark arts." -- Kirkus Reviews

"The novel is at once pulp horror fun and a thoughtful exploration of family dynamics, and I seriously enjoyed it." -- Lee Mandelo,
posted by Etrigan (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I thought this one greatly benefited from someone (possibly Hendrix himself) going through an early draft and saying "Okay, take out, like... most of the jokes." Only a few silly things, all of which worked well enough in the overall context. I'm not sure I'd call it his best -- TFGSG was phenomenal minus a coupla missteps -- but it's right up there.
posted by Etrigan at 6:57 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]

I was reading this one overnight and had to pause until morning when the injury-to-the-eye motif was brought into play. Just a whole lot of no-thank-you!
posted by rewil at 5:20 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Only a few silly things

I mean the radical puppet collective at the elementary school was hilarious, no?
posted by Literaryhero at 3:03 AM on March 3

The radical puppet collective was hilarious and useful to the story. The puppet golem was just silly.
posted by Etrigan at 1:41 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]

Yeah, honestly the final act seemed a little tacked on or something. Also, as a parent, no way Louise isn't taking her daughter straight to a frigging hospital, haunting or no. Plus, when Poppy finally is in the hospital, Louise sneaks out? No mom is leaving their five year old daughter alone in a hospital room for any reason.

That said, I think it was a pretty good book even though it is hard for me to find puppets scary. Creepy, sure, but they are so small and light. Also, I love the idea that in our normal, boring world, I might make a wrong turn someday and find myself a part of a group that cleanses haunted dolls they buy on ebay.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:39 AM on March 5

I knew this book was for me when I got to the halfway-point perspective shift triumphantly heralded by the sentence, '“When I went to BU,” he said, “the first thing I did was join a radical puppet collective.”' Wish we could have seen what Organ would do to disrupt HONK! fest, though I realize that would be a major sidebar for most of the reading audience.

It’s thoroughly ridiculous but also scary and emotionally harrowing (the scariest thing in this horror novel was the estranged siblings squabbling over fraught inheritance, it had my heart rate way up). I can sometimes get burnt out on Hendrix’s writing style, but it stayed fun throughout here. Though I also finished this book in two days, so it didn’t exactly have time to wear out its welcome.
posted by quatsch at 5:44 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]

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