cover image My Heart Is a Chainsaw

My Heart Is a Chainsaw

Stephen Graham Jones. Saga, $26.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-982137-63-2

Jones (The Only Good Indians) expertly mixes the frightening and the funny in this no-holds-barred homage to classic horror tropes written under the heady influence of splatter films. Its outsider heroine is Jade Daniels, an affectionately cheeky 17-year-old high schooler of Blackfoot descent, who finds escape from her dead-end life in rural Proofrock, Idaho, by gorging on a steady diet of slasher flicks. When a spate of bizarre deaths targeting the wealthy residents of Proofrock’s newly developed Terra Nova community rocks the town, Jade recognizes all of the elements of her favorite films’ formulae at play. Certain that the deaths presage a bloody slaughter, she tries—with little credulity from authorities—to warn the town of what is coming. Jones weaves an astonishing amount of slasher film lore into his novel, punctuating the text with short term papers written by Jade on the history and functions of the genre. Meanwhile, the tension builds to a graphic finale perfectly appropriate for the novel’s cinematic scope. Horror fans won’t need to have seen all of the films referenced to be blown away by this audacious extravaganza. [em]Agent: B.J. Robbins, B.J. Robbins Literary. (Aug.) [/em]