Pallbearers Club
by Tremblay, Paul

A volunteer pallbearer for poorly attended funerals, Art Barbara, a 17-year-old loner in the 1980s, meets a cool girl who has an obsessive knowledge of strange, terrifying things that he tries to make sense of years later while writing a book that she begins making cuts to. 75,000 first printing.

*Starred Review* In his brilliant new novel, Tremblay (Survivor Song, 2020) takes on the well-mined small-town, coming-of-age horror trope, transforming it into something so original, it elevates the entire genre. From the title page, readers are introduced to the unsettling memoir (or is it a novel?) by Art Barbara, a stand-in for the troubled man Tremblay could have become, as text is crossed out and replaced by the story's other protagonist, Mercy, who also caps off each chapter with her own commentary and context. Art recounts his life from 1988-2017, beginning when, as an awkward high-school senior, he created a club to assist at poorly attended funerals and met vampire-obsessed Mercy, his only club mate. He grows into a man with prematurely declining health and a passion for punk rock. The intimate and playful nature of their conversation on the page draws readers in immediately, but as the novel continues, the chapters get longer and more immersive as an intense unease envelopes the narrative. Everyone's reliability is questioned-reader included-and all are held captive until the extremely disquieting conclusion. For fans of thought-provoking, pervasively creepy horror that crawls under the skin and won't let go, like works by Grady Hendrix and T. Kingfisher. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

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