Book & Author Details:
Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
Publication date: 1st October 2019
Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend. The epic work of literary horror from the #1 bestselling author of THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER.
We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us.
Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with Christopher at her side. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.
At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a tree house in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.
Soon Kate and Christopher find themselves in the fight of their lives, caught in the middle of a war playing out between good and evil, with their small town as the battleground.
Goodness me, this is a long book – 720 pages. And it feels like a weighty book as well. There’s a lot going on, and a wide reaching cast of characters.
I think that, for the most part, the author pulled this off. It could have been shorter I think, but the pacing didn’t bog down. The tension rose incrementally through the telling of the tale, and the increased changing in POVs as the story went on worked well to support that.
It has been a whilst since I have read a horror that I enjoyed as much as this – one that put me on edge, that had me ruminating over the story.
If you have several hours to spare – this might just be the scary story you’re looking for.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Stephen Chbosky grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Southern California’s Filmic Writing Program. His first film, The Four Corners of Nowhere, premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win Best Narrative Feature honors at the Chicago Underground Film Festival.
He is the recipient of the Abraham Polonsky Screenwriting Award for his screenplay Everything Divided as well as a participant in the Sundance Institute’s filmmakers’ lab for his current project, Fingernails and Smooth Skin. Chbosky lives in New York.