Story in brief:
Unseen psychopath with unknown motivations imprisons six completely unconnected people in an underground bunker.
SPOILERS FROM HERE:
Cue starvation, poison gas, mad dogs, rape (I think, as woman naked) strangulation, stabbings with glass eyes shards, putrid septicemia, cannibalism, abandonment to being buried alive in said bunker… etc etc
And one by one they all die, mostly horribly. The End.
Quality of writing: great. The child Jenny, while being the token fragile kid we must protect, still manages enough individuality to make us care. The narrator Linus is interesting, sympathetic, multi-layered and very relatable.
But ultimately, this is an exercise in horror with no real point. Worst, most hopeless and soul-destroying end you can think of? Check. Possible reasons, insight gained? Absolutely none. I know a lot of people loved this book, and I can’t understand why. And I don’t mind dark, in reasonable doses. But the author gives the power to the unknown psychopath with his sadistic manipulations – there is no motive, no why or how – and I just wonder what goes on in the author’s mind, or why he wants to write something like this. Create people the reader cares about – then wipe them out horribly, for no reason. YUK.
It was revolting, and made me cross. Disappointing, that so much talent should be used so poorly. A nasty nasty book.