Cover Image: Night of the Mannequins

Night of the Mannequins

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Member Reviews

Really enjoyed this breezy horror novella by a true modern horror master. Mannequins have long been a fascination to me as a horror fan and the scares and action got me hooked and kept me reading. Great characters as always by Graham Jones.
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A pretty wicked little homage to those great 80's teenage slasher films.

Unreliable narrator - check.
Cheezy prank gone bad - check.
Dude in a creepy mask - check.
Body count on the rise - check.

Stephen Graham Jones had a lot of fun with this one and it shows. Jump on in kids, the water's fiiiiine.
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This was my 3rd book by this author, and I feel that this is his weakest work in my opinion. This was kinda weird and I wasn't entirely sure what exactly was going on with the main character. Was he crazy? Was there some kind of mannequin come to life that was threatening to kill them all. I almost rated this 2 stars as I didn't enjoy this as much as The Only Good Indians and Mongrels. While it was well written I just didn't enjoy the story all that much.
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This is a weird one. I love Stephen Graham Jones and appreciate his talent. You can't stay the man isn't an original.
I love the early parts of this one, the rest makes sense in a crazy person way, but I was hoping for a more creature feature type of story.
Still, Jones fans will still dig this one. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4!
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I seem to have read quite a few books by Stephen Graham Jones, recently - the one immediately before this was THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS, and before that MONGRELS.

NIGHT OF THE MANNEQUINS is a gripping, intelligent and chilling suspense-horror novella. Excellent prose, well-drawn characters, with plenty of intriguing and twisty elements. Surprising, kept me up well into the night. Devoured it in one sitting. Recommended.
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This was my first experience with Stephen Graham Jones, and it did not disappoint. It was bananas, and I mean that in the best way possible. The way the story was told definitely made this an interesting reading experience. I also loved the concept of a prank gone wrong, and the reveal was disturbing and shocking. It was such a weird story, and I could not stop thinking about it. In my mind, that's the mark of a great book!
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Short, but packs a punch! I loved this quick read from Jones and have already bought some more of his work because I enjoy his style so much.
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I’m starting to think that maybe Stephen Graham Jones might just not be for me. The books always sound amazing but I always end up slightly disappointed because it wasn’t what I was expecting. Which is a shame because when I say the books always sound great, they really do but then I’m left kind of going “what was that?”. I thought this was going to be a supernatural horror story with a creepy mannequin but I will tell you right now it’s more psychological horror than anything, which was again, not what I thought it was going to be. Which is why I think I feel underwhelmed with it. This is definitely a case of “it’s me, not you” again with this author’s books so take this review with a grain of salt.

(You can read my full review of “The Only Good Indians” here)

The plot mostly revolves around a prank gone wrong with a group of teens and it involves, you guessed it, a mannequin. There’s a reason the synopsis for the book is so short and that’s because it’s pretty easy to spoil the story, which I don’t want to do so I’m not going to explain what exactly the story is about any further than that. Like I already mentioned it’s more psychological horror so take that as you will. This was unfortunate for me personally because I was expecting something scary and this novella isn’t really scary at all. However, it does give off that campy 80’s slasher horror movie vibe which made it fun.

I also thought the story was confusing and the ending especially confused me, it sort of felt like reading through someone’s fever dream. It was bizarre. Sawyer is the main character and whose POV we read the story through and I did find it to be pretty funny in a dark/morbid way, he had a very dry/sarcastic sense of humor. But like I said overall it just felt really off. The writing doesn’t vibe with me, something is just strange about it and it made my overall reading experience subpar. This is 100% me and not the author or book, it’s just a little odd. The pacing is pretty moderate, this novella is only 136 pages so it’s a fairly quick read but I did feel like it dragged a bit just because I personally wasn’t very invested in the story.

What I Loved:

    The 80’s horror vibe
    It’s a quick read, short novella
    Sawyer’s twisted POV and dark humor

What I Didn’t Love:

    The writing style
    Overall horror elements, not what I was expecting
    Story felt bizarre and at times confusing

So this is a shorter review than I usually do but that’s because it’s a fairly short book and I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who would like to give it a read. Overall I can’t really say if I’d recommend this or not because it personally was NOT for me and wasn’t what I thought it would be. I’m giving it three stars because I know in my heart of hearts it’s a decent book but not my cup of tea otherwise I’d probably be sitting around two stars. I’d say if you’re already a fan of Stephen Graham Jones and you do enjoy his writing, go for it you’ll probably have
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Stephen Graham Jones can do no wrong. He’s an amazing storyteller and a brilliant writer. I need to go purchase every book of his I don’t currently own.
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A short horror novella that is poorly written.  It has several run on sentences and an unreliable narrator.  I do not recommend.
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This novella is pure slasher bliss. It starts as a small town tale, complete with a very unreliable narrator. What do small town kids do to make their lives interesting? They pull pranks! And what happens when murders start happening? What happens when insanity reaches a fever pitch?

This book does so much in it’s short read time. The horror and shock throughout lead to an excellent finale that you must experience.
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Night of the Mannequins reads a bit like a teenage Patrick Bateman novel.
Told from the POV of Sawyer Grimes, it tells the story of a group of teens who begin to die after a prank using a mannequin in a cinema takes a wrong turn.
The violence is delivered in an oft-hand playfulness that actually makes it even more unsettling, while the narrative zips along at a pace that's easy to digest in one sitting.
Worth a look.
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A group of teens in small-town Texas drag an old mannequin into a movie theater as a final prank against a friend, but things don't go exactly how they planned. Soon, our narrator Sawyer and his pals are caught in the crosshairs of a murderous, living mannequin, and Sawyer has to figure out the best course of action. What starts out campy rapidly becomes a psychological thriller where nobody knows what will happen next. Jones packs a punch in a short book, and it's fantastic horror. Can't wait to read more by him.
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Jones has such a way with dialogue and the internal monologue of his characters. They think and speak in the way real people do, in fragments, fits and starts, incomplete sentences, digressions. Plus, the opening sentence of this novel really grabs you. You'll see what I mean. Just read it!
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As usual, Stephen Graham Jones delivers.   Ever since the PBS show, Today's Special, I've hated mannequins, and this did nothing to help that fear.  I love it.
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2.5 Stars

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but I was interested to read it.

I for the most part thought the story was interesting as a psychological horror until about the 70% mark where I felt it kind of got a bit less interesting. The main protagonist, carrying out his plan and then it just kind of fell flat and left me with unanswered questions and a feeling of being unsatisfied. 😬
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Night of the Mannequins is a hilarious, outrageous, horrific take on the “prank gone wrong” concept blended with an “is it real or all in his mind” psychological thriller and culminating in an over-the-top, total destruction denouement. A good YA crossover for fans of dark humor and horror spoofs.
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Great book full of twists and turns! It’s hard to give a synopsis without spoiling things, but it’s about a group of friends who find a mannequin one summer and teenage pranks ensue. Eventually, things take a darker turn. Jones is great at building suspense in every book and this one is no different. Highly suggest it!
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So without spoilers and in what is hopefully true Stephen King fashion, here’s the short of it. Sawyer and his friends have decided to play one last prank with Manny the Mannequin, but when the prank falls short, Sawyer’s friends start getting picked off one by one. Sawyer just knows Manny is the source of all this death, but no one else seems to be connecting the dots, leaving Sawyer all alone to outsmart and outmaneuver the killer.

As it’s a novella, and therefore requires little investment, I’ll say that if you’re a fan of horror and Graham Jones to go ahead and give this one a read. Otherwise, this one is likely not your type.

Dark and droll humored, Night of the Mannequins is written as a sort of stream of consciousness from a bored, seemingly unremarkable teenage boy. If you’re not a fan of the style, it can make for an awfully bumpy ride. For the initiated, the casual tone is a genius foil for the madness and murder that ensues. As with The Only Good Indians, Graham Jones pulls you along for a journey that will only get more strange and more horrible the further you go. A cool slasher twist on what should have been an all too familiar coming of age story, Night of the Mannequins, overall, manages to be an original and enjoyably horrific tale.
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This was one of those books that I really wanted to like.  The first half of the book goes along well with a good story line and character building.  The author does a great job of making “Manny” into a character.  The ending seemed to run up on you out of no where.  It was a sudden ending that seemed quickly thought out rather than planned.  Bottom line if you are looking for a quick horror read this is one to check out.  Thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC to review.

Happy reading!
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