Genre: gory. ⭐️Stars from Goodreads: 3.74. ⭐️Stars from me: 2.
General information about The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor
The Chalk Man is supposed to be a very scary book about children and some games they play. The book is, indeed, gory. If you get squeamish about body parts spectacularly falling out of places they originally belonged to, this book is not a proper reading choice for you. I don’t watch such scenes in movies but looks like I need something more than the scrutinised anatomy of amputated limbs to scare me when it comes to books.The only thing that scared me, actually, was the wish to drop The Chalk Man 50 percents into the story. I had been longing for the book so much! I had been so excited to have my request for it approved! I had thanked the publisher, I had received good wishes from the author and here I was, not being able to last through another page. I summoned my courage and continued. Here is my obviously honest review.
What’s good about The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor
The story does manage to become slightly more interesting after the middle of the book. You start getting a clearer picture of who the victims are and what actually happened to them. There are also a few unexpected and well-arranged plot twists. The whole plot is knitted from many different threads so it’s also interesting to see how they connect eventually.
What’s bad about The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor
The dialogues in any book could help reveal a character. It doesn’t mean that a dialogue should be rubbed over a character like a thick layer of warning signs: attention, she’s a bitch! Look out, he’s an idiot! Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens with the dialogues in The Chalk Man. The lodger of the protagonist, for example, is not able to appear in any scene without producing a bitchy remark. Like a stupid robot, she says something unpleasant whenever she opens her mouth, just for the sake of it. The protagonist himself is not able to mention her without a snappy remark of his own even if it’s about a banal, unrelated to the plot, shopping list. In fact, he always tries to impress you with his misplaced humour but instead he just sounds like a distant relative whose silly jokes you have to acknowledge with a polite smile.
None of them is developed enough to be multidimensional. They are all just tools to serve the plot. They never grow larger than a function assigned to them.
Warning: if you know these clichés they will turn into spoilers for you.
Below are a few clichés from the book. How many of them will you be able to guess? If you do recognise a cliché though, it will be a spoiler for you. Question one: what will happen to a pet in a spooky thriller? Question two: what will happen to a person who announces he knows who the murderer is but will reveal the name later? As for the villain, it’s not a butler (because there’s no butler ) but it gets close to that.
The constant premonitions in The Chalk Man
Suspense is a condiment. You add it to the whole dish to spice it up, to make it more interesting. What will happen to the dish if you unload the whole pack of spices in it? Exactly. Suspense is a must in a thriller but it cannot be the main substance of the plot! You can’t lead a reader through the most of your book just by a mere promise to reveal something spooky later.
Final thoughts on The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor
I’ve seen people praising the book and saying they left the lights on at night and couldn’t go to sleep while reading the book. My experience wasn’t anything like that. I guess I should be scared by a different type of things and whatever they are, they should be better written.
Thanks a lot to the publishers for a copy in exchange for my honest review.