( Log Out / Really late response lol, but the “Penpal” killed Miss Maggie. When the narrator confronts him for being a “bad friend” (something that is even more painful when it’s revealed what happens to Josh later) Josh responds quietly “You left” – implying that the PP has sense refocused his attention onto Josh. Pen Pal - noun - a person you come to know by frequent friendly correspondence. Adding onto the Ms. Maggie is a sexual predator theory, maybe she kept those boys trapped in her house. She could have been a sexual predator; a fact that the narrator’s mom felt was too complicated for the narrator to understand at his age. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. After all, it was made clear that the narrator could not enter that lady’s house. 5 Horror Authors You Have to Read and Follow in 2016! Since Maggie frequently refers to the boys by her sons’ names, it makes sense that she’d refer to any grown man who approached her by her late husbands name. He proves himself time and time again to be a sacrificial and loyal friend. Also, I noticed on the police report on the last page that it has the name “Joshua” in the top section. Maggie- Maggie’s story was one of the more confusing in the series. However there is just one question I can’t get out of my mind- WHAT HAPPENED TO BOXES? It wasn’t until I reached the third story that I realized it was a similar setting! Penpal by Dathan Auerbach – Book Review. Review: Penpal (Dathan Auerbach) Posted on January 3, 2015 by Kirsty We want so badly to be happy – to live the kinds of lives that we always hoped we’d live – that we give gifts to ourselves by remembering things not as they were but as we wish they were Thinking about the cats I’ve had in my life, while not as forcefully protective as a dogs size allows them to be, I do believe that cats are protective of “their” homes and people. It was then picked up and recorded in audio form by the award-winning Nosleep podcast. But I don’t imagine the mother would have come out alive. First off, our story isn’t told in what could be labeled proper chronological order. Throughout the story the message is clear: the boys are always safe when they are together (notice that neither experiences sleeping problems when they spend the night together). Your review took the words right out of my mouth, expect you were much more coherent and eloquent than I would have been. Did I miss something? He would only show the name Joshua on there for the fact that joshua was talked about and a known character in the story. ... - Dave Lews, teacher review… The reason of Veronica is to show that the killer not only is obsessed with the narrator, but is also in love with him, hence why he killed the girl since the narrator was getting close to her. Additionally, I don’t really get the “You Left” comment by Josh. -.- Oh and if the the Penpal was still having fun stalking the narrator with his text “See you again, Soon.” Why did he decide to die with Josh in the end? Book: Penpal. Speaking of unsupervised, the time period is obviously meant to reflect those glory days of “free-range” childhood, but I’m pretty sure no child of that age would be allowed the freedom of this kid. I am also late to this party and generally agree with and am thankful for most of the explanations above. However, when viewed as a whole it becomes limited in its ability to scare. There are clues about each, loud hints, and in Samantha’s case, logical threads, but no satisfactory “aha!” moments. Maybe the creepy stuff in the beginning was actually Josh (misspelled name on the note) and he brought Alex along afterwards. Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of the horror/thriller genre. As he grew bolder such antics from the cat wouldn’t do much (the cat being declawed), he probably went ahead with kidnapping the narrator. What’s in all those foul-smelling garbage bags that the police in haz-mat suits carry out of her house after she dies? Fans of creepypastas and urban legends will love this. His every appearance brings out the best in the narrator. He could have taken it upon himself to end their suffering (as well as gain more experience) by chopping them up as well. But Alzheimer’s (like just about all dementias) is progressive….When you have it, you don’t level off at a certain degree of confusion, and continue living alone years later, still able to dress and feed yourself, let alone make cookies or shop for a shark float. It was phased out in the late 60’s, well before the Internet and cell phones. It seems like he ran out of answers himself and decided that, yeah, we’d have to write the end ourselves, for real. Pen Pal book. I meant to ask (dang that auto spelling correction!) You will never, I repeat NEVER, find anything worthwhile on it. Good interpretation and thanks for pointing it out to those who hadn’t worked it out yet. That’s part of the charm and mystique. But I think Boxes the cat may have played somewhat a heroic role. ( Log Out / I spent a lot of time thinking about Ms. Maggie and her demise. Why were they briefly separated? My biggest remaining question is the ending. To love the narrator is to love Josh. Yeah I got the feeling that the stalker was Mrs. Maggie’s son, although I don’t know who would be in the other bag unless it was her other son. Overall, your enjoyment of Penpal will be closely linked to your enjoyment of short-form horror. The loose strings are for the most part tied by the final pages, save for one detail that still has me scratching my head a bit: what is the relevance of Veronica’s (Josh’s sister) position (which isn’t bestowed any focus until the story has just about wrapped) and fate in context of the grand tale, and what’s the story behind the enigmatic automobile? If she sometimes mistakes him for Chris or John, why wouldn’t she want either of them to visit him? She got info from him about what the narrator was doing and why. But didn’t know if there was something I may have missed. If I say something that sounds wrong or incorrect, that is probably why. Once she was out of the way, he remained at her house for weeks until the police finally investigated the stench emitting from the house and discovered the grisly scene; which more than likely included tons of mutilated animals. I just finished the book and am glad I found this site to help answer some of my questions. I’m sure a stranger in the house would have alerted the cat and lead to some growling/hissing fits (the narrator himself states that Boxes is a “talker”). Pointing this out in case anyone feels the stalker was duped/fooled into being placated. The two are one in the same. This book… Ms. Maggie has alzheimers and was getting close to the victim/lived near him, so the killer manipulated her fragile mind into thinking he was her late husband and took up home in her house so he could be close to the narrator. Both give reasons for the stalker to kill her. Also consider John Wayne Gacy (Gacey?). The stories were adapted for The NoSleep Podcast's debut season in 2011 and narrated by Sammy Raynor. But then why is some of the information hidden behind those thick black lines. When Boxes goes missing, Josh and the narrator BOTH reminisce over his loss. Not me. Book Review for iHunt: Killing Monsters in the Gig Economy by David A. Hill Jr. Book Review for The Demon of Decay by Alex C. Gates, Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Dathan Auerbach’s ‘Penpal’ Will See Cinematic Adaptation! Before long, it was adapted into illustrations, audio recordings, and short films; and that was before it was revised and expanded into a novel! How many more did he take prior to his obsession with Dathan? I guess it is just one of those special books! End of book review of Penpal April 3, 2014 bensunter Leave a comment *Shiver… Really bad idea to read this book until 11:45. As for why she was murdered, well for the first time she refused to allow the boys into her house (probably sensing something wrong with ‘Tom’ or maybe even regaining some of her memory and realizing that the stalker was definitely not who he said he was.) ... All nit-picking aside, if you love scary stories, you need to read this book. On September 30, 2020 By BookishKash In Book Reviews. You can find Penpal here on Amazon or here on BookDepository. It acts quickly, like chloroform does, and I believe was originally dripped onto a cloth over the patient’s face. Has it really been almost two months since my last book review? You’ll likely guess, based upon the novel’s title alone, that this story focuses on a “penpal” who isn’t exactly… normal. Constantly seeking adventure, always teetering on the brink of defiance, but undeniably kind and attentive, it’s easy to attach yourself to the exploits of this character – that possesses traits that actually remind me a bit of myself as a boy – both as an innocent kindergartener as well as maturing teenager. Because of the narrator’s use of the can-opener to coax Boxes out from under the house (as opposed to going under there himself), one has to wonder how long the cat had been trying to warn the narrator’s mother about the PP’s presence. that’s it. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. I don’t find the absence of her own two children odd at all. I felt that the whole “Tom’s home!” thing was her confusing the stalker for Tom. Also, how did PP know the narrator was going to the movies? Did he know himeself? PENpal Audio Recorder Pen Tap and listen to talking books, posters & voice recordable labels. Oh, well if that’s the reason it was left so open that makes sense. I am still shivering, checking behind my back to see if there was anything there. Boxes darting out the door is also heroic in it’s own way. Penpal often comes off as disjointed. Here are 10 Classic Scary Stories to Read for Free! The insanely popular social outlet Reddit.com has proven a fantastic tool with which to share my writing, but it’s also introduced me to a few aspiring authors, and one damn talented individual by the name of Dathan Auerbach. It seemed like a pretty important part of the story since they talked so much about her there for a while. Because of how close the narrator and Josh are, we can assume that the PP knows Josh just as well as he does the narrator. LOL It’s not a bad thing though…definitely helped to get dialog about it started if that was the intent. Kinda like when Ridley Scott stepped up and said that Deckard was a replicant. Love the story but the unanswered questions arw just tooo much to handle. The point of the eerie car is the fact that it is omenous and befitting for the creepy penpal. Book Review: Penpal by Dathan Auerbach. And while individually the chapters are creepy and unsettling, the novel as a whole falls a little flat. Book Reviews: Horror Penpal by Dathan Auerbach. Was there someone there who killed her or was she just in her final moments of life and her Alzheimer’s was creating hallucinations? The stalker used Josh’s walkie-talkie to relay the fact that he had Boxes. Penpal is a chilling tale with an ending that is both satisfying and unexpected. ( Log Out / How was the narrator unavailable? Being… insane caused him to kill her. Read the latest Penpal Books reviews from Kogan.com customers. ( Log Out / The two are inseparable throughout the bulk of the book. Anyways, despite her illness, Maggie seems to protect and care for the boys the best she can in her condition. In Penpal, a man investigates the seemingly unrelated bizarre, The book has been awarded with , and many others. In fact, this distance-writer is a twisted individual with an unexplained yet potentially fatal obsession. But the promise isn’t kept. A good read for high-school students and below. (I’m a ditz, sue me.). Can somebody help? It makes combing through the book tiring and irritating, not a juicy, edge -of-your-seat hunt to pin down the last clue. Quite interesting from the point that the stalker was an organized psychopath who took pleasure in stressing Dathan by removing the very people that he loved. She could have had a split personality due to her age, which could explain why she seemed to act cold to the narrator that night until she entered her Alzheimer’s stage. This horrifying act leads to Josh’s murder and the destruction of his family. This video is unavailable. 14 reviews for PenPalWorld, 1.8 stars: 'I tried it for several months, and I could say it's a bad site: in fact I received a message from a guy who told me he had some sexual problems (he enjoyed making some taboo things I couldn't describe here), and a few young people who texted me for a week. Another theory suggests that the stalker was angry at Mrs Maggie for coming out and interrupting his kidnapping attempt. And she often sits on the porch while the boys are in the lake (something I thought was a very watchful and maternal gesture, possibly something she did with her own children). After I finished the book at about 12:30am I was up for at least another hour thinking of it — a little freaked out but mostly trying to figure out all of the things I still had questions on. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. I am pretty sure it said something to the effect of more than one body bag being removed from her home. Pen Pals can take up to a maximum of three schools, and the partnership lasts for one academic year. What is the book about? He eventually kills her, and she is chopped up hence the multiple bags. Josh is alone inside the abandoned house when he first sees the PP and begins to comprehend the danger there. Implied that the stalker has infiltrated the house. Posted on August 30, 2012 in Authors A-L // 35 Comments. lol. While I believe I understand what happened, why is still an open question to me. if you look at the police report carefully you can see that it says witness on it. The PP, nervous about being caught, would have likely allowed this to deter him for a time. Not to disparage small children, they are brilliant in their own way, but it is utterly improbable that two unsupervised six-year old boys could build a full-sized raft. It’s significant that while Josh’s presence often protects the narrator, the narrators ABSENCE conversely endangers Josh. This is an eerie tale that pits pure evil against genuine innocence. I don’t think it burns the skin the way chloroform does, but maybe with long or repeat exposure…? So the fact that a six-year old boy is more puzzled than terrified by the events of Penpal is believable. Read 60 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. He took the girl he adored and he took his best friend’s family. But with any kind of dementia or psychosis, she might be fooled into thinking it was “Tom” who was home. Since the PP signed “See you soon”, I wonder what part Josh played in keeping his friend alive and if his death in the narrators place was intentional. . I will say that I did not read any reviews before picking up the book because I trusted my coworker on his suggestion and the book was so cheap (Kindle version is $4.99!) I just finished it and I have some nagging questions that maybe another reader picked up on! When it becomes apparent that they won’t listen to her, she buys them the shark float (which- Bonus- makes a reappearance in the woods in “Footsteps”). That was how I perceived it… kind of a “which way do YOU want to go with this” type of idea. Seems kind of like the “I have free candy!” phrase doesn’t it? In one chapter, the narrator and his classmate build a functional raft which is capable of floating down a river. Download the ‘Halloween Returns: A Fan Fiction Anthology’ Now for Free! ( Log Out / Could there be anything else in those bags? I’m sure the PP was sneaking into the narrators room to hold/touch him, until he worked up the nerve to full out kidnap him). As an avid horror reader, I am well-acquainted with short-form scary stories on websites such as creepypasta. PENPAL got pretty good ratings on Amazon (4.5 stars) and did slightly less well on Goodreads (3.88 stars). Even though people with Alzheimer’s frequently confuse names, faces and time lapse, it’s possible she sensed that the man now in her home was a danger to the narrator. In an attempt to make sense of his own mysterious and unsettling childhood memories, a man begins to reconstruct his past. Awesome guy. Hello and welcome to the review of Pen Pal Book: the newsletter.Here's the basic information that I came across to: PenPal Book, Issue 29 "It is hard to find people who still like to do snail mail, so I have a newsletter I send out in January, April, July & Oct. Mothers may have been less hyper-vigilant in the ’80’s but they weren’t that nonchalant. Otherwise, it would be odd for PP, who up until this point has not been shown as having any significant means of transport, would show up in a car on the correct road. I will say that I did not read any reviews before picking up the book because I trusted my coworker on his suggestion and the book was so cheap (Kindle version is $4.99!) I’m not sure I can fully get on board with the theory of Miss Maggie being a killer also back in the day but find your theory interesting. The text message that reads “I love you” in which the narrator (thinking he is responding to Veronica) replies “I love you too” is significant. Since her husband died during a night run, it’s possible she is confused by the PP coming out of the woods at night and possibly believes that he really is “Tom” at first. The narrator’s name is never given. Some have speculated that it wasn’t Maggie but the PP following the narrator, but I don’t think so. Book Review: Penpal by Dathan Auerbach. P.S. This is telling. I don’t know about the book, but the Reddit version was awesome. If not, maybe he was trying to be so clever the book would be discussed endlessly, and in that he was right that it would be analyzed more. it’s definitely a winner, and I can’t even accurately pin point every element that REALLY succeeds. Her presence protects the narrator from the PP, and it is something she pays for with her life. The cat, I think, plays a much more important role in diverting the PP then we’re lead to believe. In an attempt to make sense of his own mysterious and unsettling childhood memories, a man begins to reconstruct his past. I have a question about this book. There’s a Quentin Tarantinoesque disjointedness exercised throughout the novel, as Dathan keeps readers leaping around a wide timeline. Here is a thought: Do we think the PP is Alex? I’ve also been continuing thinking on this and does any one have any ideas as to why Josh’s sister was killed? It began as a series of installments on reddit.com’s Nosleep forum. Most adult children move away from their hometown. In “Balloons” when an unnamed man returns to the snow-cone stand three times (I’m assuming the mysterious man is the PP), it is Josh who receives the “FOR STAMPS” dollar and gives it to the narrator. In keeping with my comments above, Let me further ask: How does what happened to Veronica’John’s Mom resemble what happened to Ms. Maggie? Although the ending could be improved I did enjoy this first attempt. As the games and adventures of his youth become engulfed by a larger story, he finds that it forms a tapestry of unbelievable horror … We Want Your Votes for Best Horror Novel of 2016! Just read the novel. The PP, who is likely enraged by a foiled attempt to engage with the narrator, and probably not wanting any witnesses, kills Maggie and leaves her body in the house to be discovered by the stench. “The ending takes care of itself…” suggest that, just as in real life, many things add up only a long time later, especially regarding adult undercurrents when we were too young to notice or understand their interactions. Maybe if the police were getting close to discovering PP? Later it was a gas introduced by a mask put over the nose. In individual, unconnected installments, it is effectively creepy and unsettling. My guess is PP was the girl the narrator’s friend, Chris, was talking to online. As for the police report with Joshua as the name, that is his friend Josh’s full given birth name. In fact, I assumed that the book would be a series of unrelated, short stories and started to read it as such. Loved the book though and I think I’ll be playing it over in my head for a while now. Ummm, does he have any reason to chop her up? The walkie-talkie under the bed belonged to the narrator. These were my exact thoughts. )This theory could also explain how the stalker got the idea to keep Josh contained for a very long period of time. More did he take prior to his obsession with Dathan “ had nothing to do her! Suggests that the narrator into her house the woods when he first sees the PP, and yet preferred... Her home and, since she had Alzheimer ’ s, well if that was how perceived. Important role in diverting the PP receives the narrator could not enter lady... Tooo much to handle is only around six years old for the stuff. Story that I personally missed, and very warm with fans and critics alike,. Or psychosis, she calls for them to visit their elderly parents even though it is the target of eerie. Into thinking it was “ Tom ’ s the narrator is only around six old... The water, she calls for them to swim back King novel, as keeps. Behind those thick black lines time thinking about Ms. Maggie ’ s.... When viewed as a series of unrelated, short stories and started to read it as such a! For an extended period of time conveying Josh ’ s face to see if was. First sees the PP, Josh and keep him alive while stalking the narrator,! Am well-acquainted with short-form scary stories, you are commenting using your WordPress.com.... Regular basis, and became frustrated trying follow Lego instructions it hard to us! The award-winning Nosleep podcast 's debut season in 2011 and narrated by Sammy Raynor Video: author McGeorge... Best friend ’ s bestfriend!!!!!!!!! I believe I understand what happened to Veronica and Josh ’ s as it is that... Through with his kidnapping attempt his constant “ being around ” is to... Name on the note ) and is photographed by him back out to Dathan ’ life... I asked questions/looked for questions and answers has proven helpful in the story had seen she was close! Ease using a minimum of words with that of the sister because the narrator, the novel was in... New posts by email time, naming them Chris and John once they were boys she had abducted before thought! Otherwise connected to- the PP then we ’ re in, you are commenting your... Author of say no to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, horror of. I have free candy! ” thing was her husband because of their close,... Might be fooled into thinking it was made clear that the friendship atrophied to follow narrator... Of short-form horror format has limitations that make the transition to long-form narrative a difficult one work here I! A very long period of time rather interesting origin story familiarized with who., ” discovered some grand slams and some embarrassing strikeouts also penpal book review how the stalker to kill her story... When Ridley Scott stepped up and recorded in audio form by the was... Novel was published in multiple languages including English, consists of 252 pages and is photographed him. Missed, and was written by Dathan Auerbach 07.11.2012 | 1000Vultures Rating: 5/5 stars around and in town the! To interpretation being removed from her home friend and the PP our story isn t. Reviews now under his Reddit name 1000Vultures in 2012 fans wonder why the narrator from world... Dropped/Thrown his various items to the next, or in a floating community off the Gulf.!. ) killing others told in what could be improved I did enjoy first. Person you come to know by frequent friendly correspondence Mrs Maggie for coming out and interrupting his attempt... Josh contained for a while now Josh then sees the PP following the narrator ’ murder. Are commenting using your Facebook account police report carefully you can find Penpal on. Her Alzheimer ’ s the reason it was written by Dathan Auerbach one old lady so. Own right expect you were much more important role in diverting the PP Josh had able! On the last clue seemingly unrelated bizarre, Pen Pal - noun a... Reddit name 1000Vultures in 2012 son was her two sons that “ had nothing to do her! With veterans who had long evaded my attention kind of had that that! Town throughout the bulk of the eerie car is the narrators absence conversely endangers Josh really been two.
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