He is very, very beautiful, but if you ever meet him, please do not let this make you uncomfortable. He does not judge.
The New Yorker once ran a short profile of him, and this means that when the time comes and they are lining people up for the Space Arks he will be guaranteed a seat ahead of you. – from Hendrix’s website
I already outlined Grady Hendrix in my Horrorstör review, so check that out if you need a refresher!
Set in 1988, during the Satanic Panic that had Americans looking for Satanists under every heavy metal album, My Best Friend’s Exorcism is a touching story of high school friendship and demonic possession. It’s basically Beaches meets The Exorcist with all the E.T. love, Phil Collins, wine coolers, United Colours of Benetton perfume, and demons from Hell that personified the 80s. – from Hendrix’s website
My Best Friend’s Exorcism is a horror novel that was published in 2016. It’s set in 1988 and revolves around two best friends: Abby and Gretchen, who live in South Carolina. One night, they decide to take some LCD, as teenagers are wont to do, and Gretchen disappears into the woods. She appears some hours later with no memory of what happened to her. Then she begins to act crazier, and crazier, and crazier – not to mention evilly. It leads Abby to believe that her best friend is possessed by a demon and she decides that she will stop at nothing to save her best friend!
Another amazing novel from Hendrix that I, again, couldn’t put down and that I, again, finished in two days! The strengths of this novel were similar to that of Horrorstör, Hendrix weaves a powerful story of friendship (I may have teared up at the end but refuse to comment further) with realistic, tragically human characters. I really think that the characters in this story really make it as powerful and entrancing as it is.
On top of that, the setting in South Carolina, a small town with a distinct class line and stiff WASPishness is claustrophobic, adding to the overall sense of tension. Hendrix also mixes in the futile struggles of a teen girl trying to help a friend in a world of strict adults that refuse to listen with the helplessness of someone struggling against the invisible class lines enforced by elitists, creating a frantic sense of a protagonist drowning all while she tries to save her friend.
The story itself didn’t hold many surprises for me. It was a pretty straightforward exorcism story, but it was still such an entertaining read with such a bittersweet ending.
Cherry on top is another amazing cover — this time by Doogie Horner and Hugh Fleming.
x P.L. McMillan