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BROWSE BOOK REVIEWS:

"The Wooden Man" by James W. Truax

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 Under: Book Reviews


There are so many words to describe “The Wooden Man”: dark, disturbing and wonderfully engrossing are but a few.  James Truax is a fine author, and he doesn’t just present one interesting story in this self-contained tale, but several.  This extremely creative and completely absorbing novella presents as a fable for kids – yet, at the same time it grows darker, and at times genuinely more frightening, with each turn of the page.

When eight-year-old Gabe finds himself lost in the woods, and stranded alone with the mysterious and enigmatic wooden man, you suspect things are about to turn unsavoury for the poor boy.  But just how dark this book gets - as Truax’s anecdotes within the story grow increasingly unpleasant and adult in nature, and the forces holding Gabe entirely at their mercy turn increasingly malevolent - comes as a genuine surprise.  And, a delightful one at that.  A children’s book this might be, but whilst fables have always intended to frighten children with their cautionary tales and moral lessons, in tales of abduction and cannibalism, this is one I would definitely recommend only for those of a more mature disposition.  Unlike more traditional fairy stories and fables, there is a contemporary feel to the horrors in “The Wooden Man”, with its themes of murder, war and adultery, making it undoubtedly much more suited to today’s younger audience than it would have been to their generation in days gone by.  It is an incredibly thought-provoking, clever, educational and visionary piece of work, both consistent with the traditions of the genre, and much better than the contemporary average.

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this well-written, nicely paced scary story, reading it from cover to cover without moving.  It is short – only 100 or so pages – and I have to say I highly recommend it if you are looking to kill an hour or two, whether you are young or old.  Be warned though: it is atmospheric and pretty dark at times, so wrap up well, shut yourself away and turn down the lights – I am certain you won’t leave your seat until it’s finished.

In : Book Reviews 


Tags: james-w-truax  childrens-books  fable  fairy-tale  short-stories  novella  horror  suspense 
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