I recently finished his next novel, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, and it was a pile of nostalgic fun. I never did get around to reading Grady Hendrix’s other book, Horrorstor, and now I regret that a lot.
80s nostalgia is the ‘in thing’ at the moment, especially in horror. It has been going for a few years with movies like Turbo Kid, Drive, and Kung Fury. But it really kicked into high gear in pop culture with the success of Stranger Things on Netflix. Now there is a boom in 80’s soaked entertainment. Now we, as a culture, are eating up movies like the remake of Stephen King’s It. And Grady Hendrix’s book, My Best Friend’s Exorcism feeds this need for 80s nostalgia mixed with catholic horror tropes.
I loved all of the references to E.T., 80 tunes, and swatch watches. It is not overdone at all and does not detract for the characters or the story. Instead of detracting, all of the references establish the characters and move the story along.
Speaking of the characters, the friendship developed between Gretchen and Abby within the first few chapters is amazing. I didn’t want the fun of the first two chapters to end, but eventually the horrors of teenage life arrive in chapter three. Soon after, the real horrors begin and continue to rise until the insane climax.
And Grady sure has a knack for making me cringe. There is one scene in particular that had my stomach churning, but I had to keep reading to. I had to know what happens! Not only can he make you squirm, Grady also achieved a heart-rending conclusion. Keep that box of tissues handy for the final chapters.
In closing, I highly recommend you read this book. If you like Stranger Things and The Exorcist this book is in your wheelhouse.