Rotters by Daniel Kraus
Published April 5, 2011 by Delacorte Press
Hardcover: 464 pages
Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.
Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey's father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey's life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.
Daniel Kraus's masterful plotting and unforgettable characters makeRotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.
I first picked up this book because it seemed really different, and it turns out, that was exactly what Rotters was.This book was just so... weird... and kind of horrifying... and fascinating... and creepy.
Joey was a really strange kid. In the first chapter, it really freaked me out how he was thinking of all of the ways his mother could die. His "specifying" added a whole new layer to the book that I had never seen before. All of the other characters were good too. I don't mean good like "I really like them! Yay! Good guys!" I mean that they were very intricate and had lots of layers. Like that part in Shrek where Donkey or Shrek says so-and-so has lots of layers like an onion. Which, is kind of ironic because Joey's dad has this weird thing about constantly eating onions. Anyways, those kids at Joey's school were awful! They were just so ridiculous and I'm sort of glad in a weird, sick way that Joey did what he did to them. Foley was pure awesome. He liked metal and was nice and OHMYGOSH that one part where they are at the movies was so unexpected and wow, but it totally made sense. (That was a long paragraph.)
The fact that this book is about grave robbing was very terrifying and fascinating and odd and very different. I mean, how many books are there out there that are about grave robbing? So, this is just really weird. I didn't hate this book at all -it was a good read- but I do in fact, hate it.
This paragraph is all spoilery, so if you care about that sort of thing, look away. I was so mad when Joey went with Boggs -who is a complete psycho, by the way! What were you thinking?! Just kill him already! And that one part where his eye falls out and he does nothing was absolutely horrifying. I can't believe Foley is gay! It's not a bad thing but W-O-W. Unexpected? Heck yes. I just can't even-
If you're squeamish at all, do not read this book. It's disgustingly horrifying a lot of the time. If you aren't squeamish and you want to read something different, read Rotters.