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A Bad Day for Voodoo Paperback – June 5, 2012
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When your best friend is just a tiny bit psychotic, you should never actually believe him when he says, "Trust me. This is gonna be awesome."
Of course, you probably wouldn't believe a voodoo doll could work either. Or that it could cause someone's leg to blow clean off with one quick prick. But I've seen it. It can happen.
And when there's suddenly a doll of YOU floating around out there―a doll that could be snatched by a Rottweiler and torn to shreds, or a gang of thugs ready to torch it, or any random family of cannibals (really, do you need the danger here spelled out for you?)―well, you know that's just gonna be a really bad day ...
"Jeff Strand is hilariously funny and truly deranged." ―Christopher Golden, author of When Rose Wakes
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From School Library Journal
- Publisher : Sourcebooks Fire (June 5, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1402266804
- ISBN-13 : 978-1402266805
- Reading age : 12 - 17 years
- Lexile measure : HL730L
- Grade level : 7 - 12
- Item Weight : 10.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.68 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #515,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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A Bad Day For Voodoo is one of the half that I didn't enjoy.
I had issues with the writing, stylistically. The narrator directly addressing the reader was IMO poorly done and off-putting and felt like a gimmick for the sake of a gimmick.
Also, while I generally have a fairly robust ability to suspend disbelief the plot here was so contrived and illogical as to have me rolling my eyes repeatedly. Exempli gratia: everything about the cab driver character--they just happen upon a stark raving mad cab driver when they need a lift, one who is super helpful and then who turns heartlessly evil when it's convenient to keep the wobbling story moving roughly in the intended direction. Everything is glued together with convenient, wildly improbable coincidences.
The thing is, I can never find fault with any of his stories. The characters are the best I've ever read - I find myself caring about them even when they're jerks, the dialogue is curt, witty, and brilliant, the plot is always incredibly entertaining, and Jeff's trademark blend of horror and humor is always on point. It doesn't seem to matter what genre I'm in the mood for...I pick up a Strand novel, and I'm a happy girl.
I enjoyed every single page of this young adult novel. My only complaint is that it wasn't longer. (Seriously.) The FAQs at the beginning were hilarious, as were the "Coming Soon" titles at the end.
I'm a fan.
Available on Amazon!
The storyline is so far-fetched, wacky and extremely entertaining! I love horror and a good comedy and Jeff Strand combines 'em both in this fine treat: A Bad Day for Voodoo.
From the opening chapter, it's a roller coaster ride! The plot borders on the ridiculous. I remember my eyes bugging out in incredulity. It ranges from body parts exploding to cadavers escaping the morgue; voodoo doll-loving Rottweilers to creepy cannibals. So if you're the type that don't like to suspend a lot of disbelief or dislike an unbelievable storyline, then chances are you won't like this book.
This book isn't Shakespeare. It won't be winning any Pulitzer awards. However, it's extremely enjoyable. The pacing is swift and brilliant. There's a lot of blood splatter and the humor is in spades. You might ask, how can mutilation and blood loss be humorous? Jeff Strand nails it. It reminds me a lot of the late 80s - early 90s B movies minus the modern gizmos and gadgets, such as My Boyfriend's Back. Another reviewer said, " A Bad Day for Voodoo feels like the Corey Haim/Corey Feldman movie that never got made," and I strongly concur! I totally pictured Corey Haim (may he RIP) and Corey Feldman playing the roles of Tyler and Adam respectively. It's absolutely befitting!
A Bad Day for Voodoo is written in a conversational, irreverent style. Each chapter ends with a cliffhanger so you're left in anticipation of what will ensue. Plus, Tyler is a great character. You can't help but grow fond of him. His usage of gallows humor is a riot! The way he addresses you (as a reader) and asks you questions makes me feel like I'm right there with 'em. I loved his magnanimity towards Adam. I doubt I'd show such magnanimity if I were in his shoes.
In short: this book has cross-over appeal. I'm in my early 30s and I liked this YA book very much. It is a quick, wicked read. Recommended.
Tyler may be living the American dream when he sticks a pin in a voodoo doll of his unfair meanie of a teacher right in the middle of class and gets a result. But something happens that's much worse than pain, and he learns that revenge isn't so sweet a dish when it's just too much colder than he really is at heart. And then comes the panic.
Panic and comedy set the two overlapping tones for the whole book. Jeff's ... umm, Ferris's ... Tyler's! narration flits all over the place, but rarely stays serious for long. In many ways, this a book about books, and about funny books. The customary narration of the story cuts out entirely at points while Strand "gets meta" and regales us with odd bits of weirdness involving a ghostwriter begging for more work, comments on The Shining, notes from the editor, hints on writing a book report on the book, and generally exhibits enjoyable silliness before getting back to the story at hand. Besides Bad Day for Voodoo simply being a funny story, it insists you enjoy it as a funny story as it whirls about between narrative threads and meta-narrative stunts in an exuberance that keeps almost anything possible in any chapter.
And that's all to the good, as, in the three books (plus some short stories) I've read by Strand so far, he doesn't linger on subtext. They're about momentum. So they speed along, but they can't afford not to, either, as they leave little reason to linger. They need to be read as quickly as possible, and they are conducive to that. They're clear, propulsive, with generally likeable characters, and funny.
In this book, we know nothing about the backgrounds of any of the main characters. They are physically generic, and there is not a lot of reason to think about them. If they have voices, they occasionally blend together into the single run-on voice of Jeff Strand. If you tried to put the characters in "What if?" situations, you'd draw a blank on what they'd do in any scenario because you don't really know who they are. These books are a very lightweight type of fun.
And they are good at it. But it does get a bit tiring, with their unrelenting emphasis on "and then, and then, and then" storytelling. It's a breakneck concentration on incident at speed, and sometimes I wish there were more "story" to the stories, in that the characters took a breather to live a little and be human.
Bad Day for Voodoo, like all Jeff Strand I've read, is a good time. Strand simply has an enjoyable voice; that's his key gift, and it's not a small one. His characters won't linger with you, though. If his stories do, I haven't found one yet. Not much will, besides his voice. That voice has kept me coming back to Strand, for the third time (plus shorts) now. I'll be reading more of Strand. But I'm hoping he hits the motherlode in a book that combines his gifts for voice and narrative speed with something that truly makes the race worth running -- that makes the story worth thinking about after you've closed the book. Maybe he already has, and I haven't found it yet. It's a tribute to his talent that I will keep looking.
Overall, I'd give Bad Day for Voodoo 3.5 stars out of 5.