The Boy Who Drew Monsters: A Novel

The Boy Who Drew Monsters: A Novel - Keith Donohue Seaside Maine in the winter is scary enough. Add in a boy who can draw things to life and you have a horror that is hard to put down. The Boy Who Drew Monsters is eerie and haunting. It kept me awake at night. Ten year old Jack has Aspergers and never goes outside anymore. His Dad, Tim, is a stay at home Father. His best and only friend Nick is his parents best friends kid. They have been friends since birth. When strange things start happening we follow Tim and Holly(Jack’s Mom) as they try to deal with their son’s withdrawal from the world outside. When Nick comes to stay over winter break things get out of control. Nick knows Jack’s secret. His drawings won’t be contained anymore.

The book starts off with his mother trying to rouse him from sleep and she ends up with a black eye. From there we are introduced to Nick, Jack’s only friend as he visits and plays with Jack. Their relationship is estranged since an incident where they both nearly drown. The story follows Nick and Jack through their prior obsessions with games and army men to Jack’s current obsession, drawing. Jacks drawings come to life and it is all bad for those around him. Strange things start happening to Molly, Tim and Nick and they don’t see that Jack is the reason. Until it is almost too late.

This book has really well developed characters. There are no gaps in this tale from the birth of Jack all the way to the present. He is a strange boy, not easy to love. Even his own Mother reaches out to a priest for help with him. Seeing the priest brings up more questions than answers. Molly is drawn to an old painting depicting a ship that sank near her home in the early 1900’s. His Dad, Tim, stays with Jack almost all the time and sees much more hope for the boy. No doctor or church leader could make him give up on him. Jack will be reach-able, he will get back to normal if possible with his dad’s help. Tim starts to see things that may or may not be there. When a skeleton is found on the beach Molly’s fears of the long dead come to fruition.

The writing is mature and the story is easy to follow. I loved the quiet build up of scary that this author lured me into. There are a few adult type themes, skeletons in his parent’s closet, that make this story unsuitable for children. This story is eerie right up to the ending sentence, when Holly is forced to see the truth about her son. I finished this book about an hour ago and I know the story will haunt me for the next few weeks.