Fangboy - by Jeff Strand
Fangboy is quite the departure from Strand’s other books. Less horror-comedy, and more drama-comedy with some horrific moments. This isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the plot, here’s a rundown:
Nathan Pepper seemed like an ordinary baby...except for a mouth full of scary sharp teeth. Because his life began with his grandmother strongly recommending that he be destroyed as soon as possible, it's safe to say that Nathan was not destined for a typical existence. He hated the nickname "Fangboy," but nobody could deny that he was the most frightening little boy in town. And he would have adventures of every sort. Tragic adventures, like what happened to his parents. Dangerous adventures, like his encounter with the sinister Professor Mongrel. Thrilling adventures, like the part where he's on an out-of-control horse and he can't make it stop running and you think "Well, he should just jump off," but he CAN'T because it's going too fast and he could break a leg. And, yes, one particularly gruesome adventure, though it is not described in great detail. Will things end happily for Nathan? Will he bite somebody? Gather your family and your most deranged friends, make some chocolate chip cookies, and share the dark comedy treat of FANGBOY, a bizarre yet heartwarming yet rather tasteless saga that-all ego aside-will define a generation.
Strand goes about this story the correct way. The lead character is a child; so naturally, it’s told from the child’s point-of-view, but from an adult narrator. Think of it as this story had been written a century ago by someone like Charles Dickens or Mark Twain. I loved this aspect of the book. I felt while I was reading it that someone was actually telling me this story, and not that it had been written by hand.
Sure, there were a few plot points that I didn’t enjoy where they took me, but once the story ended, I thought overall, they made sense, and Strand had been building them up almost perfectly throughout.
So, bottom line, a little bit of drama, some humor, with a tad of horror sprinkled on top – Fangboy is a nice way to spend a weekend. A heavy departure from his usual fare, but if you enjoyed books like Dweller, then you should have no problem with this one. Just don’t expect a lot blood and chills; this is an old-fashioned story, told by an author that knows how to share a story.
I’m really curious to find out if Fangboy will return in another book of some capacity. He was a good character, a reader’s hero if there ever was one. I pulled for him throughout the story and would love to see if he has another adventure to take us on in the future.