‘My Heart is a Chainsaw’ – Stephen Graham Jones

My Heart is a Chainsaw is a story that had me perplexed for substantial parts…and this may have been deliberate on the part of the author as we struggle to work out what is happening.

Our narrator is Jade, a horror-obsessed teen who is convinced that there is about to be a slasher style killing spree in her town. It starts with the deaths of two tourists, and then Jade maintains events will unfold in a very specific way. In amongst her retelling of events, we have her supposed papers for school credit detailing her obsession with the horror genre and its various tropes. Having only a passing acquaintance with the genre I couldn’t say how accurate Jade’s prophecies were…but the knowledge and sense of dark humour really made me react to this more positively than I was expecting.

At around the midway point I really struggled to tell what was in Jade’s head and what was happening. She, it is clear, is suffering her own trauma and the events she’s involved in certainly link to this. I wish this had been more apparent earlier as I almost stopped reading, uncertain what was happening.

However, as we build to Jade’s dramatic moment there’s a grim inevitability to events that made me feel compelled to keep reading.

This will delight horror fans. There’s some gruesome scenes and, yet again, elements of supernatural crossing into our reality. Perplexing, and probably not to everyone’s tastes, but I’m grateful to NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this prior to publication.