Twittering from the Circus of the Dead by Joe Hill


Rating – 4 stars

Hands down the shortest book I have read. The kindle edition of this horror novella is a mere 39 pages. So yes I completed this short offering by Joe Hill along with a cuppa in about 10 minutes. 

I discovered Joe Hill owing to two things this year – Horns, the upcoming Daniel Radcliffe movie; an adaptation of Hill’ novel by the same name and of course seeing his earlier release this year NOS4A2 on a few charts on goodreads and other sites. I did  not know it prior to reading some reviews of his releases, he is Stephen King‘ son.  But once I did, naturally a lot was expected from him. After all his father is synonymous with the genre, how can you not expect something worth your time and money from him? So I marked his books – Horns & NOS4A2 as ‘to-read‘, but am yet to get around to read ’em.

Hence in the meanwhile, as I am still in the midst of completing another title I decided to read something short for a break. And the result was I came across this little gem.  What made me wanna read the novel? The length, the title and yes, my desire to get a sample of Mr. Hill’ works. 

And it pleases me to no end to say this – I loved the book.

Epistolary novels can be dicey to say the least. I have read few of them, but the results have not been always favourable. At times the writing is too dull and that ends up boring me as a reader.  When there is an overload of info or a lack of it too, it ends up falling flat on its face. So, for a book to work in the style the author has to be not only precise but also keep things spicy enough for the reader to not lose interest.

What I liked about Twittering from the Circus of the Dead, is how Hill established the characters from the POV of the narrator, an annoyed, clearly angry teen girl who is hooked on to Twitter.  She is on a vacation with her family and the road trip clearly has her pissed off. To annoy her mom, who is trying to get her daughter to quit her Internet addiction, she stays on twitter via her Iphone. She is really angry that her mom made her take down her blog. Aside from the narrator and her parents, her younger brother Eric is also on the trip, who is into a very emo girl.

On the trip the family comes across a circus with a strange name and before they know it, they have bought the tickets and are seated to enjoy the  Circus of the Dead – where right from the performers to the audience everyone is a zombie. Or is turned into one. 

You can of course guess  what happened to the family in the end.

Hill’ in staying true to the twitter format, has etched out characters that are surprisingly well described in under 140 characters using various tweets. Not to mention the horror and the atmosphere as well as the state of mind of the narrator.

If you are looking for a quick book to breeze through I recommend this one for sure.


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