Eh…the jury is out.

Vernon Pub, Liverpool
Image via Wikipedia - A pub - pictured since the family witnesses a fatal stabbing in a pub one night.

I resisted the urge to buy David Moody‘s “Hater” for awhile.  Truth be told?  It just didn’t seem that interesting.  The description on the back of the book about violent people didn’t really make me want to pick it up – which was a terrible shame because the cover of the book rocks.

However, I finally caved in, purchased the book (and its sequel), and read “Hater”.  “Hater” begins with a series of vignettes about different people suddenly becoming afraid of those around them, and in self defense, they kill whoever happens to be the momentary source of the paranoia.  Interesting and engaging beginning.  But then something happens – you meet the guy who will become the main character, and the book seems downhill from there.  He’s a henpecked nebbish with two (literally) screaming brat children who don’t ever seem to stop nagging, and a wife whose every appearance is sure to be stomach-turning.  As the reader, you are drug through this poor sod’s life as he encounters the beginning of the end of civilization.  On the news, more and more violent attacks are occurring, until he and his wife start to see things happening in their own neighborhood.

The premise isn’t bad, the execution isn’t bad, it’s the family that kills “Hater”.  By the time the main character becomes one of the haters and turns on his family, the reader is left all but wishing he’d do something to shut the kids up.  Every single time the children make an appearance, they are whining, sniveling, or clamoring for something the main character doesn’t have the money to buy for them.  His wife is an unhelpful partner who often asks him just why he doesn’t have the money to go out for ice cream, or the other costly extras of life.  As far as I’m concerned, he gains so much more from turning into a hater than he ever had as a normal person.

The book isn’t really a zombie book as such, and I’m more than a little peeved that it has been marketed as such, but it is what it is.  I bought the second book, “Dog Blood” and fully intend to read the third book when it’s published (I haven’t read “Dog Blood” yet).  When I read a series I generally try and read all of the books, if only because the author has more to say on the subject.  I don’t feel that it is fair to judge a whole series based on a book or two.

As a positive, I’m interested in seeing where Moody decides to take the plot, especially since he reveals the reason for the sudden and violent turn that everyone in the world has taken.  No – I’m not spoiling it for you!  Go read the book!

 

5 thoughts on “Eh…the jury is out.”

  1. There is much to be said for the character development of the family. I cannot say that I have read this book, but as you describe it, I cannot imagine the family to be any other way in a society that has turned upon itself. Perhaps the intention is for you to feel the ever pressing annoyances of a family consumed with self as depicting a consumer minded society. The author is moving on something very social and political in this writing, perhaps even correlating a cultural value system with the survival of functional society. I am interested to pick it up as you have described it! Thanks for the post!

    1. ** SPOILER ALERT **
      Hey! How are you? It’s been so long since I’ve heard from you. I hope things are going well.
      I’m sorry it took so long to respond to your comment – we’ve been in the process of moving (we’re just one county over but it’s been work), and I’ve been thinking about your comment as well as the book.
      To be honest when I read “Hater”, I thought there might be a commentary in there somewhere, but wasn’t exactly sure what I was supposed to make of it. The long and short of book 1, is that certain people have a genetic predisposition towards violence, and one day something switches that from dormant to very, very active. It becomes a tale of “us and them” and the idea that each side is struggling to eradicate each other without knowing an exact reason for the violence.
      I honestly do hope that you pick it up – and when you do – let me know what you think. I’m always interested in hearing what other people think of books I’ve read. Incidentally, writer / director Guillermo del Torro bought the rights to the book, and from what I understand, we’ll be seeing it on the big screen at some point. Del Torro is somewhat of a fan of David Moody’s work.
      Hope to hear from you soon!
      ~deadaeris

  2. I loved Hater and Dog Blood. However I don’t think I took away from the tale the same idea’s about his family as you did. To me it seemed like it could be anyone’s story. You make choices in life that you may regret and try to make the most of it, all be it he was miserable as many people I am sure can relate to. In the story however the main character didn’t come alive or begin to live free and uninhibited until he became a Hater. How wonderful would it be to not give a crap and just live, go with whatever emotion, urge, or desire you had. It leaves you asking (or at least I was asking) which side would you prefer to be on if you had a choice Hater or Hated?

    I will no doubt read “Them or Us” when it is released on 11/08/11 and see the movie when it comes out. Personally I think this is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

    1. I’m not sure what I would choose, Hater or Hated. I think for me the reason that the book carried a different tone was because of my personality. I’m not terribly sure that I want children just yet, because I have so much I want to accomplish. Going a bit deeper, marrying someone, having kids, and then waking up and realizing I’m miserable is one of my deepest fears. I think in that way the book hit a little too close to home, which was why I was nonplussed with the story.
      However, I do intend to read the series to it’s conclusion, because there’s always a chance that something will resonate with me later in the books. Plus, I like to let an author have their full say before I totally give up on them.
      Do you know any details about the movie? I had heard del Torro got the movie rights, but that’s all I heard. Incidentally, his Strain Trilogy is great.
      Thanks for posting, and I hope to hear more from you !!!
      ~ deadaeris

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