Friday, September 26, 2014

Ghosts of Fear Street #10 - The Bugman Lives!

- I've only done two of the Ghosts of Fear Street books so far and I'm already embarrassed about beginning those reviews with farts. (But just in case you were wondering, The Bugman Farts! He's also 'Half man, half bug--all farts.' You needed to know that. You just didn't realize it.)

- I'm really into this cover. A giant fly man in an Hawaiian shirt offering you a tarantula. What's not to love?!?

- Confession: this was one of my favorite Ghosts of Fear Street as a kid. I was just a love with a Bugman.

- The plot AGAIN involves a kid (Janet, in this case) doing something kind of stupid which results in a whole lot of havoc. Janet wakes the Bugman and, baby, that just ain't no good. Especially if you hate bugs (or giant bug-human hybrids)...

- This one was written by Carol Gorman who has written tons of books for kids including a book from 1998 titled "Lizard Flanagan, Supermodel??" and one from 1988 called "Pornography" which is not for children at all. But I think we can all agree: Carol is strange and we must love her for it.

- This sordid tale begins with a kid named Carl Beemer trying to impress Janet by jumping a curb on Rollerblades. Janet is more interested in pulling weeds out of her yard because Janet is smart and knows that Carl Beemer is a total tool.

- Dude, his name is CARL BEEMER.

- Carl Beemer makes fat stacks mowing lawns so Janet wants to do it, too. FORESHADOWING ALERT!

- Janet has a friend named Toad who is away at summer camp. What kind of camp do toads attend?

- OF COURSE Janet finds an overgrown lawn to mow on Fear Street. Because Fear Street is total crap, remember?

- Janet mows the jungle of a lawn and accidentally runs over the Bugman's gravestone which lovingly reads 'Here Lies The Bugman. Woe To Anyone Who Wakes Him'. I love that the Bugman is buried in a yard on a residential street. It's like someone found his corpse and just tossed in the first hole they could find.

- "He was odd--didn't go out much or talk to his neighbors. People said he eventually turned into a bug himself." Fear Street logic: a man is interested in insects (and hates his dumbass neighbors) so he's doomed to become a giant fly man.

- The Bugman didn't even live in the house whose yard he's buried in. He lived next door. Again: Fear Street logic. These people are on another plain (plane?) of existence...

- "He could control insects. He could make them do anything he wanted. Sting people. Or spy on them and report back." SPY ON THEM AND REPORT BACK. How in the hell does an insect report something? Morse Code buzzing? Do they gather their insect brethren and spell out words with their bodies?

- Mr. Cooney just moved into the Bugman's house. Mr. Cooney has giant buggy eyes so he MUST be some kind of human-insect hybrid!

He was part grasshopper.

- Janet now mows Cooney's lawn and is horrified when she sees him make out with a tarantula and tell it how much he loves it: "I love you, my baby." Well, at least he's not an abusive, animal hating asshole...even giant hairy tarantulas need love.

- I wish my skin would stop crawling.

- Janet's new friend Willow is a lot like Mr. Cooney: both are bug lovers and fond of thick green smoothies that they weirdly force upon Janet.

- Cooney's green juice stuff makes bugs expand and explode and it gave Janet a scab that oozed bright green crap until she scraped the scab off. Don't read this book while eating.

- Janet sneaks into Cooney's house one night and finds tons of tanks filled with nastiness: cockroaches crawling on rotted meat, a bunny with a fat leech attached to it, and gobs of maggots. Oh, and Mr. Cooney has a damn pincer claw where his hand should be and his skin falls off and OH MY SHIT HE'S A FLY HE'S A GIANT FLY AND HIS EAR JUST FELL OFF AND HE'S TRYING TO KILL JANET BECAUSE SHE KNOCKED OVER HIS DISGUSTING TANK OF MAGGOTS.

- Janet is now home and delirious with fever and a giant weird scab that looks like a beetle shell where the Cooney Bugman spit green goo on her. Am I high right now?

- Later, Janet wakes up outside in a cocoon made of mud and twigs. "The Bugman is turning me into a huge bug. I'll end up exactly like him." This book is the literary equivalent of LSD. 

- Janet is pulled down into the Bugman's grave where she sees that he's a giant beetle thing with breath "like rotting lettuce." Also, Willow is there...she's his daughter. Apparently she's human for two years at a time then a big fat beetle thing like dear old dad for two years and so on and so on. This is a very lonely life and Willow wants Janet to be her friend and live in dirt with her forever. Janet also learns that the Bugman was never actually dead: "I was hibernating. A trick I learned from the seven-year locusts." I...just...WHAT THE HELL?!?

- This is a book for children. I had to remind myself because it reads like it was written by and for aging hippies who destroyed their brain cells many years ago with pot and acid which led them to believe their horrifying hallucinations would make a good book. For kids.

- "Just think of it as a slumber party with our cocoons as sleeping bags." NIGHTMARES NIGHTMARES NIGHTMARES.

- "The Bugman placed a loose hood over her head. It looked as if it were made of spiderwebs." I just lost the ability to sleep EVER AGAIN.

- Janet escapes the clutches of the Bugman, but the weird green juice she drank so much of (where the hell is Cooney? Was he the Bugman or just a minion?) has taken a toll: she is now a buggish human who can climb straight up the side of a tree by using the sticky green crap she makes with her hands.

-Conclusion?: This is a madman's fairy tale, a insane trip through a terrifying hellscape. And it was one of my favorites as a kid. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT ME???

Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns (Goosebumps #48)

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