Saturday, February 18, 2017

Horror Annotation: Hater

Moody, D. (2009). Hater. New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press.

Synopsis:  What makes a monster, and how we decide what’s real and perceived; what’s right and wrong? Hater introduces the reader to Danny McCoyne, an everyday working class man as he moves through his day. Danny is disgruntled at work, disgruntled at home, disgruntled at everything. He complains and is generally unpleasant, even when it seems that his life isn’t so bad. When people begin attacking those around them with little to no warning, it’s an odd story for his day and a new burden for the put upon Danny to bear. But, as these brutal attacks rise in frequency, Danny is forced to realize that the world is changing. It appears that an unknown catalyst is causing people to rapidly and randomly change into vicious killing machines. One moment you are yourself, the next, you are a rage filled monster--a Hater.  No one knows what causes the creation of a Hater, a person can change anywhere at anytime. Danny must protect his family even if he doesn’t know how. Do they lock themselves away? Stay off the streets? Through his panic, Danny must survive. But, as the danger escalates, he begins to ask himself, “Who’s next?” Horror Characteristics: Foreboding tone: The novel builds a strong sense of foreboding and fear by introducing an unexplainable threat that may strike anyone at anytime. No one is safe. Monsters: There are no shortage of monsters here. In Hater, it is other people that we must fear. Everyone is suspect. Pace: Slow build, then frantic and action packed. Flawed Protagonist: Danny exudes a generally put upon demeanor. He’s critical, but not in a constructive way. Often says unkind things about his own family. Graphic violence: Descriptive passages of brutal physical attacks are the norm in this novel. Uncertain character fate: Uncertainty and the unknown are common themes in this novel. Read-alikes: The Fireman by Joe Hill
Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Red Hill by Jamie McGuire
I am Legend by Richard Matheson
The Fall by Guillermo del Toro Personal Reaction: This was a fun novel. A twist on all the zombie novels that are so popular. I should be clear, zombies are in no way involved in this novel. However, zombie fans will recognize themes and situations similar to most post-apocalyptic zombie novels. Would recommend.


  1. This seems like a good psychological suspense horror that I could sink my teeth into. It does sound like a fun twist on an epidemic horror like zombies. The idea that anyone, anywhere could just snap is an interesting premise. I just finished a zombie novel myself, so I get what your saying about the post-apocalyptic scenarios. Sound like a good read!

    1. It was so odd...I had to keep reminding myself I wasn't reading about zombies. The word was always on the tip of my tongue. Give it a try! I'd be curious about your take on it.

  2. Great annotation! I've been meaning to pick this one up. Full points!

  3. You have made me very intrigued in reading this book! It doesn't hurt that the cover is gorgeous and reminds me of Barry Lyga's "I Hunt Killers" series and what the cover looks like under the dust jacket. I also really appreciate books that are zombie-esque without being about Zombies (The Walking Dead, has killed zombies for me!)