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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

R.L. Stine Takes Aim at Adults

Written by Kyle Slagley

Ask anyone who grew up in the ‘90s about R. L. Stine and you’ll probably get responses about talking ventriloquist dummies, cameras that predict horrifying futures, and worms that are out to get you. Even if you were one of the few that didn’t read the Goosebumps books, chances are you still watched the TV show and had a couple Goosebumps folders tucked in your Trapper Keeper.

Just like his loyal readers from 15 years ago, R. L. Stine has transitioned to the world of adulthood, releasing Red Rain last week: a sometimes disturbingly graphic horror novel about a well-meaning travel writer that takes in twin boys after a hurricane demolishes the island she’s visiting.

Unlike Stine’s YA books, the boys turn out to be the source of the terror instead of the heroes that overcome, harboring a creepy and violent attachment to their new mother figure.

Red Rain is not Stine’s first foray into the land of adult fiction. In 2000, he released Superstitious, a story about an attractive college professor who happens to be (surprise!) extremely superstitious, the grad student that falls for him, and the horror that ensues.

Superstitious received mediocre reviews and seems to have been largely forgotten, since a number of news stories are pegging Red Rain as Stine’s adult fiction debut. Stine promptly went back to YA fiction writing, saying it was evidently too early to do an adult novel.

This time Stine fans were more than ready for an adult novel, saying Stine’s talent for mixing plot twists with naïve protagonists translated well. You won’t want to pick up Red Rain right before bedtime, that’s for sure.

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