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Publisher's Summary

In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town, Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for, in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, New York Times best-selling author Stephen Graham Jones.

“Some girls just don’t know how to die....”

Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th in My Heart Is a Chainsaw, written by the author of The Only Good Indians, Stephen Graham Jones, called “a literary master” by National Book Award winner Tananarive Due and “one of our most talented living writers” by Tommy Orange.

Alma Katsu calls My Heart Is a Chainsaw “a homage to slasher films that also manages to defy and transcend genre”. On the surface is a story of murder in small-town America. But beneath is its beating heart: a biting critique of American colonialism, Indigenous displacement, and gentrification, and a heartbreaking portrait of a broken young girl who uses horror movies to cope with the horror of her own life.

Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies...especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock, as if it is one of those movies. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold.

Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges...a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body. My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph.

©2021 Stephen Graham Jones. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about My Heart Is a Chainsaw

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  • Collin M.
  • 2021-09-08

I really wanted to like this

I feel like this would have been an interesting short story. The story ultimately fails because it is stretched to a novel length. I have a deep appreciation for the source material of slasher films. I wish the author would have mimicked the flow of action of those films - where there’s a rhythm of hunt and slash. Instead, with this, there’s a buildup for the first 75% of material and some degree of payoff with the last 25%. For me, the buildup struggled to keep me invested in that payoff due to the author’s choice of using an incredibly unreliable narrator. I was more concerned about the narrator’s mental health than any horrors of the plot line. I believe it is mentioned in the story that this is like Friday the 13th from Crazy Ralph’s vantage point. That is an accurate assessment and ultimately is why this is a somewhat of a tedious story experience.

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  • APersonWhoBuysStuff
  • 2021-09-07

GRIPS YOU IN IT'S TEETH AND WON'T LET GO

This latest from the outlaw of horror is nothing short of extraordinary!! I listened to this in 2 days because I literally couldn't stop, it's that great! Slashers aren't my preferred genre of horror, but My Heart Is A Chainsaw makes me see them in a shimmering new light without dulling their sharp edge. You will laugh, you will weep, you will be laying awake gripping the cord of your headphones in terror, and you will fall in love with scrappy Jade Daniels. Stephen Graham Jones, you've done it again!!

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  • Michael ward
  • 2021-09-04

Wow

I blazed through this book at light speed. Couldn’t stop listening. It does all the slasher things, keeps you guessing, and makes you feel. SGJ nailed it.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2021-09-04

Better than his last.

All top-notch characters. Amazing story. If there is a bigger love-letter to slashers I am unaware of it. He really goes all in on the ending. Best I've read this year.

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  • AX Kuhn
  • 2021-09-27

Great Novel, Amazing Performance

I've been a fan of Stephen Graham Jones for a long time, and I've always enjoyed his prose style, but he's done something special in this book. Jade is one of the most unique and wonderful characters I've ever spent time with, and Cara Gee brings her to vibrant life with her performance.

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  • Michael Ingram
  • 2021-09-24

Great writing!

I love horror and to have a main character who knows more than I do about the genre is great. I learned a lot but, with all of the trivia I sometimes got lost on what’s happening in the story. The characters are well fleshed out and interesting, the narration is great and there are a few good twists. All in all well worth the 12+ hours.

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  • Candy Klaeysen
  • 2021-09-20

Tedious

Long, weird (not in a good way) and tedious. Listened to the whole thing but wish I hadn’t.

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  • Suzanne Davis
  • 2021-09-19

struggle with keeping up with the whole book

struggled keeping up with the book was a very hard listen. I read and listen to alot of books on my commutes and I just could not get involved in this one.

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  • Rachel
  • 2021-09-17

Falling Short

I had high hopes for this, especially after The Only Good Indians, but didn’t find it as compelling nor shocking.

I am not a slasher fan though—I think if that is of interest to you even in the slightest you’ll enjoy this book.

It’s the usual amount of sound writing and twists we’ve come to expect from Steven Graham Jones but this one just isn’t for me!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-09-16

I related

My half Indian self was locked in from start to finish. I wish there was more, I need more Jade.