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  • My Heart Is a Chainsaw

  • Written by: Stephen Graham Jones
  • Narrated by: Cara Gee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (54 ratings)

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My Heart Is a Chainsaw

Written by: Stephen Graham Jones
Narrated by: Cara Gee
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel

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 chilling novel that “will give you nightmares. The good kind, of course” (BuzzFeed) from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, 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 New York Times bestselling 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.

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What listeners say about My Heart Is a Chainsaw

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Great.

This is a beautifully written book. Dealing with a number of horrors with haunting perfection. Perfect narrator.

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Another Great Horror Story

I really liked this book. I love h
Stephen's writing style. I had read some not great reviews about it but because I loved his first book, I decided to try it myself. The writing is beautiful - the women who read it could not have been more perfect for the reading. It's really good and also has the ability to make you feel things, which is rare in a horror story. I'd definitely recommend reading this and can't wait until Stephen's new book. The title is kinda goofy until you realize what it means towards the end of the book.

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What did.I just read

This book had me excited to get and read since it was slasher films. But was just not for me The ending was a disappointment, what the heck , why and where did she even come from ..was this just thrown together and written in a rush? Was lost for the most part of it . I also didn’t like the main character she was quite annoying and very obsessive which I didn’t exactly like..but this book was just a big flop for me.

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How Does He Do This?

My Heart Is a Chainsaw has received some negative reviews here, and I can understand why. This is a difficult story for most reviewers to relate to, and many will find the protagonist unappealing. There is such a strong vision behind Stephen Graham Jones’s writing that he succeeds where others could not. He creates in Jade a genuinely unique character, one that I found irresistible. Perhaps she is one of those whom you will either love or hate, but you will, nevertheless, recognise in her someone who’s story deserves to be told.
Again, this is a work of horror fiction, both gory and psychologically chilling. At the same time, one can't help but laugh at Jade’s unwavering attempts to hook someone, anyone, into her obsession with the “Slasher” genre of filmmaking, of which she has encyclopedic knowledge.
Kudos once again to Jones. The ability of a male author approaching midlife to so fully inhabit the character of a quirky teenage girl indicates his skill and formidable talent.

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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.

11 people found this helpful

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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.

9 people found this helpful

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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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Nate R
  • 2021-10-01

Narrator Ruins Story For Me

I love horror and slashers as much as the next (normal) person, but the narrator of this story has manic episodes desperate to have one sided conversations with anyone and it's sad, but more selfishly, having known and met people like this at conventions, it makes it embarrassing to outwardly like the genre because most people then associate you with someone like this narrator.

You never really know what is going on in the actual plot because everything is told through the lenses of this mentally ill girl. I don't know if it was the intention of the author, but the whole time I just felt uncomfortable to be around her.

With that said, it made the book hard to get into, stay into at times, and overall - like.

6 people found this helpful

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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.

6 people found this helpful

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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!!

6 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Maryanne T.
  • 2021-11-10

Stephen Graham Jones does it again

So, I am not a fan of gore or what I would call contemporary horror. That being said, I will read ANYTHING SGJ's writes. He has such a gift for blending Native American folklore with pop culture and his writing is just outstanding. My advice to anyone who wants a compelling story (albeit a story that is not in your usual comfort zone) that is equal parts mythology and creative writing is to pick up My Heart Is A Chainsaw or The Only Good Indians. These books are out there - I am not going to lie. And sometimes "out there" is not worth the risk. But with Stephen Graham Jones, it is. Trust me.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jimmy lacrue
  • 2021-10-27

We couldn’t even listen to the book

Unfortunately the person reading it matters exponentially…We couldn’t even listen to it for longer than 15 minutes voice changes (volume)so much it’s so low. Super unfortunate definitely sample before purchasing in case you can’t handle the voice

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful