Friday, December 21, 2007

More & More & More Tales to Give You Goosebumps

Goosebumps Special Edition #6:
More & More & More Tales to Give You Goosebumps

Back Tagline:Reader Beware-- You're In For Ten Holiday Scares!

Official Book Description:
Will Brad learn to care for his pet Gronk, before it takes care of him? Can Samantha sit through a boring Nutcracker ballet without cracking up... for real? Are Max's new monster skates putting him on thin ice? Has Sam been caught in the bone-chilling grip of an ice vampire?
Find out in these ten creepy Goosebumps short stories guaranteed to fill you with holiday fear!

This collection, which sports the most unwieldy title imaginable, originally came packaged with a green Christmas stocking. I initially thought was so the reader would have something to throw up into. However, imagine my surprise when I actually sat down to read this collection and-- well, read on and see for yourself. It's truly a Christmas miracle!

Don't Sit On the Gronk
It's Christmas morning and Brad has received the cutting edge gift of a Walkman portable tape-player from his parents. Of course, because he didn't read the instructions on the box, he can't get the Walkman to work-- wait, the instructions on the box? There's like one place for the cassette to go in, how do you screw that up? Brad finds another gift under the tree. It's addressed to him but there's no sender. Inside the box is a blue Kooshball. Brad is quite thrilled, as he collects Kooshballs, but when he picks the gift up, he notices that the ball is breathing. It's been a long time since I've thought about Kooshballs but I do remember something about them not being alive, so I understand Brad's puzzlement. Brad's parents see no problem with letting their son keep a mysterious breathing Christmas present and so Brad now has a pet. (Why does no one in this story question where this came creature came from? What kind of pervert gives a twelve-year-old kid blue balls anyways?)

Brad invites his friend Roscoe over to play with the creature. Inside the box is a paper outlining how to care for the Gronk. Brad discards the paper without reading it (Uh oh, I smell a lesson coming) and goes outside to toss the Gronk around with his pal. As they lob the Gronk to and fro, they notice the creature is giggling and growing in size. Eventually it swells to the size of a basketball and the two kids shoot hoops with it. Then they take turns rolling it back and forth as the creature swells in size. Brad rolls the small boulder-sized Gronk back into his house. Once the creature is in his room, it has swelled to the size of a beanbag chair-- So Brad decides to sit on it. It's pretty comfy but the Gronk keeps growing, pushing Brad almost to the ceiling. His sister Kelly enters his room and asks him if he read the paper that came with the Gronk. As the two flee the bedroom from the ever-expanding Gronk, Kelly reads the three rules for caring for the Gronk:

Rule Number One: Don't feed them after midnight Don't take the Gronk outside, as this will cause it to grow.
Rule Number Two: Don't bounce the Gronk, as this will cause it to become too playful.

Kelly starts to read Rule Number Three, which begins "Don't sit on the Gronk because--" when the Gronk bounces through the ceiling and lands in the living room. Brad yells as Kelly to read why he shouldn't sit on the Gronk. She finishes reading, "Because it will want to sit on you!" I had no idea Yakov Smirnoff ghostwrote for the series.

Naughty or Nice? Silly, but Nice.

Nutcracker Nightmare
Sam is upset because her former teacher Mrs. Boren-- or as she calls her, Boring-- has invited her and her parents to see the ballet. Sam is upset because she was forced to wear a green taffeta dress and miss out on seeing a movie with her friends. Sam's father reminds her that some people have real problems, and she should be happy about getting to see the Nutcracker.

Once inside the theatre, Sam makes a comment about being bored to death to Mrs. Boren. Ol' Boring takes out a gold watch and tells Sam she'll show her what boredom really is. Sam waits for the ballet to start. And waits. And waits. The conductor warms up for what seems like hours, but no one else around her seems to notice. Finally some dancers appear on stage. Once they slowly go through their routine, the audience applauds and applauds and applauds and won't stop applauding. Sam tries to stop applauding but her mother, who doesn't notice anything wrong, forces her to keep applauding. Sam starts getting worried-- just how long has she and the rest of the audience been in the theatre? Samantha looks up at her mother and sees that her hair now has gray flecks in it. It dawns on Sam that Mrs. Boren has placed a spell on the audience. She jumps out of her seat and attempts to walk towards the exit, but every step towards the door results in the same distance, essentially trapping her in place. Mrs. Boren snarkily tells Sam that the snack bar is closed during the performance and that she should just sit down and enjoy it. Sam sits down and hears a rip. She's grown out of her dress, which has split at the seams. Again Sam poses the question, Just how long have I been sitting here?

Finally the curtain falls and the audience applauds wildly. Sam jumps out of her seat, glad that the whole ordeal is over, only to be stopped by Mrs. Boren, who reminds her that it's a two-act ballet.

Naughty or Nice? Ingenious and disturbing, this short story has the same bitter humor found in the wonderful Be Careful What You Wish For... Very very Nice.

the Ice Vampire
The sequencing in this tome could have used a little tweaking, as this short story also has a main character named "Sam," though this one is male. Sam and Billy have entered their cobra sculpture in the local ice sculpture contest. There are about a dozen contestants, all standing next to the wooden crates holding their large creations. Billy and Sam however are disappointed to learn that the judges have chosen "The Ice Vampire by Bram Stokeman" (Oh I get it) as the winner. Billy and Sam walk over to view the winning sculpture. Carved out of deep blue ice, the vampire is life size and they concede that it probably did deserve to win. One of their friends come up and they chat for a few minutes. When the two boys turn back around to view the vampire sculpture again, they find it missing. In its place is another intricate ice sculpture, one that looks very much like Sam's next door neighbor Rebecca.

Sam starts walking home when he feels that inevitable, quintessential Goosebumps experience: someone grabs the back of his neck with icy hands. Maybe the payoff isn't as big for casual readers of the blog, but I swear this cop-out happens in every third book in this series, so when Sam turns around and the person responsible for the icy hands actually is a horrible monster, it is worth commending! The ice vampire accosts Sam's arm and begs for heat. Sam feels his arm numb and ice up. Luckily Billy wrestles him free from the vampire's grip and the two run home. Once inside the house, the ice vampire again tries to coax them out so he can steal their heat. The vampire gets pissed and freezes their keyhole over. That'll show 'em.

The next morning, Sam's older sister Emily is breaking the icicles off their porch when the ice vampire returns. The boys quickly pull her from the vampire's deadly grip. Sam picks up one of the icicles from the porch and attempts to stake it through the vampire's heart, but it merely crumbles against his chest. Sam wisely runs back inside. Their parents are out not being murdered by ice sculptures, so it's up to the three kids to save their own necks. They gather in the kitchen to think of a plan when the ice vampire shows up at the window above the sink. He places his hands on the panes of glass. Once they ice over, he simply shatters the glass and pulls Billy though the window. Awesome.

Sam spies Emily's portable hairdryer and he aims the nozzle at the vampire. He lets Billy loose and merrily soaks up the heat waves from the hairdryer. Sam excitedly tells Emily that this is great because now the vampire won't hurt them because he'll know they're his friends. I don't think vampires are nearly as genial as Sam thinks, but no matter-- the hairdryer goes dead. However, somehow Sam and the others failed to notice that the vampire melted into a puddle in the sink. All's well that ends well-- until Sam and Billy's cobra sculpture pounces through the open kitchen window.

Naughty or Nice? Ice.

A Holly Jolly Holiday
Beth is watching a match on TV featuring her favorite wrestler, the Krusher, when her older sister Jody enters the living room, waving a gift bag. Jody found a rare VHS copy of her favorite Christmas TV program, Holly Jolly Holiday, at a store called The Christmas Shoppe. Even though she watches it on TV every year, Jody wants to watch it again. The special features an incessantly cheerful redhead pixie named Susie Snowflake, who cheerfully spreads holiday joy to all she encounters. This is a good example of the economy of comedic timing employed by the author:

I watched as Susie Snowflake spread holiday cheer throughout her neighborhood. She sang. She danced. She baked dozens of cookies.

The sprightly sprite offers her Christmas tree cookies to some children, provided they ask for them via the magic words, "Pretty-bitty please with Christmas trees." She gives a grumpy old man a Christmas hug. Eventually the treacly antics cause Beth to retreat to her room. After reading a wrestling magazine cover to cover, she comes back downstairs to find her sister watching the video again. Her mother has joined her on the couch and the two blithely focus their attention on the TV. A pile of fresh baked Christmas tree cookies are cooling in the kitchen, which Beth finds peculiar since her mom doesn't cook. When she looks closer at her mom and sister, she notices that both appear to have dyed their hair red-- the same shade as Susie Snowflake. Beth notices the family dog's white fur has also started to turn pink and gathers that perhaps something supernatural is afoot.

Beth goes out to the garage and talks her dad into figuring out what's going on. He leaves and she waits for him in the garage. When he fails to come back, she returns to the living room and finds his beard has disappeared and his black hair has turned bright red. The entire family is slipping into Susie Snowflake's vernacular, calling each other "dearie" and being menacingly cheerful. Beth notices in the mirror that her hair has tinted slightly pink. She tries to swear but can only exclaim "Oh sugar cookies!" I love this story.

The film ends. Jody gets up to rewind it so the family can watch it again. Beth tells Jody to give her the videotape but she won't hand it over unless Beth says the magic words. Beth can't remember what Susie Snowflake's magic words are and she sits quietly in the living room, trying to remember. She eats a cookie and starts humming a few bars. She feels compelled to bake and begins to question why she'd ever want to stop the holiday cheer she was feeling swell-up inside her. Suddenly she remembers the magic words and Jody relinquishes the tape. Beth is very excited to get the tape because what better to watch to get in the Christmas mood than Holly Jolly Holiday? She gets up to put the tape back in the VCR when she sees the wrestling match on TV. Beth's mind clears up and she throws the tape in the fireplace, curing everyone.

The next week, Jody presents Beth with her Christmas present: a wrestling videotape featuring the Krusher! Beth is thrilled because she didn't know he had his own video. Jody reveals that the woman at the Christmas Shoppe said it was quite rare.

Naughty or Nice? The Nicest. This is maybe the best-written, best conceived entity ever to appear under the Goosebumps banner. I need to make Susie Snowflake t-shirts.

Why I Hate Jack Frost
Jared is upset because this Christmas in Arizona will be his first Christmas without snow, or even wintery weather. He hates the plastic Christmas tree and the heat and is having trouble dealing with the change. Inside a little knickknack shoppe he spots a real Christmas tree with decorated with hundreds of old-fashioned ornaments. An old man draws his attention to an ornament depicting an old shack with an elf standing in the doorway. The ornament feels cold in his hands. The clerk tells him that the elf in the doorway is Jack Frost, who brings the cold. The clerk then points to an old copy of Playbill, which brings in 'Da Noise and 'Da Funk.

Jared decides that the new ornament is too nice to waste on the fake Christmas tree and instead hangs it over his bed, hopefully for different reasons than why other boys hang posters over their beds. That night Jared dreams that the a snowstorm has hit his neighborhood. Jack Frost shows up and brings a snowman to life. The snowman challenges Jared to a sledding race. When he wakes up from the dream, he still feels a little cold. He dresses in long sleeves even though it's seventy outside.

The next night he dreams of Jack Frost again. This time the elf goes ice skating with Jared in the Winter Wonderland. When Jared awakes, he's even colder-- even the beams of heat from the window cause him to shiver.

Jared dreams of Jack Frost again, only this time the fun game they play involves getting buried alive in the snow. This has nothing to do with Goosebumps, but one of the things I picked up from some other Young Adult book I read as a kid was that if you're trapped in snow after an avalanche, and you don't know which direction is which, you're supposed to spit and then whatever direction it falls, dig in the opposite direction. I can't tell you how many avalanche-related deaths that piece of knowledge has personally prevented.

Jared wakes up and everything he touches is like ice. He takes the ornament down and throws it into the garbage can outside. That night, Jack Frost becomes quite irate when Jared reveals that he doesn't want to play in the snow. Frost forces him to participate in a snowball fight. Jared complains of being tired and Jack Frost offers to let him take a nap in his cabin. Uh, let's not speculate on what Jack Frost's middle name must be. Before Jared can enter the cabin though, he must help Jack Frost decorate his Christmas tree by retrieving the Christmas ornament from the garbage can. Jared complies and then snuggles up in front of Jack Frost's fireplace.

Jared wakes up and finds himself in the backyard. He's still dressed in winter wear but is now sweltering and begins peeling off the layers as he is now soaked with sweat. I've heard of wet dreams but this is ridiculous. Seriously, take my wife-- please! Jared strips to a single layer but is still hot. He runs and jumps in a neighbor's pool, only the icy water is now boiling hot. Jared realizes this must be another dream and wills himself awake. Only he wakes up back in Jack Frost's cabin.

Jack Frost asks if he had a bad dream and Jared Oh Snaps him by telling the elf that he's the bad dream. Jack Frost doesn't understand though, since Jared lives with him in the cabin. Jared disagrees and tries to tell the elf that he lives in Arizona. Jack Frost shows him the Christmas ornament he dug out of the trash: it's Jared's house in Arizona. Jack Frost tells Jared to get dressed for another snowball fight.

Naughty or Nice? A confusing Christmas retread of I Live In Your Basement, but still, another Nice.

Unbelievably the book is five for five so far. At this point I'm actually feeling suspense as to whether or not the last five stories will retain the level of quality found in the first half of the book. Suspense? In a Goosebumps book? I think somewhere hotter than Arizona just froze over.

Marshmallow Surprise
Marsha is racing her sled against her brothers Ricky and Ronnie, when they take a sharp curve into Mrs. Spooner's yard. Mrs. Spooner is a bitter old woman (are there ever friendly elderly people in these books?) who hates kids. She once called the cops because Marsha's dog was in her yard. In the past the kids have retaliated by playing tricks on her, such as ringing the bell and running away, but now they've accidently destroyed her flower garden. Marsha swoops into the yard and knocks over the mailbox with her head. Mrs. Spooner comes out into the yard and instead of getting mad at the kids, she invites them in for cocoa.

Mrs. Spooner serves them the hot chocolate in huge cups and when Marsha asks for some marshmallows, Mrs. Spooner mysteriously tells her that they're coming. The kids finish their cocoa and one of them casually mentions that they'd like the recipe. Mrs. Spooner reveals that the recipe is a secret. Then she starts listing off the horrible things the three kids have done to her and her house. Broken windows, trespassing, that time they slowed down while walking by the house to look at the house-- all horrible offenses. The kids urge Mrs. Spooner to let them leave, but Mrs. Spooner has a surprise for the kids. The marshmallows they were promised? Well, see, the secret part of the recipe is that it turns whoever drinks the cocoa into marshmallows. Mrs. Spooner tells the kids that they can expect their bones to melt. Read that sentence again and then maybe you'll understand why this is the best Goosebumps book ever.
If you're still not convinced, well, then start dealing with this:

Marsha tells Mrs. Spooner that she really should have let her and her brothers go. The three kids start baying at the moon and open their mouths to reveal fangs. The old woman cries out, "You are werewolves!" This is simply amazing, because this revelation has no relation to anything else that happened in the short story, and doesn't even kind of make sense. The kids were being taught a lesson about being rude to an elderly woman, so they retaliate by teaching the old woman that all kids are werewolves.

Naughty or Nice? Idiotic to the point that I can't even be upset with it, the short story builds a great mood and menace, threatens children with being melted and eaten alive, and then ends with werewolves. How could it not be Nice?

Monster On the Ice
Max's younger sister Jessica insists on swiping clothes from his closet and putting them on the family dog, a german shepherd named Stinker. Max doesn't want the family dog to wear his hockey jersey and he puts a kibosh on the whole plan. What a shame, because

Christmas morning rolls around and Max gets an awesome gift: Monster Skates! They're just normal skates with the word "Monster" on them, but they still elicit a wild response in Max. He rushes out to start a hockey game with his pals. The new skates allow him to move faster than ever before but he finds himself becoming more aggressive towards his opponents. Wait, an aggressive hockey player? Social commentary.

Max starts growling at everyone else playing the game and starts to grow fur. Holy smokes, seriously? Two werewolf stories in a row? Max takes off the skates and turns back into a non-wolf monster. He runs home and hides the skates in his closet, then runs back to the ice rink to apologize for his behavior. His friends are like, "Hey no big, people turn into wolves when they put on magic monster skates all the time."

Max arrives back home. He hears a din coming from his closet. He's terrified that Jessica has put on the skates and rushes into the room. Jessica calmly greets him and tells him that she didn't put his skates on. Max breathes a sigh of relief. Jessica tells him that she put the skates on Stinker. The monster-dog pounces out of the closet.

Naughty or Nice? There's a cap of one werewolf per short story collection, so I'm afraid I have to relegate this story to Naughty.

the Double-Dip Horror
Twin sisters Rachel and Wynona have arrived at the Ice Cream Cone Ski Lodge for a week. They were hired to be junior instructors, with the deal being that they teach for six days and on the seventh day they get to ski for free. The twin sisters, realizing that no one has seen both of them, formulate a plan. They'll both take shifts being only Rachel. When one twin is being Rachel and teaching lessons, the other twin will be skiing for free. The plan works generally well, except for a red-haired kid named Bobby Judd, who keeps making trouble for the Rachels whenever they try to teach the class. The other students ignore his antics and the Rachels do their best to follow suit. Bobby Judd acts up but is actually a very good skater and keeps begging the Rachels for a private lesson.

One of the twins comes up with the perfect plan. They'll show Bobby Judd up by agreeing to a lesson. Then they'll take turns skiing down the same mountain, always coming out ahead of Bobby no matter what. Bobby Judd won't be able to beat them because they'll be able to cheat and trade places and he'll finally be put in his place. Bobby agrees to the plan, but insists on meeting them on a black diamond course, the Double-Dip. The real Rachel starts the race and Wynona waits for Bobby to show up so she can slide ahead, but he never does. Finally she goes looking for Rachel and both sisters discover that neither has seen Bobby. Worried that he might be lost, Wynona agrees to ski down to the lodge to see if anyone has heard from Bobby while Rachel waits on the slope.

At the lodge, Wynona asks Margot, the head ski instructor, if she's seen Bobby. Margot thinking Wynona is Rachel, tells her there is no student named Bobby. Wynona insists that there is a Bobby Judd and describes him. Margot gets very serious and tell her that Bobby Judd was the son of a ski instructor who died on a ski course. He haunts the lodge and tries to lure kids into racing with him. Apparently a murdering ghost is something you causally forget to mention to potential junior ski instructors. Wynona tells Margot that they have to do something, as her friend is up on the course, waiting to race the ghost. Margot tells her not to worry, the ghost only tries to murder identical twins.

Naughy or Nice? Nice.

Santa's Helpers
Well, here's another character named Beth. Really, there's only ten stories here, did they really run out of names by the ninth story? Beth and her brother Spenser are playing a game of checkers and teasing their six-year old sister, Diane. Diane apparently doesn't look like anyone else in the family, and this leads her siblings to constantly tease her. Luckily for their mom they don't say, "Hey you look like the mailman," but they do say things like "You're not really our sister," "You're not even from Earth," etc. Despite all this abuse, Diane still wants to tag along with Beth and Spenser when they trek out to go sledding.

On the way to the hill, Spenser and Beth tell her that Santa Claus doesn't exist. They meet up with a friend who mocks Beth and Spenser's coats. The bright red and green fur coats were on sale, so they've been forced to wear them when playing outdoors. The siblings' mother comes out to collect Diane but tells the older kids they can stay out a little longer.

Beth and Spenser wipe out on their sled and find themselves trapped in a net. Four small men come out of the bushes and hoist them into a sack. These four men are elves who deposit the children at the North Pole. Santa chides the two runaway elves. The kids keep insisting they're not elves, but Santa grows furious and sentences them to work 18-hour shifts for the next five years as punishment for escaping. The kids keep protesting, but Santa forgets Occam's Razor and points out that they're dressed like elves. Eventually they are given one chance to prove they're not elves. The other elves escort Beth and Spenser to their house. The elves don't believe that they live there though, so Spenser and Beth knock on the door. Diane answers and when asked by an actual elf if she's Beth and Spenser sister, she tells them that no, that the two are always very clear that she's not their sister. As the elves drag the two kids back to the North Pole, the little girl reminds them to tell Santa she's been good this year.

Naughty or Nice? Nice.

Attack of the Christmas Present
Well, we've had back-to-back werewolves and back-to-back Sams, why not back-to-back games of checkers? Jack is playing checkers with his older brother Doug when their Uncle Billy arrives. Uncle Billy is the resident Hep Cat Uncle and Jack is over the moon about him spending Christmas with the family.

Christmas morning arrives and the family digs into their presents. Jack's pretty excited because he receives a video game called Troll's Bane. Now, I'm admittedly not much for video games, but if I had to pick two words that, when put together, comprise the least-appealing video game title imaginable, I could do no better than "Troll" and "Bane."

However, Jack and Doug are both underwhelmed by Uncle Billy's presents. Jack is given a spooky tribal mask and Doug gets a Japanese toy called "Robot Tag." After Billy leaves, the two kids switch gifts. Upstairs in his room, Jack examines Robot Tag. It's a 20 inch humanoid figure with chains across the chest, sharp teeth, and a pointy rhino horn. Jack leaves the robot on the floor and drifts off to sleep, only to hear the toy moving. The sounds get closer and closer until finally the robot appears at the foot of his bed. Too scared to do anything, Jack finally drifts off to sleep. When he awakes, the robot is on the dresser. Spooked, Jack throws the robot in the closet and goes down for breakfast. Upon returning to his room he discovers the robot waiting for him in the middle of his room. Jack runs out and shuts the door behind him, but suddenly he hears a whirring sound. The robot has drilled through the door and is continuing the pursuit. Jack tries to fight the robot with a hockey stick but the robot easily snaps it into splinters.

Jack runs downstairs and the robot slides down the banister and greets hum at the foot of the stairs. Panicked and trapped, the robot inches closer, its rhino horn whirring. Jack grimaces and braces himself when... the robot accosts him and chirps, "You're it!"

Naughty or Nice? Saw it coming from a mile away, but still, Nice, and infinitely more exciting than the Michael Bay movie with the similar plot. Of course I'm referring to Bad Boys II.

More & More & More Tales to Give You Goosebumps was clearly a karmic Christmas gift from life to me: a Goosebumps book that was actually good. It doesn't translate well via these summaries, but all of these stories, even the weaker ones like the ice skates or Gronk episodes, are written in a manner seemingly alien to the series. The stories themselves are genuinely imaginative and the events that unfold are portrayed with wit and good humor, and where appropriate, palpable menace. It seems like Scholastic knew hardly anyone would be reading this collection and as such they let whoever ghostwrote these get away with a lot without being watered down. Stories like the brilliant A Holly Jolly Christmas are intentionally funny, and in a drier way than Stine's yuk-yuk brand of comedy-- this is the major reason why I know he had nothing to do with this. Well, that and because all of the stories are well-written. Coming to this after the stale, interminable Camp Jellyjam book is a revelation. If the books could always be this good, why weren't they more often?

This is Monday's update, only early. Monday is Christmas Eve and I'll be busy eating cookies and watching Holly Jolly Holiday with my family, so enjoy getting to open your present early. See you on New Years Eve, dearie.


Rhomega said...

Wow, two updates in one week. That's a nice surprise. Anyway, this does seem like a good collection of short stories. I can somewhat relate to Jared because this is my second Christmas in Arizona (first was on vacation in '95), but unlike Jared, I'm glad I don't have to put up with the freezing cold of Colorado. However, it's not really hot right now, I had to put on a jacket today.

Oh, and The Double-Dip Horror is my favorite.

Anonymous said...

Neve read this book and I'm kind of mad I didn't. By the way, nice Gremlins reference, it's one of my favorite movies.

Anonymous said...

this post made my holiday season complete. thanks for this early christmas present. i hope yours is merry and scary.


Anonymous said...

Wow, a well-written Goosebumps book. Amazing. Shame I never read that one, I just seem to have picked the bad ones to read when I was younger, lol.

Thanks for the update, have a great Christmas!

Zeph said...

I was reading Marshmallow Surprise. But then I stopped. And I went back over it. And I stopped again.


That is probably the single most unexpected twist of anything anywhere ever.

Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

This was the book I was hoping you'd do the second most (first is cuckoo clock of doom). I agree that this one is quite good, especially the Nutcracker.

Zak said...

Shit, a positive review. As a matter of fact after not reading goosebumps for 6 years, this happened to be one of the few I hadn't read and I just ordered it on ebay a month ago and read it recently.

I remember when I was reading Marshmallow Surprise I seriously thought to myself "I wonder what Troy/Blogger Beware would say about this one".

Santa's Helpers made me cry. heh

Rainbowfeet said...

I'm totally going to have to track down a copy of this one. It sounds too good to be true!

Clive Dangerously said...

Man, I really wanted to see where the marshmallow thing was headed... Though, marshmallow werewolves?

Ryan Ferneau said...

This is one of about three Goosebumps books that I've actually read all the way through. Nice to know that I read one of the best ones.

Anonymous said...

The ghost only kills identical twins? And that's considered NICE?? Are you serious, that's terrible writing! I honestly don't know if you're joking or not

Groggy Dundee said...

Wow. Not only a Goosebumps book that I haven't read, but one I haven't even HEARD of!!? Even more astonishing, one you gave a GLOWING review to!?! I have to try and track this down, then.

Good point about the Beths, that seems to be one of the most frequently-used Goosebumps names.

Very interesting to see Suzie Snowflake, too. They run the old cartoon thingy ad naseaum every Christmas around here.

bionicle dude said...

my fav was monster on ice they shuold have named it werewolf on ice

Anonymous said...

does anyone know where i can get this book ?

Anonymous said...

The title of this book sounds like it's on the verge of climax.

Canais "Candy Kane" Young said...

I can't believe you actually liked "Marshmallow Surprise". Reading that summary actually made me say "What...the hell?" And "A Holly Jolly Holiday" (the one about the family being brainwashed by a cheesy Christmas movie) sounds like an "Eerie Indiana" episode that was never made (that doesn't mean it sucks; I too thought it was cool, even if it was more funny and weird than scary).

Anonymous said...

I think the point of "Marshmallow Surprise" was that the twist was deliberately terrible. Judging by the humour and quality of the other stories, it must have been the ghostwriter taking the piss at Stine's awful twists.

Ski Junior said...

I just loved the Double-Dip Horror. The last sentence made me laugh out loud.

Anits said...

Great job! I just LOVED the stories! The 'DOUBLE DIP HORROR' was AWESOME, but, it could've been longer. Like, as soon as Wynona came back to Rachel, screaming her guts out, Bobby comes and ..........

Anits said...

Cute Dog!

Anonymous said...

... Except that "A Holly Jolly Holiday," the story you loved so much, sounds like a ripoff of the central plot of Infinite Jest (albeit a dumbed-down and Christmasified version). Author originality fail.

Anonymous said...

... Except that "A Holly Jolly Holiday," the story you loved so much, sounds like a ripoff of the central plot of Infinite Jest (albeit a dumbed-down and Christmasified version). Author originality fail.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, I read that hot avalanche spitting tip in that book too and still remember it every time avalanches come up. No idea what book it's from, though.

Anonymous said...

I am tempted to find this books. I can't believe the guy actually gave it a GOOD review. This is the guy who lives to insult RL Stines life work. Great job, retard, you finally made a good one. I think the nutcracker one looks best, but I think I remember the plot somwhere. Double-dip and marshmellow sucked.

Anonymous said...

I think this looks like one of the three good books related to goosebumps. Finally, dumbass decides not to insult RL Shit's life work and post a good coment. Of course in a way, I just insulted him too. I, the hippocrit, think that the nutcracker one looks the best. Double-dip and marshmellow suck.

Anonymous said...

this has got to be the weirdest thing. he finally gave Real Lame Shit a good review. Holy fuck its a miracle

Gronk said...

The real twist to the Gronk story is that the Gronk grew so big and athletic that he decided to play football for the New England Patriots and become the most dominant tight end in the league.

Anonymous said...

holy crap, that was an actual book! RL Stine finally realised to write, then figured that wasnt his character and started writing crap again. double dip and ice skates were too stupid and now when i see something dumb, i'll just say ICE VAMPIRE. still looks like a good read, (meaning a rare read) and as soon as i stop being greedy and buy this book ill see if its as good as the review.