Monday, May 02, 2011

Look Back in Languor

So, everyone wants a retrospective on the Series 2000 books. It's probably my fault, as I'm sure I at some point promised such a thing to be forthcoming. But I meant that in the same way I say, "We should really hang out some time, and not in that way people say 'Let's hang out,' but really hang out" and then we don't ever hang out. So we should retrospective, right? Well, here's the rub: I can't remember, like, all of these books. Either I read them again, which is never going to happen ever in a million evers, or I do this: Write down everything I can remember about each book, from memory, without checking. Results may vary.

01 Cry of the Cat
Okay, I remember a couple things from this book. One, a cat gets decapitated with a bike. Two, there's a cat tornado made of cats. When those are your one and two, who needs a three?

02 Bride of the Living Dummy
I recall Slappy giving some girl a "love tap." I also recall that because Blogger sux, I can't edit that entry without messing up the "FUCK THIS BOOK" text rainbow.

03 Creature Teacher
Um, there's a teacher who's also a monster that eats children if they don't perform well at a talent show. Very realistic commentary on something. Certainly not education. Almost surely not talent shows or monsters or eating, either.

04 Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Pt 1
I think this is the one about hugging.

05 Invasion of the Body Squeezers: Pt 2
Or is it this one?

06 I Am Your Evil Twin
Probably not this one. I do vaguely recall there being a truck with a scientist in this one, though. This seemed like a much funnier idea when I thought I'd remember anything at all about these books.

07 Revenge R Us
Lite R ally R emember nothing about this one.

08 Fright Camp
Okay, this is the one where the kids go to a camp that's run by a Wes Craven-type character. And there's a raccoon-type animal on the cover. It's probably a raccoon.

09 Are You Terrified Yet?
No idea what this is. So, no.

10 Headless Halloween
I don't remember a single thing about this one, either. Like, I can't even picture the cover right now. Possibly this book doesn't exist. Get Trump on the horn.

11 Attack of the Graveyard Ghouls
This is the one where the kid gets tricked into switching bodies with a dead person in the graveyard and then the zombies run around in the streets with axes, chopping up car windows and setting fires. This one, oddly enough, was a relevant commentary on education, talent shows, monsters, and eating.

12 Brain Juice
Finally, one I actually remember. Some kids run afoul of aliens who want to make everyone dumb or smart or something. Okay, so "remember" is relative. I at least can recall the existence of this book.

13 Return to Horrorland
There's a news crew that wants the kids from the original to go undercover at the park, but then it turns out the crew is actually in cahoots with the park or the government or something. Let's build an entire series around that

14 Jekyll and Heidi
I think remembering this one is cheating since surely it's a Jekyll and Hyde story?

15 Scream School
Kid who pranks another kid is a dead kid. Book sets up unlikely hoax involving a movie set or something. Drop Dead Fred was on the cover. Next.

16 the Mummy Walks
How is it that I can recall the Celery Stalks at Midnight, which I haven't read in twenty-two years, but I can't remember anything about this book I read a couple years ago?

17 the Werewolf in the Living Room
Awful werewolf story, even by Stine's standards, that takes a weird turn two-thirds through with the main character being kidnapped by some sort of carny.

18 Horrors of the Black Ring
I remember this entry being really funny. Is that narcissistic of me? To be fair, I can't even remember what I wrote for most of these, much less what the source material was.

19 Return to Ghost Camp
Gay camp story, and no, that's not redundant.

20 Be Afraid-- Be Very Afraid!
Oh man, this is the most ridiculous Goosebumps book ever. So much so that I actually remember parts of it, with its time travel and card playing and Jumanjing. Glad I wisely resisted a My Sister Sam joke in this entry, that's what I recall most fondly.

21 the Haunted Car
Kid loves cars we've heard of slightly less than a car no one's ever heard of.

22 Full Moon Fever
Awful werewolf story, even by Stine's standards, that takes a weird turn two-thirds through with the main character being greeted by a werewolf in the living room.

23 Slappy's Nightmare
Slappy must do good deeds for some reason. Turns out another dummy is counteracting his good deeds with bad ones. Stretches believability with premise that more than one sentient doll could be gallivanting around someone's house without anyone noticing.

24 Earth Geeks Must Go!
Earth geeks went.

25 Ghost in the Mirror
Let's Get Indefensible!

Well, there's only one way left to salvage this retrospective:


UnclGhost said...


Anonymous said...

Does the fact that you can't remember most of the books suggest they were merely mediocre rather than outrageous? Similarly, I don't even recall which of these books I ever even read. Thanks for the retrospective!

Happy_Evil_Dude said...

Sweet! Glad you listened to the people and gave them what they wanted. A few random comments about the blog though:

1. The right-hand side links need updating, the links for the last two 2000 books, and of course this very retrospective, aren't active.
2. Speaking of the links, what you've listed as Goosebumps Horrorland numbers 20 to 21 aren't Horrorland books anymore, they are the first three entries in the "Goosebumps Hall Of Horrors" series. Yes, a fourth Goosebumps series.
3. I've noticed "More Tales to Give You Goosebumps" and "Triple Header: Book 1" don't have reviews up. FYI, you can get both for a cent each on Amazon.
4. On your classic series Retrospective, you mention a forthcoming review of Tim Jacobus' autobiography which would feature a look back on the covers. Is this still forthcoming at some point?

Looking forward to the Horrorland reviews ;-)

Damian Garcia said...

Great retrospect. But you should have thrown Chicken, Chicken!

But I guess it really doesn't matter. Might as well throw the whole lot of them across your room.

Millie said...

I never imagined that a 4-second videoclip of Troy tossing "Ghost in the Mirror" across the room would make my day quite as much as it has ...

Anonymous said...

this was the best retro yet

DarkfireTaimatsu said...

This is pretty much the best summary of Series 2000 there could be. I mean, what, you were expecting glowing details of a mediocre series read over 2 years or so?

Of course, the best part is

Izzy said...

Good point, is book throwing the new bee tossing?

Groggy Dundee said...

Awesome Troy! The book throwing is awesome.

Groggy Dundee said...

"Does the fact that you can't remember most of the books suggest they were merely mediocre rather than outrageous?"

I don't know, reading the reviews for each entry would disabuse you of that idea.

But yes, as the Earth Geeks entry indicated Troy wasn't having much fun towards the end of these. I don't blame him, Series 2000 sucked. Hopefully he'll find something to like in Horrorland.

Unknown said...

Clearly you remember the Celery Stalks at Midnight better than these books because 1) Bunnicula is awesome 2) R.L Stine did not write it and 3) VAMPIRE BUNNY!!!

David T. said...

Inspired by this blog I've recently started reading the original Goosebumps series. Throwing the book across the room as soon as I've finished it has become a surprisingly fun tradition of mine.

Spongey444 said...

Best. Entry. Ever.

Groggy Dundee said...

I've noticed "More Tales to Give You Goosebumps" and "Triple Header: Book 1" don't have reviews up. FYI, you can get both for a cent each on Amazon.

Definitely do those at some point, Troy. You get werewolves, UFOs, a ghostly grandma, a rough draft of Cry of the Cat and camps up the wazoo.

Reed said...

You're absolutely right about the Black Ring. I recently re-read it, and you were just unstoppable in that one.

I second the suggestion to cover More Tales. I have some vaguely fond memories of a few of those stories that need shattering (plus, one of them was pretty much completely recycled for Cry of the Cat).

Spongey444 said...

I'm so excited for Horrorland next week. I like the series, but i can't wait for your snark to improve them.

Revengeofevan said...

Damien, you cant really throw ashes very effectively...

Mission Inc said...

Ugh, you should have just stuck to your guns and not made a retrospective. I too believed the whole retrospective thing last time was just one of those "once-in-a-while"-shot deals. Not that this was a bad entry or anything, but I just don't feel like another one was really that necessary, and given how much Series 2000 sucked, it really didn't deserve one, and let's be honest, we'd be disrespecting ourselves if we really needed a retrospective on this crap series THAT MUCH. seems we're at yet another dawn of a new set of books to rip on, yes? Looking forward to your handiwork, Troy. Mind you, this new series will be a different flavor for me, as unlike some books of Series 2000, I am one hundred percent unfamiliar with this series. This will be interesting.

Anonymous said...

That video taught us your secret.

You're white.

...That was supposed to be a secret, right?

ALB said...

Whether Troy believes it or not, at the time he claimed to really like a couple (but just a couple) of those books, which is why it's odd that he shouldn't recall even those.

Pomelote said...

Short and sweet. My browser wouldn't load the video, unfortunately, but I'm planning to bluff that I got the gist. Will "hurling the Goosebumps" make it into the lexicon?

As Mission Inc mentioned, blogger beware synopses of the HorrorLand series feels like a weird prospect. There's no pretending that you have a rivulet of memory or nostalgia trickling in as with the older Goosebumps titles. You're either reading them right now or you're not.

Thanks for the directions to the guide in the last comments section, Troy!

Groggy Dundee said...

In fairness it's been two-and-a-half years since Troy read some of the Series 2000 books. I don't expect him to remember the nuances of The Mummy Walks.

Ryan Ferneau said...

And whose fault is it that it's taken two and a half years?

Anonymous said...

So, what's up for tomorrow, then? Are we beginning HorrorLand, or tying up loose ends elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

Troy Troy Troy Troy Troy
Did you know there's a Goosebumps wikia? I literally just discovered it

Groggy Dundee said...

"And whose fault is it that it's taken two and a half years?"

Not sure, but I'm inclined to blame you.

Mr. Me said...

When are you gonna start putting up the Horrorland and Ghosts of Fear Street books up? There's some crazy shit in the two, um, just get started with Horrorland and Ghosts of Fear Street.

Anonymous said...

Fingers crossed you return to take advantage of those Horrorland books the fan at Scholastic sent you.

Also Stein apparently tried to do a TV series called Fear Street or something. Don't think there's any more than a pilot floating around, but hey, the more you know right?

Cheers and thanks for all the good reads throughout the years mate!

Anonymous said...

Well, Troy, you've got to make a 'best and worst' list like you did for the original series. That's what most people would read the retrospective for.

AnonymousPersonality said...

Well done, Troy. But you've got to make a 'best and worst' list like you did for the original series. That's what most people would read the retrospective for!

Anonymous said...

I don't think you're ever gonna list the best books of this series, so I'll make my own list. I know this series wasn't as good as the original one. Only 4 books are worthy of being called 'well-written'!
4. Fright Camp (#08)
3. Horrors of the Black Ring (#18)
2. The Werewolf in the Living Room (#17)
1. Cry of the Cat (#01): Yeah, this one was really good.
Hope you'll soon review Fear Street!

Groggy Dundee said...

There are only 25 books in the series. A best and worst would leave, what, 5 books unaccounted for?

Groggy Dundee said...

Re-reading his Series 2000 entries, Troy gave positive reviews for:

I Am Your Evil Twin
Are You Terrified Yet?
Jekyll and Heidi
The Haunted Car

Not a very high batting average.

As for worst, if we're to judge from sheer vitriol, Bride of the Living Dummy, Revenge R Us, Headless Halloween, Be Afraid - Be Very Afraid and Full Moon Fever would qualify. Really though it's an embarrassment of riches (or poverty) in that department.

On a personal note I've discovered my local library has several Series 2000 books I haven't yet read. I may have to check them out between more substantial fare soon. Reader beware indeed!

AzumangaDaiohFan said...

So Troy, by the way you're describing the books here, i guess most of them weren't "Truly Truly Truly Outrageous?"