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review 2017-03-23 01:53
The Abuse of Ashley Collins - Jon Athan

 

I don’t  know why I ever chose to torture myself and willingly read A CHILD CALLED IT,  but Dave Pelzer broke something inside me – I haven’t been right since.  Knowing that, you’d think I’d have learned a lesson, (yeah, I know… I’m audibly laughing right now, too).  Nope. Years after ‘ACCI’ I decided that I wanted to read THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, and I let Jack Ketchum walk right in and start poking at the wound that David Pelzer left with a big, pointy stick.  I think it was the masochist in me who invited Mendal W. Johnson to drop by and sucker-punch my PTSD in the back of the head.  As far as the ‘Let’s Go Play At The Adams fiction/non-fiction debate’ goes – I’m sticking with IT’S FICTION, but I’m sure all the atrocities have been committed, many times, and on many different Barbaras. 
Like LGPATATHE ABUSE OF ASHLEY COLLINS is not a true story – but it very well could be. Watching the decreasing sanity, and the elevating brutality of Ashley’s parents demonstrates just how fast situations can escalate. One little poke at the wrong moment, and all control is lost – you can’t come back from certain things.

       

THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION. It is disturbing, and hard to read at times, but the author is not exploiting issues to gain shock value for a horror story. Jon Athan comes at the story from every possible angle, from every p.o.v., and sheds light on problems that most families would keep hidden in the dark. Let me misquote one of my favorite movies before you start reading…

WARNING: This book contains scenes of graphic violence, including violence towards children. This book is about abuse—verbal, physical, and emotional. This book does not feature any explicit sex scenes, but it does discuss sexual abuse. This book is not intended for those easily offended or appalled.

Ashley Collins, a sixteen-year-old girl, has severe behavior issues. She regularly fights with her parents, Logan and Jane. When the fights become personal and physical, Logan and Jane decide to take matters into their own hands. They chain their daughter in the basement and abuse her in an attempt to rescue her from her bad behavior… while delving into their own deviance and depravity.

This is a story of family and abuse. This is a story of violence and discipline. This is the abuse of Ashley Collins.

Jon Athan, author of A Family of Violence, brings you an uncompromising vision of human horror. Can the cycle of abuse be broken?

 

Find The Abuse of Ashley Collins on Goodreads, Amazon, and it’s available through the KU program.

Connect with the author via Twitter – @Jonny_Athan, Facebook,  through the officialJon Athan Website, or his author pages on Goodreads, BookLikes, LibraryThing  &Amazon. You can email him directly at: info@jon-athan.com, or head on over to the West Coast and start stalking him the old fashioned way!

 

* I'm really glad that you didn't shelf the idea/book, and I think that THE ABUSE OF ASHLEY COLLINS is a better title than your original title. In fact, I think I may have misinterpreted 'A GENERATION OF ABUSE' when I first read it. I was going over my notes and highlights for the review when it clicked - the cycle of abuse - "ahh... OK".

* You made a comment on the 'Join the mailing list' page, and if I WASN'T searching for the things that you mentioned, I sure am now!! It may be a 'private matter', but... we're friends, right? :) IDEA!! If you collect all of the police files, doctor notes, patient files, and maybe even a "found" journal of Ashley's - it could sell as a companion book to THE ABUSE OF ASHLEY COLLINS.

* Something you said (after the story, before 'Dear Reader') made me [inappropriately] giggle for a second - (you know... that super disturbed, "I know I'm going to Hell", "Don't judge me!" giggle? No? Ever laugh at a funeral? Um... OK. Nvmnd).

"[...] Sure, there were a few things that may seem outlandish, especially towards the end [...]"


Well... there was something on the news just a few days ago -

"On Monday, March 6th, 2017 - North Carolina authorities arrived on the scene to witness 18 year old suspect, Oliver Funes Oliver Funes Machado, exit the family home "carrying a knife in one hand and a severed human head in the other."
Authorities found what was left of her body between the kitchen and living room. Funes-Machado had also told the dispatcher his 4-year-old and 2-year-old siblings were in the house. He said his father was not home.
The younger sisters were not hurt, and a teenage brother was at school."


Peace, Love & Necrophilia ♥
 ~  šhαd⊕ω gïrレ

 

(spoiler show)

 

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review 2015-09-10 17:16
Book Review - Let's Go Play at the Adams'
Let's Go Play At The Adams' - Mendal W. Johnson

...or let's not!!!

 

I read this book as a young teenager. I found this to be a disturbing read that has stayed with me to this day!

 

The thing that gets me every time, is that I repeatedly forget it was based on a real event, until I click on it on Goodreads, and see one of my friend's reviews directly below mine, reminding me of this fact.

 

I still have my paperback copy (see photos below), and wonder if one day I will dare to read it again. As I've read a lot of horror and dark psychological thrillers since reading this, I wonder if a re-read will make it seem less scary, but at the same time, I fear the images in the darkest corners of my mind will come flooding back upon reading it again.

 

So, while I spend probably another decade considering whether I dare read this again, it will sit on my bookshelf where I know it can behave itself. It is one of those books that I thought was very good, but I do not take pleasure in recommending it to others in case it makes them feel how I did as a young girl.

 

On the back cover, Publishers Weekly state "A horror tale that will harrow you and haunt you long after you have finished it." I see why I was attracted to it in the first place, with loving horrors, lol. However, I don't think I ever expected it would still have such a strong impact on my thoughts and feelings about 25 years later.

 

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review 2014-06-05 02:53
Let's Go Play at the Adams' by Mendal Johnson
Let's Go Play At The Adams' - Mendal W. Johnson

I don't believe in the world of this book, nor in its worldview.


HEAVY SPOILERS


three children and two teens, ages 10 - 17, trap a 20-year old babysitter; over the course of a week, she is repeatedly tortured and raped. in the end, they torture her to death.
 
I'm not a glass half-full kinda guy. I know that children can often (usually?) have little to no moral compass. more importantly, I know how the world can be a cruel and relentless place; I've seen the horrible things it can inflict on people. thank you, work history. but there is always context for why people do the things they do. not context that excuses those things, but context that allows an understanding of why they occurred.

5 kids are not going to quickly turn into psychopaths able to systematically abuse and murder a person within a week unless they were already deranged. only one of them is characterized as having mental issues; none have traumatic backgrounds or guidance from a disturbed adult. there is no believable context to why they do the things they do, unless it is mere coincidence that brings these 5 deeply disturbed individuals together. that's a hell of a coincidence. no, I don't believe in the world of this book.

on a formal level, the writing is excellent. really, quite top-notch. the perspectives of all six major characters are interestingly depicted. interestingly, not believably. surprisingly enough, the intellectual, clinical, yet oddly dreamlike manner in which Johnson views his subjects reminded me of writers like Duras or Ballard or film directors like von Trier or Fassbinder or Lynch. but you do not often approach those authors or directors as if they were depicting actual reality, real life there on the page or up on the screen, breathing and bleeding and genuine. instead their works have an almost ironic distance from the material that encourages contemplation of - rather than engulfment by - that material. one could try the same approach to this book. good luck! Let's Go Play is not an extended metaphor; it shows the actual thought processes involved during this situation, how escalated forms of projection and objectification and role-playing can lead to atrocity. the author brings a certain sardonic detachment to the material, but this is no stylized dream odyssey. it attempts realism but tries to paint human nature as inherently monstrous, psychopathic. that is not reality.

there are reasons given for the kids' actions. "It's all a game" ... "There always has to be winners and losers" ... "The world is all about hate" ... "We voted" ... that old bugaboo, violent media ... etc. the reasons provided are not convincing enough for me to believe that 5 kids (ok, let's not count the lil' psychopath) - 4 'regular' kids without traumatic lives or the guidance of a disturbed adult - are going to be able to slowly and dispassionately torture someone to death, and then methodically cover their tracks like supervillains. I call bullshit on that. I don't believe it. there needs to be context for such actions because all humans are not all monster. well, perhaps I am a glass half-full sorta guy after all.
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review 2011-06-21 00:00
Let's go play at the Adams' - Mendal W. Johnson I'll take it off the list, per Flannery's review. The idea that it might be boring is unbearable.
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