There Really ARE Monsters Under the Bed
Book reviewers often begin the process of reading a new book by trying to classify it – giving a book a framework can help with the task of explaining it to potential readers. From the start of Jeffrey Hurwitz’s Under the Bed, questions arise: Is this a terrifying look at the effects of child abuse? Or is it a tell-all about the torture adults can inflict on children? A tale of how children create their own worlds to escape from the world around them? Perhaps it’s a look into the psyche of a child? A fantasy? Horror? It is a all of the above, and more.
Under the Bed is the story of a teenager, Jack, who has survived an unspeakably abusive childhood through fantasy, logic, academic achievement and pretense – the pretense of abused children – that everything is fine. Now that Jack is about to graduate from high school, however, it becomes impossible for him to pretend any longer. It turns out that there really is a monster hiding under his bed. And this monster cannot be escaped using the strategies he used to get through childhood.
From the Book Jacket
Jackie had quite the typical childhood growing up. Except for the time his mom poured near boiling water over him. And his father’s “Final Solution” to his little bed wetting problem. And of course the phantasmal nightmares. The old man with gnarled teeth, arthritic fingers coming for him night after night, reaching out closer and closer.
Now about to graduate from high school, Jack is about to learn the most important lesson of his life: There really are monsters under the bed. Or at least one. Feeding off the fear created by human misery and suffering, Shrekoli is back for his latest conquest. Back to take Jack under the bed.
But this time Jack’s not alone. No stranger to past horrors herself, Stacy must ready herself for one more to save them both. One so terrifying and unthinkable it will test her strength of both body and mind. Can Stacy help Jack to escape the inescapable? Or will Shrekoli feast on Jack’s fear, punishing his body and mind for all of time?
Character Driven Horror
If one had to classify this book (as Amazon does) it would fall under supernatural horror. But Under the Bed is far more than a scary story about goblins or the devil. It’s a finely written, character-driven allegory about the horror human beings create with their own cruelty, told so that the reader remains unsure of what will happen next but very eager to find out. The main character, Jack, is the driving force – his humor and humanity are the “hooks” of Under the Bed – they are what make this novel so engaging, even as its events are horrifying.
About Jeffrey Hurwitz
Jeffrey has tried on a variety of hats never settling on one. He has taught high school science in the U.S., Bolivia, Germany and Indonesia taking advantage of these postings to travel the world, including all 7 continents. He has also practiced law as a public defender, the “if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you” lawyer. While a practicing teacher and lawyer, Jeffrey found time to be a personal fitness trainer as well. He is now trying on his last hat (maybe) as a writer.