Written by: Matt Molgaard
On one hand I’m ashamed to tell you that it took me about two months to finish Josh Hancock’s The Girls of October. On the other hand, I’m kind of glad it took so long, as that afforded me the time to live inside of that book for quite a few days. You can trust in the fact that it’s a book worth diving into, and it’s a book that proves so magnetic you really don’t want it to end. Ever.
About as creative as it gets these days, The Girls of October is written in atypical fashion, as we follow the mental spiral of Beverly Dreger, an insanely troubled young lady who just so happens to be obsessed with John Carpenter’s famous slasher, Halloween, through a series of fictional news breaks, “non-fiction” book excerpts, medical evaluations, police reports, film treatments and (a lot) more. Beverly is so obsessed in fact, that she’s certain Michael Myers, or, more specifically, the boogeyman, is not only real, he’s out to get her. As Beverly’s life falls to pieces murder looms. But who will die, and perhaps more importantly, who is the killer? Is it the disturbed lead of the story, or is it something far more sinister?
Hancock has something very, very special on his hands here. I was terrified to read the book, because I hate to rip on any HNR contributor’s fiction, which always leaves me hesitant to commit to coverage. I’m dedicated to the idea of being honest, no matter the repercussions. But I took the chance and jumped in. I’m a Halloween fan, I couldn’t resist the call.
It turns out The Girls of October is the greatest piece of work I’ve ever read from anyone affiliated with our lovely little site. This is a brilliant piece of work that taps every nerve in the body. Prepare to juggle an assortment of emotions, as Beverly’s plight will leave you grimacing in discomfort, chilled to the bone and ultimately, a little teary eyed from time to time. Hancock’s writing is crisp and fetching, and this strange tale is going to leave you in awe.
The Girls of October is just plain genius. And it’s so unorthodox that initially, we don’t know what we’re getting into. But 50 pages in you’ll realize that this is more than just a unique piece, it’s also a supremely wrapped gift to the horror fans of the world. Whether you favor film over literature, or vice versa, this is a real treasure to unearth. A shoo-in for my soon to be published Top 10 Novels of 2015, The Girls of October is a mystifying read that feels more like an engrossing study than a fictitious read designed to entertain genre fans.