S. L. Grey The Mall

ISBN 13: 9780857890429

The Mall

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9780857890429: The Mall

Dan works at a bookstore in a deadly dull shopping mall where nothing ever happens. He's an angsty emo-kid who sells mid-list books to mid-list people for the minimum wage. He hates his job. Rhoda has dragged her babysitting charge to the mall so she can meet her dealer and score some coke. Now the kid's run off, and she has two hours to find him. She hates her life. Rhoda bullies Dan into helping her search, but as they explore the neon-lit corridors behind the mall, disturbing text messages lure them into the bowels of the building, where old mannequins are stored in grave-like piles and raw sewage drips off the ceiling. The only escape is down, and before long Dan and Rhoda are trapped in a service lift listening to head-splitting musak. Worst of all, the lift's not stopping at the bottom floor. Plummeting into the earth, Dan and Rhoda enter a sinister underworld that mirrors their worst fears. Forced to complete a series of twisted tasks to find their way out, they finally emerge into the brightly lit food court, sick with relief at the banal sight of people shopping and eating. But something feels different. Why are the shoppers all pumped full of silicone? Why are the shop assistants chained to their counters? And why is a cafe called McColon's selling lumps of bleeding meat? Just when they think they've made it back to the mall, they realise their nightmare has only just begun...

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About the Author:

S.L. Grey is a collaboration between Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg. Based in Cape Town, Sarah is a novelist and screenwriter and die-hard zombie fanatic. She writes crime novels under her own name, and as Lily Herne she and her daughter Savannah Lotz write the Deadlands series of zombie novels for young adults. Louis is a Johannesburg-based fiction writer and editor who was also a bookseller for many years. He has a Master's degree in vampire fiction and a doctorate in post-religious apocalyptic fiction. Sarah and Louis discovered a mutual interest in horror while bunking a crime seminar in a pub, rejected their initial plans for a vampire-vs-zombie faceoff, and S.L. Grey was born.

From Booklist:

Ready to shop ’til you drop? Wage-slave Daniel is closing up the mall bookstore when he’s coerced at knifepoint to help a coke-addled woman, Rhoda, find the child she’s lost somewhere in the building. But those interchangeable service hallways are tricky, aren’t they? Chased by something large, the duo crosses stairways, ramps, and ladders, ever downward into an apocalyptic hell of dismembered mannequins and blind, starving hobos. Text messages from “the spammer from hell” indicate they’re caught in some sort of game—take, for instance, the do-or-die name-that-Muzak-song in a plummeting elevator. Halfway through the novel, Grey abandons this abstract nightmare for a more pointed satire of consume-at-all-costs culture, with Daniel becoming a semilobotomized laborer in an alternate-world mall while Rhoda becomes an obsessed “Shopper” who’d sell her soul for a nice handbag. The two halves don’t exactly jibe, but they’re both über-icky and held together by a wonderfully evolving relationship between the protagonists. It’s a great pleasure to find a horror author with something to say, so be a good consumer and stock up. --Daniel Kraus

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S L Grey
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