Let's Go Play At The Adams' - Mendel W. Johnson 4/5 stars

      This is one of those books that always end up on someone's top ten list of great horror novels, but I could never get my hands on a copy. One look at the going price for a battered uses copy is insane. Is this book really that good? I was on my library app and saw that one of the libraries my local branch partners with had one so I put a hold on it and waited for it too arrive. I would soon find out if all the hype was truly deserved.

       As soon as it arrived, I ran to the library and with shaking hands, I opened up the cover. This was the moment I had waited so long for but what if it didn't live up to its reputation? Books do that sometime, and it's always frustrating when expectations don't meet reality. It happens all the time. You meet a girl, and you think this could be the one, but she turns into a raving psycho a week into the relationship. Sometimes, books gain a reputation just because of the content or a readers experience with the subject matter. Happens all the time.

      I can tell you that Let's Go Play At The Adams' is a brutal shocking book that drags in places, but Mendal never allows you to get comfortable. It's not a book you enjoy, it's unsettling and gets under your skin. Even after you read it, you can't stop thinking about it. How did this happen? Even the why of it all is unsettling. This was a bold book for 1974. These are kids who kidnap, and torture their babysitter for three days. The planning that goes into it is mind numbingly brilliant, and shows us just how vulnerable we really are. Once you read this you won't look at children the same way again, and that's exactly the goal of this book.

      It's not a book for the squeamish, and as it went on the personalities of the children began to come out. Each child begins to unravel and that’s what the book is really about. We go through a roller coaster of emotions as the days unfold, soon the personalities of the kids emerge. It's a book that in unflinching in its development. Barbara herself begins to change as well, which isn't surprising given the circumstances. Let's Go Play At The Adams' isn't a horror novel, it's darker and deeper than that. It's about the destruction of human emotions, and the eradication of all sense of right and wrong.

     By saying I enjoyed this book what does say about me as a person? I liked that it made me think, and that it's not a novel you can simply read and walk away from. Yes, I liked it, and I wish I could own a copy so I can read it again just to pick up on things I may have missed. I did like this book, and not everyone will which is to be expected. It's not an easy book to read, and it's even harder if you have kids of your own. You may want to sleep with the doors locked after reading this one.  If you're able to get your hands on a copy by all means read it, but understand that this is a dark, disturbing novel, but also important. It takes you to places you never thought you could go mentally. A great book does that, so yes, all the hype and all the accolades this book gets are truly well deserved.