The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix, Narrated by Adrienne King

The Final Girl Support Group is Grady Hendrix’s addition to the meta-slasher subgenre of literature. In some ways, this book succeeds in breaking new ground and adding a unique voice and commentary, though I couldn’t help but find the overall story disappointing. While I found the writing/narrative style of The Last Final Girl jarring and occasionally disruptive to my enjoyment, I would recommend either that or My Heart Is a Chainsaw, both by Stephen Graham Jones, over The Final Girl Support Group. If you’ve already read and enjoyed those two books, there’s no harm in checking this one out.
The best element of this novel is the commentary on slasher fiction provided by the author. Hendrix infuses the narrative with critiques on the latent misogyny involved in slasher films, the unhealthy obsession with serial killers, violence in society, and the psychological effects of trauma.
Shared via the unreliable narration of Lynette Tarkington, the survivor of the Silent Night Slayings (think Silent Night, Deadly Night), the narrative leads us along in a stuttering, stumbling adventure. We experience a world where alternate versions of the slasher flicks that defined–and redefined–the genre were based on real people and events. The survivors of these massacres make up the titular Final Girl Support Group; Adrienne (Friday the 13th), Marilyn (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Dani (Halloween), Heather (A Nightmare On Elm Street), and Julia (Scream).
After Adrienne’s murder and an attempt on Julia and Lynette’s life, Lynette finds herself unable to remain in the false safety and security of her life of isolation, obsession, and paranoia. She was never as safe as she believed herself to be, and she’s convinced that her sister final girls are in danger as well. But will anyone listen to her? Is there a conspiracy to slaughter all of the final girls, or is Lynette jumping at shadows that exist only in her traumatized mind? Will the truth be revealed before it’s too late?
The twists are nothing readers won’t see coming, whether by design or not. Readers will find themselves wanting to shout at the pages–or along with the audiobook–the same way viewers shout at the screen, screaming for Lynette to put the pieces together correctly as we helplessly watch her fumble and chase red herrings.
The audiobook was narrated by Adrienne King, the final girl from Sean Cunningham’s Friday the 13th. There perhaps couldn’t have been a better choice of narrator, as one of the first final girls of film history and someone who experienced real-life horror in response to that role. King brings Lynette to life in a way no other narrator probably could as well as successfully tackling the voices of the supporting characters.

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