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Andreya's Asylum

Insanity, horror and dark fiction are my catharsis. Brutally honest reviews are on the house.


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Review of Katie by Michael McDowell

Katie (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) - Michael McDowell

Katie is the first book I have read by Michael McDowell. A classic horror novel, you won't find any gore-fest or torture porn, but what you will find is a well written and disturbing story. The book starts out with Katie showing signs of both psychic abilities and a propensity towards cruelty from a young age, although we really don't hear anything else about her until she reaches adulthood. Katie is the name of the book, but Philo Drax is the protagonist which the book centers around. Philo, an eighteen year old seamstress' daughter, is poor and generally unremarkable; at least until things start to happen around her that launch her directly and unwittingly into Katie's path.


One day Philo's mother receives a letter from her father, who disowned her 23 years earlier for marrying her now deceased husband. In this letter he requests that Philo come help him escape Katie and her degenerate family who have taken over his farm and his freedom. Although Philo has never met her grandfather, she is only too eager to help. Her motivation is not purely innocent though, as her grandfather is quite wealthy and has promised to provide for her and her mother once he is rescued. Philo, having been impoverished her entire life, dreams of nothing more than rubbing her upcoming wealth in the faces of all who shunned her when she arrives back home. Philo is capable but rather naive and sorely underestimates just how evil Katie and her family are...


My only real complaint about the book is that Katie is more of a background character. I would have loved more of her history and a greater delve into what went on in the mind of this psycho. Overall the story itself was a great and fast read that had enough twists to not be completely predictable and I appreciate that. I look forward to reading more from Michael McDowell.



© 2015 by Andi Rawson of Andreya's Asylum