The Pallbearers Club
by Paul Tremblay
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Pub Date 5 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 5 Jul 2022
A chilling and twisty horror of toxic friendships, punk rock and vampire parasites from the Bram Stoker award-winning modern master of horror and author of The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts.
1988, and puberty has hit Art Barbara hard - he's a painfully socially awkward teenager, underweight, acne-ridden, and bent crooked by scoliosis. Worse, he has no extra credits to get him into college. So Art starts the Pallbearers’ Club, dedicated to mourning the homeless and lonely – the people with no one else to bury them. It might be a small club, unpopular and morbid, but it introduces Art to Mercy Brown, who is into bands, local history, folklore and digging up the dead.
Decades later, Art is writing his memoir to try and make sense of it all, because nothing about Mercy is simple. It’s all a matter of trust, right? Their friendship twists and coils around the pair of them, captured in Polaroid snapshots and sweaty gigs and the freaky, inexplicable flashes of nightmare that lurk in a folded jacket at night.
Because Art is writing his memoir to make sense of it all, but Mercy is reading it too. Mercy thinks Art’s novel – because this isn’t a memoir – needs some work, and she’s more than happy to set the record straight. What if Art didn’t get everything right? Come on, Art, you can’t tell just one side of the story…
Seamlessly blurring the lines between fiction and memory, the supernatural and the mundane, The Pallbearers Club is an immersive, suspenseful portrait of an unforgettable and unsettling friendship.
"Books can have teeth. A whole mouthful of them. The Pallbearers Club has a whole lifetime of them." —Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author of My Heart Is a Chainsaw
"The most beautiful and heartbreaking funeral I've been to in a long time, The Pallbearers Club is melancholy, funny, and very cruel, but you won't regret carrying this coffin." – Grady Hendrix, New York Times bestselling author of The Final Girl Support Group
"This is horror at its most heartfelt, horror that confirms our fears and flaws, the insecurities that we carry with us from our formative years. I've built up a carapace over the years but even at the age of 50 I will always be that uncertain teenager who was mocked or ignored. The Pallbearers Club understands that girl completely and exploded her heart." — Priya Sharma, the award-winning author of Ormeshadow
"The Pallbearers Club is Tremblay at his most audacious best. It's such a sneaky mindblower! It'll burrow deep inside you, and by the end, you'll be wondering if the room you're sitting in, the people you're talking with, or even your own memory, are real. This book is horror's answer to Nabakov's Pale Fire." – Sarah Langan, acclaimed author of Good Neighbours
"A new novel from Paul Tremblay is always cause for celebration. The Pallbearers Club has it all – growth and decay, metatextual playfulness and earnest terror, dark hilarity and deep melancholy. For a book that looks death squarely in its sightless eye this one is just brimming over with life and inventiveness. I loved floating and falling through time with Art Barbara and Mercy."— Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia and Orange World
Average rating from 22 members
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