Rotters by Daniel Kraus

69%

39 Critic Reviews

I put the book down more than once wondering if it would ever end. Without a doubt, the manuscript could have used a good strong structural edit .
-Booknotized

Synopsis

Grave-robbing. What kind of monster would do such a thing? It's true that Leonardo da Vinci did it, Shakespeare wrote about it, and the resurrection men of nineteenth-century Scotland practically made it an art. But none of this matters to Joey Crouch, a sixteen-year-old straight-A student living in Chicago with his single mom. For the most part, Joey's life is about playing the trumpet and avoiding the daily humiliations of high school.
    
Everything changes when Joey's mother dies in a tragic accident and he is sent to rural Iowa to live with the father he has never known, a strange, solitary man with unimaginable secrets. At first, Joey's father wants nothing to do with him, but once father and son come to terms with each other, Joey's life takes a turn both macabre and exhilarating.
    
Daniel Kraus's masterful plotting and unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.

 

About Daniel Kraus

See more books from this Author
DANIEL KRAUS is a writer, an editor, and a filmmaker. He is currently working on an adult novel with Guillermo del Toro, scheduled for late 2013. Daniel lives with his wife in Chicago.
 
Published April 5, 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. 466 pages
Genres: Horror, Young Adult. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Rotters
All: 39 | Positive: 30 | Negative: 9

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Mar 15 2011

A cerebral romp through a fascinating, revolting underworld.

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The Millions

Below average
Reviewed by Emily Wilkinson on May 13 2011

Somewhere around the middle of Rotters, though, things start to feel a little unhinged. The plot begins to unfurl at an unnerving speed.

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Greenwood Public Library

Excellent
Reviewed by Sheila on Apr 25 2012

Teens will be captivated by Joey’s quest to survive while examining the dark side of human nature and the obsessions we harbor.

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WAPL Teens

Excellent
Reviewed by Katie on Jan 09 2012

Rotters is a horror story that will grip you, reel you in, and make you question a lot of things. Not for the feint of heart.

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Horror News Net

Excellent
Reviewed by Anton Cancre on May 16 2011

Its just good, heartfelt, dirty and gritty fun in an old school gothic wrapper.

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Hipsqueak

Excellent
Reviewed by Jonathan Messinger on Apr 28 2011

A refreshing take on the teenage outsider story, and bolstered by a rich and inventive legend, Rotters ably tells a horror story set above and below ground.

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Carrollton Public Library

Below average
Reviewed by cplteen on May 03 2012

The characters disturb me and not in a good way.

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The Book Smugglers

Below average
Reviewed by Thea on Apr 20 2011

The most disappointing thing about Rotters in my opinion was how there are these hefty potential issues that could have led to fascinating discussion of moral, ethical considerations, but were sadly overlooked.

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My Bookish Ways

Good
Reviewed by Bookish Wings on Mar 01 2011

Kraus manages to take an unusual, taboo subject and turn it into a fascinating, horrifying, and sometimes heartwrenching read.

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Good Books and Good Wine

Good
Reviewed by April on Aug 11 2011

Daniel Kraus’s writing style in Rotters is very meandering. It is quite literary.

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Wordsmithonia

Good
Reviewed by Ryan on May 05 2011

This was a world of pain, yearning, and rotting flesh that I would never hesitate to visit again.

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Heaful of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Anne on May 10 2012

I marvel that I even finished listening to this whole book...hours upon hours of listening to it.

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Forever Young Adult

Good
Reviewed by Jenny Bird on May 24 2011

If you're looking for that YA book to get your boyfriend or husband to try out, and he's resisted your efforts so far? Give him this.

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Diary of a Bookworm

Good
Reviewed by Rhiannon on Apr 25 2011

These books are that missing stepping stone between YA and Stephen King and other adult horror novelists.

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For What It's Worth

Below average
Reviewed by Karen on Jul 07 2011

The book meanders at times and gets a little wordy.

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Muggle-Born

Good
Reviewed by Muggle-Born on Apr 23 2011

It is gritty, graphic, violent, gut-wrenching, and so, so addicting.

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Bloody Disgusting

Good
Reviewed by Ryan Daley on Apr 26 2011

Kraus writing is smart–never cute or condescending–and he adds authenticity by name-dropping the corpse-stealing practices of historical figures like Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo.

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The Lone Writer

Good
Reviewed by Shannon Yarbrough on Mar 24 2011

Kudos to Kraus for giving his readers a true “underdog” story, but not a cliché version where our guy reigns on top necessarily.

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Book Loving Mommy

Good
Reviewed by Jessica on Feb 28 2011

I loved the diggers! They were all so well developed and I loved their nicknames.

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Kat Reads

Below average
Reviewed by Kathy Ann on May 03 2012

This book had darts being fired at it from word go from me, if I am being totally honest.

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Book Trends

Good
Reviewed by Margo Nauert on Jul 22 2011

Though it does not entrance the reader, it does build up enough suspense and is just enough unsettling to make readers keep turning pages until they reach the end.

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Escapism Through Books

Good
Reviewed by Escapism Books on Feb 28 2011

I really enjoyed the writing in this story, and many passages were gorgeously descriptive and evocative.

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Attack the Stacks

Below average
Reviewed by attackthestacks on Apr 09 2012

I don’t consider myself easily disturbed and I have a pretty strong stomach, but the really descriptive scenes about grave digging really distressed me more than once.

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Edifying and Edgy

Good
Reviewed by Karin on Feb 14 2012

Daniel Kraus does a fantastic job creating characters that you definitely feel for.

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Pink Me

Below average
Reviewed by Pink Me on Aug 07 2011

I would like to see a lot of the descriptive text excised in favor of some knockout drawings.

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Dreadful Tales

Good
Reviewed by Colum on Jul 18 2011

Go pick this one up and read what is truly destined to become a classic in the YA genre.

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Innsmouth Free Press

Good
Reviewed by Nathaniel Katz on May 12 2011

Rotters is an interesting and daring book, a novel that manages to take an activity that is so far outside our perceptions that we can regard it as nothing but detestable and practically inhuman, and make it not only acceptable, but, at its peaks, glorious.

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Samantha Boyette

Good
Reviewed by Samantha Boyette on Apr 11 2012

From the way the author strings his words, to the odd, but touching relationship between Joey and his dad, this book is full of unexpected beauty.

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The Scribbler in the Rye

Good
Reviewed by Erin Forson on Feb 10 2012

Macabre, morbid, monstrous…and mesmerizing…this is Joey’s life from the first chapter of Rotters.

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Booknotized

Below average
Reviewed by Booknotized on Feb 09 2012

I put the book down more than once wondering if it would ever end. Without a doubt, the manuscript could have used a good strong structural edit .

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Twisted Literature and Ugly Songs

Good
Reviewed by darklightlullabye on Dec 05 2011

It's so sick and wrong on so many levels. But it's so good at the same time.

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The O.W.L.

Good
Reviewed by Jill on Oct 07 2011

Daniel Kraus' prose is amazing!

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Little Squeed

Good
Reviewed by Heather on Jul 12 2011

This book pulls you in, holds you tight and buries you deep within its pages.

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Tracy's Happy Bookshelf

Good
Reviewed by Tracy on Jun 16 2011

Rotters is one of those books that leaves you speechless, numb, breathless, disgusted and creeped out, but all in a good way.

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Oops...Wrong Cookie

Good
Reviewed by Patti on May 26 2011

Boggs was the most heebie-jeebie inspiring character that I have read about in a very long time.

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J.D. Montague's Hungry Garden Chronicles

Good
Reviewed by JD Montague on May 11 2011

Joey Crouch’s, the narrator and protagonist, voice was honest and endearing despite the disturbing story he was telling.

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Inner Bean

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer Hudock on Apr 15 2011

In a literary genre often equated with sparkling vampires and woeful boy wizards bending under the weight of a crumbling world, ROTTERS takes something we dare to even whisper about and brings it into the grimy and miserable light of reality.

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Misfit Salon

Good
Reviewed by Stephanie D on Mar 31 2011

I've been yearning for a truly dark YA book and now I've found one who's got dark in spades and then some.

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Humble Reviews

Good
Reviewed by slhunsberger on Jan 29 2011

I would recommend this book to those with a very open mind and a very strong stomach. If you like things that are dark, creepy, twisted, suspenseful and more than a little shocking.

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Reader Rating for Rotters
76%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 73 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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