PHBC – The Snowman by R L Stine


Do you remember the Point Horror Book Series from the 90’s? The Point Horror Series was a series of young adult point horror books and was launched in 1991 by Scholastic always with the Point Horror banner on the spine and on the top of every point horror book. There were a number of authors that wrote these books for Scholastic: R L Stine, Diane Hoh, Caroline B Cooney, Sinclair Smith to name but a few.

Are the Point Horror books we loved as a teenager still our favourites on the re-read? Are you new to Point Horror? Has our opinion changed? Are they still as good? Do they stand up to modern day YA Horror? Or are they a whole load of cray cray?

Lets find out…

#pointhorrorbookclub

Join in the discussion with this months pick….

The Snowman by R L Stine

Don’t forget to use the #pointhorrorbookclub on twitter so I can see your thoughts or tweet me using @chelleytoy

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here

Vote for the next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!


** Please note that as this is a discussion there will be spoilers**


The Tagline

A cold blooded killer

Okay ….so…What’s It All About?

Heather Dickson is one very unhappy girl.  She can think of nothing better than killing off her nasty, vile Uncle.  She has a loving boyfriend and a best friend and a job that she hates….what more could she ask for?!

A boy called The Snowman turns up in Twin Valley but he’s not all what he seems…….

The Snowman?!  Oh he sounds frightfully chilling!

He really is not that terrifying.  Heather seems to loose all common sense and gets swept away by The Snowman’s cool charms and good looks and starts cheating on her boyfriend with him whilst giving him lots and lots of money from her trust fund whenever he asks.

I’m not sure I like this Snowman guy!

Fear not dear reader, he does however redeem himself by killing the vile Uncle of Heather…..with his snowman red scarf!

I bet Heather loved him even more after that…I mean she hated her Uncle right?!

Hmmmmmm no……It’s then she starts to realise that not everything with The Snowman is as it seems……

The Girl

Wow!  Where do I start with unhappy Heather Dickson!  With her golden hair featuring an off centred pony tail, her dark blue almost violet eyes, her high cheek bones and creamy pale skin….she had high hopes to be a classic Point Horror girl didn’t she?  She turned out to be this and much much more…..worse.  I think I spent nearly every chapter screaming OH HEATHER!  WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING!  ARE YOU CRAZY! and shaking my head at her….lots!

Heathers parents died years before in a car crash and she is now living with an Aunt and Uncle for the last 13 years whom she hates with a passion.  And that passion made me chuckle on numerous occasions with her fantasies about killing Uncle James.  I mean she even fantasises about killing her Uncle whilst kissing her boyfriend…..need I say more!

Oh yes I can!  She also cheats on her boyfriend because she takes a fancy to the mysterious Snowman and thinks about him too whilst kissing her boyfriend…..poor Ben.

Always living her life in slow motion, her Dad’s lighter always at hand (phew) and with a trust fund stuffed full of money she threw money at The Snowman constantly!  Pay for this Heather, oh silly me I have forgot my wallet, LET ME BLACKMAIL YOU HEATHER AND THEN YOU CAN STILL GIVE ME MONEY.  Even at the end when he kidnapped Heather she was still offering him money!  Say what now!

Bless her!  She was captured under The Snowman’s spell!

The Love Interest

The Snowman!

Boo!  Hiss!  Boo!

With his amazing pure white (not silver) parted in the middle hair which was wavy and long, his apple breath, dark features, ruddy skin which was almost tanned, his adorable cleft in his chin and dark brown eyes that were like dark coals he made Heather swoon and swoon and swoon and throw money at him left right and centre.

He was kind of horrible to Heather, but evidence above indicates she kind of deserved it!  And lets face it he killed the horrible Uncle and destroyed our comedy value of fantasy deaths….I shall never forgive him!

The Gang

Ben with his large dark eyes, straight black hair and his Honda Civic was the perfect dumped Point Horror boy.  He deserved so much more than pining after Heather.  Evidence above indicates he is potentially not a good kisser either!

Uncle James with his narrow face, thin lips, yellowed false teeth, thick glasses, long boney arms and legs that made him look like a gigantic insect and ancient olive coloured overcoat was completely vile!  The best thing about this guy was they way Heather kept killing him over and over again in her dreams and of course when he finally got bumped off I have to admit I did a little giggle when the ambulance people left him on the front porch for the night!  Oh gosh this made me laugh more than it probably should have!

I guess I could put best friend Kim Slater in here as a severely unused point horror best friend can ever be.  Kim was short with brown curls and a hoarse scratchy voice.  Stiney also felt the need to point out to us that she was a little chunky even without the 3 long sweaters she wears (grrrrrr)…..but yeah she popped up every now and again and didn’t really do much to help her friend Heather.  She must have realised, like us, that Heather was past help!

Oh and poor Aunt Belle – she was the only character I actually felt sorry for in this book – bless her fragile bones and lilac smelling skin.

Fashion Faux Pas

I think I was that wrapped up in trying not to laugh too much at the Point Horror I didn’t notice any terrible fashion!

Dialogue Disasters

“He looks like a big green squirrel”

“You were fascinating that I was a large roast beef”

“He looks like a pencil with a red eraser at the top”

“He suddenly looked to Heather like a department store mannequin”

“He looks like a tooth pick”

“You look like a Heather…..You know.  All blonde and pretty.  Heathery”

“I dance like a water buffalo on roller skates”

“He looks like a toothpick”

There was a wide range of comparisons to things in this Point Horror!

“Coffee, tea or me?”

Heathers chat up lines are the best!  Take note!

“And through the gray thoughts, the bright pink head of her uncle appeared, like a flowering weed sprouting up through a concrete sidewalk”

No YOU laughed!  You did!  I know you did!

Body Count

1!  And lets face it….he deserved it right?!

Loved all the fake Uncle James deaths more though especially the sledding one!

Weeeeeeeeeee!

Is it scary?

No!  It’s really really not!

It kind of enforces the don’t fall for the mysterious stranger or any stranger you set eyes on vibe though!

Did the best friend do it?

Nope!  This book was what it said on the tin….all about The Snowman!

And not the walking in the air kind either!

Some Mild Peril?

I guess being chased by a car in the middle of the night in the icy snow could be classed as mild peril.  Other than that not really!  Unless we class snowman gate at the end as a contender?

Is it any good?

This one was mildly okay, but mainly for comedy value for me.  With a fab opening chapter and an egg cracking death by page 5 I thought it couldn’t possibly get any better…..how wrong was I?!

That’s right old Stiney thought that Raymond Briggs ending to The Snowman was for whimps and decided that the only possible ending was to but a live person inside a snowman to try and kill them….luckily Heather had seen the The Snowman on TV every Christmas and knows a snowman melts!

Final Thought

For once I am speechless……..

Cover Wars!

I found this really awesome foreign cover!  Which do you prefer?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over to you!

As well as your thoughts on the book I’ve added some fun questions to ponder!

  • Your given the title The Snowman to right a Point Horror – what would it be about?
  • What happened to The Snowman after the book?
  • Did Heather and Ben stay together?
  • Where was Kim throughout this whole book?!

You can leave a reply by using the reply button at the top of the page!

Vote for the next #PointHorrorBookClub read here!

What will you pick?

And the winner was…..

For links to #pointhorrorbookclub posts old and new, Point Horror guest posts and interviews with Point Horror authors please click here

Thanks for joining in….

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I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek!
Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016!

© 2014 - 2017 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

5 thoughts on “PHBC – The Snowman by R L Stine

  1. paulhirons81@gmail.com'@PaulHi

    Hey PHBC!

    Guess Christmas made me later to the party this month. But now that gout has taken hold of my entire body, I’ve found time to catch up on The Snowman… and oh boy. This was not The One.

    Stine tends to veer wildly between the outright awesome (The Hitchhiker, The Babysitter) and the goddam awful (Call Waiting, Halloween Night II), and for me this plotless wonder landed somewhere among the latter.

    Notwithstanding the (ding ding! PH bingo cards at the ready!) egg-cracking simile on p5, this was a pretty dreary affair. For a start, Heather was a miserable, whining pain in my ass, and way meaner than necessary to poor old One-Braincell Ben. Sure, Uncle James was a total lunatic, but I’m not sure I liked our supposed heroine any more. Stine’s generally pretty good at giving us PH protagonists who are more than the vanilla, personality-free plot mules of, say, Diane Hoh or RTC – but he lost me in a snow drift with this one.

    And as a villain, Snowman didn’t even make sense. If he had a motive, I lost interest in it, and his claim that the police wouldn’t be able to tell strangulation from a heart attack was unconvincing, even by PH psycho standards. The less said about the actual mechanics of burying an unconscious person in a literal Snowman, the better; I have to admit, I love Stine for having the balls to go there, but any sense it did not make.

    Special mention to this dialogue disaster:
    “So much snow. I’m just glad of one thing.”
    “What’s that?”
    “Glad I don’t have to shovel it!” They both laughed.
    Seriously, if anyone gets this joke, please email me an explanation.

    Questions!

    Cover wars: LOVE the bonkers European one. That gets my vote.

    You’re given the title The Snowman to right a Point Horror – what would it be about?
    Literally anything but a white-haired blackmailer with no back story.

    What happened to The Snowman after the book?
    He melted.

    Did Heather and Ben stay together?
    Not a chance. If he had any sense, he dumped her when the trust fund ran out.

    Where was Kim throughout this whole book?!
    She had more sense than to get involved.

    Onward! Happy 2017, everyone! Looking forward to hitting the January sales with The Mall next time.

    Reply
  2. paul.phillips@cpfs.wa.gov.au'Paul P

    This must be where Stine first started overusing the “He’s dead! Oh, wait, he’s not” cliffhanger trope that became so popular when he was really churning them out. At least here he finally followed through on it. I thought this was pretty good for a teen psychological thriller. I guess I’m in the minority! Of course, I’m a huge fan of made-for-TV movies, and this reminded me a lot of one! A little bit of “Fatal Attraction” meets “Strangers On A Train”, teen-style! I suppose being packed into a snowman is a bit cheesy, but I thought it was a bit different, claustrophobic and kinda clever (and borrowed in P.J. Tracy’s adult thriller “Snow Blind”), though I’m not sure how that lighter was still working after so many years.

    Questions:

    You’re given the title The Snowman to write a Point Horror – what would it be about?
    A mutated snowman who kills people. Kind of like “Jack Frost”, though as a young’un I wouldn’t have come up with anything like that carrot scene.

    What happened to The Snowman after the book?
    He got plastic surgery to repair his burn scars and showed up in countless made-for-TV movies to fleece gullible soap stars out of their money.

    Did Heather and Ben stay together?
    Meh.

    Where was Kim throughout this whole book?!
    Being serious for a moment, Kim wasn’t really needed, as this wasn’t your standard “One of my friends wants to kill me!” Point Horror books. (As was usually the case with anything by Carol Ellis, Diane Hoh etc)

    Uh oh. The Mall. As fabulous as Richie Tankersley Cusick is, I really detested the rapey male characters in that one!

    Reply
  3. cvemorgan@hotmail.com'Caroline Bennett

    I actually enjoyed this one, compared to a lot of R L Stine. What I hate are rubbish cliffhanger chapter endings and there were none.

    You’re given the title The Snowman to write a Point Horror – what would it be about?

    I would write about a serial killer who builds a snowman in your front yard while you are asleep and you know when you see it you will be dead within twenty four hours. Various people try to protect themselves, but the killer outwits them all one by one. Our heroine (Alyssa Anderson who is a size fourteen and doesn’t feel bad about it) is seeing neighbours and friends dropping like flies. Who will be next? Then (of course) a fantastic six foot tall snowman appears on Alyssa’s front lawn. Alyssa takes her grandpa’s shotgun out of the attic, makes a flask of hot chocolate and wraps up warm. She camps out on the front porch of her house, waiting for death to arrive so she can blow his brains out. Not sure how it’s gonna end yet, but I’d think of something.

    What happened to The Snowman after the book?

    Attractive boy like that? Totally becomes a prison b*tch.

    Did Heather and Ben stay together?

    God I hope not for both their sakes. She wasn’t that interested in him at all. Note to any teenagers reading – if you find your mind wandering into lengthy fantasies that are not sexual while you are kissing your boyfriend, it’s time to say “This was nice. But I don’t want to go out with you anymore”.

    Where was Kim throughout this whole book?!

    Kim was probably doing what real life 90s teenagers did. Reading Point Horror in her bedroom wondering why no one she knew ever got murdered in real life.

    Reply
  4. cmilton81@gmail.com'Cazzy

    Hey,
    Not sure how I managed to miss this! I don’t really have any more to add – this was a bit of a disappointment, although I thought the verbally abuse/controlling parent figure was an interesting angle, as was the conman angle – shame it was as subtle as a brick! My real problem with this book was that it was boring! The highlight has to be the paramedics leaving the body on the lawn…who would do that?? Got some lols though.

    Your given the title The Snowman to right a Point Horror – what would it be about?
    Something along the lines of a kidnap/mystery. The protaginist has until the snowman melts to solve it.

    What happened to The Snowman after the book?
    He conned his way out of prison. I mean, he was so good at it, right? Who’d see through his lies? 🙄

    Did Heather and Ben stay together?
    Yes, they got married and had a couple of kids. Heather became a desperate housewife and was never really sure if Ben was the biological father of the second one.

    Where was Kim throughout this whole book?!
    Avoiding spending time with Heather, most likely.

    Reply

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