It doesn’t happen as often as it should – the right book getting the right title. There’s plenty of clever titles, don’t get me wrong. And strong titles. And titles that promise more than the book they’re on can possibly deliver. But there’s also that kind of title that seems forged in the same moment of conception as the novel. Love in the Time of Cholera, say. Lord of the Flies. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. The Crying of Lot 49. Their Eyes Were Watching God. It’s about balance – some mix of mystery and aptness. Adam Cesare’s Video Night is a novel that gets that balance absolutely right. The book both is a ‘video night’ – a couple of high-schoolers, pushing some horror into the VCR circa 1988 – and the whole time it’s also pointing to the ‘video night’ that’s going to be the over-the-top gorefest the genre promises.
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