We’re gearing up for 52 Fear Street, our month-long celebration of R.L. Stine leading up to his Halloween Eve appearance here at McNally Jackson, with booksellers, authors, and editors weighing in with guest blog posts on Fear Street and Goosebumps. The series will start on October 1st; follow the 52FearSt tag on tumblr and Twitter to see what they have to say. The below sneak peek is an excerpt from the post we’ll be running by McNally Jackson Marketing Director Matt Pieknik, who holds an M.A. in American Literature and Psychoanalytic Theory and a deep, abiding love for Goosebumps books.
Stine is not to be faulted for overstretching the bounds of reality; to the contrary, the presentation of determined forces seemingly conspiring to ensure failure as Tommy’s only major achievement in life – that is, being sacrificed to save a mob of unsympathetic campers from becoming Mrs. Maaargh’s gastric delight – are a masterstroke. Do not the hyper-antagonistic circumstances which all but ensure Tommy’s demise reflect the basic economic and social circumstances faced by every working member of society? Are not the fundamental irrationality and erosion of the social contract that exist at Winner Island merely the minimal exaggeration of the conditions of our everyday social relations? To repeat a Brechtian lesson, just as within our fundamentally corrupt capitalist situation there can be no purely “good” ethical position to inhabit, within Tommy’s world there is no “right” choice that he can safely depend on to save him.