“more terrifying than Lord Of The Flies & The Exorcist combined”
Let’s Go Play at the Adams’ AKA the most disturbing book I have read…
Let’s Go Play at the Adams’ was written by a man called Mendal W. Johnson and published in 1976. It was Johnson’s only novel (which seems weird as well).
I’ve actually owned two copies of the book. The first one I found on top of a recycling bin (true story) and because it looked interesting and scary and was also in pristine condition, I took it. I was only about 14 at the time and after I got home and started looking at it more carefully I was so disgusted I threw it away in a public bin – I didn’t want it in the house.
Now as Captain Hindsight from South Park would know – this was a mistake. It’s now near impossible to buy a pristine copy of the book (which this one was!) and Amazon are currently advertising second-hand copies that range between £20 and £2,500. That is not a typo. £2,500. Hmmm.
Anyway, a few years after throwing my original book away, I got thinking about it again. I was older now, I was hard, I could handle it (though still slept with the light on). And so I found myself an old, decrepit copy for a few quid online with yellow pages – at least a third of which were falling out. And I sat and read it.
The general synopsis is this – a young girl in her early 20s called Barbara is due to babysit for some children for a few days whilst their parents are out of town. On arriving at their house she is chloroformed, gagged and painfully tied up. From here until the end of the book she is the subject of torture, humiliation, rape and eventually, hideous murder as the children go from youthful rebellion to sick curiosity, to downright depravity.
It has been said that the story is loosely based on the true life torture and murder of Sylvia Likens. Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door has also been said to represent this sad, true life story and there are similarities between the two books.
However, whilst The Girl Next Door did have a voice of reason in David there is no peace in Let’s Go Play at the Adams’. It’s a horrific story with no happy ending, no punishment for the perpetrators and no justice for Barbara. The final chapter of the book really is the most haunting of all though the entire book is very difficult to read. There is a darkness and a sickness within the pages that I had never come across before, it made me feel unclean as I was reading it. Yet it’s an extremely well written book and you can’t help but really root for poor Barbara, willing her to escape or hoping one of her kidnappers will have a heart and free her (they don’t).
Now this is not for the faint hearted or children, but I do recommend to all fans of seriously horrid horror novels. This is a cruel, unsettling and disturbing book.