Danish Love, The Library Journal, Poisonous Plants, and More

Here’s a review my novel HOUSE OF SKIN recently received from Trauma Magazine, the preeminent horror magazine in Denmark. It’s written in Danish. Can you read Danish? Because I sure as heckfire can’t.

So for the first time, I used Google Translator (apparently the rest of the world discovered this handy-dandy device about twelve years ago—my own grandma made fun of me for never having used it before, and she still uses a butter churn and a phonograph…okay, so maybe she doesn’t, but I figured it would sound slightly funnier if I said she did. I was wrong? Well, STEP OFF!) to decipher the ominous hieroglyphs I found at the above link. I still suspect that the O with a  diagonal slashmark through it is some sort of Copenhagen gang symbol, but my wife insists I’m being paranoid.

(She’ll keep thinking that right up until some crazed Dane lobs a Carlsberg Molotov cocktail through our front window. If it happens, you guys are my witnesses. Track down the offending gangbanger and bring him to justice!)

Anywho, when I was finally able to decipher the weird messages that Google Translator vomited forth—one of which was “Eats toes groovy Crap! ours hemlock” (apparently the verb-direct object-adjective-interjection-possessive pronoun-poisonous plant sentence structure is wildly popular among Danish speakers)—I came up with the following snippets:


“Janz can write and I do not think it is any coincidence that Stephen King came repeatedly to mind along the way. First it was the depth and flow of 11/22/63 and then family drama and thrill of Rose Red.”

“It’s deep without being tedious and unnecessary and it has a great rhythm throughout. It develops gradually and becomes more and more intense and creepy page by page.”


The above praise came courtesy of Mr. Daniel Henriksen, who was kind enough to find me on Facebook and share the link to the article. I’d post a picture of Daniel here, but I don’t want to involve him in the explosive Copenhagen gangland plot. So instead I’ll post a picture of Stephen King (because there’s never a bad time to pay homage to the greatest author of all time):

Author of The Wind through the Keyhole, which is making me wish there were eighty Dark Tower books rather than eight

In related news, The Library Journal reviewed HOUSE OF SKIN as well and had this to say…

“The author of The Sorrows revives one of horror’s most beloved motifs—the haunted house—to good effect in a tale of star-crossed lovers in thrall to a ruthless ghost. VERDICT: Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story, this should please readers who appreciate a good haunting.”

I’d link to the whole review, but apparently you have to be a librarian or a freemason to access it. Since I’m not a librarian and gave up my life of freemasonry months ago, I’m of little help. Trust me, though. It’s a very positive review. In fact, were I to choose two books for HOUSE OF SKIN to be compared to, I’d choose Ghost Story and The Haunting of Hill House. Okay, maybe Charlotte’s Web would be tied for second, but I’ll take the two mentioned in the review. There aren’t very many spiders in my novel. Or spiderweb art.

Must…not…cry. Must…not…

So what else? Oh, the novel (HOUSE OF SKIN—Have you noticed the repeated use of ALL CAPS for the title? That’s because I want you to feel like I’m shouting at you. And it’s also what we in the business call “branding.” Or maybe it’s called something else, like “being pretentious”) currently has six Amazon reviews, all of which are five stars; the book also has eight ratings on Goodreads, six of which are five stars, with a four-star and a three-star thrown in (apparently the bribe money didn’t arrive in time in the latter two cases). So I’ll leave you with this thought:

Read HOUSE OF SKIN. See what all the Danes are talking about. And the librarians.

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