Jeff Cowart is a thirty-two year old nobody, with no friends and no life outside his dead end job at the local super center. Day after day, Jeff merely exists while his dissatisfaction over his life causes him to feel nothing but disgust and hatred toward nearly everyone around him – everyone besides Billie, a young cashier at the local grocery store. So, how does Jeff cope with his worthless life and the wretched people around him? With a drug called Phobos. The effects of the Phobos are felt only when Jeff causes fear in other people. This leads Jeff to devise crazier and more daring scare tactics in order to get “high”.
Scare Addict is an imaginative take on the reasons why some people might turn to mind-altering drugs. This book is a dark psychological thriller to be sure. The subject matter is dark – in particular, the description of Jeff’s final “scare” high. I found this particular scene to be rough to read and wished the author had gone another route. Violence against women isn’t something I take lightly and felt there might have been another way to propel Jeff’s character over the edge. I also found myself having a bit of trouble connecting with the main character, Jeff, who thought everyone else was worthless, stupid and disgusting. I wanted to understand him more – to know why Jeff was so bitter and angry, but found I was given little to go on. This was a short read, so maybe more information would have been in order.
Aside from these things, I would say that Scare Addict is a creative piece of fiction worth reading. Although this is the first book from author, Luke Campen, I discovered that he has an impressive amount of writing experience under his belt. I’m sure we’ll see more books from him in the future. I would recommend his work and will definitely look for his next book to come out.