Pines by Blake Crouch

Pines Blake Crouch
Pines by Blake Crouch

Pines, Blake Crouch, 2012


My favorite quote: “Nature doesn’t see things through the prism of good or bad. It rewards efficiency. That’s the beautiful simplicity of evolution. It matches design to environment.”

Most interesting characters: Ethan Burke, a secret service agent

Opening scene: A man wakes up in a strange town with no idea of who or where he is 

The gist: Ethan Burke, a secret service agent, is sent to Wayward Pines, Idaho, to locate two agents who went missing there a month ago. But shortly after arriving, he’s met with a violent accident that leaves him in the hospital, where he comes to with no ID and none of his personal effects. Worse, no one in Wayward Pines believes he is who he says he is — and that’s just the beginning of the strange events he’s about to experience  

Greatest strengths: The pacing. Blake Crouch understands the power of language and importance of pace. There are no unnecessary side-trips in Pines — Blake Crouch sticks to the point and makes sure the reader is fully invested at all times

Standout achievements: Few books have ever piqued my interest and intrigued me the way Pines did. I had no idea what I was looking at for a long time, but I absolutely couldn’t stop reading. For this, I credit Pines’ fascinating plot and Blake Crouch’s whip-quick prose in equal measure

Fun Facts: In the afterword of Pines, Blake Crouch cites Twin Peaks as the inspiration for this book. As a young fan of the show, he was “massively unsatisfied” that Twin Peaks was prematurely canceled and tried writing the third season for himself so he could continue to enjoy it. That didn’t work, but the mystery and small town creepiness stuck with him — and Pines was his attempt to create something that made him feel the way Twin Peaks made him feel when he was twelve 

Other media: Pines is the first in Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines trilogy, and these books are the basis of the 2015 television series, Wayward Pines, produced by M. Night Shyamalan, and starring Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, and Juliette Lewis   

Additional thoughts: In the afterword of Pines, Blake Crouch says, “They say all art — whether books, music, or visual — is a reaction to other art, and I believe that to be true.” I believe it to be true too, and while I’ve never written anything in quite the same vein as Pines, it did inspire me, in a way. I read Pines while I was writing my novel, Dream Reaper, and I remember being struck by Blake Crouch’s unconventional quirkiness. His unapologetic nonconformity gave me permission, in a way, to go a little “out there” with my own book. I don’t think Dream Reaper would be quite the same story if I hadn’t been so smitten by Blake Crouch’s creative aplomb

Hit or Miss: Hit (and I love everything else Blake Crouch has written, too)

Haunt me:

Read Pines

Lilith Alistair Cross

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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