The Mall

  • by S.L. Grey
  • Narrated by Ingeborg Riedmaier, Denver Isaac
  • 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Dan works at a bookstore in a deadly dull shopping mall where nothing ever happens. He's an angsty emo-kid who sells mid-list books to mid-list people for the minimum wage. He hates his job. Rhoda has dragged her babysitting charge to the mall so she can meet her dealer and score some coke. Now the kid's run off, and she has two hours to find him. She hates her life.
Rhoda bullies Dan into helping her search, but as they explore the neon-lit corridors behind the mall, disturbing text messages lure them into the bowels of the building, where old mannequins are stored in grave-like piles and raw sewage drips off the ceiling. The only escape is down, and before long Dan and Rhoda are trapped in a service lift listening to head-splitting musak. Worst of all, the lift's not stopping at the bottom floor.
Plummeting into the earth, Dan and Rhoda enter a sinister underworld that mirrors their worst fears. Forced to complete a series of twisted tasks to find their way out, they finally emerge into the brightly lit food court, sick with relief at the banal sight of people shopping and eating. But something feels different. Why are the shoppers all pumped full of silicone? Why are the shop assistants chained to their counters? And why is a cafe called McColon's selling lumps of bleeding meat? Just when they think they've made it back to the mall, they realise their nightmare has only just begun....
Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg met in a pub while bunking a crime seminar and, as one does at pubs, discovered a mutual interest in horror. Sarah, a crime novelist and screenwriter, was a die-hard zombie fanatic; Louis, a literary writer, editor and recovering bookseller, had studied vampire and apocalyptic fiction. Rejecting their initial plans for a vampire-vs-zombie faceoff, they decided to write the first mainstream South African horror novel together and S.L. Grey was born. Sarah also writes the Deadlands series of zombie novels for young adults with her daughter Savannah.

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What the Critics Say

"Dark and scary." (Guardian)
"Original and unsettling.... An exciting new talent." (SFX)
"One of the cleverest, creepiest and most memorable horror novels for ages" (Independent)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

NO! NOT EVEN CLOSE

ONE OF THESE BOOKS THAT JUST WASTE MY CREDIT! I THINK THE WORSE THING ABOUT THE BOOK IS NARRATION. I HATE THE STRONG BRITISH ACCENT (IN MY BOOKS). THE STORY IS NOT SCARY OR UNIQUE, REMINDS ME OF SCI-FI "B" MOVIES. UGH! TRY AGAIN NEXT CREDIT.
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- Amanda H.

Horror novel lackluster experience.

**Spoiler Alert - Don't read if you don't want to know anything about the plot and how it progresses**

Even after listening to this book I can't figure out what the point of it was.

You've got two main characters, Daniel who works in the bookshop at the mall, and Rhoda who has gone to the mall to score some cocaine and lost the boy she was supposed to be babysitting; Rhoda (improbably) forces Dan at knifepoint to help her look for the boy, supposedly because of his superior knowledge of the mall (just how big is this thing ) and they immediately wander into some alternate universe where The Mall is run by Management, Shoppers shop until they're recycled, and retail clerks are chained to their desks and have control software wired into their brains. From there things only get wackier.

After I finished, I tried to make sense of the book and its disappointing ending but I couldn't. I felt like I had gone on a circular journey with the characters which ends in the same spot so to speak, but in a distinctly worse place than the beginning. Dan and Rhoda both seem constitutionally incapable of acting in their own or any one else's best interests. If the book is meant to be a send-up of Mall culture and its worship of shoppers and shopping, it doesn't succeed because Dan and Rhoda both choose the worst aspects of that culture at the end (trust me when I say 'ick').

The book is narrated in male and female voices for Dan and Rhoda respectively. The narration is done competently but with the addition of some really weird accents. Dan has what sounds to me like an Indian accent although action is supposed to be taking place in southern Africa and Rhoda has some kind of peculiar British accent. I once heard something like it in an episode of Are You Being Served when Shirley Brahms was putting on a 'posh' accent, but since it emerges in the course of the novel that Rhoda is solidly upper middle class, this seems an unlikely explanation. Like so much else relating to The Mall, I simply can't account for it.

Bottom line: If you're looking for a good horror novel, I'd pass this one over, but if you love absurdist fiction, it might be worth a listen.
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- Kindle Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-30-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios