This was my first Andrew Neiderman read. I had heard a lot about this book, always with some half-joking comment about incestuous themes, which, quite honestly, was off-putting.Though the cover is eye-catching, this book has sat on my shelf solely because of the whole incest thing. I just didn't wasn't to read something like that. Once I realized how deeply I was judging the book without even giving it a chance, I decided to dig in. I'm glad I did.
In a nutshell, Pin is about a brother and sister who were raised in a unique environment where their mother was a crazed clean freak and their father a emotionless family physician who they referred to as The Doctor rather than Dad. The Doctor had a life-sized figure that displayed the human anatomy very similar to the clear pages you would find in an old encyclopedia under the human anatomy section, muscles, veins, tendons and all. The kids became obsessed with this figure and name him Pin. For Leon, the obsession never ended, even after both of their parents died in a car wreck, however when his sister Ursula begins to grow up and becomes interested in a young man, Leon becomes jealous and filters his own frustrations through Pin, an inanimate thing he has quite fully convinced himself is a living, breathing human being. A human he talks to. A human who talks back.
Pretty big nutshell there. I never was good at one sentence pitches.
So, I loved the book. I read it rather quickly, engrossed with this bizarre tale and not once put off by the incestuous stuff people seem to immediately associate with the story (believe me, it sounds far worse than it is). The relationship between Leon and Ursula is unusual and creepy, however the first act of the story convincingly develops this unhealthy relationship in a way that gives the reader a sense of sympathy, though that wanes as our Narrator, Leon, becomes more and more unreasonable and crazed. He and his sister went through a lot with The Doctor, things no children should ever have to face. They were raised like little experiments for their sick father, which ends up disturbing them quite severely, making it difficult for them to function in the real world.
This was an unusual story. Kind of a slow burn, I suppose. In many ways I could see what was happening and how things would transpire. I think that certain themes have probably been ripped off and used in horror films. I didn't see the ending coming, though I feel like I should have. Really, I was so engrossed in the story that I wasn't looking to figure out what was going to happen. The epilogue, however, should have been . . . Hold on a minute. I'm going to go check something. Never mind. I was about to write about dropping the epilogue, but as I was typing I suddenly understood it. I'd forgotten how Leon names Pin early on in the story, and that tidbit has everything to do with those final three pages.
In closing, I loved the book. I'm going to read more Andrew Neiderman, sooner than later (I still have no interest in V. C. Andrews). Up next will be either Pete Khale's Specimen, Robert Bloch's American Gothic, or Paperbacks From Hell (I'm reading all three at the moment). See you then!
If Pin sounds good, buy it HERE.
If you liked Pin, consider Brothers in Blood, my own bizarre tale of homicidal twin brothers.
"Like Texas Chainsaw Massacre with twins!" - Jack Bantry, author of The Lucky Ones Died First