Norman: The Doll That Needed to Be Locked Away  - Stephen Lancaster

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. ]

I’m not sure how to rate this book. When I requested it, I thought it was a horror novel, but then upon looking closer, it was in fact a recounting of actual facts? Problem being that, while I am interested in paranormal phenomenons in a vague, general way, I’m not what you could call a ‘believer’—I’ll read about it, and watch shows etc., but I’m going to be detached from it. And while I’ll appreciate those things for the storyteller factor, for the ideas they give me for stories or pen & paper RPG games, I actually have trouble with suspension of disbelief when they’re -not- novels (yes, strangely as it sounds, I may ‘believe’ in this slightly more if it’s fiction… go figure).

So, do keep that in mind when it comes to my review: I probably wasn’t the right audience for it, at least not at this moment in my life.

I kept wondering why the family had the doll in their bedroom, of all places. I’ve always found dolls creepy AF (whether the ragdoll type or those uncanny-valley ‘looks like a real baby’ dolls), so even for the sake of research, I wouldn’t see myself keeping one in anything else than a closet or the basement. More puzzling is why they’d do that in a house where a teenager lives, where the grandchildren regularly come to visit, and where pets dwell, too. Choosing to endanger yourself for the sake of studying some phenomenon is fine and all, I mean it’s your choice, but bringing your kid and pets into it is… I don’t know, kind of irresponsible. I never got the feeling that Hannah agreed to it, or was thrilled with the idea. And when you see what happened to the cat, well…

The other big problem I had with this book was the amount of errors. Since I got an advanced reader copy, I know (I hope) these may have been corrected in the final, printed version, but in the meantime, they threw me out of the narrative.

This said, even though I’m ever the sceptic, the photos and video captures throughout the book were interesting to have a look at. This is typically the kind of stuff I have to see for myself in order to ‘believe’, of course, so the whole ‘we’re not releasing them because it’s our private home’ won’t convince me. Still, it remained interesting to see.

Conclusion: 2.5 stars.