Book Thoughts: Goosebumps #3: Monster Blood

Goosebumps was a series of classic horror books for kids written by R. L. Stine. They were extremely popular when I was growing up. Even these days, the volume sales of the series as a whole is second only to the more recent Harry Potter series. Before I gave these old books away, I decided to reread the books I had and write my thoughts on them. An interesting thing about Goosebumps was that both my sister and I liked it. My sister and I never got along, so it was rare sight for something to interest both of us. In fact, my sister originally got the first Goosebumps book. I only got into it after borrowing the books from her.

I liked Monster Blood a lot more than the first book, Welcome to Dead House. The story was much more original. The main character, this time a boy, was bored while having to live with an old aunt. He met a girl who invited him to go into town, so she could buy a friend a gift at the toy store. The boy ended up buying a can of Monster Blood. The whole book I was thinking that Monster Blood was something sinister, but it turned out it truly was a toy, for which a spell had been cast on to make it do bad things.

The description of this Monster Blood substance reminded me of Gak. Many Nickelodeon shows featured kids getting “slimed”. This meant they were covered in green slime. The actual slime had a different texture depending on the show, but Nickelodeon caught on the popularity by releasing an official green slime product called Gak. This stuff was basically silly puddy, but made fart noises when stuffed in its container. Kids love that kind of humor. The Monster Blood was cooler though since it could increase or decrease in size and become more rubbery (bouncy ball) or slimy (Gak).

The aunt reminded me of my relatives slightly. None of my aunts, uncles, or grandparents were that bad, but I could sympathize with having to spend time with them. I think I would have done better if relatives were a bigger part of my life growing up, but my parents lived pretty far away from relatives. We only got to see them once or twice a year. Sometimes we went on a trip to see relatives, but it was rare. This made me uncomfortable around relatives. My parents may have known them really well, but they were total strangers to me. Of course, it got better as I got older. Even if I didn’t know them I could be friendly as needed.

I liked that this story featured another pet dog. I think it was the same breed as the dog in the first book. I wouldn’t be surprised if the author owned a cocker spaniel in real life. I’m sure if I was a writer, I’d find a way to put the family pets in the books. In the story, the dog ate some of the Monster Blood and started growing in size. This reminded me of the old Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movie. The dog was a giant compared to the kids. Suddenly, that cute dog was kind of scary. He didn’t know his own strength.

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