Book Thoughts: Goosebumps #34: Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes

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.

It’s a big jump from the last Goosebumps book I read, #27, to this one, #34. I was getting older by the time I read this book. My interest in Goosebumps was going down. I was really getting into Star Wars books. Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes was about lawn gnomes that came to life when nobody was watching to cause mischief. I think there have been horror movies about lawn gnomes coming to life, so I don’t know if this was an original idea at the time. It was interesting to me because I recently saw the movie, Gnomeo & Juliet. The movie had a love story instead of a horror story, but seeing it made visualizing lawn gnomes coming to life easier.

As far as the story went, this book was a return to form. The main character, Joe, was the only one to notice the lawn gnomes were moving and causing all sorts of trouble at night. When he tried to tell everyone, no one would believe him. Finally, the other kids in the story at least were shown proof that the gnomes were alive. Then they all worked together to stop the gnomes. The parents continued to be oblivious and never believed the kids.

The only thing I didn’t like about this story is that not a whole lot happened. It was obvious early on that the gnomes were alive. Anyone could tell that just from looking at the front cover of the book, but the story took awhile to get to the action of the kids finally doing something to stop the lawn gnomes. It was made worse by the ending. I didn’t feel the lawn gnomes were really dealt with. I won’t get into details, but the gnomes could probably still come back in the future.


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