Sometimes it just be all like… damn.
While I’ll be the first to admit that the Goosebumps franchise is not known for it’s stellar writing, this book seriously sucked a big donkey. I’m not going to lie–my expectations were really low here, and yet somehow, this book’s crappiness managed to dazzle even me.
I would probably say the best thing about this entire book is the cover. As a kid, I always thought that the monster looked sort of delicious, like yummy, golden oatmeal. Is that weird? I also like that tagline–“they’re no yolk!” It’s supposed to be a play on words, but really, it just reminds me of my old Philippino granddad.
Which came first, the monster or the egg?
An egg hunt. That’s what Dana Johnson’s bratty little sister, Brandy, wants to have at her birthday party. And what Brandy wants, Brandy gets. (You kind of get the impression that Brandy’s brattiness is supposed to figure prominently in this book, but… umm… not so much. But I’ve always heard that the best way to start a back-cover teaser is to begin with a totally irrelevant and unentertaining aspect of the book, so yeah, I guess we’re good.)
Dana’s not big on egg hunts. But that was before he (no, that’s not a typo, Dana is a dude) found The Egg. It’s not like a normal egg. It’s about the size of a softball. It’s covered with ugly blue and purple veins.
And it’s starting to hatch…
Twelve-year-old Dana is a semi-douchey scientist wannabe who has a bad habit of interrupting perfectly adequate narrative with strange asides about his family history, personal preferences, and other shit that’s totally NOT important to the story. I swear to God, the ghostwriter must have been straining to reach their word count with this one, because I think like, half of the damn book is Dana telling us about crap that he usually likes to do, but isn’t actually doing at the moment.
And it’s never anything cool, like building suspension bridges or posting provocative photos on MySpace.
Well, anyway, Dana’s little sister, Brandy demands an egg hunt for her birthday party, which isn’t totally weird, since her birthday is about a week before Easter. Brandy permits Dana to attend her party (shouldn’t it be the other way around, with Brandy being so much younger?) and even if it’s not Dana’s thing, he’s a good bro and participates in the egg hunt.
During this sequence, we meet a number of annoying characters that we, blessedly, don’t have to deal with again. We also get our first encounter with Dana’s best friend, Anne Gravel (yeah, I don’t get that name, either) who pretty much treats him like crap. This, of course, is the best way to attract a man and keep his attention, so props to you, Anne!
Anyway, during the egg hunt, Dana finds this big, hard, greenish egg that feels warm to the touch and has a bunch of pulsing veins on it. I’ll spare you the gratuitous penis jokes, folks.
I promise to mention only those that I find especially amusing!
So yeah. This egg seems nigh-unbreakable and it’s also strangely warm, as if it’s alive. In order to emphasize this, the author makes sure to add at least two dozen descriptions of how the egg “pulsed” and “throbbed” in Dana’s hands.
Ugh, ugh, ugh. There are way too many references to pulsing and throbbing in this book. I understand that the author was probably repeating to him- or herself, “Show, don’t tell! Show, don’t tell!” but if I have to read about the “bulging purple veins” one more time…
It’s like a failed wannabe romance writer took this project on just to pay her student loan bill for the month, and there was some accidental crossover between her pet project and the freelance Goosebumps stuff. Just sayin’.
Needless to say, Dana’s family doesn’t give a flying rat’s booty about the mysterious egg. His parents are all, “STFU! Haven’t we had enough eggs for one day?!” and his little sis slams the door in his face. This all supposedly has something to do with there being a messy egg fight at the party, or so Dana tells himself. I suppose that’s much easier than dealing with the fact that you’re a tool who nobody likes.
The next morning, Dana finds that the egg has hatched and that there’s this weird, semi-solid yolky monster in his room. It looks a lot like runny scrambled eggs. It has no arms, legs, or mouth, but it does have two black eyes, which is at least one more than Reginald’s throbbing member.
Dana’s first interactions with the egg monster are understandably strained–while trying to keep the damn thing safe from hungry dogs and such, he’s also trying to figure out whether or not this thing is capable of killing him. Still, after a little while, it’s clear that it’s not going to shoot mind bullets at him, nor is its saliva some kind of powerful acid, as we’ve seen with other egg monsters.
Dana wants his mom and dad to help him figure out WTF to do now, but they’re both gone because Brandy has a piano lesson. Yes, both of them–how convenient. Could it be because neither of them want to be left alone with Dana?
So then Dana goes over to Anne’s house and shows her the egg monster. She’s less interested than you would think, probably because, you know, it’s Dana. Anything coming from Dana must be made of Suck. After the two trade sarcastic remarks, Dana tells Anne that he’s going to bring the monster to the local science lab to try and get some answers.
Anne is all, “WTF ever. I’m too busy eating scrambled eggs or something,” and so she stays behind.
Here’s where things get at least a little bit interesting. Dana finds that the science lab (which is totally generic and has no specialty that I noticed) is closed for the weekend, but a friendly chap named Dr. Gray opens the door and invites him in.
Dana shows off the egg monster, and Dr. Gray is super excited. So excited that he leads Dana further into the lab, into a room where–
Oh noes! Dana can’t see anything? OMFG–he’s blind!
We start the next chapter with Dr. Gray flicking the light switch on. I’m not kidding here.
Anyway, they’re in a refrigerated room containing lots of other egg monsters. Seems Doc has been collecting them and now he’ll be taking Dana’s little pal, too. Oh, and he’s also kidnapping Dana for some reason–I think he wants to study how close contact with the egg monsters affects human beings.
Which is all like… huh? Just study yourself, Einstein.
Well, whatever. Dana’s totally up the creek now. His Dad comes by, but conducts a suspiciously lame and uninterested search. Even when he hears strange noises (Dana banging on the pipes to get his attention) Dad decides to go home, anyway.
Is it poor parenting, or is there something more to this situation? Who else thinks that Mom, Dad, and Brandy all went out for ice cream to celebrate Dana’s disappearance?
Dr. Gray is kind enough to feed Dana some mac and cheese later, which I guess is nice. Still, Dana is trapped in that cold ass room, going on and on about how he’s going to freeze to death. What I’d like to know is, how cold is it?
That’s not supposed to be a lead-on for the punch-line to a joke. I actually want to know. Dana acts like he’s freezing his balls off, but then later in the book, Dr. Gray threatens to turn the temp down so it’s “colder than a freezer,” so you would think that Dana’s overnight stay with the egg monsters wouldn’t be so bad.
Long story short, Dana makes friends with the egg monsters. They’re sentient and can communicate with each other, and also with Dana, sort of. They can copy shapes and stuff. They’re not discussing the merits of R.L. Stine versus Christopher Pike or anything–that’s a debate that will last through the ages.
To keep Dana’s skinny ass from freezing, the monsters glue themselves together to form a nice warm blanket for him. I guess that’s kind of sweet, despite the previous references to “pulsing” and “throbbing.”
In the morning, Doc Gray is pissed because Dana supposedly “ruined” his egg monsters by turning them into a blanket. WTF? Shouldn’t you be, I don’t know, studying this interesting new phenomenon? I’d like to think that discovering that your formerly individual creatures can come together as a physically intimidating collective might be at least mildly interesting, you old, mustachioed douche.
Gray threatens to turn the heat down even more, and he’s about to when the egg monsters rise up and clobber him. Sweet! Dana runs out of the lab and back home, where his family must pretend to be happy to see him again.
Nobody believes the thing about the egg monsters, though strangely, nobody seems all that interested in figuring out just what the hell he was doing alone and missing for an entire night. You would think that somebody might really want to know this, but yeah, not so much.
The next day, Anne comes over and hassles Dana some more. After breakfast, the two of them go out into Dana’s yard…
…where our man pops a squat and lays “the biggest egg you ever saw!”
Thus endeth the book.
The egg bobbed and bounced. I heard more hard grunting. Unnnnh. Unnnnh. The egg trembled with each grunt… The veins pulsed. The egg shook…
Dana, what the hell are you doing to that egg? No wonder you got pregnant!
“Check this out, Anne. You won’t believe what I found.”
I was so eager to show it to her! Holding the box in front of me with both hands, I started across the kitchen.
I think Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake say it best here:
The Moral of the Story:
If you insist on passing a cold, lonely night beneath some “throbbing” Martians, please, do it responsibly.
OMG, you guys, what the hell is up with that ending? I know that Goosebumps books are supposed to have twist endings, but this one makes no effing sense. Basically, we end up with our “hero” pregnant and saddled with another egg monster. Great.
And what the hell is up with how porn-y this book was? Several times, I almost thought I had picked up a freaking V.C. Andrews novel by mistake.