Saturday, June 4, 2011

Review: Night of the Living Dummy by R. L. Stine

ISBN #: 0-590-46617-8
Page Count: 134
Copyright: 1993

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

Lindy names the ventriloquist's dummy she finds Slappy.  Slappy is kind of ugly, but he's a lot of fun.  Lindy's having a great time learning to make Slappy move and talk.

But Kris is jealous of all the attention her sister is getting.  It's no fair.  Why does Lindy always have all the luck?

Kris decides to get a dummy of her own.  She'll show Kris.

Then weird things begin to happen.  Nasty things.  Evil things.  No way a dummy can be causing all the trouble.

Or is there?

Mandy's Review:


The cover design artist did a great job of making the dummy look menacing.

Plot/Main Characters

R. L. Stine is a master of taking ordinary situations and objects and making them creepy enough to frighten children/young adults.  I must say, though, that I can easily see how ventriloquist dummies can be freakish.  They tend to creep me out.

Lindy and Kris are twins who, like most siblings, make everything a competition.  So, when Lindy finds a ventriloquist dummy and becomes good at ventriloquism, Kris gets jealous and wants one of her own.  Her father finds one in a pawn shop and decides to surprise Kris with it.

Then the competitions start on who can get the better jobs with their ventriloquist act ... until, one day, Kris finds a piece of paper with strange words in her dummy's shirt pocket.  She reads the words aloud and that's when strange things begin to happen.

Has her dummy come to life?  Is Lindy playing practical jokes on her?


I read this book because it is one on my Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000 - 2009 list (See link at right).  I enjoyed this one because it actually did cause me to get a slight case of the willies just thinking about a ventriloquist's dummy coming to life like the infamous doll Chucky.


  1. +JMJ+

    I remember this from my childhood! =) It is one of the creepier Goosebumps titles.

    Thinking about it now, I'd say that much of the creepiness comes from the fact that children do give personalities and "voices" to their favourite toys. In a normal situation, the child is the puppeteer and completely in control. But in Stine's story, it is the dummy that pulls the child's strings. The only thing which would have made the premise scarier is having the twins be the age when they still talk through their toys--but of course, R.L. Stine had to go with an older age group.

  2. I love your site and I am following you! You inspire me to read all of these books, and i might start up on it if my library has them =) But I have one request... For some reason I can't really read this font you use on this website =/ It hurts my eyes... Is there any way you can change it? I want to be able to read what you have to say...


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