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Kill the Mall

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Douglas Adams meets David Lynch in this witty yet horror-tinged fable about one of North America's scariest inventions--the local mall. After writing a letter in praise of "malls," our eccentric narrator is offered a "residency" at a shabby suburban shopping centre. His mission: to occupy the mall for several weeks, splitting his time between "making work" and "engaging the Douglas Adams meets David Lynch in this witty yet horror-tinged fable about one of North America's scariest inventions--the local mall. After writing a letter in praise of "malls," our eccentric narrator is offered a "residency" at a shabby suburban shopping centre. His mission: to occupy the mall for several weeks, splitting his time between "making work" and "engaging the public," all while chronicling his adventures in weekly progress reports. Before long, a series of strange after-hour events rattles our hero, and he sets forth on a nightly quest to untangle the mysterious forces at play in the mall's unmapped recesses. Things quickly get hairy, and our narrator's optimism about his mall residency descends into doubt, and then into a full-blown phantasmagoria of horror and (possibly) murder. With the aid of a weird and wonderful cast of mall-dwelling misfits--including a pony named Gary--our narrator is forced to conclude that the mall may not be the temple of consumer bliss he initially imagined, but something far more sinister. And who, or what, is benefitting from its existence? Pasha Malla's creative genius shines in this madcap work of horror-fantasy--a cutting critique of consumer culture as embodied in the fading local mall.


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Douglas Adams meets David Lynch in this witty yet horror-tinged fable about one of North America's scariest inventions--the local mall. After writing a letter in praise of "malls," our eccentric narrator is offered a "residency" at a shabby suburban shopping centre. His mission: to occupy the mall for several weeks, splitting his time between "making work" and "engaging the Douglas Adams meets David Lynch in this witty yet horror-tinged fable about one of North America's scariest inventions--the local mall. After writing a letter in praise of "malls," our eccentric narrator is offered a "residency" at a shabby suburban shopping centre. His mission: to occupy the mall for several weeks, splitting his time between "making work" and "engaging the public," all while chronicling his adventures in weekly progress reports. Before long, a series of strange after-hour events rattles our hero, and he sets forth on a nightly quest to untangle the mysterious forces at play in the mall's unmapped recesses. Things quickly get hairy, and our narrator's optimism about his mall residency descends into doubt, and then into a full-blown phantasmagoria of horror and (possibly) murder. With the aid of a weird and wonderful cast of mall-dwelling misfits--including a pony named Gary--our narrator is forced to conclude that the mall may not be the temple of consumer bliss he initially imagined, but something far more sinister. And who, or what, is benefitting from its existence? Pasha Malla's creative genius shines in this madcap work of horror-fantasy--a cutting critique of consumer culture as embodied in the fading local mall.

30 review for Kill the Mall

  1. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Apparently my reviews (and Goodreads profile) are causing people to nastily tell me that I am the funniest/most-stupid person on the planet. Life is too short without humour and YOU ARE ALL TOASTER-STRUDEL-MEAN-GIRLS. #mikedrop When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … an Apparently my reviews (and Goodreads profile) are causing people to nastily tell me that I am the funniest/most-stupid person on the planet. Life is too short without humour and YOU ARE ALL TOASTER-STRUDEL-MEAN-GIRLS. #mikedrop When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. (I have played a "zillion games" of scrabble, done a "zillion crosswords" and I AM BORED!!!) I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. Douglas Adams meets David Lynch in this witty yet horror-tinged fable about one of North America's scariest inventions—the local mall. After writing a letter in praise of "malls," our eccentric narrator is offered a "residency" at a shabby suburban shopping centre. His mission: to occupy the mall for several weeks, splitting his time between "making work" and "engaging the public," all while chronicling his adventures in weekly progress reports. Before long, a series of strange after-hour events rattle our hero, and he sets forth on a nightly quest to untangle the mysterious forces at play in the mall's unmapped recesses. Things quickly get hairy, and our narrator's optimism about his mall residency descends into doubt, and then into a full-blown phantasmagoria of horror and (possibly) murder. With the aid of a weird and wonderful cast of mall-dwelling misfits--including a pony named Gary--our narrator is forced to conclude that the mall may not be the temple of consumer bliss he initially imagined, but something far more sinister. And who, or what, is benefitting from its existence? Pasha Malla's creative genius shines in this madcap work of horror-fantasy—a cutting critique of consumer culture as embodied in the fading local mall. I HATE shopping malls: I rarely go to them but when I do it is for one store like Kiehls which happens to me in a mall vs. a stand-alone store. The idea behind this novel is unique but I just did not enjoy the writing style and the book was not consistent in its plot it was just too bendy and weird for me. As a librarian, if I do not learn something new or get engaged in the characters, I make a decision: I do not truly read/finish the book (I skimmed through it) as there are too many good ones out there to read and review. That also applies to just being a lover of books --- if it isn't interesting, on to the next one! p.s. the fact is that the authors last name is MALLa ... too ironic.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    I really don’t know what I just read… Kill the Mall started strong – our unnamed narrator has just been offered a “residency” at a mall, during which he will live in an unused storefront and will spend his time “making work” and “engaging the public.” For the self-proclaimed lover of malls, the residency seems like a dream come true, but soon enough it becomes clear that this mall is not what it seems as strange things start happening around him and to him. I enjoyed the way the mall became a ch I really don’t know what I just read… Kill the Mall started strong – our unnamed narrator has just been offered a “residency” at a mall, during which he will live in an unused storefront and will spend his time “making work” and “engaging the public.” For the self-proclaimed lover of malls, the residency seems like a dream come true, but soon enough it becomes clear that this mall is not what it seems as strange things start happening around him and to him. I enjoyed the way the mall became a character and the first hints of horror, but the story quickly became too absurd for my liking. I had no idea what was happening for most of it and could not figure out if the mall was actually evil or if the narrator was just spiraling into insanity. Perhaps both is true. By the end, I was just glad it was done. I’m sure there is an audience for this book, but unfortunately, I am not part of it. Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada (Knopf Canada) for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Listened to the ALC on libro.fm! I would like to personally shake the hand of the narrator-- or maybe I should say voice actor, since he gives such a fierce performance that truly put me into the protagonist's eccentric (and possibly unhinged) mind. I loved the absurdity of this book. I burst out laughing on the bus and frightened strangers by loudly exclaiming "WHAT?" out of seemingly nowhere. So so strange and absolutely worth it. Listened to the ALC on libro.fm! I would like to personally shake the hand of the narrator-- or maybe I should say voice actor, since he gives such a fierce performance that truly put me into the protagonist's eccentric (and possibly unhinged) mind. I loved the absurdity of this book. I burst out laughing on the bus and frightened strangers by loudly exclaiming "WHAT?" out of seemingly nowhere. So so strange and absolutely worth it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Enid Wray

    I tried. I really did… but it’s taken me 3 days to get to page 80. This is just not the book for me. I still do not feel invested - or drawn into - the storyline. The publisher describes it as ‘madcap’ but I’m just not feeling or seeing it. Weird yes. Horror… well, maybe, but it isn’t even close to that yet. Most of what has transpired so far just falls into the category of ‘ridiculous’ from my perspective. Fundamentally, I just don’t care enough to keep reading. Sorry.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    This book is ridiculous in both good and meh ways. It had some great one liners, and gave me a whole new appreciation for hair horror. But it just couldn't maintain my concentration, I wanted it to get to the point, and then I didn't really end up liking the ending. This book is ridiculous in both good and meh ways. It had some great one liners, and gave me a whole new appreciation for hair horror. But it just couldn't maintain my concentration, I wanted it to get to the point, and then I didn't really end up liking the ending.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    If you don't like absurd books, and a lot of people don't, give this a pass. I thought it was a delight, but I know full well it won't be everyone's cup of tea. If you don't like absurd books, and a lot of people don't, give this a pass. I thought it was a delight, but I know full well it won't be everyone's cup of tea.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Betty Beel

    This novel unleashed my inner surrealist mall rat. It is the literary equivalent to a Charlie Kaufman or Salvador Dali film and I think even out avante-gardes them 👏 It’s a wild book to try to explain, but our narrator takes up a “residency” in a decaying mall. When I think of residency I usually think of a performance artist or Vegas musician. It is never truly clear who our narrator is. Is he an artist, homeless man, eccentric mall enthusiast? You just need to let go of making sense of everyth This novel unleashed my inner surrealist mall rat. It is the literary equivalent to a Charlie Kaufman or Salvador Dali film and I think even out avante-gardes them 👏 It’s a wild book to try to explain, but our narrator takes up a “residency” in a decaying mall. When I think of residency I usually think of a performance artist or Vegas musician. It is never truly clear who our narrator is. Is he an artist, homeless man, eccentric mall enthusiast? You just need to let go of making sense of everything and like shopping, just openly enjoy the stimuli. There’s iconic David Lynch-like imagery in this novel. At one point our narrator goes and gets a haircut and a giant hair starts extruding out of his tongue. His obsession with ponytails climaxes in a parking lot scene that would make Kubrick jealous. He is tasked to write observation reports each week, by who, who really knows, why, again stop asking. His observations and interior monolog is the writing of the most anxious riddled over thinker I have ever encountered.  And yes he does befriend a pony named Gary, ah more ponytails!! If you are a fan of Murakami’s Strange Library then you will LOVE this title. If you like to analyze the shit out of everything and everyone then you will LOVE this title. It’s wonderfully weird and outrageously original and proudly Canadian 🇨🇦

  8. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Have you ever seen photos of the interiors of abandoned shopping malls? It is equal parts sad and creepy. There is something disturbing about places of such joy left to decay. If you take those photos, turn up the dial on the ominous atmosphere, throw in some potentially murderous hairballs and amputated ponytails, and mix it all up with bizarre characters and a heroic mall pony and you begin to have a glimmer of an idea about the substance of this book. All this weirdness is set in the surreal Have you ever seen photos of the interiors of abandoned shopping malls? It is equal parts sad and creepy. There is something disturbing about places of such joy left to decay. If you take those photos, turn up the dial on the ominous atmosphere, throw in some potentially murderous hairballs and amputated ponytails, and mix it all up with bizarre characters and a heroic mall pony and you begin to have a glimmer of an idea about the substance of this book. All this weirdness is set in the surreal landscape of a declining and dying shopping mall which renders it even more bizarre and spooky. There are layers of mystery beginning with the unexplained position of “mall resident”, continuing through mysterious disappearances, possible murders, and a building layout that seems to change and expand at will. None of this is explained and the story doesn’t spend any time catering to your need for resolution or to make sense of things. This is a really weird story and I imagine it won’t be for everyone. If you have trichophobia or are squeamish about body horror you are advised to leave this one off your reading list. If you can handle the grossness and are accepting of abandoning your inherent need for logic, answers, and explanations you will be rewarded with a story unlike anything you have ever encountered. It was unpredictable and impossible to summarize in a way that does justice to its peculiar nature. I laughed, I squirmed, I gagged a little, and most importantly of all, I was entertained. The ending had me laughing and cheering. True to form for “Kill the Mall” it was an impossible end and made little sense, but I don’t think that it could have ended any other way. I am left happy and satisfied. My mind is boggled but my heart is full. Thank you Penguin Random House Canada and Knopf Canada for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bradley Metlin

    Look, I love malls much like the narrator at the beginning of this book. I’m also fascinated by the many abandoned malls now littering suburbs throughout North America. A novel about someone who lives in a decaying mall and documents their experiences? Sounds up my street. To be fair, I read this quite quickly. Pasha Malla’s writing style was gripping and given that we’re stuck with one person’s inner monologue, I was interested in the the narrator’s neurotic, anxious personality. A lot of the h Look, I love malls much like the narrator at the beginning of this book. I’m also fascinated by the many abandoned malls now littering suburbs throughout North America. A novel about someone who lives in a decaying mall and documents their experiences? Sounds up my street. To be fair, I read this quite quickly. Pasha Malla’s writing style was gripping and given that we’re stuck with one person’s inner monologue, I was interested in the the narrator’s neurotic, anxious personality. A lot of the horror elements in the book work but in the end, there’s just too much mystery. It’s almost too absurd and fantastical. By the middle of the book when the story really goes of the rails, there weren’t enough parameters and answers to keep this grounded. Still, this was a zany read that I won’t soon forget.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Samantha | thisbookbelongsto.sw

    I hate when authors try to be secretive of what's going on in their book; few authors can do it well. In this case, the lack of answers for the who, what, when, and why drove me crazy more than it drove my interest. The main character's scattered thoughts and crushing anxiety from moment to moment made it feel as though they were going to collapse in on themselves. It was as if the main character was schizophrenic or in a dissociative state without the author ever actually indicating clearly what I hate when authors try to be secretive of what's going on in their book; few authors can do it well. In this case, the lack of answers for the who, what, when, and why drove me crazy more than it drove my interest. The main character's scattered thoughts and crushing anxiety from moment to moment made it feel as though they were going to collapse in on themselves. It was as if the main character was schizophrenic or in a dissociative state without the author ever actually indicating clearly what the character's idiosyncrasies were. Also, the progress report chapters felt needless. Much of this book felt needless and weird for weird's sake... And I usually like weird! The "villain" or source of evil in this book is beyond absurd. Honestly, why? Just why?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Court

    1 STAR Douglas Adams meets David Lynch in this witty yet horror-tinged fable about one of North America's scariest inventions--the local mall. . . . I will keep this short, as I really don't think I was the target audience for this book. I SO wanted to love it (it sounded super weird and cult classic-y) but I really struggled to get into the writing style. KILL THE MALL reminded me of something Grady Hendrix might write but definitely struggled from imposter syndrome. Or maybe I just didn’t “get it” 1 STAR Douglas Adams meets David Lynch in this witty yet horror-tinged fable about one of North America's scariest inventions--the local mall. . . . I will keep this short, as I really don't think I was the target audience for this book. I SO wanted to love it (it sounded super weird and cult classic-y) but I really struggled to get into the writing style. KILL THE MALL reminded me of something Grady Hendrix might write but definitely struggled from imposter syndrome. Or maybe I just didn’t “get it” ...who knows. Although there were many parts that I enjoyed, it never quite took off for me. However I applaud the cover designer because (as a self-professed cover snob) it is GORGEOUS. Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for my ARC copy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Not going to rate this as obviously was not a book for me. I was pulled in by the mention of it being in the vein of Douglas Adams. I should have stopped as soon as I figured out who the nemesis was, but plodded through. On top of this, the verbosity of the main character enraged me. Several pages (I stopped counting) of just synonyms and word building to describe one person. If you like a ridiculous nemesis, a verbose unlikable main character and boring chaos, this book may appeal to you.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Nelson

    Thanks to Libro.fm for providing an ALC for this audiobook! Not only is this audiobook just a brilliant performance, this story is such a wild ride. Told in a flawed stream of consciousness, we’re constantly being tested of reality with kafkaesque imagery. A quick read (or listen) for someone interested in a bizarre new story!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sonia

    An absurd, horror/satire that brings a declining indoor mall to confront our dear narrator who possesses a Walter Mitty level of imagination and the properness of Niles Crane. Completely original, incredibly funny, and a fever dream of a ride. Read if you liked THE HIKE by Drew Magary or if you had an overactive imagination as a kid - it'll tickle you in all of the right ways. An absurd, horror/satire that brings a declining indoor mall to confront our dear narrator who possesses a Walter Mitty level of imagination and the properness of Niles Crane. Completely original, incredibly funny, and a fever dream of a ride. Read if you liked THE HIKE by Drew Magary or if you had an overactive imagination as a kid - it'll tickle you in all of the right ways.

  15. 4 out of 5

    victoria

    this was a TRIP. i was expecting a horror story - it's not that; but it IS fun and insanely funny. it reminded me strongly of the humour in catherynne valente's space opera (which i also loved). you'll know pretty early on whether or not you're into this, so if you're considering picking it up, i'd recommend it and you'll be able to tell early on whether or not you like it this was a TRIP. i was expecting a horror story - it's not that; but it IS fun and insanely funny. it reminded me strongly of the humour in catherynne valente's space opera (which i also loved). you'll know pretty early on whether or not you're into this, so if you're considering picking it up, i'd recommend it and you'll be able to tell early on whether or not you like it

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marnie

    This book was not what I expected, even after hearing the author be interviewed for an hour! Elements of the story certainly bring to mind some failing malls I know. I don't think I'll be able to go back to another mall - especially during this time when COVID restrictions in my city limit visitors - without thinking of KILL THE Mall and wondering what is going on behind the scenes. This book was not what I expected, even after hearing the author be interviewed for an hour! Elements of the story certainly bring to mind some failing malls I know. I don't think I'll be able to go back to another mall - especially during this time when COVID restrictions in my city limit visitors - without thinking of KILL THE Mall and wondering what is going on behind the scenes.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Venessa ✨

    i have a strong aversion to hair, so needless to say i found this book absolutely horrifying. thank god there was a little bit of comedy sprinkled in, otherwise i may have died. i literally do not recommend unless you wish for your soul to permanently leave your body.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Tinged with horror, you can call it absurdist, or surrealist, or satiric, or any combination of the forgoing and you'd be right. The estrangement is palpable. No one other than Pasha Malla could have written a critique of late capitalist shopping malls quite like this. Tinged with horror, you can call it absurdist, or surrealist, or satiric, or any combination of the forgoing and you'd be right. The estrangement is palpable. No one other than Pasha Malla could have written a critique of late capitalist shopping malls quite like this.

  19. 5 out of 5

    SSShafiq

    Canadian author - check Weird fantasy - check Horror - er, what is wrong with me again?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gen L

    DNF - just too bizarre for me to get into

  21. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    **Received a digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley** Really not my cup of tea. There’s stuff to like but it’s hidden amongst a lot of stuff I didn’t love. I was intrigued but my interest waned quickly when I realized I wasn’t going to get the payoff I had expected.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pedro Correa

    I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. This was a very strange book. I thought it was going to be a regular horror story set in a mall. Now while it is a horror story in a mall, it is a no-sense story. I enjoyed it but may not have have fully understood it. Between the animated hair, including one that begins growing out of the narrator's tongue and becomes, essentially, a supporting character, and the strangeness of the empty/decrepit mall, we follow the narrator "working" a job he does I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. This was a very strange book. I thought it was going to be a regular horror story set in a mall. Now while it is a horror story in a mall, it is a no-sense story. I enjoyed it but may not have have fully understood it. Between the animated hair, including one that begins growing out of the narrator's tongue and becomes, essentially, a supporting character, and the strangeness of the empty/decrepit mall, we follow the narrator "working" a job he doesn't understand, has not idea how to do and receives absolutely no feedback about. You can definitely see the skill of the author with words. There are puns galore and every crazy scene is vivid and well detailed to the point that the absurd seems not only plausible but you start thinking about hair sprouting out all over the place.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Yvette Viallet

    “DNF” I really gave it a fair shot and while some might enjoy, it just wasn’t my style unfortunately. I couldn’t seem to follow the storyline.

  24. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin MacDougall

  28. 5 out of 5

    Allyson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Janis

  30. 4 out of 5

    Special

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