MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM

Grady Hendrix

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. Through the years, they have bonded over E.T., roller-skating, and a shared love for pop music. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act … different. As the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen.

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Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. Through the years, they have bonded over E.T., roller-skating, and a shared love for pop music. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act … different. As the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

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  • Quirk Books
  • Hardcover
  • May 2016
  • 336 Pages
  • 9781594748622

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$19.99

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About Grady Hendrix

Grady Hendrix’s first novel, Horrorstör, an illustrated novel about a haunted big-box furniture store, was named one of the best books of 2014 by NPR. Horrorstör was translated into more than 10 languages; television rights were optioned to producer Gail Berman of Fox Networks Group. Hendrix has also written for various magazines. He lives in New York City, where he and his wife own and operate the acclaimed vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy.

Praise

“If The Exorcist had been authored by Tina Fey instead of William Peter Blatty, it might have borne an uncanny resemblance to what Grady Hendrix has accomplished with My Best Friend’s Exorcism … Fans of satire, nostalgia, dark comedy and, well, demons should read this book.” —BookPage

“Readers who thought Heathers wasn’t quite bleak enough will find this darkly humorous horror tale—filled with spot-on ’80s pop-culture references— totally awesome.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Sharply written … Hendrix has made strong progress as a novelist, and this book makes a convincing case for his powers as a sharp observer of human behavior, filtered through a fun genre conceit that doesn’t skimp on the spooky—or the bodily fluids.” —The A.V. Club

Discussion Questions

1. Hendrix took inspiration from his high school experience to inform My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Were there any aspects of the book that you recognize from your own high school experience?

2. The book takes place during the Cold War and era of “satanic panic” when there was a sense that the United States was vulnerable to just about any type of evil. How do you think this historical backdrop affects the behavior of the characters?

3. Music is at the center of Abby and Gretchen’s friendship. What ’80s song do you relate most with?

4. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a large part of Abby’s life. In what other ways does ’80s pop culture inform Abby and Gretchen’s friendship?

5. We’re introduced to the friendship between the four girls—Abby, Gretchen, Margaret, and Glee—fairly early on in the novel. What were your first impressions of the clique?

6. The girls’ decision to drop acid is a turning point in the novel. How do you think this rite of passage affects the girls’ relationships?

7. Abby and Gretchen come from different sides of the tracks. How do you think this affects their relationship as they grow up?

8. Gretchen, while under the influence of the devil, does a lot of terrible things. Which do you think is the worst?

9. Abby is a devoted friend. How far would you go if your best friend was possessed by the devil?