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Literature / The Summer Is Ended And We Are Not Yet Saved

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A horror novel written by Joey Comeau, author of A Softer World and Lockpick Pornography, The Summer is Ended and We are Not Yet Saved is an expanded version of Comeau's earlier novella Bible Camp Bloodbath.

Martin and his young, excitable, but loving single mother have a rough existence: Martin's a little odd, obsessed with cleanliness, and has trouble making friends, while Mom works multiple steady but boring jobs to support them, leaving her with little time to spend with her son and forcing her to put off her dream of being a special-effects makeup artist for the gross, over-the-top horror films both she and Martin love. When Mom has a chance to go to Toronto and work on a real Slasher Movie, the only problem is what to do with Martin for the summer. To give his mom the chance to follow her dream, Martin reaches out to his estranged grandparents and begs them to send him to Bible Camp for the summer.


Martin is a Fish out of Water at Bible Camp: he gets along better with the girls across the lake than the boys in his cabin, and he doesn't really understand all the Jesus talk. But there are lots of new people to talk to, and lots of fun stuff to do, and after all, it's for his mom. She's given up so much for him. Surely he can tough this out for her.

But then the killings begin.

And Martin, who knows everything about slasher movies, must find a way to live through one.


The Summer Is Ended and We Are Not Yet Saved contains examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: They never believe the kids.
  • Affably Evil: Tony is always smiling and genuinely friendly to everyone, except that he's murdering them.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • Martin seems to exhibit traits of autism. He just doesn't get how most people think, acts incorrectly in social situations, and imposes order on his life through simple rituals.
    • Martin's mother, if her letters contain any truth, is hallucinating the entire time she is in Toronto.
  • Ambiguous Ending: Either way you read Martin's mom's final letter— if it was written before she knew of his death, or if it was written after she found out as she imagines a future they will never have together—is heartbreaking.
  • Anyone Can Die: And almost everyone does. Courtney is the sole survivor.
  • Ax-Crazy: One of Tony's favorite weapons.
  • Body Horror:
    • Many of the victims. Tony cuts off Cindy's scalp and wears it as a wig. He also cuts off people's heads and kicks them around.
    • Martin's mother specializes in doing special effects that invoke this.
  • Children Are Innocent: Part of Father Tony's motivation for the killings. Because the children are innocent, they will go to Heaven when they die rather than risk being corrupted by the world.
  • Contractual Genre Blindness: Martin's expansive knowledge of slasher film tropes allows him to guess what might happen next, allowing him to keep himself and his friends one step ahead of the killer. Sadly, Martin's a boy, and anyone who's ever seen a slasher movie knows that only the Final Girl survives.
  • Deal with the Devil: Martin's mom joked about selling her daughter, Martina to the devil.
  • Final Girl: Courtney is the lone survivor of the murder spree.
  • Hero of Another Story: Elizabeth's letters to Martin contain throwaway references to characters from Comeau's earlier book One Bloody Thing After Another.
  • Kill 'Em All: Father Tony's goal.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The title comes from The Bible, Jeremiah 8:20, which deals with Jeremiah's sadness that Judah was to be destroyed because its people had forsaken God.
  • Serial Killer: Father Tony is better explained as a Spree Killer, as he never really has a "cool off" period.
  • Sinister Minister: Father Tony is an aversion of this, constantly cheerful and friendly, but also the killer of the book.
  • Slasher Film: The basis for the novel.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: Subverted. Father Tony does kill a few blonde characters but Courtney, a blonde, is the sole survivor.
  • Summer Campy: The majority of the action takes place at a Bible Camp.


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