The Blob That Ate Everyone
Series number: 55
Number of pages: 114
Release date: May 1997
Tagline: He’s no picky eater!
Did I Read It as a Child?: No
The Story On the Back
A famous horror writer. That’s what Zack Beauchamp wants to be. He’s writing a story about a giant blob monster. A pink slimy creature who eats up an entire town! Then Zack finds the typewriter. In a burned down antique store. He takes it home and starts typing. But there’s something really odd about that typewriter. Something really dangerous. Because now every scary word Zack writes is starting to come true…
The Story On the Pages
The Blob That Ate Everyone is one of my least favourite types of stories. This is a story that had such promise and then squandered it, and to me that’s almost worse than having a bad story that’s consistent all the way through in its terribleness. And that ending? Good god Stine, did we need another one of these?
But I guess I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
Though not even Stine started at the beginning of this story. The Blob That Ate Everyone opens with a flash forward during a flashback. But it’s not a flash forward in a flashback that actually happened, it’s all actually in a story that our POV Zack wrote to read aloud to his best friends Alex and Adam. The story features himself and Alex hanging out together when they’re suddenly attacked by a blob that looks like a giant human heart and is intent on eating the pair.
Alex, shortened from Alexandria, loves the story, saying it’s the scariest thing she’s ever heard. But the ego bubble that grew from that is immediately burst when Adam says it was stupid.
No, you’re stupid Adam, and clearly not a supportive friend to Zack if this is the way you treat him when he reads you stories he’s written! The kid just wants to be a horror writer, is it too much to ask for even constructive criticism?
Zack leaves Adam’s house vowing to write a story that’s really going to scare him. That’s how he gets the idea to steal an antique typewriter. It’s quite a jump isn’t it?
See, Zack and Alex are walking across town to get home when they come upon an antique shop that burnt down. It’s a gutted wreck, and like all Goosebumps characters, Zack decides the best course of action is B&E and possible theft! That’s where the typewriter comes in. He sees it and goes to grab it because all this stuff is a write-off anyways and he thinks he’ll be able to write a really scary story on a typewriter.
Because it’s totally the machine that makes the story good and not the talent or content of the creator! And here I’ve been blaming myself all these years when it was clearly always the machinery! Okay, yup, holds up, I’m going along with it.
The owner of the shop actually ends up catching the pair, but she’s not mad about the possible theft because she’s already mad about the shop burning down. So Zack actually ends up getting the typewriter for free. And an old quill and inkwell too. Score! And all that had to happen for him to get them was to break into a destroyed and dangerous antique shop and get shocked by a downed power line.
Oh yeah, that happens! He steps in a puddle a downed wire is pumping electricity into and gets a shock that knocks him flat on his back. But he’s fine, it’s nothing a big ass free typewriter can’t fix! Alex, being the sensible lady that she is, questions why the shop owner seemed so eager to get rid of the typewriter, but Zack brushes her off and goes about beginning his sure to be successful horror novel career now that he has an outdated piece of technology in which to do it with!
Okay, so long story short, Zack’s typewriter is magical and can make anything typed on it come true. He discovers this when he begins to write a new story. He writes that it was a dark and stormy night, and suddenly his lights go off and a thunderstorm rolls in. Then he writes that he’s all alone in his house, and suddenly his dad disappears. Alex is sure it’s the typewriter, so Zack writes something else, something that won’t turn out just to be a coincidence. He types that Adam is knocking on his front door, and then lo and behold that happens too.
Adam, being the dick friend, doesn’t believe for a second that a magical typewriter is why he’s knocking on Zack’s front door. I guess he thinks it’s like a bout of explosive amnesia?
And because he doesn’t believe Zack’s magic typewriter theory, he types something up and is mighty pleased with himself when it doesn’t happen in real life. This leads to some relentless bullying from Zack’s classmates, but at least his typewriter isn’t actually magical, so he can use it to write a great story.
You know where this is going, right? It actually is magical, and Zack writes a story on it in which a giant blob monster terrorizes downtown before following him back to his house to kill him. So a giant blob monster shows up and terrorizes downtown before following Zack to his house to kill him.
The day ends up being saved when Zack thinks the blob away. Because it’s not the typewriter that has the power to create what’s written, it’s Zack himself. This power was caused when he was shocked in the burnt down antique shop. So yah, the blob is thought away. What an anticlimactic way to end a story.
But wait! It gets worse! Because that’s not the end. The end comes when a pink blob asks its friend the green blob what it thought of its story about Zack. Yup, Stine did it again! The old “it was a monster all along” gimmick right at the end.
Someone shoot me. Or at the very least heavily medicate me. After reading all these books back to back over a very short period of time, I’m so tired… so very, very tired of the monster gag.
Zack wants to be the next Stephen King. Alex believes he can be but Adam doesn’t. That’s all I feel the need to tell you about the characters of The Blob That Ate Everyone. I feel this way because come the end of the story, these little fuckers aren’t real.
Um, Amelia, no character in a fiction book is real?
Yeah, but most fictional characters are real within the pages of their narratives. They exist in that specific chunk of time alone, but they are real there. Zack and his friends are a story within a story, so what are they? Fictional characters to a fictional character? Makes them kind of inconsequential, doesn’t it?
Spooks and Scares
There’s too much going on in The Blob That Ate Everyone for it to ever develop itself enough in one area. And that’s really saying something because there’s only really two things that are happening: a magic storyteller and the story he’s telling. And that’s really the same thing when you think about it, so there’s no excuse, The Blob That Ate Everyone!
There’s an interesting angle with the typewriter that’s seemingly able to make anything come to life, because who doesn’t like the fantasy of instant wish fulfillment? Here’s a machine that could give you whatever your heart desires, including the things that are forbidden to other wish granting entities (making people fall in love with you, raising the dead, etc). But Zack doesn’t do anything that’s forbidden, he just writes a story about a blob.
If Stine had gone in the direction of wish granting, this typewriter would have been the perfect way to introduce his young readers to the terrifying object of myth the Monkey’s Paw. A Monkey’s Paw being a wish-granting, albeit cursed, item. Every wish made is somehow twisted and evil, each becoming worse than the last, until the last finger bends downwards and the cycle begins again with another unsuspecting wisher.
Imagine a fucked up wish for every letter on the clacking keyboard of a typewriter; the damage that could ensue, the horrors that could be unleashed. This is a life that could have been torn a-fucking-sunder! C’mon, who doesn’t love another’s misery? But instead we get a fake kid in a story written by a blob monster in which there is a coincidental superpower of extraordinary worth that’s used to create a fake blob monster to harass the fake kid.
Stine, c’mon. I need a little more than that.
But hey, at least this blob narrative didn’t feature a twenty-eight year old Steve McQueen macking on a teenage actress. That’s… something?