Book Review: “Das unheimliche Labor” by R. L. Stine

It seems fitting that my 13th—my lucky number—read of the year is also my first German book ever.

I debated reviewing it because it’s a children’s book. But then I thought, “Why the hell not?” I’m proud to have finished a text in German, and I had a good time doing so.

My German isn’t great—it’s a complex language!—so adult books are off the table, at least for now. Yet, having loved “Goosebumps” as a kid, I reasoned that reading “Gänsehaut” in German would be a good starting point.

Which brings me to R. L. Stine’s “Das unheimliche Labor”! The story follows two kids who are the children of a mad scientist. Their father—who specialises in experiments on plants—has recently lost his job. The reasons for this are mysterious. The unemployed doctor has now set up a lab in his basement at home, which the children cannot enter. But, of course, the kids can’t help their curiosity.

Some of the German was beyond my capabilities—quite a bit. But I got the general gist of where the story was going and who each character was. It was great practice, and I will dive straight into another German “Goosebumps” book.

As an adult, I love horror, even horror made for kids (I adore the “Goosebumps” movies!). “Das unheimliche Labor” is no different; I had a blast with it. The twists are clear, and the threat isn’t too serious. Of course, nobody will die as they do in Stephen King’s novels. But it’s pure, innocent, goofy fun.

And that’s what all reading should be: fun.

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