Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book Review: The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World

Read 5/26/14
4 Stars - Strongly Recommended to fans of bizarre not-quite-post-apocalyptic-but-definitely-shit-I-dont-ever-want-to-live-through literature / great gateway into bizarro fiction
Pages: 125
Publisher: Lazy Fascist Press
Released: May 2014

The end of the world is upon us and I can think of no one more capable of raining down some strange ass shit on the last of the human race than Brian Allen Carr. This novella is a strange and perfect mix of old school  Mexican (and mostly made up) myths and legends - the wispy lost souls of the dead walking the earth, a plague of rouge severed hands that are aching to tear you to shreds, and El Abuelo, who comes to ask you a question you better be damn sure you're able to answer.

The backwoods people of Scrape, Texas are so typically human it hurts, and they uphold the usual rompy B horror flick requirements - the old, ignorant hillbilly with a closet full of guns; the token black guy; the young couple who fuck their way through the end of the world, mostly oblivious to the racket all around them; the local drunk; and two cute town chicks just to make it interesting.

Carr spends a little time setting up the history of this trashy little town, sharing the stories of its local yokels in the usual barstool-gossip sort of way. Within minutes of cracking it's cover, you're well acquainted with the secrets and skeletons carried by every one of Scrape's citizens.

And right when you're getting comfortable and about ready to chug back that first can of sweaty cheap beer, right as you're leaning back in that creaky ole porch swing, Carr pulls the mother fucking rug right out from under you.

In a matter of seconds, the entire town collapses all around your ears, and you gawk and gape as he unleashes the most god-awful end-times can of whoopass you can imagine.

The Last Horror a quick, addicting read that runs you through the rinse cycle - soaking you to the bone one moment, mercilessly wringing you out the next, and whipping you around at break neck speeds - with some well placed breathers where time seems to slow down a bit - as our survivors take stock again and again of their ever-worsening situation.

The only criticism I have is with the ending. To me, it felt rushed and disconnected, very much the equivalent of Franco and Rogan's This is the End, which had some real kick-ass potential until that friggen devil-monster came out of nowhere and raped poor Jonas. The rest of the movie just devolved from there. Similarly, reading those last pages in Carr's novella, I got the sense that he might've shot his load a little too early and was left looking for a tissue with which to clean it all up. As if there was no where left to turn but to the devil, which, to me, even though we are taking end-times here, took a fairly disappointing turn.

All in all, a wonderfully wicked example of what the tamer side of bizarro fiction can be, especially for all you newbies out there who are still too afraid to give the genre a try.

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