Tag Archives: Edward Lee

The Resurrectionist

I have long heard Wrath James White’s name being used synonymously with hardcore horror, usually in sentences that also mention Edward Lee . Being a long time fan of Lee’s work, I knew I needed to check this cat out. Color me late to the party, as usual.

Recently I picked up a copy of The Resurrectionist at a used book shop in Rehoboth Beach. Within a day I had finished it. I know it’s such a cliché praise point, but I literally couldn’t put it down.

It is the story of Dale McCarthy, a man with a gift. Dale has the power to resurrect the dead. They have no memory of their deaths, most of the time. Dale is not a good man. He is a sadistic and brutal monster, one that preys on his victims through rape, torture, and vicious murder—only to bring them back to life and clean up the traces of his deeds.

Dale moves to a new neighborhood and comes to like his new neighbors. Josh and Sarah Lincoln, a nice young couple, fall under Dale’s obsessive gaze and soon come to find things are not well. Sarah wakes to flashbacks of horrendous violence and rape. She begins to notice things are different in the bedroom: the sheets are different from the ones she had on the bed upon going to sleep, there are clean spots on the walls and carpet. Eventually she puts it all together, and the story really takes off from there.

How do you arrest a murderer who leaves no bodies behind? How do you explain to the police that you’ve been raped and murdered every night for a week without them hauling you off to the funny farm? These questions become the framework for the second act.

White has a deft hand at surefire pacing and character development. The writing is lean and sharp…no extra wordage for the sake of pomposity. Just what is need to get the story across. His flair for description made everything easy to envision and quite often hard to shake. The lines of good taste are nonexistent in this book. I’m sure White would take that quote as a badge of honor.

This was released in 2009, by Leisure/Dorchester Publishing, before they screwed the pooch. It is definitely worth seeking out if hardcore horror is your cup of tea. Wrath has several books out through Deadite Press, as well. I will definitely be seeking out more if his work.

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Dead Things and Satanskin

I have probably stated before, quite a few times, actually, the fact that I am just about zombied out. So when I received a package containing Dead Things, by Matthew Darst, I read the blurbage and sighed. Zombies. But I won the book through a Goodreads giveaway—and hey, Free book! Better yet, a signed free book.

I started it that night, and within two or three nights had finished it. It was that good.

The debut novel is set nearly twenty years after the “zombie event.” The dead have risen and eaten folks. Society has collapsed and rebuilt itself. Religious fanatics have lots of control. Our main characters are literally thrown together in a plane crash and forced to stick together to survive. Adding to the tension of outrunning the hungry dead, there is the fact that no one trusts anyone else, as anyone could be a mole for the church. I’m talking Witch Hunt kinda-church.

Darst uses a number of nifty maneuvers to keep this a fresh offering. The dialogue is smart and witty. The science behind the story is very well thought out and smart. In fact, I’d say the weakest point would have to be the ending, which seemed a bit rushed—literally rushing headlong into and messily hitting closure in a chapter.

As I stated, this is a debut novel. A well-written, smartly entertaining debut. Integral to the plot are the zombies; however, it is more than a zombie novel. It’s a novel about humans being, a novel where the monsters we become are far more frightening than the things shambling from the graves to gnaw on our flesh.

Dead Things is available from Grand Mal Press.

In 1992, James Havoc released this wonderful book of bizarre and repulsive word swill. I loved it. Still do. Then he went missing. Dropped right off the face of the earth.

Gone. Never to be heard from again.

Like a meth-fueled mixture of William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, Michael Gira and Chuck Palahniuk being poured down the eager throat of Edward Lee, Satanskin is that hardcore. Graphic as anything you can imagine. Surrealism carved in the faces of the damned with a rusty razor equals Satanskin.

Havoc didn’t paint with words…he fed you the words then reached down your throat—or up your ass—and then finger-painted your brain with them. These stories are prose-beasts. Skulking ugly creations that stumble in and out of cohesive narrative. There are vampires and nameless things, aliens and undead creatures. Depraved children and Demonic butt-sex. It’s an explosion of supreme insanity and chaotic cringe-worthy debauchery. This is Bizarro, from a time when the tag didn’t really exist.

This title was released in 1992 via The Tears Corporation/Creation Press. In 2011, the 20th anniversary e-book edition, which includes the bonus story “Third Eye Butterfly,” was released by Elektron Ebooks.

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