Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Like Death - by Tim Waggoner - Brilliantly dark fiction. No happy ending here.
Apparently, Like Death, is not a new book. It's just new to me and I couldn't be happier that the folks at Apex Publications are putting it back out there in both paperback and ebook formats.
The opening paragraph sets the tone and is just a sample of things to come. "Huddled beneath the kitchen table, knees drawn to his chest, he crouches with hands balled into fists, jammed against his ears, kneading them as if he might cut off the screams by grinding cartilage and flesh to a pulp. It doesn't work; the screams come through just fine."
The entire opening sequence is like a punch to the gut and like a prize-fighter that finds his opponents weakness, Waggoner just doesn't let up.
If you've read any of my previous reviews, you probably already know I like my horror to be a bit disturbing. Gore doesn't bother me, violence is OK, even the occasional bloodbath is fine. But let me tell you, there were times that some of the subject matter made me downright uncomfortable and it wasn't this...
"His abdominal muscles bucked and the cords of his neck pulled wire tight as his digestive system prepared to initiate an emergency purge. But before he could bring anything up, he felt the gentle touch of spider legs making their way deeper inside him, and with each inch farther they traveled, the need to vomit subsided a little more. Within moments he no longer felt the urge to puke at all. His stomach muscles unclenched, he stopped trembling, and his temperature returned to normal. More, he felt a growing sense of well-being. Not only was he alright, but the entire universe and everything in it was honky-dory, a-okay, and peachy-keen."
There are times in Like Death where the line between reality, dreams and hallucinations becomes razor thin, the story telling is raw and you will get to the point where you will just learn to expect the unexpected. In three words, I loved it.
OK, it's not for everyone. It's certainly for mature readers and if you're a part of what we used to call the Moral Majority, please steer clear. But if you love horror that knows no bounds and pulls no punches, then plop this baby right on top of your To Be Read list. You can thank me later.
Like Death is available right now. You can get details here from Apex Publications or you can order online now at Amazon.com.
What are you waiting for? I can't recommend this one enough.