Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A haunting from the haunter's perspective

A God of Hungry Walls

By Garrett Cook

Publisher - Deadite Press

Pub. Date: September 23, 2015

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


 The first thing you need to realize about Garrett Cook is that he is a seriously deranged individual. I say that with only half of my tongue firmly in cheek. His last two books, Time Pimp and You Might Just Make it Out of This Alive are weirdly brilliant Dadaist masterpieces of craziness existing somewhere between the landscapes of Manga and Freud. If only the rest of us were this deranged!

At first, it seems that Cook has returned to Earth in his new novel, literally and figuratively. A God of Hungry Walls is a haunted house story set firmly on earthly soil. Haunted houses are a traditional fixture in the the realm of fantasy and horror. But the author does not do "traditional". The main departure in this disturbingly violent and erotic ghost tale is that it is told totally in the perspective of the haunted house or more precisely, what is doing the haunting. To do this effectively, one cannot just relay the events. One must endow the narrative with the right amount of evilness and perverted logic that a malevolent creature with so much twisted obsession must have. This is what Cook does so well. He gives us a new alternative universe of terror. He drops us into a mind that is unfathomable by our own perceptions and he makes us believe.

We meet. through the haunter's eyes, the four residents of the house and the new arrival that disrupts the haunter's world. We are introduced to the ghostly entities that do its bidding. We find out a little about the primary entity's past but is then immediately told it is a lie. While there may be more earthly grounding in A God of Hungery Walls than Cook's other recent books, it is still a tapestry of poetic surrealism, fantastical environments and grotesque imagery. As in any Garrett Cook work, there is copious amounts of violence and sex. It can be call a novel of erotic horror but that does not communicate the extreme images in its pages. Yet sex and gore in Cook's writings ends up leaving the reader amazed at its lyrical beauty while still being shocked at the actual events and its implications.

It is a cliche to say a Garrett Cook novel is not for everyone but it must be said. Yet if one does not read his books they are missing out on one of the strangest literary experiences available to the adventurous reader. Because of its conventional setting, A God of Hungry Walls is a good place to start. But if you are looking for a harmless escape to ghostly hauntings of the usual variety, you can't say I didn't warn you.

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