Monday, August 7, 2017

Vultures, Raccoons, and WHAT! monkeys?

The Unmentionables

Lance Carbuncle

Publisher: Vicious Galoot Books

Pub. Date: April 5, 2017

Rating: 4 & 1/2 out of 5 stars

Very few authors have such an crazy sense of imagination as Lance Carbuncle. Strange going-ons, weird characters and nightmare creatures abound in his four novels. Whether it is the Brautiganesque world of Smashed, Squashed, Splattered, Chewed, Chunked and Spewed, The sociopathic cousins a la Mice and Men in Grundish and Askew, or the Hieronymus Bosch meets William S. Burroughs landscape of Sloughing off the Rot, Carbuncle's novels are all different but alike in his unique style which is as rude and disturbing as...well.....a lanced carbuncle. But much funnier.

His fourth and newest novel is The Unmentionables and in some ways it is the most straight horror story he has written so far. It centers on Greg Samsa (name sounds familiar?) who is one of the most picked on boys in the small town of Finlay. The book is sort of a strange coming-of-age tale with a character that I suspect a lot of avid readers can identify with. He's a pretty smart kid but his wits is not enough to keep him from the terrors of adolescent bullying. That is until he find a stash of books and paraphernalia associated to black magic in the Winchester House clone he lives in. Parallel to this, the townspeople seem to be getting meaner and more violent which may be related to a underworld portal spurting out noxious fumes. Add on to this combo of terror vicious raccoons, living dead pig fetuses (the titled Unmentionables) and piss monkeys (don't ask, just read) and you get an idea how outlandish this seemingly "normal" coming of age horror story really gets. And there are turkey vultures, There are always turkey vultures.

It's all by the plan in the author's world. Hook you with weird but likable characters and once you're hooked, throw all that wild stuff at you . It may not be for everyone but it is delicious fun all the way. It may not be horror as much as black comedy. As Greg seeks revenge on the bullies, actually he's pretty angry at the entire town, it is hard to not like him no matter how rough it gets. Then there are those names; Coach Manlove, The Spanish Teacher Mr. French, and Wally, Lumpy and Eddie which works as an in-joke for the baby boomers to chuckle at. Mr. Carbuncle seems to like to give his characters clever names as much as he like to make his readers to go "Ewww,(giggle)"

Even though The Unmentionables may be the most straight-forward of his books, I hesitate to say "mainstream", it is still a far cry from safe and reassuring. But among the bizarre gore and violence there is always the feeling of a roller coaster ride with the sounds of screams and laughter. The Unmentionables may be weird and gross but it is always a lot of fun and maybe closer to our actual emotions and events in our life that we might be afraid to admit. Let's face it. Life is rude and disturbing. Perhaps it needs to be Lance Carbuncle and his novels.

No comments:

Post a Comment