A DISTASTEFUL HORROR STORY By Johnny Mains
Parallel Universe Publications, p/b, £11.99
Reviewed by Matthew Johns
Picking up this book, it’s clear to see that the author has set out to shock – the title, the cover art (a dismembered corpse in a blood-stained alleyway and bin) show the intentions from the start. But the big question is, does it shock?
Written by Johnny Mains, who is clearly a big fan of the horror genre, it tells his story – how he became a horror fan at an early age thanks to a friendly librarian, how he met one of the world’s biggest horror authors (Carson Fisher), became his lover, murdered him and tells his story from his prison cell.
Featuring murder, male rape, more murder and then some more murder, it is definitely gory, and will absolutely be distasteful to many – the final denouement in the closing pages adding to the distaste, but also expanding on the protagonist’s motives.
I enjoyed the book, found it easy to read, and while I wasn’t particularly shocked by it all, the last chapter or so was somewhat of a surprise. Mains explores a man’s descent into depravity and borderline insanity, as well as the lengths to which someone will go for revenge with absolute skill and precision. His knowledge of and love for the horror genre and its authors shines through, and he also manages to make the reader feel some empathy and sympathy for the protagonist writing from his prison cell. All in all, a great read, and one for the shelves of (almost) any horror fan.