By Wizard Oak — book review

BY WIZARD OAK by Peter Crowther. Earthling Publications $40

Reviewed by Jay Eales

It is Hallowe’en in Magellan Bend. It is their time, and they are coming. Again. Don’t you remember? Something wicked definitely this way comes. And when it gets here, you want to be anywhere but. It’s Roald Dahl’s The Witches if it had been penned by Ray Bradbury. This is a novella filled to brimming with appetite; whether it’s the desire to get your own way, a good meal or an impressive bowel movement. It’s all the same.

Crowther writes personably about them all, whether describing the howling grief for a lost child or marking territory with a hitched skirt, a scuffed arse and a jet of steaming yellow piss. This is no literary dinner party with china service and eleven kinds of soup spoon. This is down-home cooking, pass the cornbread and mind your elbows. Dip your bread in the gravy and wipe the chicken grease down your pants. And I know which dinner table I’d rather sit at.

What’s going on? What do they want? How can they be stopped? In his introduction, Rick Hautala takes great pains not to give away, well, anything about the story. But he does a damn fine job at cheerleading you into reading it anyway. I’m going to take a leaf from his book, shut the hell up, and just tell you to read it. In fact, don’t just read it. Devour it.