Book Review: Plebs by Jim Goforth

Plebs by Jim Goforth

 

Plebs by Jim Goforth
Plebs by Jim Goforth

Plebs by Jim Goforth

Publisher: J. Ellington Ashton Press (January 17, 2014)

Synopsis: Corey Somerset, Tim Hayworth and Lee Hunter have had one hell of a good night. And it isn’t over yet. Celebrating their friend’s birthday with drunken debauchery and intoxicated antics they’ve just stumbled through a mini-wave of mindless vandalism and though they’ve wandered far out of the realms of civilization they are keen to keep the party vibe going. When they encounter a band of mysterious fugitive women who call a bizarre encampment deep in the woods their residence it appears a strong likelihood that continuing the party is on the cards. But it won’t come without a price. The collective of unnerving lawless women are open to the suggestion but not without the threesome completing a request first, a seemingly straight forward barter proposition that will bring the boys face to face with something else that dwells in an unorthodox co-existence with the girls in the wilderness. These are the Plebs and the shocking violent encounter the trio are unwittingly pitched into with these freakish feral fiends may be their first but it won’t be the last. As the shiftless young men become inextricably entwined and involved with the agenda driven dangerous women so too do their fates, with them unravelling killer secrets, duplicity, bloodshed and brutality along the way that encompasses not just them but more of their friends, new enemies and old enemies. A simple night of bad decisions escalates and snowballs into an expedition of terror spanning all the way home and beyond with Corey and his friends engulfed in a nightmare where the lines between man and monster blur. Depravity, death and destruction reign supreme and it isn’t just the Plebs that want them all torn limb from limb.

Night of the Living Dead (1968). The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). The Hills Have Eyes (1977). Dawn of the Dead (1978). The Evil Dead (1981). All iconic horror films and inspiration for any die-hard horror fan. I was visualizing these movies while I read Plebs by Jim Goforth. This  is a strong testament to the author’s work. The whole book had that horror cult/blockbuster feel.

If the above doesn’t clue you in, I’m a massive horror fanatic, in both books and films. It’s always a welcome and refreshing experience to find a book that pays homage to the movies but stands alone as a solid, effective, gut-wrenching, bloody horror tale. There’s a very thin line between homage and rip-off and a lot of books in the past have wobbled severely whilst walking it.

Plebs is the exception to this rule.

This book is drenched in original, inspiring horror folklore and (lovingly) contains several winks to many 70’s/80’s horror movies. The author creates a palpable, visual, visceral world born out of a love for the genre itself.  Goforth’s rich descriptions, vivid detail and enjoyable (evil, sexy, mysterious, psychotic, realistic) characters make for a great horror story. This book is no rip-off but an instantly quotable and memorable title due to many horror tropes that some writers find difficult to construct; Jim Goforth manages to pull these things off perfectly.

I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to the author and I know he is a dedicated Richard Laymon fan. The late, great legend of horror carved a niche for himself with his combination of sexual violence and extreme gore. Jim Goforth pays homage to Laymon in many different ways. On every page, there is something that will delight any Laymon fan; be it gore, sex, gorgeous women, cannibalism, monsters, psychological terror and nastier things.

After all, this is horror at its boldest so why leave anything out? Laymon wouldn’t have stood for this; writing for the true fans is what he lived for and I believe Jim Goforth had this mentality when writing Plebs. Writing true horror takes balls and finesse and Plebs was constructed with plenty of both.

So five stars? Oh yes. I doubt I’ll read a more original and chaotic horror  book this year. Plebs is a massive achievement. Well done, Jim Goforth!

Book Review: Heroin in the Magic Now by Terry M. West

Heroin in the Magic Now Book Cover
Heroin in the Magic Now by Terry M. West
A personal and very dark tale from West.

Heroin in the Magic Now by Terry M. West. Publisher: Pleasant Storm Entertainment, Inc.

5 STARS – Due for release on 8/31/2014, but available for pre-order here.

More Misery and Darkness than Frank Miller’s Sin City

In Heroin in the Magic Now, Terry M. West has turned the writing of the novelette/novella into Reality Composition. Every character is holding an unseen camera, recording the privacy of a life that goes on everywhere behind the scenes. Although Terry comes through strong with his unique voice that is unmistakably Terry M. West, once again, he proves to deliver something distinctive. When I started reading Heroin in the Magic Now, I took a deep breath and sighed – it provided the Fix I was looking for.

Terry M. West’s writing is addictive. I highly recommend it over alcohol or heroin. And – utilizing Hardcore Crust as an intro into Heroin in the Magic Now creates a seamless ooze into the seedy world that sets your teeth on edge. I enjoyed this more than Frank Miller’s Sin City, which is one of my favorite movies exploring darkness and misery. I want to see this on celluloid – digital is also acceptable with the right attention given. Although sick, edgy, and filled with heartache and broken dreams, Heroin in the Magic Now also taps into heart and hope. It’s filled with real-world perspective from the shadows, masterfully crafted with just the right touch of fiction and fantasy. I loved it when I wasn’t able to discern reality from fantasy.

Oh, wait – I found a lot of that – which kept me on the edge of my seat, turning page after page. Terry M. West has to know these vampires, zombies, ghouls, werewolves and human monsters… I mean… they have to exist… at least in his mind. And everyone knows our world is full of them. I can’t speak for Mr. West, but I can remember back when I was a child – the greatest thing I could ever imagine becoming – was a monster. As I grew older, that only changed slightly. I learned how to manifest the monsters into the heroes I always believed they were when I was a child. That’s what I get from Heroin in the Magic Now. I just love the gris-gris bag the lead character Gary Hack carries. I had something similar when I was twelve years old. It was a small doll from Haiti stuffed with gris-gris seeds. I can still smell it. Gary Hack was constantly learning.

Heroin in the Magic Now banner

As I read Heroin in the Magic Now, I sensed a deep metamorphosis taking place within me and then an awakening. I had to stop a moment because I was having flashbacks of aspects of my own life that were painful, heartrending and hopeless. It’s tough when you don’t want to surrender and decide there isn’t another choice. You’re locked into that moment of helplessness and start to play the game: Things will get better – it will all somehow change – the tide will turn. And you wait for years. And sometimes, you just throw yourself out of an airplane or put a needle in your arm or drink yourself into the blackness and wonder how you made it to this point in your miserable life and you finally just give up. And in that moment of surrender everything changes – although you have no idea until that moment of déjà vu – and you awaken to the realization that you have just learned something very important. I’ll be reading this again. God – this is going to be a great movie.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Heroin in the Magic Now by Terry M. West

Heroin in the Magic Now

by Terry M. West

Giveaway ends October 31, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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