Friday, February 24, 2017

LAST DAYS by Brian Evenson

I first discovered writer Brian Evenson after reading his reprinted short story, "Any Corpse," in Gamut Magazine. The story was a bizarre and dazzlingly original sci-fi/dystopian/horror that really defies explanation. It led me to seek out more of his work. This novel is just as original and it's actually rather startling in it's boldness and novelty. Last Days is about an undercover cop named Kline who's deep in depression after his hand is chopped off by a bad guy. He's then approached by a cult of people who believe that amputation brings one closer to God, and is forced to solve a murder in their midst. The book gets crazier and crazier as Kline falls deeper into the rabbit hole that is the Brotherhood of Mutilation.

Evenson not only does a great job at showing the gradual loss of sanity that anyone would understandably go through if thrown into this world, he also maintains a really singular atmosphere. I doubt that there were more than two people in the whole book who had all of their limbs! The world in which this book exists is filled with people with multiple body parts chopped off, which creates a vibe that I haven't really witnessed in other books. And through all of it, Evenson's relentless writing moves through the strange tale at a nice tight clip. I'm now even more curious to read another book by Evenson to see what other ideas he can come up with.


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