#21 – All Hallows Eve, Richard Laymon BOOK REVIEW

February 14, 2018
krauserpua

I seem to be averaging about one non-fiction book for every three novels. Until starting this little review project I’d never really thought about it, but now I wonder why it is so. I suspect it’s a tension between entertainment and self-development. Investing vs spending. This horror novel is most definitely not going to develop any facet of my mind.

Richard Laymon

This edition

My first ever encounter with SJW-ism came in an old Computer And Video Games magazine review of a Japanese rip-off of Galaga. One of the alien attack waves were winged women whose animation involved spreading then closing their wings. When the wings were closed, your bullets couldn’t kill them.

Some SJW reviewer interpreted this as: you’re meant to shoot them between the legs. That’s Galaga-RAPE!!!!! Thus my ten-year old brain was confused as this SJW reviewer went on a long rant about sexism in games rather than commenting on the graphics, sound, gameplay or any of the others things that I, as the payer of his salary, wanted to know.

Galaga-Gamers-Against-Bigotry

I think we all learned something here today

My second encounter with SJW-ism came with Richard Laymon. A book review in some horror magazine, perhaps Samhain, had a real go at him for misogyny because of how some female character is murdered. I think she was thrown into a bath full of broken glass or something and he’d described her as “nubile”. The book may have been Resurrection Dreams. This is an awfully long time ago so my memory is vague.

Naturally, I went right out and bought it.

Richard Laymon has been called a ‘splatterpunk’ writer [1]. I remember thinking of him as a simple, energetic writer who had daft stories, softcore sex, and plenty of gore. As a twelve year old boy who considered Stephen King and James Herbert to be “a bit soft”, I was more into the crass exploitation of Shaun Hutson novels and collecting the ‘video nasties’ on VHS. So Laymon was right up my street.

In the spirit of nostalgia, I decided to check in with him again and see how he stood the test of time [2]. All Hallows Eve is like the famous movie Scream in novel form (but predates it). It’s focused on a high school in a small US town where there are jocks and nerds, one of the latter a bit of a dark vengeful character. Some mysterious stranger murders a few locals and there’s talk of a big Halloween party in a spooky house that’s been deserted since the whole family was butchered.

Knowing this, you can probably fill in the blanks yourself. Agatha Christie level misdirection this is not.

I read the book entirely in one sitting late at night. It took two whiskeys and three toilet breaks [3]. I enjoyed it. This is simple fiction that I like to call ‘straight line’. There are some regular folk who are good guys, a couple of bad guys, and the plot moves straight ahead without any bullshit. Nothing is there that doesn’t need to be, nothing slows the pace, and the liberal dashing of sex and violence occur at the correct intervals. It’s Friday The 13th, or Nightmare On Elm Street.

a-nightmare-on-elm-street-freedy-krueger-premium-format-figure-sideshow-feature-300366

The first and third movies are fantastic

No bullshit, no frills horror. A McDonald’s cheeseburger of a novel. If I fancy a bit more schlock-horror later this year I’ll happily pick up another of his books.

If you find yourself alone in a dark house at night with a psycho murderer prowling around, you’ll be really glad you bought Daygame Infinite. At 524 pages in a solid hardback binding, it will absorb at least one murderous blow from an axe, giving you ample time to scramble to safety.

[1] According to google when I just searched his name ten minutes ago
[2] Nothing else from that time of my life survives a second look. The music, movies, fashion, books I liked then were all utter shit.
[3] No I wasn’t scared going to the bathroom in the dark

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