Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Nevermore" (or "The Feast of Flesh") by David Dunwoody

This is one of two novellas that appear in the first volume of Belfire Press's "Duel" Novella Series. You can learn more about this series by visiting Belfire Press.

Ghost stories tend to have a very familiar quality to them, which is likely due to ghost being the longest surviving horror tropes going--older than even the genre itself. So when an author can come along and offer something a bit different from the norm, and not bungle it, that's a rare treat. David Dunwoody offers one such story with Nevermore.

And it starts off with one of the best opening passages I've read in a while:

"Malcolm Witt died in his sleep at 11:07 PM. Four minutes later, his body rose and walked from the room. Malcolm watched it happen."

That really got me hooked for the next fifty some pages of this story. It's a prelude though, as after that passage the story jumps back in time to early in the night when Malcolm attends a restaurant with friends. Saul, a flamboyant medium--one of those John Edward types--"lenses" Malcolm's third eye as a way to help him discover the identity of the man with whom his ex-lover, Leo, cheated on him. The spell doesn't seem to work though, but when he returns home drunk and passes out, that's when he dies and witnesses his corpse rise up and go absolutely bananas. Well, not so much bananas, but cannibal holocaust on anyone within arm's reach.

While Malcolm has become a kind of ghost, his corpse has become a kind of zombie, but neither term is entirely accurate and as the story ramps up page after page, it's easy to see why. The story starts off very methodically, establishing the characters and setting the stage, but once things kick into high gear they don't let up, and Malcolm has hellish night to figure out what's happened to him, who's responsible, and how to stop his body from going after those closest to him.

After finally getting a chance to read "The Dunwoody's" work, I'm looking forward to seeing what else this guy has up his sleeve.

1 comment:

  1. Again - thank you for the awesome review. :) David's got a handful of new things coming up, not just from Belfire Press, but Library of Horror/Living Dead and Permuted Press as well.