The Horror Writer

Jerry Jay Carroll. Swaggering Press, $11 trade paper (278p) ISBN 978-0-9898269-5-2
Carroll (Inhuman Beings) tries and fails to use world-weary humor to save this overly long novel about Thom Hearn, a hack writer who is mistakenly invited to attend a conference for the best and the brightest in science, academia, business, and the arts. The resort where it all takes place is literally too good to be true, at least until people start disappearing and things generally begin to come apart at the seams. Hearn’s sanity starts to slip as he encounters characters from his novels who have come to life, including a psychotic killer with an axe to grind. Eventually it’s revealed who is actually running the conference, but the buildup takes so long that, when one character prods Hearn with “You’re coming to the point,” he might easily be speaking for the reader. The conclusion centers on a muddled discussion of God, humanity, fate, and aliens, something like what one might encounter in a late-night dorm-room conversation fueled by drugs. It’s fun while it lasts, but there’s not much to take away the following morning. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 11/13/2017
Release date: 03/01/2017
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