One of the authors most affected by the domestic turndown in the horror market in the 1990s is Laymon, who published many novels, mostly mass market, here in the '80s. He remains popular in the U.K. and Australia, with new books appearing there regularly, but his fiction has for the most part gone out of print in the U.S. So kudos to Cemetery Dance for bringing his new novel, a sequel to The Cellar and The Beast House, to American readers. It's classic Laymon, which means that it's full of titillating sex and violence aimed at the teenager in us all, but also that it's constructed in stripped-down prose that spits across the page and is rife with strong characters traced in deft strokes. Laymon expertly seeds the backstory--of the notorious house in a small California town, site of numerous savagings by an unknown species of sexually ravenous, humanoid ""beasts""--throughout the narrative, which follows the liaisons and perils of a woman raped decades ago by a beast, and of several guides and tourists around the house, now a tourist attraction. A copulating couple is buried alive; Peeping Toms spy on three bathing beauties; a woman is raped, then handcuffed in a cellar tunnel--and so on in Laymon's lurid tale, which speeds steadily toward a bloody climax, the eponymous tour of the Beast House, and a merciless conclusion. It's a nightmare ride but plenty of fun for those who like their horror no-frills and nasty. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/1998 Release date: 08/01/1998 Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 596 pages - 978-0-8439-5753-2
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