Wildest Dreams: A Horror Novel

Norman Partridge, Author, Gail Cross, Illustrator Subterranean Press $40 (240p) ISBN 978-1-892284-00-6
Clay Saunders is a hired killer who sees ghosts. The realm of the dead touches him more deeply than the equally pained world of the living, which he finds inhabited by people with little humanity. The latest victim of his K-bar knife is Diabolos Whistler, a satanic cult leader who makes Aleister Crowley look like Santa Claus. But Circe, Whistler's tattooed and seductive media-savvy daughter who seeks to replace him, and her colorful band of nasties make Whistler seem benign in comparison. Impelled by an immediate need to save his own skin as well as a compulsion to somehow save a little girl ghost, Saunders tangles with dead spirits and the death-deserving living. Vivid writing, lightning pace and true originality make this novel a genuine page-turner, but an unrelenting and disturbingly amoral one. Partridge creates a world where the most sympathetic character is a ghost and the hero's only redeeming aspect is his attachment to that ghost. Best known for the darkly humorous gonzo noir mass-market Jack Baddalach novels (Ten-Ounce Siesta, etc.), Patridge here denies the reader both irony and empathy. Saunders kills the innocent as well as the guilty with little regret and is never provided with sufficient motivation, however warped, to do so. In this realm where the negative is the norm, the reader feels at sea, without even the life saver of an examination of the iconic outsider to hold on to. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1998
Release date: 09/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
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