TWO CUTS OF BIZARRO HARDCORE HORROR from the macabre mind of the grim Reverend Rage. Two sordid tales of demons, revenge, botched suicide, organic narcotics, torture, halflings, freaks, vampires and a post-apocalyptic society coming apart at its seams. TWO trips to the dark side that’ll leave you reeling yet unable to look away. ‘DAMNATION BENEATH THE FROZEN APOCALYPSE’ we return to The Harbor and learn more about The Good Doctor (responsible for creating drugs and mutants) and his created servant, the scene-stealing hybrid man/chimp, Tugmunkee. This one was a bit of a chore to follow, but in the end Rage brings it all together. While some people in the bizarro community frown upon stories centered around drug use, this one works as the “tripping” scenes are just a side-note to the real weirdness. In ‘BLOOD AND BUBBLEGUM,’ we’re introduced to some seriously strange characters who are involved in an ever-growing organic narcotics trade, including protagonist Juan and a fecal-demon that lives in his rectum. This is by far the weirdest entry here, and features a fresh look at vampirism.
M O R B I D B O O K S . R E A D L I K E T H E D E V I L .
nobody is more brilliantly repulsive than rage
on September 7, 2010
reading steven rage is a little like being a mother who ran out of diapers even though you’re locked in a room with a baby who has been living on nothing but 5-alarm texas chili. sure, there are times when you want to puke, but you can’t help loving the baby anyway. yes, rage is still gruesome, sickening, twisted, gross, horrific, morose, profane, disgusting, morbid, blasphemous, shocking and repugnant. but these are not the only compliments i can bestow upon this promising new author. but we’ll get to that bit later. the 3 short stories that comprise this book are pure rage. the first and last story bring us back to that familiar setting, the harbor. these stories have all the requisite characters and elements that you would expect if you’ve read steven’s earlier work. there are vampire drug lords, addicts, whores, demons that crawl out of people’s rectums, perverted sex and all the dregs of society in the darkest of dark settings and situations. they are well crafted extensions of his earlier work, and there is even an effort to tie some of the stories together. visiting this setting again was a blast! he really did have something to add that was compelling and kept the pages turning as often as it kept your stomach turning. he even threw in a few surprises like an artificially created chimp-man and a sexy chicken or two. the first story relies a lot on the modern street venacular again, while remaining intelligent and creatively devised. the last two stories were not so dependant on modern slang, as the lead characters were not the sort of (shall we say) ‘sludge’ that would need to speak that way. this allows a more clear visage of rage’s ability to exhibit a writing prowess that is more accessible to a wider audience. the harbor stories do give rage fans a lot to be thankful for in expanding the previous stories with bizarre, twisted putridness. yet, my favorite story by far was the title story in this book. that is because rage steps away from the harbor and explores a new setting with a whole new disturbing set of circumstances. i truly believe that if rage continues to grow and expand and explore new horizons (especially in new settings), he can reach his full potential as a great writer. much as before, there is an intelligence to this dude’s work. his gift as a storyteller is being more finely honed in this work. the fact that he has spent time working in a hospital is apparent, and it comes through in his stories. i can honestly say this is my favorite of anything i have read from him thus far. he’s getting dangerously close to getting a 5-star review from me…..and that’s not easy to do when writing something that is so far removed from ‘ordinary literature’. so to sum up…..yes, this has all the disturbing, grotesque, alarming, horrible elements that you’d want to see in 3 strories by rage…it also has all the fine storytelling…..and he is growing and improving as a writer. i recommend this collection of stories, but i also recommend that you (metaphorically) stock up on diapers first. if he keeps expanding his horizons, he will be a supurb voice and visionary for our dark, backward, malevolent times…even if he remains the pessimistic, ignoble saint and demented sick ticket that we all know and love.
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