Friday, April 13, 2018

Horror List Book Review: The Bridge

I'm reading through three lists of best horror with two friends (DeAnna Knippling and M.B. Partlow), posting reviews as we go. (For more information, including a list of the books, see this post.)

This week I'm reviewing The Bridge, by Craig Spector and John Skipp. (I had said I'd be reviewing "Ghoul," by Brian Keene next, but I forgot I said that, and I picked this one up from the pile instead.)

I'm not new to splatterpunk, but I am new to eco-horror. Oddly, eco-horror is not my favorite sub-genre (I say oddly, because it's just a different type of apocalypse, and I enjoy those). However, I enjoy the way they wrote enough that being brow-beat about the environment (not that I disagree, but I tend to be turned off when it feels like I'm being preached to) couldn't put me off the book.

They had such a fantastic way with words that at times it was almost literary, but then the gross-out factor was high. The descriptions were disgusting and amusing, often at the same time. They elicited groans and "ew"s from me several times, which I love. It was quite a visceral experience.

The book was about toxic sludge pollution becoming sentient and wiping out a town. It takes over people and uses them to grotesque purpose. There were a lot of characters to keep track of, so though the good guys stood apart in my head and stayed separately identifiable, some of the bad guys blended together for me at times, because they're all being taken over, which means they're the Overmind, but maybe it's intentional that they blended together, though they retained their original names.

Despite the minor complaints above I liked this one enough that it's going in my top ten. Now to figure out where...

My Top Ten:

1. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
2. The Girl Next Door (Jack Ketchum)
3. The Bottoms (Joe R. Lansdale)
4. Coraline (Neil Gaiman)
5. The Bridge (John Skipp and Craig Spector)
6. A Choir of Ill Children (Tom Piccirilli)
7. Needful Things (Stephen King)
8. 1Q84 (Haruki Murakami)
9. Those Who Hunt the Night (Barbara Hambly)
10. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)

Okay, maybe next time it'll be "Ghoul," by Brian Keene.

Have you read any Skipp/Spector books? How about eco-horror? What do you think about it? What Skipp/Spector book would you recommend?

May you find your Muse.


Andrew Leon said...

I'm gonna be honest and admit that I'm never going to read that.

Priscilla Bettis said...

I haven't read any Skipp n Spector books, but thank you for this review. I do enjoy the horror genre, especially gothic horror and literary horror. Now I'm going to go check out your list of books link. Thank you!

cleemckenzie said...

I'm trying to wrap my head around that sentient toxic sludge.

Have you read Scythe? It's speculative dystrophia, and I'd rank it right up there with Handmaids Tale.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I'm not sure I've posted one you've expressed interest in, but now I can't remember.

Shannon Lawrence said...

This was the first Skipp n Spector book I'd read, though I'd intended to for a while.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I haven't, but need to check it out! Anything comparable to Handmaid's Tale is worth a look, thanks!