Monday, February 27, 2012

ZAM Book Review: The Hunting Season

I'm back!  I did not die: I survived Valentine's Day.  I have been reading The Philosophy of Horror: Paradoxes of the Heart by Noel Carroll.  It's very good but also very academic.  I have been having nightmares about being in college and the final is coming up and I have skipped class all semester.  Or, I have a week to write my thesis and I haven't even started research.  I tell you, I will take a good old fashioned Zombie nightmare over one of these any day.  So I had to give myself a break and read something mindless, with less big words, so I picked up The Hunting Season by John Coyne.  Carroll mentions The Hunting Season briefly in his book.  What caught my eye was the phrase "inbred mountain people."  As loyal readers may know, I have a weak spot for inbred mountain people.  Specifically, inbred hillbilly cannibals, but I will take any variety. 

The Hunting Season does not disappoint.  Inbred mountain people are all over "Mad River Mountain", the community in the Catskills in which this action takes place.   April Benard is an Anthropologist who has decided to study the inbred hill people of Mad River Mountain.  With her new husband Marshall, April purchases a house in Mad River to be close to her subjects.  Along for the ride is April's son Timmy, from a previous marriage, and her 15 year old stepdaughter.  Helping the family adjust is "lusty Luke," the handyman for the property and relative of the hill people. 

Things start off bad and get a whole lot worse for April and her family, especially when Marshall decides to go bat shit crazy and dwarfs start breaking in to the house.  The inbreds, while not of the cannibalistic variety, are definitely of the raping/killing variety. 

The Hunting Season has some good gore and is very suspenseful, especially near the end.  I was conflicted reading this because I really hated April Benard and her family.  April is a stuck up bitch and I have no sympathy for her.  She may also be the worst Anthropologist in the history of Anthropologists.  Marshall is a hot headed dick who is really too stupid to be the Lawyer that he supposedly is.  The kids are brats.  I was really rooting for the inbreds, although they are truly evil, disturbing creations.  Coyne is a decent writer, although my research (Google) indicates that he has given up horror and now writes exclusively about golf.  He has a couple of other horror novels floating around out there which I will pick up.  Although he is no King or Ketchum, he does spin a good, disturbing yarn. 

1 comment:

Cellar Door said...

If you like inbred mountain people, you might also like Alex Bledsoe's, "The Hum and the Shiver." It's really not horror, but it is very interesting and an excellent read- and it's about a particular type of inbred mountain people in the hills of Tennessee.