Inside the Works

Inside the Works

by Tom Piccirilli

Editorial Reviews

A Guran
One of my tenets is that horror has a variety that appeals to practically anyone from the mildest of romantic suspense to the intentionally offensive extreme. If your tastes are for extreme, you will certainly get your money's worth from the soon-to-be released Inside the Works from Necro Publications. Inside the Works is a "three-way" collection from Tom Piccirilli, Gerard Daniel Houarner, and Edward Lee.

Lee is certainly the undisputed Emperor of the Extreme and The Pig, is his grossest offering to date. Like most of his work in this arena, The Pig is not without humor and vivid, if vile, characterization. Lee's skills as a writer and his ability to dream up depravities move everything along -- as long as you can stomach it. His dispassionately disgusting look at the "Adult Video Industry" even has an underlying morality of sorts. He rolls out the raunch in ways too numerous to catalog, although bestiality, violence, snuff, fungus, vomit, stigmata, and various perversions combine with an overall motif of consumption to execute a story that epitomizes the height (or depth) of the extreme.

Piccirelli's offerings, five short stories and a novella, are dexterously written tales of overindulgence in sadism, incest, and turpitude. There's no socially redeeming qualities or investigation of values in these stories. They shock with excess and reveal no reason or insight into the characters' motivations. Like a painter working with different styles and models, he provides intense pictures of malignant evil with no humor to lighten his canvas -- hardcore stuff spiked straight to the vein.

Houarner's take is one of claustrophobic decadence. His Truth or Consequences in the Heart of Destruction further explores a world he introduced in a trilogy of stories in his collection Painfreak that center on a character named Max. Having been previously exposed to Max, it's hard for me to judge how effective the story reads without the background -- although I suspect it still works. Houarner structures the story almost like a play, it's action all occurring in one location and impelled by dialogue. His less confrontationally extreme and more introspective approach works far better for me than the other two authors', but I wonder if it will please aficionados of the excessive. (Back

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