Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Slasher Fic

In the afterword to the ebook Trapped, by Jack Kilborn, the author explains why the ebook contains two versions of the novel.  He wrote one and his editors asked for some revisions, because it was too violent.  He wrote the second, but refused to make further revisions, so it sat unpublished till it came out in this form.  He requests that reviewers please rate the version they prefer, rather than averaging the two for a rating and thereby "punishing" him for including two versions.

Jack, honey, I'll be happy to.

This is a slasher movie of a novel, all gore and guts and cannibals and torture.  It's not just that it's violent--I've read some violent stuff.  It's that it's so purposefully violent.  It feels very much like the only thought that went into this story was "how can I be gorier; what would be the most horrifying thing that could happen to this person?"

It's pretty poorly written, although I don't entirely hold that against the author; there's a strong sense that this is a first draft (second, actually; I'm reading the LESS violent revision).  There are typos, a lot of exposition is thrust into the middle of the action in a clunky way, a lot of the character histories read like the author hadn't really figured out which details were important and which weren't.  All these I can let slide, mostly because I wasn't expecting much when I picked this up.

But there are some serious, major plot holes in the surprise twist that I really don't think, at this point, are going to be sewn up.  Things like: nobody noticed those campers never came back?  Really?  No insurance because you missed a Medicare payment?  Is that how it works?

I'm skimming almost all the back story, and almost all the tension-mounting moments in the dark woods, and almost all the really violent scenes--well, the whole book really.  There are some good moments about planning and logistics, but oh my word, the do-gooder's heroic thoughts and the inner city slang of the troubled youths being chased through the woods--it's a parody of itself.  It's the novelization of Really Freaking Scary Movie, with Gore

It's almost high art.

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