Jeremy Robert Johnson ~ Skullcrack City

I first came to know of Jeremy Robert Johnson‘s work through the generous and encouraging daisy-chain of recommendations/collaborations/consanguine-writer’s blog-nexes which began for me with Chuck Pahlaniuk and continued through OCDevotional binge-readings of the work of Stephen Graham Jones and Carlton Mellick III, among others.

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a novel from JRJ, and this one’s well worth the wait: nothing short of the Childhood’s End Redux in newly wrought terms of genetic alteration-as-mass-media-phenomenon, corporate over-reach inevitably grasping all human interaction, shared consciousness (think Leopold Bloom’s internal monologue multiplied and delineated only by the voracious appetite of an anthropomorphic brain eater/assimilator).

This is a narrative so toxic and repellant that only the comic timing and smarm of a Stanley Kubrick could keep the horror escalating like perfectly calibrated injections of honey and cayenne in hot chicken wings. The later I read, the hotter it got. Like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the momentum, once engaged in speed-freak intensity, never relented, leaving me jonesin’ for more.

The occasional multi-voiced screaming voices in trapped enduced-psychotic cerebral entities (Lucia-worthy contrapuntal, not to presuppose operatically executed sextets+ make me wish for Skullcrack City to become Skullcrack Universe.

Long may it wave. Long may we read.




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