Thursday, June 5, 2008


Although I’ve long been familiar with the name of horror author Gary Brandner, Rot is the first thing I’ve read by him. Brandner is the author of the horror classic The Howling, which I should have read but haven’t, which spawned a good movie and many bad sequels.

Rot is the story of Kyle Brubaker, a California kid who goes to rural Wisconsin to help run his ailing uncle’s farm. A potential romance with his cousin’s fiancé ends abruptly when the Kyle and the girl are attacked by three local thugs. In the aftermath of the incident, the girl dies. Fortunately, there’s a Gypsy at the scene who owes Kyle a favor. The young lady is re-animated, and the rest of the story is about her revenge on the rapists, and Kyle’s efforts to distance himself from the vicious and disintegrating walking corpse.

The chief flaw of the book is its predictability. Take a little Pet Sematary, add a little Thinner, and you have Rot. Horror readers can pretty much see where the story is going. Still, it was well written and enjoyable. Working in its favor is its brevity (sans illustrations, it would be about 150 pages), which means it gets right to the punch. The cover is by Vince Natale, while interior illustrations are by Keith Minnion.

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