Review: The Summer Job by Adam Cesare(Samhain Publishing; 2014)

25 Feb

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The Summer Job

This was a fun and pulpy book that reminded me of both Richard Laymon and Charles Burns’s Black Hole. While not as intricate as Black Hole nor as fetishistic as Laymon’s work, it was still an enjoyable little romp to the dark side of hidden secrets in small towns.

I will not spoil the ending here, but I was a bit surprised by Tobin’s behavior during the finale. Allison’s clothes (and Davey’s other followers’) at the end is the inspiration for the cover. The image of her toothless smile with the crown of thorns digging into her forehead as she wears the billowy gown is not one I’ll soon forget. The scene with Daisy and the burned priest was also a stomach-churning one.

While I enjoyed this one, it didn’t quite come to life as potently as The First One You Expect. I would list that one among my top ten horror stories. With this one, though, Cesare proves that he can craft an even more ambitious horror novel in terms of structure, tension, and grotesque imagery–a difficult balance to achieve which he manages to do as he keeps the surprises coming right up until the end. Still, I often found myself longing for the surreal and poetic aspect of Black Hole–although, in truth, it may not have been an inspiration for The Summer Job at all.

Still, that being said: I look forward to reading many more works from Cesare but do hope he pushes the envelope a bit more in terms of shocks and style. He’s already mastered the craftsmanship aspect like a master.
Check out The Summer Job here.

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