Friday, September 26, 2008

The Conqueror Worms

I love discovering a new author, at least one that is new to me, Brian Keene, a well known name in the horror world was just that. Being a two-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award for “Jobs in Hell.” in 2001, and again in 2003 for his well received zombie tale “The Rising.” Then a 2004 Shocker Award (Non-Fiction) for “Sympathy For the Devil.” His list of works is staggering. I’m going to stop here for a long second and go into my consulting mode and do some arithmetic, 15 novels, 10 short story collections, 3 non fiction collections, 140 Novellas, Novelettes and Short Stories, and the list goes on...I think you get the idea, a massive amount of work.

His background or at least his occupations before becoming a full time writer gives him plenty of first hand accounts of characters to dip in and pull from his stories.

His novel “The Conqueror Worms,” takes place in West Virginia. Interestingly most of his novels are about that region of the country. Born in 1967 and growing up in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia, it’s not surprising this is the hunting ground for his horror. 

The rain won’t stop, I mean it goes on forever. Keene introduces us to a world of large things that crawl in the mud coming to the surface only to feed and terrorize us. This West Virginia story of two old timers attacked by monstrous earthworms is very descriptive. The story is told through the first hand account of Teddy Garnett and his friend Carl Seaton as they struggle to live each day. They are joined by survivors from a helicopter crash, and this small band meet the monster of all monsters, worms that rise from beneath their house destroying it and taking lives. Creative concept, next time it rains you will look at earthworms differently. You might want to think twice before squashing one of those juicy night crawlers just in case its mother shows up. 

Norman Applegate

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