Review: The Woods Are Dark - Richard Laymon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is not a book to be read by people susceptible to gore, horror, necrophilia, cannibalism, pedophilia and other... things...
I read the restored and uncut version of the book. Most Landers chapters are missing from the previous edition and I can see why. They are disturbing as hell. Beware. You have been warned.
This book is relatively small, with only 215 pages and right from the first chapter you are inside the rollercoast that finish in the last page.
You've got two separated sets of characters that are captured and left as food to some strange human beings, probably the result of inbreeding. After leaving them there, one of the captors, turns back because he wants to save one of the girls he just left. This result in the bloody chaos this book is all about.
My opinion on issues inside this book...
There are some issues here as I said before that can shock some people. Cannibalism, necrophilia, pervated sex or rape are the "usually" issues in other gore books/films. But pedophilia, if you can call it that is not a situtation most writers are willing to write since it can really hurt an author images It's a sensative issue. (In no way I am saying that it's okay. Don't get me wrong. It exists in our society, therefore people should write an talk about it). Killing a person is wrong, right? As wrong as pedophila? Less or More? - But writers write about it and we accept the acts in the book... as fiction. When I read this book, everything is/was fiction right? So what's the problem? This is the same thing as racism, necrophilia and other sad things humankind is capable of doing. I don't condemn a writer who writes a racist character, and neither I will condemn a character that commits an arson, kills, pedophile and so on... because this is FICTION. I don't believe the writer himself wants to eat or fornicate a dead person, is a pedophilie or wants to mutilate someone. If that would be, most horror/thriller/fantasy/sf writers would be mass murderers, crazies, madmen that should be lock up in a sanitarium. If it was possible to remove all sensitive issues of our fiction -we should have only a handful of boring books avaiable to read. I think most people are too sensitive to read about racism or pedophilia, because, unfortunally, it exits in our society and shames us, but we "accept" more easily a murder. But in my book, each one is wrong.
Sorry for my ramblings... What I was trying to say is... It's fiction. Read as fiction, but beware of issues that upset you. You have been warned.
Some spoilers ahead:
There are some things in this novel I didn't enjoy. First of all, the ending, who was that old man? A bit deus-ex-machina in my book. The love between the captor and the victim, a bit over-do? Stockholm syndrome? I think that sex scene was a bit too much unreal.
The characters are almost blank with the exception of Sherri who comes out of the closet, Cordelia who must do anything to survive and his Landers who became a bit insane, quoting Shakespeare with a perverse attitute of killing, fvcking and some pedophilie urges.
I can see why Warner remove all Landers chapters.
"At this very moment, someone could be raping Ruth. I could the same to these, he thought. I could kill the grubby one. I could rape the pretty one, then kill her. It would serve them right. An eye for an eye. A rape for a rape." - "The tight hole that gripped his cock as he pushed roughly into her. God, it would be magnificient! Such stuff as dreams are made of. And he could do it, he really could." "God, to be able to take her in his arms, push his throbbing cock into her, watch the agony of pleasure twist her face!"
"She was young. Thirteen or fourteen. Her tanned shoulders were bared."I'm Lilly""
"What do they call you? he asked. "Lilly" - He touched her small breasts. "Buds and petals. Sweet nectar. Shall I spare you? Shall I take you to my palace?" Her hand slipped through the hanging hair, and touched him. "Perchance I shall." He put the hatchet away and lifted her. He kissed her breast.
END OF SPOILER
I think this book is quite good. A good gore novel that should be made into a movie. I advice to anyone who has read Laymon before. I won't advice to the fainthearted or people who are more suscetible to some issues I made references in the review.
View all my reviews