November 29, 2012

Brian Keene - Last Call For Questions

Hey folks, now that internet has been restored in my city - was out for almost two full days - I wanted to give you all a friendly reminder that tonight at about 8PM EST I'll be kicking things off with Brian Keene on Twitter.  This is my first attempt to interview anyone via Twitter and I'm really looking forward to it as I've had the pleasure of chatting with Brian on a few occasions and's it's always a blast..

Remember, if you've ever wanted to ask master of horror writer like Brian Keene a question, write it down below in the comments section, and it could become a part of the interview tonight.

Look out for the entire interview to be posted here very soon.  In the meant time, I offer you a review of The Conqueror Worms, which I wrote when the novel first came out in 2006.  See you all on the other side.


So what do you do when it begins to rain and never stops? What do you do when you watch the floods come while the Earth is ravaged with the most catastrophic storms in human history?

You watch the world become blackened in a global power outage. Cities and entire countries are overtaken by a new wrath unlike anything even the heartiest of pessimists could have imagined. You lose touch with the media and information beyond your own backyard stops, leaving you alone to wonder if you are the last person left alive on the planet.

What do you do when the only solace you have is to find some shelter, some dry earth in which to wait things out, only to find that it’s what’s beneath that earth that holds the biggest terror of all?

In Brian Keene’s world of The Conqueror Worms nowhere is safe and everything is left to chance. The only hope remaining is how its cast of characters deal with the apocalyptic horror they’ve been dealt. This is arguably the best book Keene has put out since the last one. Seriously, it seems that as Brian Keene matures as an individual, so too does he mature as a writer. Not to take anything away from Brian’s previous novels, but in “Worms”, he truly goes the extra mile to stretch the boundaries of our perspectives towards the human condition that challenges us all. It’s with this matured perspective that reflects through his cast of characters. Sure, none of us are quite as challenged as Teddy and the rest of the people in TCW, but I think many of us will be able to relate to these believable characters to certain extent as we relate their tribulations to some of the ones that we’ve been faced with throughout our lives.

It’s evident that Brian is not a writer who chooses to slip into a comfortable zone of spinning out “safe” stories that we as readers have come to expect from him. Sure, we all demand the same element of intensity and terror that we have come to love from this author but with “Worms”, it’s clear that Brian’s craft is evolving at a breakneck capacity and this particular reviewer couldn’t be more thrilled at the prospect

Brian doesn’t waste a single word, description or bit of dialogue on any page here. He makes everything count with expert ability that will have you gripping the arm of your favourate reading chair one minute, and drawn to fear and sympathy on behalf of Teddy and his companions the next. I even found myself laughing out loud on more than a few occasions. Not a single chord of emotion is left untapped.

It all starts off in the hands of Teddy Garnett, an elderly southern man in his eighties and the narrator of this story. We are drawn into Teddy’s mind from the first page and fast become as entwined in the story as possible without getting wet and dirty ourselves.

What begins with the odd discovery of worms piled thick in Teddy’s West Virginian carport soon escalates into pure hell as the flood waters only prove to be window dressing for worse things to come. A squirming mass of worms is one thing, but worms as big as cows? And what of the things that lurk in the sea? And the strangeness doesn't stop there. When Teddy’s best friend catches up with him they wonder if they are the mountain’s sole survivors. Searching for others, they only find their crazy, conspiracy theorist neighbour, Earl, who runs them off his property and almost ends their lives with a shotgun. And when a chopper is shot down from the sky, they meet their new friends and discover just how insane their world has gotten as stories are told of monstrous evil that was only suppose to have lived in the land of lore. With the fate of the world in the palm of an unknown, unseen, and unforgiving force, anything can happen and in the case of TCW, it often does.

Is this the end of the world or something far worse? You’ll have to read the book to find out although one thing is for certain: This book will have your skin crawling and your mind racing for answers right up until you turn that last page. You’ll never look upon the ground after a rain storm the same way again once you’ve experienced the world of The Conqueror Worms.

You can still snag a copy of this and other Keene books HERE.  See you on the other side, folks.