Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Laymon Month: Savage reviewed by Lincoln Crisler
I'm not the most well-versed Laymon fan (arguably a detriment to one pursuing a professional career in horror), but I have read enough to have a healthy respect for the man and his body of work. Absolutely, without question, I've read enough Laymon to buy more of his books, sight unseen, without so much as a friendly recommendation, until hopefully I've read them all at least once. More than any Laymon I've read, this attitude is shaped by Savage.
Savage, as described as simply as possible, is about a fifteen year-old boy who follows Jack the Ripper from the streets of Whitechapel, England to the dusty American southwest, first as a captive and later to bring the murderer to justice. To be more accurate, however, it's a long, involved story that's epic in the way King and Straub's Talisman is epic; for some of the vageme reasons, even. Trevor Bentley begins his story as a boy and finishes as a man, or close to it, and his journey takes him roughly halfway across the world. He is both hindered and assisted in his efforts by a diverse group of people, including a couple of lovers. And there is killing, of the exciting, shocking, brutal and heart-wrenching varieties.
Any writer would be lucky to write one book this good in his or her lifetime. Laymon managed to not only write something completely different from his typical book, but do it while including the splatter and sex a Laymon fan expects. I must say that no other Laymon book I've read, no matter how excellent, comes close to knocking Savage off its perch, or even sitting beside it. But, like I said before, I have a lot more Laymon to read, so I'm open to suggestions.
And if you've yet to read Savage yourself, you can fix that right now.
Lincoln Crisler's debut novella, WILD, was released in March from Damnation Books. He has also authored a pair of short story collections, Magick & Misery (2009, Black Bed Sheet) and Despairs & Delights (2008, Arctic Wolf). A United States Army combat veteran and non-commissioned officer, Lincoln lives in Augusta, Georgia with his wife and two of his three children. You can visit his website at www.lincolncrisler.info.