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Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Total Garbage...

Total Garbage
A Review of The Garbage Man by Joseph D’Lacey.
Andy Remic, December 2008.

I’ve been reading The Garbage Man by Joseph D’Lacey over the last few weeks, and it’s cool to see a resurgence of horror with writers like D’Lacey and Bill Hussey taking centre stage. These guys have also got a cool horror website up and running - Horror Reanimated - which has recently become a must-need read for me. Check out

Anyway, onto the book. The Garbage Man is a subtly skewed twist on reality in which D’Lacey plumbs a much underused minefield of original ideas and esoteric plot strands. The Garbage Man builds slowly empowering the reader with empathy for a plethora of interesting characters and their sometimes petty lives – all except Mason Brand, who for me was the star of the show, an intricate character brilliantly portrayed, with hidden depths and a host of unpredictable surprises woven into his weird hippy-extremes. Despite delicate sensibilities, however, Brand shows a very dark shadow of his twisted soul, and without wanting to give too much away, his nurturing and misplaced love goes horribly wrong, all controlled in a masterful way by D’Lacey.

The Garbage Man is a testament to trash, a carnival of crap, a festival of faecal matter! and when the (literal) shit hits the fan, the novel explodes more violently than dynamite in a sewage plant. D’Lacey’s creatures are original, inventive and unique, and filled with a turgid shit-filled menace that makes one want to shit his (or her) panties. Rarely have I read such an original twist on the monster genre, and this book begs to have a sequel!!

The writing is tight, polished, and flows well for the reader. Descriptions are intelligent, environments well-realised, and the plot builds to a satisfying climax. Negatives? A bit of a slow start for me, but then I’m a self-confessed alcohol junkie with the attention span of a goldfish (on junk). This element will no doubt appeal to Steven King fans, as there is so much good characterisation which leads the reader by the hand, then breaks his arm with a grin.

The ending is full of surprises, and caught me out. Lurking in the end scenes is a brilliant spark of originality which I am shamelessly going to plagiarise at every opportunity. Overall, then, The Garbage Man is intelligently written, with good characters, a strong plot, and that oh-so-rare element of originality lacking in much of today’s contemporary fiction.

The Garbage Man by Joseph D’Lacey. Hey... it’s garbage, man. Total garbage!! In a good way. Highly recommended :-)