The Art of Horrible People
by John Skipp
Lazy Fascist Press, 2015
176 pages / $12.95 Buy from Amazon
John Skipp’s The Art of Horrible People functions as an anti-pretension manifesto. The snobs in his stories, be they from Hollywood or the art scene, are savaged brutally in his bare-bones prose. These are plot-driven, blood-drenched stories where women pack heat, Eldritch worms run the film business, and everyone is clambering to make sacrifices to The Devil. True, there are some more philosophical moments, as in “Worm Central Tonite!” as our worm narrator contemplates human existence as he feeds on optical nerves, but Skipp seems far more focused on depicting new kills and premises each more gory than the last over more substantive commentary. As much as I love smart, deconstructive horror and reading fiction experimenting with innovative forms, it’s refreshing to read a throwback to a bygone splatterpunk era like The Art of Horrible People. It may not be performing any literary acrobatics,but nihilistic gore can be just as satisfying at times.
There’s only a week left until Halloween! In addition to the #VERYSCARY series, we’ll be featuring some capsule reviews this week of some of the spookier books that have come out this year to get you prepped for the best day of the year.