‘Urban Gothic’ a freak show for horror fans

  “Shit happens,” Javier grumbled from the backseat.
  And in Brian Keene’s “Urban Gothic,” Javier and his friends find the saying all too true.
  The teenager and his five friends seek shelter in a creepy old house after their car breaks down in a dangerous inner-city neighborhood. But once they enter, they soon realize getting out will be much more difficult.
  The house they thought was abandoned actually is home to a family of mutants more numerous than the kids can imagine, and the freaks make their presence known immediately — with extreme violence.
  Just pages into the book, the teens already recognize they are in a fight for their lives as the deformed freaks begin attacking. They know they have to fight back.
  Kerri swung the club in a wide arc and buried the nail in the dwarf’s eye.
  It shrieked, a rough, gurgling noise, and spun around so quickly that the weapon was wrenched from Kerri’s hands. The dwarf scuttled backward. The length of wood dangled from its face; the tip dragged across the floor. The thing tottered back and forth, swaying, then lurched forward, glaring at Kerri with its remaining eye. It tripped over Brett’s outstretched feet and fell face-first onto the floor. It lay there, jerking spasmodically. Its bowels and bladder erupted, spraying the floor and Brett with foul, yellow feces the consistency of vegetable soup.
  Kerri reached down, grabbed a fistful of the dwarf’s greasy hair, and jerked its head up. Then she wrenched the club free. The pulped eyeball came with it, dangling on the edge of the nail like a squashed, oversized grape. A strand of tissue stretched like taffy from the empty eye socket. Kerri twisted the weapon in her hands and the ropy gristle snapped. Cringing, Kerri shook the club until the eyeball fell off. It landed in a puddle of feces and blood.

  Keene obviously doesn’t skimp on the gore in his latest tale of horror. He keeps the action moving and the blood flowing in this tale that blends fright and humor commonly found in horror movies.
  Fans of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” will be reminded of Leatherface as Keene’s creatures crawl out of the cellar. And those who have seen “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2” will recall the macabre humor that came with that movie’s dialogue and cringe-worthy gore.
  Readers who love a good freak show won’t be disappointed with “Urban Gothic.” It’s disturbingly entertaining and will have horror fans coming to Keene for more.

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