on 29 December 2011
Wet Work has a stately, elegiac grace to it. There is such deep, soulful writing, on the order of indeed the songs of Billy Holiday, as Nutman includes in the tapestry, festooned in this place. With gore and blood given a kind of beauty.
The bitter fruit is had by us all really, as we have the need to cling to somebody who will get us out of this mess, and that would be Corvino, the walking dead who can think, is still a vestige of a person. It's fascinating to read the resurrection of the zombie mind, how it rebuilds itself and stops deconstructing in certain places and holds still.
I think we have always wondered what happened if we could not age or could not die, if the body said wait, the pineal gland said no, and the body repelled the radical elements to destroy it. But what if this happened after you're dead and you can't help but be brought to life again. What would that be like? Nutman goes a long way in telling us. `
I think, above the great storytelling, the almost nostalgic splatterpunk passages, the bravura descriptions and characters, and that ability to tread the line between life and death in an almost Matheson/Romero like way, but in the author's own style, own world, is cause for celebration.
There is a melancholy conscience here. It's not a violence for violence sake novel. Some of it is funny. All of it is gripping. But it has this late Saturday afternoon feel to it, like in Autumn, the sun going down early on, in the field of dead grass through which a child runs fast to home.
With that thought in his head, maybe, home is not there any longer, but dead, and he only left alive. But that's wrong, Wet Work said the child running home is dead too. It is one of the most profoundly moving novels I have ever had. You think, somehow, the writer will pull us out of this.
But it can not happen. It's too late. I think it is a story of deep thoughts and tears. And because we need to come to grips with all of this, we can only if we accept their cannibalism. And we do. Because of the things in this country that have happened, as they have, we now see proof positive, that he's right.
We will eventually sooner or later accept with zombie non-thought, anything about somebody if we depend on them in some way, no matter how stupid and cruel they turned out to be, who justify anything and in that high executive office, cannibalism is church doctrine, for after a while, you forget, you get used to, and you are them.
There is early on tender lovemaking, and then in gradations, the brutality beyond words. We're tied inside our bodies. The brain sits there like a huge gray wad of wrinkled chewing gum. In this ugly looking thing, is the greatest creation possibly there is, and it blithely lets itself be leisurely destroyed while figuring out constellations.
This is a novel of the ultimate terror. Ourselves. The language is lovely and places seem so real so touchable. And we think, as this novel slides us into an apocalyptic snake pit, we still have the ability to conjure and to dream, dragged down to the vestiges of the lowest of the geek sideshow. As the cities of people are wrapped in the shrouds of everyone in the world as we face that final shadow where we close our eyes forever, and then eyes open, wake up.
So here still and not us any longer. So many writers of horror traffic in degradation and extreme violence and don't understand that this is a living thing gone dead and come back in a mockery, a monstrous meat puppet Punch and Judy show, and leave it at that.
But some writers are eloquent and see so much, I can't imagine reading this novel without thinking how vulnerable, and how subject to anything in any moment now horrible, we are, that it makes you want to hold everybody in the world because you know what is ahead for them, and try not to think what is ahead for you and the persons you love. And now back to the show.