Title: Out of the Woods
Author: William D Carl
Publisher: Post Mortem Press
Date Published: 2015
Category: horror, Lovecraftian, gore,
This is a fast-paced Lovecraftian horror story. I breezed through it in two sittings. The book is heavy on action and gore and has a little psychological horror thrown in. The story line is simple and includes some familiar horror tropes: an abandoned mental institution with dangerous patients and inbred backwoods cultist freaks. I found the book a fresh take on these commonly used tropes.
I did not like or identify with the main character. I found him obnoxious and did not like the way he called the patients derogatory names. I also found it hard to believe that he wanted to get famous by writing a book about a patient case. I might be biased since I work in mental health. Also, the book was set in the 1980’s and things were probably a little different then. As the story went on, the main character became more tolerable, probably because he was just reacting to the bad guys instead of talking about himself.
The characters are about as fleshed out as characters in an 80’s horror flick, and with the pacing of the book I could picture it as an eighties flick. Towards the end of the story there was a copious amount of gore. I wasn’t overly attached to any of the characters, so I didn’t mind when they died.
I wanted to touch on the Lovecraftian elements of the story. The characters talk about Lovecraft in the book, discussing how the cultists worshiped the Old Ones and this sounded like something out of a Lovecraft story. Lovecraft is described as a recluse who believed in the monsters he wrote about. I’m not sure if the character or the author was misinformed, but I want to mention these are common misunderstandings about HP Lovecraft! Lovecraft was actually quite social and did not believe in the creatures that he created. He wrote to pen pals prolifically and did much traveling in his later years. He was also a self-proclaimed agnostic/atheist, and did not believe in the creatures that he created.
Overall, this book was enjoyable light read and I would recommend it to horror fans looking for some good summer reading!