on June 4, 2011 :
A quick review this one, but once again I find myself filled with words of praise for Ian Woodhead's work. This short story was a cracking read, thoroughly original, with some nicely depicted characters -- and I really wasn't expecting that ending. Great stuff!
(review of free book)
on Jan. 3, 2011 :
This is the second story of Ian Woodhead that I've been exposed to, his first being Spore. I'm beginning to notice a certain influence of H.P Lovecraft in Woodhead's style of horror. But don't take that to mean that Woodhead strives to write in the classic style that many Lovecraftian writers attempt. No, Ian Woodhead is definitely a modern-day, self-made writer with creativity that of his own. I make the Lovecraft connection because both stories I've read of his illustrate eerie realities brought on by mysterious, vile invaders such as sickly, contagious fungus or, in this case, mysterious lumps that creep and crawl along surfaces.
The only thing I'll reveal about the plot of Lumps is the fact that a boy notices the family home to be under attack by mysterious lumps. But no one in the family will believe the boy's account of these. The story soon took on an element of mystery for me as I wondered what these lumps were. Was the boy simply having ocular migraines? Did he have a brain injury that caused visual distortions? Or were these supernatural invaders that could only be detected by the eyes of a young person?
I liked Woodhead's play on psychedelic influence midway in the story. At some point, an entire room had become violently under attack by these lumps as they made geometric shapes along the walls. The boy suspected that perhaps his older sister had put hallucinogenic drugs in his food, and simply waited for the effects of those supposed drugs to wear off.
But all of this is only half of the terror. Just wait, that's all I can say! Oh, and "Wow..."
As an American reader, I also find I have a fascination with Woodhead's subtle revealing of British culture. He doesn't do this intentionally, of course. Ian is only writing from a place and culture that he is part of. But I paid close attention to characters that exclaimed catch phrases identifiably as British. At some point, an untalented, amateur comedian appeared on some TV show. I could actually see the show and shenanigans on the TV and could actually imagine a family home in the U.K watching it. And the main character enjoyed some interesting meals that I've never even imagined.
I give the story 5 stars! I hope that the author continues to dream up this style of horror and give us more!
(review of free book)