The Mushroom Man

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews
If you had a ton and a half of hallucinogenic mushrooms and the police were knocking on your door what would you do? Gerald Pembroke dumps them all down the farm well, inadvertently contaminating the village water supply. He's blissfully unaware of the damage he's done until the trip turns bad and all hell breaks loose resulting in death, carnage and buckets of blood. More

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  • Category: Fiction » Horror » General
  • Words: 103,230
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9781465856289
About John Vault

I'm an Englishman abroad in New Zealand, having moved here from the UK about four years ago. Writing for me has evolved from a means of escapism into something of an obsession. A subject that plays a major part in the content of many of my stories. Yes I'm pretty much infatuated with lunacy. It scares the hell out of me. It's all the unpredictability I think. My writing style is unorthodox and rarely sticks firmly to the genre for which it is presented, which is good because formulaic horror is like an 80's pop single. Same old, same old. I like to flip rapidly between gory horror and farcical comedy. I think that this kind of contrast amplifies the effects of both. It certainly affects me that way. I saw a film once, a long time ago, called 'The old dark house'. It was basically horror comedy but it was done so well that it just creeped me out for months! Another of my favourites (for all the wrong reasons) is 'Eraser head'. The atmosphere in this movie just blew me away. I've been criticised in the past for rampant use of expletives in character dialogue but I don't care. The characters that I write about actually live for me. I get to know them like friends and all my friends swear like troopers!
I consider myself a normal man, having a wife, children and several household pets, but I have a real dark side and the best way to appease it is to write horror stories. I don't like stuff where the hero always wins out because justice has no place in horror either. Sometimes the hero and the villain are the same character. Sometimes the villains win and the heroes meet with ghastly deaths. When you see the villain/monster die in flames at the end of a movie, it's over. Why not let it live and enjoy the possibility that it just may turn up at your bedroom window in the middle of the night? Isn't that sooo much sexier?
If you want to get in touch please feel free to do so. But no stalkers please. I'm fully booked in that department until somewhere around January 2025! I can be reached via my e-publisher at: - please put 'FAO John Vault' in the subject header and I'll get it.

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Stephen Gawtry reviewed on on March 9, 2012

In The Mushroom Man, Vault, the new master of the macabre, has taken a contemporary English village and let all hell break loose through an hilarious, shocking and believably-mad chain of events. The owner of a struggling mushroom farm is being forced by the supermarkets to lower his prices till he can barely survive. As he searches desperately for a way through, he discovers his attention-seeking wife is shagging all the local young studs and one of his trusted employees is growing hallucinogenic mushrooms right under his nose. He is about to throw the employee out on his ear, along with his mushrooms, when he finds out the ludicrous profit to be made from them. As a temporary measure to help him out of the financial mess he's in, he turns the the whole farm over to the production of Liberty Cap mushrooms and for the first time in years, starts to make serious money. However, the local drug barons don't take too kindly to someone taking their trade and before long they come in pursuit, swiftly followed by the local police who are monitoring them. In a drunken panic, the owner deposits the entire crop of mushrooms down the old farm well. Unbeknown to him, this is not only linked to the local water supply, but feeds into the local holy well from which the village's famous mineral water is bottled and sold. As no-one really knows what is happening and most of the population are out of their heads, paranoia, visions of the local saint, and all manner of horror and tragedy ensue. Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does. Vault has an uncanny eye for the absurd and the dysfunctions of the human condition just bubbling away under the surface waiting for release. The result is a localised apocalypse, an all-out war that has not been seen on English soil for centuries, but is sadly believable even in modern times. I am trying desperately to not give too much away and spoil the tale, but I want to get across the sheer force and drive of the narrative and the unstoppable holocaust that Vault has unleashed. More than his previous works, The Mushroom Man screams out to be made into a film - and what a film it will make! A visual feast of British horror at its best, with an extraordinary cast of ordinary dysfunctional characters released from their fetters to give full range to their derranged thoughts on a blood-splattered village green - village life will never be the same again. I suspect the censors will have to create a new category for this, but I for one will be first in line for a ticket! - Stephen Gawtry
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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