Ginger Nuts of Horror
Here I am once more in the world of horror comedy. It's a place I hadn't expected to be in so soon after the travesty that was Joe Pasquale's collection of short stories, which were about as funny as catching the clap, or as scary as a cotton wool ball unless you're like my mate who has an irrational fear of cotton wool. Either way, that book was so bad I had sworn off reading anything else that tried to be remotely funny.
And yet here I am having just finished reading Demon Thingy by Jonathan Butcher and Matthew Cash writing a review for another book that tries to mix horror and comedy. I'll be honest it's not a sub-genre of horror that is easy to get right, there are far too many potholes that the authors can fall into, not everyone finds the same things funny, hence why shows like Friends are mysteriously hugely popular, and if you don't get the horror right then the book just feels wrong.
In Demon Thingy, there are power struggles galore, between Mrs Roberts and the secret coven of black magic practitioners that she is a member of, between her and her husband, her husband and an arse shared demon. Then there is the power struggle between her and a mysterious group of Russian soldiers of God, the struggle between Seamus and the demon that did something very nasty to him a few years, and the struggle that Mrs Roberts faces for getting her knickers off and her rocks on, while trapped in the middle of all this is a pair of hapless conmen/drug dealers. Who wants nothing more than never being spunked on again. Sounds like highbrow stuff doesn't it? Quite why these two authors decided to even attempt this beyond me.
But I am sure as hell glad they did, for Demon Thingy is a riotously funny book. I know it is a cliche, but this book will have you laughing out loud on numerous occasions. From the brilliant magical system where pseudo-latin phrases interspersed with random English phrases such as Expellio flange-Kopf, disabled parking zone. May sound at first to be utterly stupid, but with the universe of this book they make perfect sense and more importantly as the joke is played out they become increasingly funny and have you looking forward to next Potter Piss take.
Terry Pratchett had Granny Weatherwax, Butcher and cash have Mrs Roberts, a filthy horny old woman who will shag anything and anybody. And I mean anything, just thinking about her right now sends a shiver down my spine, and not in a good way. I don't think I will ever get the image of her granny bits out of my head.
Mrs Roberts is one of my favourite characters in recent times. She is dirty, dangerous and driven, and devilishly funny. On her own she is hilarious, but when she interacts with her husband who is so creepy he makes Albert Steptoe seem like a first class gent, she becomes one of the funniest characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
Propping up the small cast of characters are a motley crew of coven members, while they don't have much to do with this story their little incursions into the ploy are fantastic. My favourite one is when they have a meeting outside of their usual place and how one of them explains why wearing his robes their still constitutes being incognito. It's a simple joke, but it has perfect comedic timing.
Then we have Seamus an ageing wizard with a rather peculiar set of problems, which won't be elaborated on here, it's better if you find out that for yourselves. Suffice to say you will never look at roast potatoes in quite the same way ever again.
I don't think you could find a more hopeless and worthless pair of conmen if you held an open submission call than Jackoby and Clark. Imagine Wile Coyote with mange and a limp, or Pinky and the Brain where the Brain was replaced with an even thicker Pinky. That's just how pathetic they are, and yet despite all this, you can't help but feel sorry the hapless pair.
Finally, we have Alexander Edward and Gustav, the "heroes" of the book. Oddly they are the least likeable characters. Whether or not that was a deliberate move on the authors part or if they just felt a little bit out of place in this comedy novel I don't know. They are the source of my complaint with the book; their backstory is a little bit jarring with the tone of the rest of the book.
Of course, let's not forget the demons of the book, let's just say I would rather have to face demons from almost any other book at the ones in here. From the Horny Old bastard to the arse demon Butcher and cash have created a memorable set of demonic entities to haunt your nightmares for days to come.
As their paths and naughty bits all intercross, the reader is subjected to gloriously over the top smut filled comic romp of the highest order. Imagine if Julian Clary had broken into Robert Rankins house rewrote one of Robert's novels for him.
If you are looking for intelligent discourse on the dangers of dabbling with demons dangly bits then you have come to the wrong book, and you should back away very slowly, but if you are looking for a book that will make you wish you hadn't eaten just before reading it. Or a book that will make wish you had never google granny porn then this is the book for you, yes it will make you feel somewhat dirty at times, but you will have a hell of a time reading it.