Monday, April 23, 2018

Book Review: 'Harm's Way' by Marc Richard

Maine author Marc Richard has sixteen publications out there in the world, valiantly trying to alter the morose sense of bad mood that permeates the globe right now. He is certainly one of the funniest, wittiest, most crafty and probing parody artists writing today. He lives In Portland, Maine with his life-partner Jill and their dog and pens hysterical books that are short in length but long on laugh out loud naughty humor.

HARM’S WAY is yet another exploration into the absurd – this time it is an absolutely loony horror story that starts out with a hint of the madness that is around the next turned page – ‘Jonesy stepped back a little from the sight that appeared in the backyard before him. He ran his arm across his face to wipe the sweat from his bleary eyes. Was this really happening? A rainbow arced its way across the sky, but rather than the usual seven colors, it was a solid purple. A butterfly landed on his arm. Its left wing broke off and fluttered in the gentle breeze to land in the tall grass below his feet. It raised its right wing high in the air and took off, riding the wind like a lofty sailboat. The deer further toward the tree line laughed at this sight, somehow finding it all comical. It stood up on its hind legs and pointed a crooked finger at Jonesy. “Deer don’t have fingers... Deer don’t have fingers... Deer don’t have fingers...” he repeated over and over to himself like a mantra. And the more he repeated it, the more his legs drip-dripped until he sank into the puddle that they made around him. He was drowning in his own leg juice. STOP!!! He said to himself, and snapped out of it, a little, although the violet rainbow still hung stiff in the sky like a permanent stain in the atmosphere. He didn’t know why he took the acid; he hated the [stuff]. Wait, it was all coming back to him now. He took it because his dad had run off with all of his heroin. He went back indoors and re-read the note his father had left for him. The words were violently dancing across the page, but he was able to follow them around enough so he could read it again. “Dear Jonesy, I went with Kim. Took your smack. Love you. Pops.”

A quickie look at the plot - A pack of teens. A cabin in the woods. And a killer with a love for slapstick. An unlikeable cast of teenage clich├ęs, out for a week in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. What could possibly go wrong? Murder, that's what! Hey, who left that dead girl skewered on the porch? All are suspect, as the slayings become more creative. And more ridiculous. Hell of a way to spend a vacation. Will they find out who the killer is in time to stop this madness, or will this mean the end for all? Harm’s Way is a horror comedy originally penned by Sam Raimi’s twin brother, Aaron Elvis Raimi, who died at birth. Can a psychopath really fit in an outhouse hole? Can you re-capitate someone with a welder’s torch? Will everyone really see your dirty pillows? The answers to those age-old questions are here. For an extra bit of fun, the text contains a code that reveals the killer! Maybe you can figure it out before these dummies.

We probably take ourselves too seriously right now – communication with IT instead of relating personally, jolted daily by the current White House antics, and lacking sufficient discretionary income to escape to places of solace (remember vacations?). Marc Richards jumps on board and changes that – at least for as long as we are flipping through the comedy of his at times ludicrous situations in parody format. Take a breath and a cold slurp of water and jump in for the ride. It is worth every minute invested. Grady Harp, April 18
This book is free to borrow from Kindle Unlimited.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.