Danish writers are superior. That is if Michael Kamp’s Clowns is to be believed. A short novella which packs a mighty punch. The premise is simple: Clowns attack a small Danish town and end up eating people’s faces. It’s fun. It’s horrific. And it’s so good.
American and British horror writers have a way of overwriting things. There’s always an overload of adjectives, adverbs and insane denouements. Also, most American and British writers get so stuck on dialogue that they lose the essence of the plot. What makes for a great horror book is its plot – case in point: Richard Laymon. Don’t overdo the book with violent reveries about characters we barely know. Just write. Clean, simple and efficient.
Kamp managed to apply Occam’s Razor to Clowns. There aren’t overloaded senses battling with the plot for purchase. It’s a straightforward horror story about supernatural clowns. Now I know many would disagree with me – “Where are the metaphors? What happened to the similes?” All I can say to you, dear critic of a critic, is to stick it. We don’t need the bells and whistles when we have an excellent, thorough plot. We can make do with just that, because ultimately it’s not about how many similes you can fit into a paragraph; it’s about how you can tell a story without being convoluted and pretentious.
Since this is Kamp’s first foray into the English market, I can easily say that he is what’s missing from the industry. His work is unorthodox, brilliant and, I might add, could lead to a perennial type of fame unheard of in the industry. Kamp needs to be read. In fact, Kamp needs to be studied. This is how you write horror. He blends supernatural horror with visceral horror and for some reason unbeknownst to me, it works. It works so damn well that I find it hard to fault Kamp on anything.
I don’t give five star ratings to books. It just never happens. There’s always something in the plot, or writing, or style that puts me off so much that I end up giving a low score. We’ve never had a five star book come across our desks, so it is my absolute pleasure to praise Kamp and give Bloody Good Horror Books its first five star review.
Perhaps I should move to Denmark and become Kamp’s best friend. This man knows how to write.
Congratulations on giving me hope for the industry. Stellar work, Mr. Kamp!
RATING: 5 / 5