Well it had to happen sooner or later: it is a completely negative review of the latest book I had to force myself to finish: Flesh House by Stuart MacBride. I have no idea how it won the awards that it did, because I found it to be boring, long-winded, predictable and just plain gross.
I am not one of those people that can't handle a little violence or horror in my novels or movies. I have recently blathered on about how much I loved A Nail Through the Heart, which was not lacking in violence. I am a regular fan of Stephen King, and his stuff can get pretty gruesome. It is not the mere presence of gore that thoroughly annoys me when it comes to this book, it is the style and the apparent reason for its presence - and this goes for all of those pathetic Saw, Hostel or otherwise bullshit movies that I despise.
The violence in A Nail Through the Heart was necessary for the telling of a story that was not centered around pure, meaningless gore. Stephen King's (better) novels bristle with tension and suspense, being the only author I have ever come across that made my grown self check under my bed for monsters before I kept reading in my room alone at night. This book on the other hand had none of that. There was no fear, or suspense. There was no literary art to the prose. There wasn't even a good enough murder mystery clue trail to follow. Just like in those stupid movies I hate, all there was was a pointless predictable twist at the end to justify the existence of the book itself, so that all those people that love to read it don't have to admit that they are into torture porn.
I am not interested in the most disgusting thing your mind can come up with thrown in there for mere shock value. I concede that you can come up with grosser things than I can, congratulations.
I am not interested in your detailed descriptions of the torturous murder scence. Dude's getting killed, I get it.
I am not interested in the emotional turmoil that the witness to the gruesome scene must be going through. You only added the witness to tug the heart strings even further and force the reader to imagine what it would be like to have to witness such a thing happening to someone they care about. The torture itself is bad enough for my sensibilities without needing to add that in there too, thanks.