Genre - Horror
Year Published - 2004 (Published by Leisure Books)
Length - 342 pages
Written by Steve Gerlach
Rating: 5 Skulls
In some ways Ben is just like a lot of other guys in his college. He's kind of quiet, likes movies and books, and spends most of his time by himself or in the library. He's a little awkward around girls, but he keeps trying and hoping that someday soon he'll find the love of his life. No luck so far, though.
But in one very important way Ben isn't like other guys at all. You can't tell by looking at him, but there's something simmering deep inside of Ben. Lately he's been thinking a lot about some pretty awful things. . . and he's bought a gun. His loneliness has become bitterness, and his resentment has turned to hatred. It's all boiling up inside him and it's only a matter of time before he explodes. Then it's just a question of who will be the first to die.
When I first got this book, I was slightly concerned by the Simon Clark blurb on the front. You see, I just finished Clark's Vampyrrhic, which, while it was good, was a tedious read! (hence your not reading a review of it here, as I try to only recommend the best books!)
However, I am a HUGE Richard Laymon fan, and I have been looking forward to In Laymon's Terms - a tribute anthology for Laymon, [for those unaware, Laymon passed away on Feb. 14th, 2001] edited by his wife, Kelly, as well as Steve Gerlach.
In Laymon's Terms is not going to be released until December 24th, so in the meantime I decided to read Gerlach's debut novel, and what a debut it is!
Rage starts off with the main character, Ben, (a blond-haired, blue-eyed 22-year-old virgin) being rejected by yet another girl. . . Ben blames his parents for this, as they raised him as if he were already an adult. On top of that, Ben's parents sent him to a boys-only boarding school, where he rarely had any inter-action with girls. [*Note: there is an extremely graphic homo-sexual scene, in chapter ten - if this offends you, then I suggest that you skip pages 109 - 111 in their entirety]
There's just something about Ben, where you never really feel very sorry for him (at least I didn't)
He really isn't very stable. His emotions fly from one end of the spectrum to the other, in mere seconds, and when it comes to girls - he's practically married to them, in his mind, before he ever even approaches them.
As Ben's downward spiral progresses, he obtains an affinity for horror novels (he previously read Mysteries) Longing for female companionship, Ben begins to rent soft-core porn movies - eventually this leads to Hard-core Snuff Films! [of course, Ben downing Luvox - his social anxiety disorder medication - like candy isn't helping his state-of-mind]
All of this builds to an insanely violent ending that ends abruptly & horrifically!
If you can handle the subject matter in this book, then I highly recommend it!
Just be warned that Gerlach pretty much breaks all taboos in this one! It can be pretty sick & twisted at times [if you have ever read Rex Miller, then you know the feeling]
What really makes the book disturbing is the fact that, as you read it, you are put inside of Ben's head at times, knowing his thoughts, and that is what makes the book truly terrifying!
I just hope that an unstable person never stumbles across this book. . .