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Throwback Review of The Squirming by Jack Hamlyn [Tim Curran]


Originally published 09/12/2016 Putrid and oozing, Jack Hamlyn’s The Squirming drags the zombie genre down a new alleyway to a delightful feast of flesh. Stoned and slug-laden, these zombies are no less hungry than other zombie dopes, but, thankfully, these zombies have dimension and purpose. A fucking rarity. There is effort and skill in spades when it comes to these particular nasty buggers under these gruesome circumstances. There are surprises, which is what's important while meandering the worlds of the undead.

From the very beginning, The Squirming stamps its foot to the accelerator and does not relent until the waning final pages reveal a stark and grim reality of any apocalypse. This story is gory and descriptive in a way that pins the everyday alongside the fantastic, giving handles to tug the strings of disgust. Some of the most effective use of norms to enforce a personal stake I've read (double that with a Severed Press title); the literary equivalent of blindfolded children reaching hands into bowls of wet grapes and soft spaghetti at a Halloween party.

If this wasn’t enough, rounded and humanistic characters tear this from the typical zombie expedition and slams a homerun of worthwhile, ooey-gooey, scum-laden, pus-bursting prose. The moment I finished this story, I thought to myself, if The Walking Dead was even half this good I would’ve kept watching past season three.

Fan of the sub-genre or not, this is absolutely worth a read.

Available now from Severed Press

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