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DIGGING UP DONALD by STEVEN PIRIE
Published July 1, 2004 by Immanion Press
ISBN: 1904853110
Reviewed by Kevin Etheridge

It's the end of the world in Mudcaster, and the mother is beset by family troubles - Maureen's unborn babies have been stolen by demons in the night, and Robert has taken to playing with dead Uncle Norman. The father is talking to his pot plants, again, which wouldn't be so bad had the mother not heard them answering back.

A debut novel from this author. A wholly refreshing and VERY amusing read indeed.

Steve really has his finger on the pulse of anarchic humour. Not once as this reviewer read this did the smile leave my face, or my fingers itch so much to have my eyes hasten so that the page would be turned.

To give and place this book within any particular category would be unfair, as Steve has mastered Irony, Humour, Pathos, Suspense, and Horror, albeit an off-beat one, masterfully. If there was a category for Humorous Horror, Steve would be the grand-master.

The novel is a cross between Peyton Place, The Partridge Family, and Monty Python's Flying Circus. Steve would find himself most deserving of a place alongside Tom Sharpe for the humour that runs rampant throughout the book, but also for the anarchic plot that capitalises on this humour. As a horror novel, it's pretty tame to say the least, but who said that the end of the world had to be doom and gloom?

This novel has it all. Haunted lakes, underground guardians, demonic clergy, promethean dead relatives (with a twist), well meaning relatives, alive and dead, whose advice left me breathless with laughter, particularly the hapless son-in-law, and of course not forgetting disembodied homicidal brains.

Criticisms? Only one really. Not long enough. This reviewer found himself dreading finishing the book - it truly is that entertaining a read.

The end of the world has never looked so good. The prospect of the denizens of Hell 'jumping ship' and fighting for good at the end was delicious to say the least. James Herbert once said for his novel Creed; "Demons today are a shoddy lot", well Steve must have taken this to heart, for his demons are so wonderfully and hysterically shoddy as to defy belief.

Humorous horror fiction is so few and far between nowadays, but this reviewer is positive that Digging Up Donald would be equal and worthwhile company alongside Stephen King's Morning Deliveries (Milkman #1) that appears ion his book Skeleton Crew.

A wonderfully and skilfully written novel, and an exceptionally well produced book - all praise to Immanion Press for production quality - some of the bigger publishers in the UK could learn a thing or two about book quality from this one.

Steve, I wish you every success with this novel, and deservedly so. This reviewer hopes that the next is SOON!!!


Reproduced with permission



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