One of the authors responsible for getting me into reading horror fiction was James Herbert. His classic pulpy horror novel The Rats is still a book I look back on fondly. I loved the ridiculousness of it all, the action, the blood and guts, its fantastic stuff!
Tom Adams’ Mycophoria has a real James Herbert vibe to it and I think it’s one such reason why I enjoyed it so much. There are no rats in this one, but the English setting, the frequent bursts of violence at the hands of the strange fungal infection ravaging the far north of England, and a cast of colourful, believable characters meant I was a happy chappy whilst reading it.
Clearly, Adams did some scientific research before writing this. There is a bit of science chat going on throughout the book and it adds much to the plot. Something so crazy as a fungal-like infection that turns you into a raving psychotic is pretty far-fetched (or is it?), but Adams does a great job of making it believable.
The frequent, gory episodes keep the book ticking over nicely, but it’s the characters that drive it forward. Dr Alburton is a very likeable chap, down-to-Earth and fallible, I was well invested in him as the protagonist. Similarly, but perhaps not quite as much, was the grizzled detective, Wesley Skinner. Initially unlikable and a pretty poor excuse for a detective, he grows into the story and becomes another of Adams’ central characters.
Mycophoria has a lot going for it. It’s perhaps not the most original of plots, but what are these days? Self-published books can be very hit and miss, but this one was a definite hit for me. I’ve already pre-ordered Adams’ forthcoming short story collection.
4/5 puss-filled ears from the Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.
Still here? Check out a recent interview with the charismatic Mr Adams here.
When you have finished reading this perhaps listen to…
Wrong One To Fuck With by Dying Fetus: Dying Fetus‘ Die With Integrity is my mobile phone ringtone. It’s unbelievably brutal and violent, as is this whole album. If you looked up the word “heavy” in the metal dictionary, there would be a picture of Wrong One To Fuck With. This album just does not let up. Alongside the crushing slams, grunted vocals and insane drum patterns there are some great songs. This band doesn’t release bad albums. Super technical, always killer, get some! And, check out that album cover!!