REVIEW by Gee Williams

NWR Issue 103

Your Brother's Blood (The Walkin' Trilogy)

by David Towsey

There’s a moment in Stoppard’s screenplay of Shakespeare in Love when the mature playwright encounters an aspiring John Webster and they discuss the future of theatre. ‘Plenty of blood!’ the codling enthuses and foretells. Webster being one of the New Jacobeans himself, Stoppard gently mocks him for the benefit of those in the audience with a bit of Eng Lit to call on. Mmm…so it’s up the body count and bring on the monsters, you can almost hear the Great Shakes thinking, oh joy!

But a taste for the macabre has always come in artistic waves and is probably older than the Narmer Palette. I grew up on the current one, which can be summed up as an Edgar Allen Poe revival meets 1970s decadence. (See Gerber and Marcos’ Tales of the Zombie actually sporting a long-haired, hippie-style undead poster boy as front cover.) And with the fanzine and games market fuelling the appetite, a demonically possessed Mr Darcy is more popular than the original. Pyramid Head is ‘most likely’ to feature in young male nightmares.

Just as they were in 1600 and again in 1800, monsters are mainstream.

Hence Your Brother's Blood, a first novel by David Towsey, where the zombies have come in from the cold, not that they feel it. Set in the comic book small-town America I’m still loving, this is an alternative reality of continual armed conflict, crazy preachers and women with long braids, illustrating that universal truth that in war, the first casualty is hairdressing...

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previous review: The Colour of Dawn
next review: Everything I Have Almost Forgotten


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