Review of The Spitting Post by Jason R Barden

Review of The Spitting Post by Jason R Barden

‘…either you had an eyesore in the wasteland or an earsore in the grassland…’

The Spitting Post book cover

This week’s offering is an excellent example of not judging a book by it’s cover – or it’s synopsis. That’s if, like me you have the romantic inclinations of a house brick ( I am, after all, a northern bird) and the prospect of a book involving a maiden of all things seems an unlikely choice. Working on the fairly simple principle that this had, after all, been sent to a horror reviewer, I decided I should investigate further.

It follows Vincent Carpenter, who was not having a good time to start with, into a nightmarish landscape where he meets strange beasts, killer clowns and occasionally himself. All these things and more must be overcome if he is to find his way to the lady in green and out of the hell he has found himself in. 

In overall feel it’s more dark fantasy than horror but that’s a world explored by many horror authors – Stephen King had his Dark Tower and Queen Sophie, Clive Barker took younger readers on an adventure through the Abarat. Cross genre books can work very well and this one certainly had it’s moments. It takes a couple of chapters to get into it’s stride and there are times when the author was perhaps so fixed on where he was going with the story he lost the how a little but then you find another gem in there and the ending had an additional kick which is nice. 

The joy of indie horror is often in watching creatives start out, trying ideas and finding their voice. We don’t expect authors to necessarily have it all figured out in the same way someone with a shelf full of books under their belt should have. The interest is often in the idea – seeing beyond the rough edges and joining in the adventure. It’s like the difference between wild camping and a hotel – both very different experiences but nobody says you can’t enjoy both. 

So, if you feel like grabbing a blanket and a torch, check out The Spitting Post.