Sunday, December 3, 2023

Terrortome by Garth Marenghi

by Garth Marenghi (Matthew Holness)
Coronet, 2022

Matthew Holness created Garth Matenghi's Darkplace in 2004, which was presented as an 80s TV series starring author Garth Marenghi and based on his books. Garth is somewhat based on Guy N. Smith and Steven King, with Holness' stock pedantic wanna be tough guy character.

Terrortome is a short story collection as written by Marenghi. To add another meta layer, the main character is author Nick Steen, a stand in for Garth. The first story is a Hellraiser riff, with Steen getting erotically involved with a demonic typewriter. This ends with all the stories in Steen's imagination being unleashed into the world, which he has to stop. We get two more stories - a mad podiatrist and a riff on the Dark Half.

Holness keeps a lot of plates spinning to keep up the conceit. He stays in character with the writing style throughout, keeps the story engaging, writing as if he's dead serious while keeping it funny throughout. Marenghi writes Steen as a cool stand in at the same time Holness presents him as a comic loser.

The audiobook is highly recommended, narrated by Holness in character as Marnghi, and it sounded like the text was changed in places to fit the format.

Available from Amazon

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