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Wicked Candy Paperback – January 24, 2014
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About the Author
Alex S. Johnson is an English professor, music journalist and writer of Surrealistic satire and weird fiction. His books include The Death Jazz and Bad Sunset. Johnson lives in northern California where he tends his collection of circus punks, foam popsicle heads, Mayan skulls and black metal albums.
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Top customer reviews
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I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Alex S. Johnson's fiction collection, Wicked Candy, to read and review. Well, I'm not sure lucky is the right word to convey my feelings after reading it... cursed by verbal lobotomies with each story might be more accurate. This style of fiction is completely new to me, and for that I must apologize to myself, but sweet fancy Moses, if it didn't snuggly fit my sick and twisted personality and sense of humor to a T. I haven't laughed out loud from reading a story in longer than my feeble mind can remember, but Johnson's "The Final Final Girl" finally broke that streak. Even the copyright page gave me a chuckle.
Within these twisted and perverted pages, Johnson manages to demolish clichés with a jaded finesse that I've personally never encountered in written form. Another apparent talent is his effortless deconstruction of pop-culture allegories and references as found in his story "Vampussy." No one is safe or spared from his dagger sharp sarcasm and wit.
While not without its flaws, my appreciation for this kind of talent and voice is what made his writing so fun to read, even if he might possibly be out of his ever-loving mind. Hipsters, fashionistas, and nerdy types you're on notice!
If you like your dark fiction chock full of angry humor and WTF moments aplenty, you can't go wrong with checking out Wicked Candy. I've never experienced anything like it and, to me, that's a good thing. It was a delight to experience and I hope to read more from Alex (and others with this style) in the near future. And in the immortal words of Chainsaw Dude, "My rage was like, way advanced."
'Dr. Herman Groinslab patted the lead-lined box. "What we have here is", he said, "is a triumph of genetic retrofitting. The ordinary human vagina, enhanced by its union with the vampire bat."'
An excerpt from Vampussy, just one of the four perversely creepy short stories on hand here. I wasn't sure what to expect from Wicked Candy. The cover didn't say much about the book but since I've been working in close proximity to Alex S. Johnson for a few weeks (compilations, anthologies, Facebook), I always intended to check out some of his work. Wicked Candy didn't disappoint and, for me, was a perfect introduction to an author I've been familiar with for some time but never read. After reading this, I can confirm I'm now a fan.
I love horror. Original or otherwise, I'll always give it a shot. One thing I adore more than anything is horror that's bold, brazen and ambitious. I've seen some horror authors stifled by their editors, agents or publishers - and it's a tragic shame - but when you can find a horror author who has free reign, absolute control, and say over his work you are on to a winner. Johnson falls into this category. He writes for the purest of horror fans, the ones not content with shelf-friendly material, the people who want their horror morbid, gore-tastic, perverse, offensive and very very horrific. Not to mention sexy and hilarious in a very dark way.
Easily offended? Turn away now. Like your horror quirky, fantastical and bat*** crazy? Keep reading. Wicked Candy is a book that's not for the faint-hearted. My fiancée caught a glimpse of some of the text and walked out of the room. Johnson isn't afraid to speak his mind, raid his memory banks for original, offensive ideas or fill the pages with material that, for all intents and purposes, shouldn't be viewed by innocent eyes. Johnson crafts and cultivates some intricate yet disturbing characters and mutates some restraining horror tropes to produce probably the most genuinely creepy book I've read in some time.
Put it this way, I'm not easily offended but I could hear the masses causing hysteria, losing their sanity and boycotting the world over the content of WC. I might have humanity pegged as a bunch of wimps but for anyone who feels they can read anything, I say give this a shot. It might not be everyone's cup of tea but when horror is this refreshing, this bold and breathtakingly different, I begin losing the will to care.
5*? Absolutely. People could be divided over this book but you can't deny the authors ability to conjure horror and twist it with other genres with little or no effort. Something very few authors can do. Johnson once quoted 'I don't want to be the next Stephen King. The next Clive Barker. Or even the next Hunter S. Thompson. As a writer, I've been working hard for nearly four decades to be the first me.' An honest opinion from an honest, talented writer. It's only fitting that his work should reflect this. Amazing.
From unique takes on horror tropes, hilarious friendships, sexual exploration to the bizarre so contorted it will make you dizzy. There's something here for every genre fan, regardless of what genre you have a sweet tooth for, and then some.
I ate three of the four stories up. Story #2 lost me a bit, but I'm positive that there are others out there that will get more out of it than I did.
Check it out, for a taste of something different, a unique concoction of fiction from a unique soul.
Most recent customer reviews
The use of dark tones and mix of classic style makes this a must have.