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Beast In The Basement
by Jason Arnopp
It's every writer's worst nightmare: your deadline is looming, you can't nail down that final draft and it's impossible to concentrate because the beast you've imprisoned downstairs won't shut up.
Beast In The Basement is like a crash course in horror styles: starting with Lovecraftian dread before shifting into a more modern psychological horror, with splashes of gory ultraviolence and a little dash of satire at the end. It's held together by the voice of the protagonist who is so vivid and credible that his first-person narration makes you feel that it's happening to you, watching the story unfold through his eyes and understanding it with his tortured mind.
The lead character is a writer and suffering from an extreme form of the writer's dilemma. Outside of his work, the world is a macabre place, with violent burglars, sexually assertive neighbours and that thing living in the basement. But inside his office there's an unfinished children's novel, the pressure of the millions of young readers waiting to see what's going to happen next to their heroine, and the clunking and whirring of his own broken mind, with violent memories that he's desperately trying to suppress with booze. His mind is an uncomfortable, uncanny place to be and Arnopp keeps us there from the first word to the last.
A gripping, gruelling horror story that's the perfect length for reading in a single sitting. Just don't read it before bedtime, especially if you have a basement.