I had a fantastic, in depth conversation with Adam Howe the other day in which we talked about his most recent book, DIE DOG OR EAT THE HATCHET–which I reviewed here–and discussed some exciting projects he’s working on. Adam is a very honest and candid person and I was able to learn quite a bit about him and something of what makes him tick. So I come to his first book, BLACK CAT MOJO with a different set of eyes than the ones I read DIE DOG with.
Adam is an exciting discovery for me. I’m a great fan of what I think of as white trash or redneck-noir, in the style of a lot of Lansdale’s work, but I had–I thought–exhausted pretty much all of the available material in that vein, particularly of the dark, comedic variety that is Lansdale’s stock in trade.
But I was wrong. There’s another guy that writes that kind of stuff, and writes it exceedingly well. Replete with black, southern-fried redneck antics and action galore, the three novellas (plus a bonus short) in BLACK CAT MOJO will blow your mind with their horrific scenarios and wanton hilarity, not to mention their remarkable authenticity. Why remarkable? Because Adam’s British. As far as I know, the closest he’s ever been to the American south is New York City, where he got to meet the King–Stephen, that is–after winning a writing contest and getting his winning entry published in the newest revision of On Writing.
So where did he develop such a convincing down home chicken-fried voice as he demonstrates so masterfully in his novellas? Well, if you go to that conversation we had and read the section where he talks about his creative influences, you’ll get a pretty good idea. Also the part where he talks about his comedic inspirations. But there’s more to it than that. Adam is a brutally honest guy and he’s not afraid to commit his peculiar and unique ideas to paper. And, as is evidenced by novellas such as Of Badgers and Porn Dwarfs, he does so with tongue in cheek and shotgun in hand. Because Howe, in addition to being hilarious, isn’t afraid of a little violence and splatter. Or a whole fuckload of it.
Because BLACK CAT MOJO is an earlier work than DIE DOG… I expected it to be less accomplished, and that preconception was partly correct. But don’t take that to mean it’s a bad collection because it isn’t. It’s less accomplished in the way that three million dollars is less than four million. Who’s complaining? Like DIE DOG.., the thing that really makes these novellas work is the balls to the wall hilarity, unrelenting action, and ultra quirky characters. And, while Howe demonstrated an improvement in his storytelling abilities with his second collection, it’s still well represented here and I was not disappointed, nor will you be.
If you haven’t read Adam Howe, you’re missing out on a rock star author with mojo in spades, ideas that compare to nothing you’ve ever read before, and some of the most delightfully twisted characters you’ll ever encounter. Howe is an author I will return to every time he writes something new, and will also return to some of the novellas represented here and in DIE DOG OR EAT THE HATCHET. Follow the link below to get yourself a copy of BLACK CAT MOJO. I won’t tell you to also go get his other work, because I know that once you’ve read this one, you’ll do so on your own initiative.
Go here to get your copy of BLACK CAT MOJO.
Go here to get a copy of DIE DOG OR EAT THE HATCHET (You can read my review of that book here.)
BLACK CAT MOJO synopsis: In these three novellas of blackly comic crime and creature horror, you’ll go slumming with well-endowed dwarf porn stars, killer badgers, redneck mama’s boys, morbidly obese nymphomaniacs, dumbass dog-nappers, trailer trash Jesus freaks, diarrheic Jack Russell Terriers, not-so-wiseguys, mob-movie memorabilia collectors, junkie blackmailers, and giant man-eating Burmese pythons.
OF BADGERS & PORN DWARFS
To pay back a gambling debt and avoid being castrated, washed-up dwarf porn star Rummy Rumsfeld (of Snow White spoof Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It’s Up Your Ass We Go) must overcome a geriatric pederast, redneck pornographers, a morbidly obese nymphomaniac with serious personal hygiene issues, the ghost of his religious zealot mother, a dwarf-eating badger, and George Lucas.
JESUS IN A DOG’S ASS
Dumbass desperadoes Hootie and Poke incur the wrath of a trailer trash church group, not to mention God, when they kidnap a Jack Russell Terrier with the figure of Jesus Christ in its butt.
FRANK, THE SNAKE, & THE SNAKE
After testifying against notorious mob boss “Snake” Cobretti, embittered ex-wiseguy Frankie “The Tin Man” Piscopo emerges from Witness Protection to embark on a disastrous drug deal that leaves him fighting for his life against a giant Burmese python with a taste for Italian-American.
BONUS SHORT STORY
THE MAD BUTCHER OF PLAINFIELD’S CHARIOT OF DEATH
Washed up carny buys Ed Gein’s car hoping to reverse his bad luck. . .But the real horror was just getting revved up . . .
Published by: Comet Press
About Adam Howe: Adam Howe is a British writer of fiction and screenplays. Writing as Garrett Addams, his story Jumper was chosen by Stephen King as the winner of his On Writing contest, and published in the paperback/Kindle editions of King’s book. His fiction has appeared in places like Nightmare Magazine, Thuglit, Horror Library 5 and One Buck Horror. His first book, Black Cat Mojo (pub. Comet Press) is available now. Follow him at Goodreads and Tweet him @Adam_G_Howe.