Short Story Review: “Mess Hall” by Richard Layman

Mess HallMess Hall by Richard Laymon
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

While most zombie tales have violence, the best do so to show the breakdown in the social contract and in the “humanity” of humans. This tale has violence seemingly only for the sake of creating torture porn. It starts with explicit sex, moves quickly into gruesome violence and then tapers into increasingly ridiculous blends of the two. Think: rapist serial killer. And that’s all before zombies appear in the form of previous torture porn victims.

Unfortunately, the zombies do not seem to follow any of the multiple previous lores out there for zombies, or even to have a guiding rule as to how they exist, move and act. They seem to be present merely to add to the gruesome violence and sex themes. They’re props, and quizzical ones at that. Between tool use and questionable pack behaviors, they carve an inconsistent new mythos in zombie behavior.

This tale appears in Book of the Dead edited by John Skipp and Craig Spector.
 
 
 
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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One response to “Short Story Review: “Mess Hall” by Richard Layman

  1. Pingback: Anthology Review: Book of the Dead ed. by John Skipp and Craig Spector | Jaffalogue

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