Night of the Freaks (Murder Clown Splatter Literature)

 

When I think of “freakshow,” American Horror Story comes to mind immediately. Night of the Freaks has that undertone; an ominous, dark feeling, that continues through the book, as I learned of the stuff that happens within “William Wilson’s Wonderful World Of The Weirdos.” This read gets straight into the action, leaving the reader under no illusion of what’s to come. The first chapter begins with a sex scene and (spoiler alert) two gruesome and brutal deaths. This pace is kept, and I found myself able to power through quickly because of how fast things move. Night of the Freaks features a very basic and clear-cut set-up; it’s not twisty and turny, although there are small mysteries throughout. The main characters and the setup early on leave no confusion about what’s happening. This sounds simple, but it just adds to the immersion and fluidity.

 

“The clown took a hold of Corey’s penis, stretching it outward to the full extent of its flaccid six inches, and placed the jaws of the pliers on either side. Looking deep into Corey’s eyes, the clown smiled once again, exposing his yellow tombstone teeth, like slices of mouldy bread. Then he squeezed the handles. Corey screamed as his flesh compressed, the blunt steel biting through his skin, crushing his glans into a vulgar paste, blood squirting from his urethra like some gory precum. Agony surged from between his legs, the pain far beyond unbearable. For a moment, Corey thought he might go into shock, thought it might be for the best. No such luck.”

 

The detective sections were amongst my favorites, often in stories like this it’s usually just about two sides of the story-the bad guys and the victims, but having the police involved lends this false sense of security. Further, there were parts that made me feel like I needed to wash in boiling hot water and bleach because the description of the surroundings and people left me feeling dirty and gross, like I was stuck in this cavernous, circus-like place. Especially when it’s revealed where all of the “freaks” in Willie’s show came from, and how they are all…related. Do I think this was intricately researched? Not quite. There were definitely parts which left me wondering where in the world this was, some parts read as an English seaside town, and the detective with guns gives me American vibes, but fortunately for Night of the Freaks this lack of intricate detail didn’t let it down thanks to the pacing and storyline. The ending was entirely unexpected, and one I thoroughly enjoyed. Is it happy? Hell no, but they never usually are in extreme horror, and sometimes that bit of realism that fairytale final girl endings don’t always happen is refreshing. This is a great one for my creepy clown book lovers, and has definitely left me feeling grateful and happy that “freakshows” are no longer a thing. If you imagine this as House of 1000 Corpses meets The Hills Have Eyes , you get a similar vibe.

 

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Written by Arianne, Sovereign Deity of the Damned

Night of the Freaks (2022)
Harrison Phillips
Independent
Cover Art: Insanecamel
4.5 / 5

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