Sunday, 4 May 2014

Book Review: Ladies Night by Jack Ketchum

Tom Braun is sitting in his neighborhood bar. His wife and his boy are at home in their apartment just a few blocks away. He's had yet another fight with her and is looking to steady his nerves and drown his sorrows and maybe--if he's lucky--snag a little something on the side. But the women in the bar are very strange tonight.

My Review:
A chemical spill in the city turns the women into raging maniacs, hell bent on killing every man they find.

Well I really liked the idea of this more than the book itself. Like other reviewers I had heard the hype over the release of this long unwanted and unpublished book. I was expecting great things after I read the author talking about the journey of this book to make it to being published. But what I got was an average horror story by an author who can write so much better. I'm starting to see why this took so long to get published-and not because of the subject matter. I think it was more about it not being a well written story.

Firstly the characters. Tom was a complete asshat who seems to have no guilt over cheating on his wife Susan and giving his son a miserable life listening to all the arguments over it. Yet he becomes dad of the year and must get back to save Andy from Susan when all the women go crazy. I think his dash home was more about going to kill his wife than save his son, personally. Susan doesn't come across much better, happy to get Andy off to camp so she doesn't have to think about how this is affecting him. Elizabeth is interested in sleeping with Tom even though Susan is her friend and she babysits Andy. Bailey the barman helps Tom pick up women, Mary thinks every porn mag reader is a rapist, Sheldon wants to steal from the boss he fancies...the list of asshats is never ending.

The story took forever to get going, which I hate in a novella. Prior to page 50 we got one incident that hints at the mayhem to come and rest is telling you about the lives of all the characters that you loathe. I only kept reading because I wanted to get to the explosion of horror that I was expecting. All the waffle that came before it just did not interest me at all especially Susan and Linda's naked adventures which added nothing to the story. Even at the end, there is no real reason given for what happened or if the women would have returned to normal when morning came.

Finally the gorefest began! Now we started to see the Jack Ketchum we know and love. Mindless violence, brutal murders, tense standoffs, gore. When this was unleashed it did not stop for breath under close to the end of the book. I know some reviewers didn't like the lack of cohesive story here but I liked the chaotic violence and high body count of it all. I would give three stars to the end of the book because the mayhem was interesting and well written.

Sadly even this decent gory bit and 'ha ha you deserved it' ending could not make up for the poor start which I would have given one star to. So the book gets two stars overall. It is ok but nothing great. 
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

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