The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & the Currently Accepted Habits Of Nature

By David Niall Wilson

Published by Bad Moon Books

Limited Edition of 100 Copies

 When Cletus J. Diggs gets a visit from his buddy Jasper and learns about, the dead man sticking boot-first out of the fishing hole, he has no idea what it will lead to. How could he? Old Mill is famous for a lot of things – good fishing, barbecue, over-sized satellite dishes and disappearing beer; it is not known for genetic research, ancient rituals, or alien abduction. From the moment Cletus and Sheriff Bob drag the corpse from the fishing hole to the final moments of terror, the action is non-stop, tense, and filled with surprises. Between the Reverend Dozier and his church, the swamp witch, the albino twins, and the local lodge’s well-hidden secrets, the strange events in Old Mill, NC are pretty much out of control. Only Cletus, ordained minister, common law attorney, journalist, private investigator and jack of all trades can draw together the people and resources necessary to set things right. The question is, can he do it before it’s too late?

 An interesting piece of fiction to say the least. Horror? It has it’s horrific elements to be sure. Some just plain downright nasty and worrying in this new frontier of genetically engineered wonders. And wonder you will.

Cletus J. Diggs is a funny guy. The master of all he surveys in small town America. Wilson’s beautiful portrayal of all the nuances and affectations of the town and area that Digg’s calls home and sets up shop in is wickedly marvellous. The stereotypes of his characters fill this novella from top to bottom with their humour, sarcasm and most wonderfully at times, their small-mindedness in the face of what appears to be overwhelming odds.

 There is no clear cut path to the end in this story, as at each turn of events, you are left even more bewildered as to what is actually going on. Aliens? Men In Black, religious nuts or just plain nuts. Deranged scientists and their wonderfully weird creations and cohorts. As the events of the novella moved apace, at the end of each chapter, this reviewer found himself wondering just exactly what HAD Cletus gotten himself into.

This is the art and talent of a true story teller, and Wilson really hits the nail on the head with this piece of wacky fiction. The horror is not overt, the sex scenes handled with skill and amusement, and the offbeat humour that runs through this novella does so with wonder. All the variations on the themes of weirdness and wonder complement each other perfectly.

 The X-Files has got NOTHING on Cletus, Jasper and Jaspers beer swilling gun-toting father. Or even the weirdness of the Church of Light and Starry Vision. A meeting of minds, a meeting of faiths and religion. The not quite right Reverend Digg’s against the  REALLY not quite all there Reverend Dozier.

 The only disappointment with the novella? Nothing whatsoever to do with the fiction at all. Really to do with the fact that as a limited edition, it’s not going to be readily read by the many lovers and readers of horror / humour fiction who would appreciate it as much as this reviewer  did. Come on Roy, you know that Bad Moon wants to do a trade paperback of this…….

 –  Reviewed by Kevin Etheridge


~ by darkdiscoveries on May 20, 2009.

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