CURSED by Jeremy C. Shipp (2009 Raw Dog Screaming Press / 214 pp. / tp)
This outstanding novel is about a guy named Nick who:
1. Makes lists about everything.
2. Is dealing with a strange curse placed on him and his friends.
3. is one of the more interesting characters I've come across in a horror novel in quite some time.
While the first half of CURSED reads like a bizarre mystery, the second dives into unique psychological horror, written in Shipp's witty, dark, and (at times) head-scratching style. While not as difficult to follow as his impressive first novel, VACATION, CURSED is:
2. Wonderfully original
3. At times, hysterical
4. Highly recommended if you're thirsting for something truly different.
One highly enjoyable scene pits Nick and co. in a surreal, SAW-like death trap, while the ending manages to be dark yet highly positive. The prose is quick, sharp, and makes this 214-paged novel read like a 20-paged short story.
Shipp's got the goods.