Cannibal Creator - by Chad Lutzke
This is one of those rare books that appealed to me more and more after I had finished reading it – if that makes any sense. Chad Lutzke is a real chimera of mine – let me qualify that for you – I’m not talking about the Lion/Goat/Snake type creature, I’m talking of the modern-day use of the word, as defined by my dictionary:
(A chimera) is an unrealistic idea that you have about something or a hope that you have that is unlikely to be fulfilled.
And it’s my own fault. I read Chad’s book “Wormwood” first – one of his later books, a collaboration with Tim Meyer – and loved the coming of age story – it’s really good. After that, I went over to “The same deep water as you”, and “Slow burn on Riverside”. Whilst both of them dealt with the same characters, and whilst they weren’t coming of age novels, the same voice and observational storytelling were in play. I thought I had Chad more or less in a box in my head – great storytelling, coming of age stories, observational horror – real-life monsters.
But Chad’s much more.
I then read Chad’s collaboration with John Boden, after reading John’s “Jedi Summer” (a fantastic coming of age book), I rushed out to buy “Out behind the barn”, and it is awesome. Such a great story, both writers excelling at what they do – again, unfortunately for me – coming of age horror. Well – it had elements of coming of age – the reanimated boys are growing up, learning their situation, and adapting accordingly.
So, then we come to Cannibal Creator. I received a copy from the author in return for this review, and I attacked this and read it in about two days? I think?
It’s not a coming-of-age horror. I mean, I knew that going in. It doesn’t even sound like a coming-of-age horror. It sounds like people eating people and killing other people to devour. And that pretty much sums up the book.
It’s a blast. It’s a “cannibal horror film buffs” love letter to the genre. There’s not much room or time for character development, apart from the main character, but honestly, we are in this for the scenes of horror. This is a romp of killing and angst. Yes, the elements of Cannibalism are inserted to ground the mentality of the savages on the island, but honestly, it’s the slow one-by-one killing that is showcased here.
Some reviewers have called this extreme horror –I don’t get that. It’s brutal where it needs to be brutal, but this novella is all about pace. You have no idea how many pages you just turned because honestly, you want to see how the cannibals are going to kill the next idiot. It’s a whole lot of fun.
My point to all of this is, is that Chad is as diverse a writer as he is accomplished. He decided to tackle the Cannibal genre horror full-on, and he did so with almost casual ease (I think I remember him saying on Steve’s YouTube interview that the book took him about three weeks to write). That I was expecting a particular form of prose is my bad – and won’t be reflected in my rating – but I needed to explain why it took as long as it did to rate – and the importance of letting stories sit a while before reviewing. The more I thought back on the book, the more I started to smile at the deaths, at the situation, at the thing as a whole.
Chad, this was a blast. I loved the flare gun, and the first death, and can’t wait to see what you do next.
4 out of 5 ⭐ ‘s
You can buy Cannibal Creator, by clicking on the Amazon store appropriate to you.
You can visit Chad's Website, HERE.
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You can find Chad on TikTok, HERE.