Human Tenderloin - by Craig Wallwork
Updated: Jan 7, 2022
I’d seen the cover of Human Tenderloin a couple of times, circulating on both Twitter and Instagram, and my interest was piqued, yet I’d withheld committing myself to it due to time – so when Sadie Hartmann sent a message out asking for reviewers for the novel (which, I believe, has been made free for an extended period of time), I jumped at the chance. So first off, thank you Sadie and the Nightworms team, this is a great introduction to an author I’d like to read more from.
Not knowing Craig’s work beforehand, the opening trio of stories bowled me over. Absolutely blindsided me. "Bird Girl" only got two notes on my phone: Fantastic – Spellbinding. Craig hit it out of the park for me on this one, it’s just magical. The literary bent to the prose, the self-assurance, the pacing, it was all sublime. My eyes wide open, hardly daring to breathe, It went on into "Dollhouse" which again, had wonderful literary prose, and a killer premise, and an insidious threat hanging all over the piece. Then came "Suffer the rains".
And that established it finally. The magical prose, the wonderfully bizarre magical world, with the taste of rot blazing all the way through to its core. Absolutely spectacular.
Now before you think I’m just going to go on and gush throughout the review, its true to say that for me, the top three stories in the novel are those three, loaded at the front. The other stories in the collection are good, they entertain, but the spark of something truly inventive and magical was not as obvious as in those openers, which carried the hints of genius.
So whilst the collection as a whole is great, for me, the true gems of Craig’s collection are in prime position, and rightly so. The namesake story, Human Tenderloin, rolled along but was clearly heading for its ending, so failed to connect as much as it should have.
I’m giving this collection a 4 out of 5⭐'s, the touches of genius notwithstanding (which make you just stop reading and exclaim), this is a collection to devour in one sitting in all of its bloody raw flesh. There’s nothing in here that really hit as needing a trigger warning, Wallwork has established himself as someone I need to experience more of. I’ll be buying Bad people this week, and hope to be similarly smacked in all of my senses.
You can buy Human Tenderloin by clicking on the Amazon store appropriate to you.
You can visit Craig's website, HERE
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