Wednesday, May 22, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Washing Machine Holocaust by Alan Spencer

Tonight is Larry Koche's final shift working at "Get Loaded," a self-service laundry mat that has been bought out by a mysterious new owner. Larry's shift reveals what the new owner is really planning to do with the business, and those sinister washing machines. 

Washing Machine Holocaust is exactly what you think it is. Flying body parts, survival horror, double mutilation, surreal terror, and self-reflection loom in Larry's future. Can he save himself from the vicious washing machine's spin cycle of horror? 

Fear not life.

Fear not death.

Fear the washing machine.

*Washing Machine Holocaust has been deemed too graphic for general audiences by The American Literary Board of Public Decency. The risk is entirely yours!!!


An Ode to Gore 

Amazon stars 5/5

Alan Spencer knows the horror industry, and it continues to show in his latest bizarro offering: "Washing Machine Holocaust." Why does his knowledge matter? Spencer is an unforgiving author who punishes the reader with relentless amounts of gore and pain; while there is a metaphor and a theme embedded in his work, he doesn't hit you over the head with it. You can explore the work on a deeper level or accept it for the entertaining ride through the ocean of blood-red laundry detergent.

With each new chapter, I kept thinking things would improve for the protagonist, that somehow, Spencer would show a little mercy. Not only does this story shower you with gore, but I felt as if I could feel the pain and horror. Not many authors can pull that off. I didn't have any personal connection to the protagonist, but I wanted the story to just STOP torturing the poor guy. I wanted to feel the relief for this man just as I felt his agony; I knew while reading the story that I didn't care about the main character, but Spencer assaulted the reader's sensations with his details that were simple yet effective; this short tale is accessible and entertaining with vivid imagery, another difficult feat managed well by the author.

A criticism that any reader might have is that the book drags on with its sequences; the book could've contained one of the scenes and moved on to another character or just end altogether. I would argue that the visceral horror is designed to work toward a goal. From another writer's perspective, I feel that Spencer allowed the character to find the resolution on his own in the time that he needed to do it, which allows for the horror to feel more palpable for the reader. Indeed; this story is a fantasy like anything else that will greet you when you close your eyes, so anyone looking for "realism" (whatever that means to the world of fiction) should read something else. If you want to read Spencer's love letter to gore you'll be rewarded with an experience that goes beyond storytelling, just as Larry ventured beyond his isolated laundromat universe...