Book Review: Kensington Gore’s Hammered Horror- The Compressionist by Christopher Long

comprssiontKensington Gore’s Hammered Horror- The Compressionist by Christopher Long

“Kensington Gore’s dark, scary world of Hammered Horrors invites you to meet a man who doesn’t age. A man who slips through the cracks of our world. A man who always hides his true face. A man who needs other people to survive, feeding off them as he goes. He might just choose you next. All he needs is a chance to understand you and something that belongs to you. Then it begins. His hunger fulfilled for a little time, until he needs to feed again.

We wish you a warm but scary welcome to the world of the Compressionist.

This is the first novella by gifted horror writer Christopher Long to be included in Kensington Gore’s Hammered Horror series. It will have you looking over your shoulder, and looking at the people around you in a totally different light. “

 

Cerebral horror with a British Accent…

Richard Cove is a predator. He is empathetic to his prey almost lovingly, as he savours them. There is a very strong sense of alienation running though out the book and Christopher Long creates a kind of monstrous loneliness; that you can almost identify with Cove. That to me, is the most macabre part of the book – that Cove’s character is so well written that you could almost put yourself in his shoes. It is a very rare book where you can be sympathetic to the villain- it almost begs the question “What is the point of living forever if you have no life?”

Don’t get me wrong Richard Cove is evil. His motives are just a black as his soul- that is if he ever had one. Cove preys on the vulnerable just so he can get his fix and he enjoys every moment of the destruction he causes.

The thief is the other major character and in some ways, he is Cove’s enabler. He is a self-confessed scum-bag who would sell his granny for the cash. After meeting Cove’s quarry, he develops a conscience and that leads to very twisted ending.

Christopher Long creates a bleak world of desolation and with Cove, creates a new kind of boogey-man. We have all seen that thing in the corner of our eye in the middle of night and dismissed it; but what Christopher Long has done is given it a name. Be afraid- be very afraid you don’t get an entry into Richard Cove’s “Proxy”.

The Compressionist is British horror at its best. It is chilling and yet disturbing but doesn’t rely on gimmicky clichés or endless carrion that so many other horror stories rely on. Christopher Long carries on the great tradition of horror that creeps into your brain; a genre that started with M.R. James, H.R Wakefield and more recently with Susan Hill.

Long’s writing style is very unique; he gives you just enough so your imagination does all the work. That is a hallmark of a great author.

Along with The Compressionist, there is an Easter Egg story: The Righteous Judges- The First Judgement: A Portrait of a guilt man. Tom is man down on his luck. Begrudgingly, he does a job  for a quick quid. What he gets in return from Blood Lord Baulch is probably his just desserts. This tale is particularly terrifying because it uses the medium of art, something we look at every day- to strike fear into your psyche.

KG Hammered Horrors

I caught up with Christopher Long to give you an exclusive interview with the author himself:

PN: What is your favourite horror film?

evil dead 2CL: My favourite horror films have a habit of changing on a weekly basis. Mainly because my attention span needs some work. The Shining is up there. Alien, for me, is a classic scary movie. I recently found myself watching Rosemary’s Baby again and I had forgotten how great the unease is in that film. Don’t Look Now is masterclass in that! A real growing sense of eerie unrest. Brilliant! Evil Dead 2 will have a special place in my heart as well. My deeply twisted heart.
PN: What was your inspiration to write The Compressionist

CL: The Compressionist all came about from a typo. I was trying to type something quickly into Google and I somehow ended up with Compressionist. (The attention span strikes again!) Once I’d seen the word it started to bug me. I knew there was a story in there somewhere. It took a few scrapped attempts & a lot of scrawled notes before I saw what it was. To write an idea you begin to compress it and so many stories have a modicum of reality in them. From there I started to see a story that was home to a really interesting monster. I knew I was onto something when I was freaked out by what it did to people. That’s always a good sign.

mrjamesPN: What are you working on next?

CL: I’m juggling a few things at the moment. Without giving too much away I’m cleaning up some of my favourite stories & working on some new ones to go alongside them. I’m currently in the company of witches and some very old shadows. After that I’ve got a forger who painted over the canvas to deal with. I’m also working on my first novel (gulp). That’s all to do with a town plagued by a very strange urban myth. I think there might also be some therapy somewhere down the line after all this!

PN: If you were forced to spend a night in a haunted house and you got to choose the manner of your haunting- what or who would it be?

CL: If anything could haunt me I’d love it to be the ghost of M R James
Now there’s a ghost who would know what its doing. There would be no messing around with that. If not him them I’d have to go with Slimer. I’m a child at heart. Well, my deeply twisted heart.

KG Publishing Logo

Kensington Gore is the infamous Hammered Horror film director, that according to myth and legend fake theatre and movie blood was named after.

One of Horror’s most shocking founding fathers Kensington has always courted controversy with some of his banned classics “The Mummy’s Ring” “Kiss of the Spider Monkey!” and The Human Caterpillar!”

That are soon to be turned into books, with unique book first “Director’s Commentaries!”

After a twenty year break, and reports of his death being somewhat exaggerated, he’s back writing and directing. His latest film might have you hitting the Road to Hel, he’s trying to get a distributor for his Werewolves Of London. Also he works in radio and TV.

 

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