The Woodwitch by Stephen Gregory

The Woodwitch - Stephen Gregory

 

I just finished this literary gem and I don't even know what to think! This nasty little ball of maggots, flies and mushrooms is still bouncing around inside my head.

 If you follow CHC, then you may have seen one of these earlier this week. For the rest of you, let me introduce you to the stinkhorn mushroom,(or the woodwitch):

(This is the tamest picture I could find.) Now this may make you chuckle, it certainly made me. But laughter is where it all started; a woman laughed at Andrew Pinkney, and why? Because his manhood could not, would not, resemble this mushroom. Things didn't turn out so well with that woman. They didn't turn out so well for Andrew either. 

 

After the incident, we join Andrew on his employer mandated vacation into the misty, damp, forested hills of Snowdonia. He is ordered to get some rest and get himself together. Instead, in the ever drizzly landscape, he becomes obsessed with the stinkhorn, and the reader is dragged along.

 

 

Andrew has no idea what he's doing, he's a young lawyer in the making, not an outdoorsman. His "finds" on his walks with Phoebe his dog are disgusting-I mean, even the dog doesn't like them. What's he doing? What is he thinking? These are the questions that forced me to continue reading.

 

Even when the descriptions of the scenery got a bit too lengthy. Even when things started to turn my stomach-my sick fascination with Andrew and his mission kept me reading. I'm usually not one to stare at a car wreck, but I stared at Andrew long and hard. (See what I did there?) I couldn't help myself, thanks to Mr. Gregory. I love his use of language and his descriptive prose-somehow some of these things were horrific and beautiful at the same time.

 

I still have that ball I mentioned bouncing around in my head, but I think I'm going to leave off this review here. This was a novel of psychological horror that was truly twisted. I found the thought processes of Andrew to be so fascinating I could not look away. You should read this book. I bet it will fascinate you. 

 

Highly recommended for fans of quiet, psychological horror dealt out at a leisurely pace.

 

* A free e-copy of this book was provided by Valancourt Books in exchange for an honest review. This is it!*