WALK THE DARKNESS DOWN is the weirdest western horror story I've ever read. I adored it!
Starting with a young man named Levi, we travel down a dusty dirt road and meet up with Jubal, Jones and Keaton along the way, with brief stops visiting Tiny, and an aging coal miner named Ford. (I'm not even going mention the nightmares that are Jubal's sisters-I'll let you meet them on your own. Suffice it to say, I'm sure they'll be visiting my nightmares sometime soon. I just hope that when they do, they're in their dirty sling and I don't have to gaze upon their naked...faces.) Passing through towns like Gabino and finally ending up with a showdown in Lansdale, there are a bunch of literary references in here which made me smile.
Aside from Jubal's sisters, this entire novella is nightmare fuel, really. Levi's horrific treatment at the hands of his grandfather is awful, though what happens to him afterward is even worse. The lives of all mentioned in this book are tattered and torn. All of the characters are both good and bad, they have faults, they have redeeming qualities...they're just...human. In all the glory and filth that humanity embodies, there they are.
I came out of this with a distinct cosmic horror vibe, but I'm not quite sure on that. There was no outright mention of Cthulhu or anything...(show spoiler)
This isn't really a spoiler but I don't want to stain the thoughts of a new reader with ideas of my own. I sure would like to talk to somebody about it though.
I've read a lot of John Boden's work, and I'm going to say flat out right now, this is my favorite of them all. Like my second favorite, SPUNGUNION, there hasn't been too much of a buzz about it because it was published as a (beautiful!) signed, limited edition at first. (Thank you to my lovely friend Andi Rawson who gifted me a copy because she knows how much I like John Boden's work. Love you, girl!)
WALK THE DARKNESS DOWN: It's weird. It's gory. It's western. It's so much more. It's also worthy of my highest recommendation, so now it's got that too.
Available to pre-order now, and available everywhere July 17th, 2019, here: