Monday, 8 June 2009

Like a pube on a pipe

'“Something was pouring from his mouth. He examined his sleeve. Blood!? Blood. Crimson copper-smelling blood, his blood. Blood. Blood. Blood. And bits of sick”.

Garth Marenghi is probably the UK’s greatest living writer. Often described as a ‘horror author’, Marenghi’s oeuvre actually defies categorisation, tearing up the rules of genre as it simultaneously nudges the parameters of literature, of art, of humanity itself.

Marenghi is a fabulist, a dream weaver, an artist worthy to rub leather clad shoulders with the genii of world history: Poe, M.R James, H.P Lovecraft, James Herbert. Look in the farthest reaches of the human mind, in the dark and cobwebbed recesses where no-one goes, and you will find him - contemplating the unknown and the other, pondering the out there and the off the chart, and typing, the rat tat of the keys the blaze of a cerebral machine gun loaded with ballistic bullets of truth.

Unbelievably prolific, Marenghi has cultivated our barren minds with the seeds of wonder for over twenty five years, turning ‘what if’ into ‘what the hell?’ and then ‘what now?’ and, always, ‘WHY?’. For his critics, and there are many (even Henry Miller had his fair share of knockers) he is a hack, a scribbler: these people are wrong and stupid. Yes, Marenghi serves up more than his (un)fair share of chills, thrills and prostitutes in peril but these are but horrific hors d'oeuvre, sweet meats for the masses, a trail of cake crumbs that lead even the most one-dimensionally minded slash hound into the gilded grotto of Marenghi’s limitless imagination. Here there be answers.

In classic works like ‘Slicer’, ‘The Ooze’, ‘Eye Sore’ and ‘Slicer IV: The Blade Is Back’, Marenghi takes a blow torch to the human psyche, conjuring a fantastic, nightmarish world where a man sized crab can threaten a seaside town, a big eyeball can kill, or a bus driving rat can dissolve Parliament.

Enjoying a criminally overdue renaissance in recent years with the airing (or should that be ‘scaring’?) of his ground breaking TV show ‘Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place' (a show so challenging that it was shelved for twenty years in order for mankind to evolve) and the re-publication of all the books in his enormous canon, Marenghi is still pushing the bloody boundaries of his art and is currently working on confounding, confusing and bemusing expectation again with his 437th publication, a cook book entitled ‘Dead Meat: A Grimoire for Gastronomes’.


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