Monday, 20 November 2006

The Dead at Deepminden, Gary Cross, 2006

The Dead at Deepminden, Gary Cross, Reed, Auckland, New Zealand, 2006, 196 pages, paperback $16.99. ISBN 1-86948-408-8

‘A monster shot up from the river, dived towards him and bit him in two with a single bite.’ The Dead at Deepminden was written for young people but is only for those who have strong stomachs and no interest in coherent plots or characterisation. Set in medieval Iceland, it pits Rajar, an Irish wizard, and Olaf, his Viking friend, against an array of monsters and the walking dead. The pointless plot is lightly based on Norse myth but owes more to gross-out horror movies and computer games, as corpses make cannibalistic attacks and blood rains from the sky. Each page is decorated with a bloody hand-print. What more warning is needed?

Trevor Agnew

First published in The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand in Nov 2006.

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