Christopher Owens 🔖 The humble pulp novel.


Designed to be consumed and enjoyed in one go, such books often display imaginations greater than most Booker Prize winners and writing as tense and clipped as any existentialist musing. It’s a deceiving genre, and God bless those who partake in them.

A prolific horror writer, Brian G. Bery describes this one as emerging from a dream he had. Considering some of his other titles, I’d hate to see what he would consider to be nightmare material.

Running to a mere 62 pages, The Mound tells the story of Clint Blackwell. Speaking from Death Row, the Butcher of Jackson Springs (as he’s referred to in the press) gives the reader his version of the events that led to the gas chamber.

Clint is an unusual type.

Describing himself as childless and living in a neighbourhood filed with them, he describes his area as:

…a kickback to the good days when the flag flew true; where the children ran free in the streets at all hours of the day; where the summers were hazed in the aroma of steaks grilling on the pit…

Immediately, one gets the impression that the narrator is putting on a show for the reader where, in order to determine just how innocent he is, Clint has to depict everyone else as a threat. Also, in possession of nearly 400 Western paperbacks? Clearly a character out of time, but proud of it. Unfortunately for him, events not of this world (or are they) begin to overtake him and dead bodies pile up.

Because the tale is told in first person, Berry has tremendous fun not only with the plot but with the implication that Clint might be a liar (partly because he is such an engaging narrator). The last chapter does ruin the fun a little because it comes firmly down on the side of one particular interpretation but, considering the whole thing is 62 pages, it’s not the end of the world.

Long live pulpy trash horror.

Brian G. Berry, 2023, The Mound. Independently published. ISBN-13: 979-8377796848

🕮 Christopher Owens was a reviewer for Metal Ireland and finds time to study the history and inherent contradictions of Ireland. He is currently the TPQ Friday columnist and author of A Vortex Of Securocrats.

The Mound

Christopher Owens 🔖 The humble pulp novel.


Designed to be consumed and enjoyed in one go, such books often display imaginations greater than most Booker Prize winners and writing as tense and clipped as any existentialist musing. It’s a deceiving genre, and God bless those who partake in them.

A prolific horror writer, Brian G. Bery describes this one as emerging from a dream he had. Considering some of his other titles, I’d hate to see what he would consider to be nightmare material.

Running to a mere 62 pages, The Mound tells the story of Clint Blackwell. Speaking from Death Row, the Butcher of Jackson Springs (as he’s referred to in the press) gives the reader his version of the events that led to the gas chamber.

Clint is an unusual type.

Describing himself as childless and living in a neighbourhood filed with them, he describes his area as:

…a kickback to the good days when the flag flew true; where the children ran free in the streets at all hours of the day; where the summers were hazed in the aroma of steaks grilling on the pit…

Immediately, one gets the impression that the narrator is putting on a show for the reader where, in order to determine just how innocent he is, Clint has to depict everyone else as a threat. Also, in possession of nearly 400 Western paperbacks? Clearly a character out of time, but proud of it. Unfortunately for him, events not of this world (or are they) begin to overtake him and dead bodies pile up.

Because the tale is told in first person, Berry has tremendous fun not only with the plot but with the implication that Clint might be a liar (partly because he is such an engaging narrator). The last chapter does ruin the fun a little because it comes firmly down on the side of one particular interpretation but, considering the whole thing is 62 pages, it’s not the end of the world.

Long live pulpy trash horror.

Brian G. Berry, 2023, The Mound. Independently published. ISBN-13: 979-8377796848

🕮 Christopher Owens was a reviewer for Metal Ireland and finds time to study the history and inherent contradictions of Ireland. He is currently the TPQ Friday columnist and author of A Vortex Of Securocrats.

2 comments:

  1. I saw the picture and my first impression was that it was another book about Scappaticci.

    ReplyDelete