Resurrection Dreams - Richard Laymon

(No Series)

Back in Ellsworth High there was definitely no one weirder than Melvin. All the kids made fun of the way he dressed, the way he acted, everything about him. Vicki was the only one who stood up for him, but even she was horrified when he dug up a dead body and tried to bring it back to life with power from a car battery.

That was years ago, but Vicki still has nightmares about Melvin. Now she’s back in Ellsworth and she knows she’ll have to see Melvin again. He’s just been released from the institution and he’s acting even weirder than ever. His experiments with the dead have progressed, and as soon as he can get Vicki where he wants her, he can make his most twisted dream a reality…

People praise Laymon like he is the messiah of Horror; so far my experiences with him have been hit and miss. I was sorely disappointed with Body Rides, madly in love with Resurrection Dreams, but as for this one, I’m stuck smack dab in the middle. On the brink, but never quite getting there.

The plot is cheesy, childishly simple, and mainly predictable. Predictable, cheesy, simple plots can be enjoyed, of course, but one usually expects a bit more from Laymon. The idea that Melvin can really do what he does is outlandish enough; a reader learns to suspend a certain amount of disbelief, but the way it came to play here seemed a bit overdone. Also, what was the purpose? You would figure he’d want to show the world now that he had proof.

The characters are real enough, likeable in their own way, even Melvin, who the author made sure you felt sorry for while still making sure you couldn’t help getting amused by his gawkiness. Laymon didn’t go overboard with the sexual lust and wanting here, but he did manage to anger me with the ending concerning a few of the characters. The beginning was fine, with some shocks and thrills, the middle held up well enough pacing wise and the ending, while strongly written, didn’t sit with me well.

Laymon’s writing style is direct, humorous, and dark when it’s meant to be. Regretfully he left any semblance of suspense and genuine horror out the door, instead opting for some cheaper gross out factors, not even dishing that out much.

This isn’t a Laymon book I’d recommend highly, but I wouldn’t tell Laymon fans to pass it up. It’s not bad, it’s more lukewarm – nothing to get excited and ga-ga over, but not something that would entirely spoil an evening either.

   Zombie Book Reviews: