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Review – Pearl by Josh Malerman

“Pearl rolled to his feet and trotted towards them.
“Fuck,” Mitch said, “He’s coming.”
“It’s just a fucking pig.” Jerry said half breathless.”

pearlLast year, when Pearl dropped, I had been on a quest to read as many Josh Malerman books as possible. There is a sharp edge to the horror he creates, an assault on the reader’s psyche that may or may not be too far. Malerman has a deft understanding of what makes some readers climb the walls and tear at their hair in dismay. Opening one of his books is thrilling and slightly terrifying because you never know which part of your abused mind he will assault. 

Then he created Pearl

“Go to the farm just outside of town and you’ll hear it.

A voice. Inside your head.

Or is it?

Come to me…

Pearl never minced on the edges of horror; this is Malerman stretching his metaphorical razor-tipped claws and sinking them into your unsuspecting brain. Pearl is the stuff of childhood nightmares. 

Pearl is a pig; if you know anything about pigs, know they are crazy intelligent, massive in size, and will eat anything. They tick all the “other” boxes compared to humans. Pearl is also a pig with only one good eye, but this psychotic pig sees everything. And Pearl uses his mind to wreak havoc and control everything. 

Pearl by Josh Malerman is gory and psychotic. It touches on that part of the primal brain that hides in the corner, quivers from things bigger and worse than you, and is up to no good. The pig is a wonder of creation, so subtle, Malerman’s prose is unadorned, but explains just enough to allow the author’s imagination to take over. 

If you read this story, and I wholeheartedly believe you should, you are going to go through some shit—Because Pearl is going to get you.  

5 out of 5 gore smeared stars

 

Read our interview with Josh Malerman

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