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Everybody Scream!, by Jeffrey Thomas Book Review | SFReader.com
Everybody Scream!, by Jeffrey Thomas Genre: Horror Publisher: Raw Dog Screaming Press Published: 2004 Review Posted: 2/22/2005 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 6 out of 10
Everybody Scream!, by Jeffrey Thomas
Book Review by Paul Goat Allen
Have you read this book?
If Jeffrey Thomas' Everybody Scream! were a literary recipe, it would be
equal parts Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, H.P. Lovecraft's The Call of
Cthulhu and Aleister Crowley's Diary of a Drug Fiend -- with a pinch of Simon
R. Green's Deathstalker saga.
Paxton (aka Punktown) is a lawless city located on the colony planet of
Oasis. During Punktown's annual fair, the defecation hits the rotating
oscillator as a cast of drug dealers, nymphomaniacs, career criminals, serial killers,
mutants, aliens and naïve teenagers converge to create unparalleled havoc.
Serving as a kind of thematic eye in the center of the swirling violence, sex
and drug-saturated storm is Del and Sophi Kahn, a down-and-out musical icon and
his wife, owners and managers of the traveling carnival. As the carnival
quickly spirals out of control -- shootings, drug overdoses, serial killers on the
loose, packs of bloodthirsty monstrosities stalking innocents, etc. -- so too
does Del and Sophi's relationship come unraveled. While Del struggles with his
quickly fading fame and shrinking fan base, his cheating wife is blackmailed by
a member of a powerful drug cartel. As visitors to the carnival live out
their wildest fantasies -- or for some, their deepest nightmares -- high on
mind-altering drugs like gold-dust and purple vortex, and produce dangerously high
levels of adrenaline on rides like the Vomit Comet and the Puker, alien invaders
join the fray looking for creatures to harvest.
With a practically limitless (and virtually unexplored) landscape on
which to paint on -- the planet of Oasis -- and a vast supply of bizarre
characters, Thomas' Punktown saga could be as popular and long-lived as series like
Robert Asprin's Phule's Company saga and Green's aforementioned Deathstalker
sequence. Alex, the savage, sex-crazed protagonist of the Burgess classic,
unintentionally describes Everybody Scream! perfectly: "... a real kick and good for
laughs and lashings of the old ultraviolent."
Paul Goat Allen is the editor of Barnes & Noble's Explorations science
fiction/fantasy book review and is the author of Burning Sticks, Old Winding Way and
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