Book #21

Cold Calling by Haydn Wilks

You spend your days staring into a computer screen, trying to sell life insurance to young couples with new babies.
You spend your nights staring into a computer screen, extracting filth from and injecting bile into the internet.
You still live with the same dickhead housemate you went to university with.
Your only respite from computer screens are nights spent getting smashed with him at student bars, watching him prance around, trying to pull much younger girls.
Your life sucks and you suck at it.
One drunken night, you try something new.
Something terrible.
But something that brings you new energy, new drive, new desires.
You start eating the young.

Sick, sick, sick. Wonderfully sick.

Wilks' writing is superb again. His words are addictive, and his relatable world of the call centre, the what am I doing with my life dilemma, the mundane repetition of a life you didn't choose, makes the ultimate scenes of depravity all the more realistic, and all the more disgusting. I very rarely squirm at the grotesque in novels, but here I actually had to avert my eyes and steel myself before committing to read any more. Utterly horrendous, yet somehow delicious at the same time.

I loved the macabre mixed in with the mundane. Flesh in a Heston Blumenthal slow cooker; human bones in a council bin. None of the perverted romance in similar novels was present here (think American Psycho), nor was it welcome. Walking through John Lewis with the thought of cannibalism on your mind. Glorious.

There was something missing for me, though. I read The Death of Danny Daggers a couple of years ago and found it entirely amazing, but Cold Calling didn't seem quite as good. It was fairly short, and could've been doing with some more meat to the bones (no pun intended), and a far better ending. Maybe I'm just greedy for more baby flesh.

An excellent one for those of us stuck in the call centre life, that daily repetition of the workaday blur. I'd recommend this for a quick injection of obscenity, but I'd caveat that by suggesting you read Danny Daggers first. I look forward to seeing more from Wilks.