A review by readswithdogs
Walk The Darkness Down, by John Boden

5.0

I went into this book having no clue what to think, given this premise: a man who is made of scars doing evil things and a group of misfit men in a dark Old West style parable? With a reverse werewolf? Oooookay. 


However, I trust Sadie (@mother.horror), so the fact that she loved this and I loved John Boden's writing with Chad Lutzke meant I was willing to give WALK THE DARKNESS DOWN a shot. I'm very much glad I did!

I'm not usually a Western fan, but that style really suited this particular story and John Boden is an extraordinary writer. 


As one of his characters says: 

"words [are] traps. You say too many and they'll scatter on the ground around you and trip you up, snarl your legs and lives."

 

Boden crafts this weird western folktale with just the right words and somehow made this slim little book (it's only just over 150 pages) pack a huge punch in the gut. I'm usually a fast reader who gets bored easily and I found myself reading WALK THE DARKNESS DOWN as slowly as I could just to take it all in and digest it. Any moment that I was worried of getting bored, something interesting would happen, like suddenly a reverse werewolf appears. The fact a lot of the places in the story and characters were named after other Indie horror authors was a fun bonus.


Levi (possibly the most grotesque character I've ever read about) is slowly making his way around destroying small towns, killing everyone that crosses his path, and consuming them one way or another. He's a massive murderous man who daydreams about choking out the Sun. He's trailed by Jones, a man bent on avenging his mother's death, Keaton, an angry loner with a heart of gold, and Jubal, an orphan teenager who knows more than he lets on and sweetly carries his younger sisters around in a sling. The way Boden describes everything in this unsettling story is enough to make you have a physical reaction--I found myself shuddering and cringing with disgust at some of the things this motley crew runs into. 

 

Wisdom appears on almost every page; this one line, said when enemies turn into friends, is going to stick with me for a long time:


"Grief is a hungry fuel. And it will devour anything to keep burning" 


five stars for this masterpiece


Please give it a read because it deserves all the love and doesn't fit into any one genre.