Body Of Christ: Mark Matthews
Reviewed By Steve Stred
“The beauty in twisted darkness
Raped by the light of Christ
We were not born to follow
We don’t need your guiding light”
Raped by the Light of Christ by At the Gates -1993
What the hell did I just read?
I picked this one up some time ago, and like most stuff, it just got buried in my TBR. Finally, arriving at the top of the pile and gasping for air, Mark Matthews ‘Body of Christ’ was opened and I dove in.
I can see this one falling into three reader reaction categories. 1 – YAS! 2 – NO! 3 – BLASPHEMY!!!!!
I fell into category 1, but JFC does Matthews push the envelope here. Fantastic.
We follow two teenagers – a boy and a girl. They live across the street from each other. The boy lives with his mom and dad. His mom is an obese bible thumper, his dad is a broken shell of a man, dealing with crippling back pain. The boy has a safe space – his closet. A little area where he keeps all of his special trinkets in zip lock bags. These range from sentimental (melted snow from a snowman) to a bit disturbing (a dried-up worm with dead ants). But this is his escape.
The girl is dealing with the sudden passing of her mom. Her dad made the decision after an accident to remove her from life support, but as her mom takes her last breaths, the girl can hear her mom yell out to her from somewhere else.
Wracked with guilt, the girl and her dad return home, only for the girl to start her first period, a moment that her mom would’ve helped her with and understand. Instead, she’s left with grief, despair and worry.
I can’t say any more about what transpires specifically, I wanna stay spoiler-free, but let’s just say the first two-thirds of this book are written at a 10/10 on the bonkers scale and the last third hits the 15/10 rating. Just more insanity followed by more depravity.
Matthews has crafted a magnificent messed up gem here, one that hums along at lightning speed. I would have read this in one sitting, easily, if I didn’t have five other books on the go. Instead, a bit of distance and a return over the last few nights really highlighted the depths of disturbing he was creating here.
Well done, Mark. Absolutely one of the most unnerving things I’ve ever read.
Body Of Christ
After his first Holy Communion, a boy secretly builds his own Jesus out of communion wafers and the flesh of his dad.
On Halloween night, his Jesus shall rise.
After a tragic death, a girl tends to the Cemetery of the Innocents, a memorial to the holocaust of abortion and children killed before their time.
On Halloween night, the children shall live, and they need to be fed.
The Holy Spirit comes to life in this shocking, transgressive story of Christian Horror
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
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