Vu Ja De: BP Gregory
Reviewed By Ben Walker
Featuring five stories and their cover art, BP Gregory’s third volume of collected shorts definitely delivers on the title’s suggestion that these aren’t typical experiences.
The first story is Babes Down Boreholes, which splits its time between a person trapped by a cave-in and their recollections from before disaster struck. It’s a putting the pieces together kind of tale, and that threw me out a bit at first, until they all started to fit. Despite its weird rhythm it ticks along at an entertaining pace, with some bizarre imagery and occasional creepy moments. Imagine Stephen King’s Survivor Type seen through a warped lens.
The next offering – Abstract – puts you into the head of a contract killer as he ponders his life and his current target. It succeeds in feeling like the scattergun mind of someone who feels lost in the world, but it’s also tricky to get to grips with as a result, feels more rewarding on a second or third read-through.
Third up is Parallel, which aptly enough is a tale of parallel worlds, as well as murder most foul. More sizeable than the first two stories, this one didn’t quite grab me by the proverbials, but there’s a decent air of mystery and unease running through it, as well as some dark humour to keep things interesting.
White Picket is fourth in the queue, dealing with the rich/poor divide and maybe zombies, going from weird to depressing in just four pages. It’s the most straightforward piece but there’s still a lot to unravel.
Finally there’s Our Lady of the Trampled Beast, where a long hike turns into an acid-dipped blend of Blair Witch and Cabin Fever with a sprinkling of Cannibal Holocaust for good measure. Things get darker and weirder with every turn of the page, leading to a finale that delivers on both visceral shocks and flat out weird folklorish shit. Easily my favourite story out of the five, and a hell of a strong finish.
Not to repeat myself or anything (ha, see what I did there?), but this is definitely worth your attention as something very different to a lot of single-author collections. Equally creepy, weird and fascinating, I’ll definitely be checking out the other volumes in this series after this.
Vu Ja De
A scorned lover delves beneath the earth one final time.
A war criminal waiting out his old age in an apartment.
Three corporate citizens become lost in the woods and they are so terribly hungry.
Enjoy BP Gregory’s latest horror, sci fi and urban fantasy stories gathered together as part of Vu Ja De.
Ben got a taste for terror after sneaking downstairs to watch The Thing from behind the sofa at age 9. He’s a big fan of extreme & bizarre horror and well as more psychological frights, and most things in between. When he’s not reading, he’s writing, and when he’s not writing he’s on twitter @BensNotWriting or reviewing books on his YouTube channel, BLURB.