I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Nothing That Is by Kyle Winkler
Published by Independently Published on April 17, 2021
Genres: Horror, Cosmic Horror
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"Infused with cosmic, culinary dread and seasoned with dark humor, The Nothing That Is reads like Anthony Bourdain riffing on Lovecraft. Winkler's engaging style and hypnotic prose will consume you whole, and if that doesn't whet your appetite, there's an exploding graveyard. Eat this one up, my friends, before it eats you!"
-- Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Kin and Sour Candy
"Wild, fast-moving, and disorientingly hilarious... down to earth and completely unhinged. It also gave me a jolt of sickening, infinite horror I hadn't felt since the Vermicious Knids jumped out of Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator."
-- Ben Loory, author of Tales of Falling and Flying
It's 1986. Cade McCall is an assistant manager for a catering business. Driving to work one morning, part of the local graveyard explodes. Later the same day, Cade gets an odd message from a client who needs catering for an Extreme Food Club. He calls himself Mr. Dinosaur. And he's paying $11,000. Despite Cade's reservations, he takes the gig. Although, who's feeding whom is another question entirely...Involving female biker gangs, cults, possessed furniture, and a full dose of cosmic horror, The Nothing That Is serves up the weird.
The Nothing That Is by Kyle Winkler was a huge surprise. Adrenaline and mystique keep the reader engaged. We get everything that we could possibly anticipate from an excellent Cosmic Horror. Winkler sets impossibly high standard from the get go. That exquisite level of imagination is continued throughout the novella. Trust Winkler and his vision, he doesn’t steer you wrong.
The Nothing That Is is a creation that lives in the deepest recesses of a brilliant mind. His writing never once failed me. I love Cosmic Horror and the accuracy and shock value entranced me. The plot is a dangerous roller-coaster of strangeness and obscurity. It’s the perfect stage for an experience borne from chance and desperation. I really relished his exploration of societal themes of financial burden and beliefs beyond our own reality.
Cade McCall is a down on his luck Assistant Manager at a Catering firm. He is desperate to move on and start up his own company. There’s only one thing holding him back, money. His solution seems to just drop into his lap unbidden. A Mr Dinosaur phones up with a very specific catering brief. He is representing a food tasting group, and although it all seems very weird, he’s being paid in cash, what’s not to like? Well, if things seem to good too be true, then they probably are.
The Nothing That Is was an experience. It felt like being trapped in the eye of the storm. You know what it’s supposed to be like but the reality is far more violent, far more intense. The unease emanating from the pages is omnipresent but so freaking awesome. Cade caters for the dinner but the requests get stranger and stranger, but Cade only thinks of the red-hot cash!
Oh, and exploding cemeteries… Yah!
Quite often I had to stop in my marvel at the fact this was the authors debut work. The writing and red-hot narrative was flawless. Topics tackled with respect and research but without diminishing the impact of societal norms. Man, it was just tantalisingly gruesome.
The skill of the author had the lines blurring, I couldn’t decipher reality and fiction. The town seems to be a giant shroud of secrets and its up to Cade to get to the bottom of it before it’s too late. I will be watching with bated breath for Winkler next release. This guy has serious talent.