Vicki Bolton's Reviews > The Tally

The Tally by E.G. Wolverson
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May 03, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: psychological
Read in November, 2011

Upon purchasing, The Tally, I read it in less than 24 hours; Wolverson's mixture of hilarity and the macabre had me hooked. Set in a grubby student hovel in the centre of Hull, the premise for the piece hardly screams "high brow," but the author's technique of weaving immature (and very very honest) humour into a dark horror setting is surprisingly effective. As the other reviewers have said, hard to categorise, but very effective.

The narrative descends into the protagonist's personal hell, and we are taken along for the ride, forever screaming "NO!" at the unrelenting pages. Like the "tragedy" of Star Wars that litters the tale intermittently, however, we can do nothing to stop the terrifying and haunting climax.

The characters whose lives are so damaged by this personal hell are certainly likeable and identifiable, which makes the horror of the piece all the more relevant to anyone who has been to university and well... met real people. A particular favourite of mine was the aptly-named "Gristle," a character whom one should really not like, but somehow one warms to in a "we-all-have-a-friend-like-this-who-embarrasses-and-gets-us-arrested-but-they're-part-of-the-group" kind of way. But just when we begin to chuckle with, and at, the "meat puppet" characters, we are hit with truly good writing that makes us stop in our tracks. When I die don't let them take my eyes...

In short, a writer who can take the common game of "Snake" and force me to consider the nature of my existence is certainly a writer I would like to see more from. Fantastic!
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