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Hell Comes to Hogtown

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Fitz is a broke night manager for a grubby comic book store. His only friend Dee is a drugged-out, womanizing pro-wrestler. Together they’re the most pathetic losers on the face of the planet. Their lives cannot possibly get any worse.

And then they’re implicated in the kidnapping of the prime minister’s wife.

On the run from the cops, Fitz and Dee discover there is something far worse than the RCMP stalking the dark streets of Toronto. They are being hunted by an ancient demon of unspeakable evil with an insatiable taste for blood... or maybe it’s just your run-of-the-mill giant murderous hobo?

Either way, life in prison might be better than whatever the creepy drifter has in store for them...


First published June 25, 2016

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About the author

C.D. Gallant-King

13 books92 followers
Writer, tabletop gamer, pro-wrestling aficionado. Dad.

I claim to write stories, but really I just find them in The Closet, dust them off, add a few commas and send them out into the world.

Proudly Canadian, born and raised in Newfoundland, fine-tuned and educated in Toronto and currently residing in Ottawa with a beautiful wife, two wonderful children and various furry four-legged companions.

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5 stars
13 (43%)
4 stars
10 (33%)
3 stars
7 (23%)
2 stars
0 (0%)
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Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews
Profile Image for kartik narayanan.
725 reviews201 followers
August 15, 2018
Hell Comes to Hogtown is a decent book with some sparks of brilliance in between.

Welp, I read this book since it came up in the SPFBO. I heard it was horror mixed with dark comedy and not really fantasy but that it still deserved to be in the running. Now, having it read, my thoughts are that it is not really horror. It definitely did not spook me out - rather it was more like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with a pair of mildly bumbling idiots except that it dealt with the supernatural. So, no horror, possibly fantasy elements in a buddy comedy.

That said, I still enjoyed the book. The humour was good throughout, reaching moments of brilliance in between. The red herring was great too - if you read the book, you will know what I mean.

Profile Image for Lukasz.
1,227 reviews195 followers
August 7, 2018
I'm a fantasy guy at heart. Sure, I go on adventures and try new things but there's nothing like a good old-fashioned epic story. Horror is a genre of its own that can intersect with fantasy but is definitely not contained fully within it. I have a feeling that horror tends to create two very distinct camps– those who love it and those who would never dream of reading (or watching) anything in the genre. I'm in the middle. I'm willing to read horror novels, but I rarely enjoy them.

Hell Comes to Hogtown surprised me in a good way. How do I even describe it? It’s a strange, genre-bending mixture of action, horror, fantasy and comedy. And it works - it entertains, surprises and, above all, gives a lot of fun.

Fitz (Fistpunch Chetrit) is a broke night manager for a grubby comic book store. His only friend in the world, Dee (King David Bonecrusher) is a womanizing drug fiend and pro-wrestler. Everybody has ups and downs in their lives, but in case of these two, there are no ups. To make matter worse, they’re implicated in the kidnapping of the prime minister’s wife and, in consequence, plunged into a world of darkness.

Soon, they discover that Toronto police is nothing compared to unspeakable evil stalking the dark streets of the city.

Hell Comes to Hogtown has plenty of strengths. The thing that gripped my attention from page one was a humorous, instantly likeable writing voice. It blends comedy and blackness in a way that hits all the right notes for me. I would go as far as to say it may appeal to Pratchett or Vonnegut fans. On the other hand, where Pratchett's perfectly British sense of humour was quite universal, Gallant's dark and pop-culture influenced voice may be slightly over the top to more sensitive readers. Be prepared to see dildo-bat used to fight forces of darkness or hear Dee's sexist ramblings. Sometimes the dialogue is vulgar but witty. All in all, if you like Family Guy's kind of fun, you'll dig it. I did.

The writing is neat and has an excellent flow that made the book difficult to put down. I particularly enjoyed the use of Canadian French slang (later on the swears become more imaginative, but also richer in fucks, so I won't quote them):

What is wrong with you? They were my suspects, too!”

“Constable Salvatore was only a few days away from retirement.”

“Tabarnak, he was, like, thirty years old! Tabarnak”

The story is told through two points of view: Fitz and Croteau. Fitz is a bit dorky and slow on the uptake of what's happening around him but don't let it fool you. Despite being an utter coward and a loser, he always manages to find his way around and get out of a jam. Additionally, his slightly self-deprecating voice is hilarious. Inspector Croteau is a tough, impetuous gay Policeman swearing in most imaginative ways. I loved his short-tempered voice and his chapters were fantastic. When they meet the bad guy with ungodly powers, pacing becomes breakneck, with few pauses for comedic scenes.

In essence, I enjoy this kind of story—a race against the clock, a motley crew of characters, nicely flowing prose.

In practice, however, Hell comes to Hogtown has a few things going against it. It started perfectly and up until around 65% of the book I simply couldn't put it down. But then the book tried to be more serious and black than comedic and somehow it didn't have expected impact on me. It's not even crazy orgy in which people die in the whirlwind of ecstasy. It's mostly Ariadne (prime minister's wife) arc resolution. I hoped the story would be more daring and dark. That there won't be any doubtful internal struggles between good and wrong. As a result, the climax was a bit disappointing and slightly too cartoonish. The final twist, though, and final reveal were satisfying.

In the end, I enjoyed this novel. It has a similar vibe to Tarantino or Guy Ritchie's movies. The story is simple but twists and turns are legion and you really can't be sure what to expect. It'll entertain you in a loud and violent way. The narrative won't appeal to everyone, but for those who enjoy dark and twisted humour, it offers a delectable adventure full of fun, laughter and terror.

Also, the brain gets very mushy with nothing new to entertain it. It needs the challenge of something new and different and Hell Comes to Hogtown delivers something like that.
Profile Image for Mark.
483 reviews81 followers
August 7, 2018
This is a terrific book. A fast paced wonderfully enjoyable storyline, the pace of the action and storyline is at top speed, it literally drags you through from the start to the finish.

Hoping it gets to the end of SPFBO2018.

This one of those book, were you get so immersed in the book, you forget where you are and you use sense of time.
Profile Image for Michelle.
9 reviews
July 9, 2018
Gallant-King has a way of drawing you into the life of a character then flipping everything upside on a rollercoaster of a ride. Hell Comes to Hogtown is a fun, twisted murder mystery mixed with the supernatural. I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure and suggest you check it out! I also highly recommend Gallant-King's Ten Thousand Days (one of my favs).
Profile Image for Patricia Lynne.
Author 20 books107 followers
July 12, 2017
While I can't watch horror movies, I do enjoy a good horror book. Especially when there is something supernatural going on. I liked how what the supernatural thing wasn't obvious. The characters thought maybe vampires, but you don't see fangs or stuff like that so you're left uncertain. I won't say what the supernatural thing ended up being, but it was something new and fresh for me.

I also did not expect the people who died to die. One in particular really shocked me.

As for the characters, I liked the MC well enough. Dee was a bit of an asshole and I didn't find him likeable, but I think that was on purpose. The detectives (or special agents or whatever they were) were interesting, but sometimes I felt like I could use more information on them. I didn't feel like I really got to know them the way I did the MC and Dee. There were some definite creepy moments and the MC's fear was very believable. The main baddie's motivation was truly messed up and I really liked that.

This was an excellent read by a talented author.
Profile Image for Rhonda Gilmour.
163 reviews3 followers
August 13, 2016
Once a great horror fan, it's been a while since I've read anything in this genre. What a hoot! Gallant-King deftly combines horror and comedy in this hilarious, creepy romp through the underbelly of Toronto. I particularly enjoyed his cast of lovable losers, a kinky femme fatale, tough gay cops, and a supernatural bad guy that defies the usual stereotypes. There's plenty of gore and suspense, but none of that ick factor and plodding pace found in some longer horror tomes. Hell Comes to Hogtown is delightfully creepy and full of surprises.
Profile Image for Stephanie Faris.
Author 13 books89 followers
December 13, 2016
Hell Comes to Hogtown by C.D. Gallant-King focuses on the death of the prime minister's wife and two guys who are pulled into the drama by accident. C.D. has a humorous, immensely likable writing voice that makes ever scene more interesting. When you add in the action and drama of a comic book shop employee on the run with his wrestler friend (yes, you read that correctly!), you have a book that you won't be able to put down.
Profile Image for Ivana.
7 reviews
November 30, 2018
Hell comes to Hogtown was an amusing, fast paced dark comedy that made me laugh out loud at least once per page. The humour was unapologetically brutal and I loved it for it
It was well edited- haven't noticed any typos or weird sounding sentences.
I haven't read any book similar to it, but I could recommend it to comic book, anime and tabletop fans who like to poke fun at their hobbies and stereotypes.
Profile Image for Galleywampus -.
93 reviews28 followers
March 31, 2019
My feelings about this one are complicated.

I discovered Hell Comes to Hogtown during an SPFO blog-off sale early in the 2018 competition. I bought two-dozen books on sale. I started here based on the cover, premise, and title.

Gallant-King pulled off a lot of great characterization with most of the characters as well as some zany, dark, unexpected events that ultimately push this book above water. It is dark and funny. The representation of non-straight-white characters is better than most, though there are some character tropes I'd have loved to have seen better subverted. The flow is pretty good and the writing is smooth. The dialogue feels like real dialogue. Gallant-King pulls off some noir with the comedy, horror, and supernatural. I laughed. I cringed while laughing.

Without going into any specifics, the ending really worked for me. I liked the way things shook out.

On the other side, the plot spun away a little bit for me a little past the middle, and a few character choice issues (that will probably bug me more than a lot of other readers) mostly led me to the "liked but didn't love" road. But still above water.

The book compares pretty well with Christopher Moore humor (I'm thinking specifically of Practical Demonkeeping) with more Canadian references (for example, the setting is Toronto and we hear a lot about the Prime Minister) and more blood and sex "on-screen." The snark is more Kadrey than Butcher.

I'm definitely keeping an eye open for more books by Gallant-King because I think we'll be seeing more from this author in the future.

ETA: I mulled this one over for a while, and finally decided to bump the star rating from 3 to 4.
August 7, 2018
Fun, urban fantasy that'll keep you turning pages. Its not fantastic literature, but it's entertaining and you won't be disappointed with it.
20 reviews4 followers
September 23, 2018
When a stoner working night shift at a rundown comic store chases away a creepy looking hobo with a baseball bat sized dildo, you're definitely reading something special...
Profile Image for Jessica Alter.
Author 6 books50 followers
July 2, 2019
A whirlwind tour of Toronto, Ontario, combined with a paranormal epic adventure of mythological proportions, this fantastic and perverse tale has that same bite to it as a Christopher Moore novel with a kiss of Ernest Cline's retro pop-culture worship. Gross and grisly, rude yet respectful, this smart novel is filled first page to last with humorously bleak fun. Also, I consider Hell Comes to Hogtown by C.D. Gallant-King as wholly rereadable and a savvy addition to one's personal library.

Reward yourself with this laugh-out-loud (and groan-out-loud) book. It's one helluva wild ride.
Profile Image for MBybee.
143 reviews2 followers
March 17, 2019
Fantastic story, engaging plot, entertaining. I highly recommend you pick this one up. It's everything I want from a fun horror read.
Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews

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