Andy Weston's Reviews > Wretch

Wretch by Ansgar Allen
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it was amazing
bookshelves: horror, weird, novella, bunker

In the last year of two I have read more ‘weird’ fiction than before, especially if it shares a ‘horror’ tag, though, quite understandably, I do come across the odd book that really is off the wall.
Such as Allen’s Wretch. I guess it’s been read by only a few, but deserves a much wider audience.

A person exists in a dark cell with a typewriter of a sort, copying out page after page of what is passed under the door to him. He has broken has last machine, in a rage, but is determined not to damage this, and copy his pages to show he has an ordered mind. The Wretch copies, eats, expels waste down a central grid, watches through a narrow hole and listens to what seem to be guards, under the door.
Though Wretch exists in the cell, there is some knowledge of the City and outside world. But it is not at all clear, a type perhaps of dystopian fantasy. But the terror that permeates from the pages of the novel are that this need not be either a dystopia, or fantasy; it is rooted in reality.
It Wretch a man, woman or child, or even human? Is it a type of mental institution, kidnapping or prison?
It’s as if the author has eschewed any temptation to tread the accepted path, to fit snuggly into a genre, which most likely would have seen the book sell a lot more copies. For this he deserves much credit.
This short book is a great example of the power of the written word in being able to chill with the most simple of structures. It takes less than two hours to read, and I thoroughly recommend it.
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Reading Progress

April 17, 2021 – Shelved
April 17, 2021 – Shelved as: to-read
June 28, 2021 – Started Reading
June 28, 2021 – Finished Reading
June 29, 2021 – Shelved as: horror
June 29, 2021 – Shelved as: weird
June 29, 2021 – Shelved as: novella
April 7, 2022 – Shelved as: bunker

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