Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Book Review: The Wilderness Within by John Claude Smith

Derek Gray goes to visit fellow writer Frank Marshall out at his remote house out in the forest. Frank has received an unusual letter from their friend Dizzy who is coming up to meet them, so Derek decides to hang around until he arrives. But then, things start to get really strange as the forest begins to exert its creepy influence over Derek…

“There would never be any way he could leave his own mental prison, the wilderness within.”

This book was weird. To be honest, I might have ended up tossing it to the side and not finishing if it weren’t so short. It starts out pretty interesting, a writer goes out to visit his friend who lives out in the wilderness and things start getting a bit creepy… but then it gets overly pretentious and I hate that kinda shit. Conversations between characters had me sitting there like….WTF was just said?! I’d say I’m relatively bright, but their dialogue had me wanting to reach for a dictionary on numerous occasions. But I didn’t care enough, so I didn’t.

Then all of a sudden, the story takes a turn into what feels like a bad acid trip (I’m surmising as to what a bad acid trip would actually be like) and I got frustrated pretty quickly. I’d love to go into detail about how ridiculous the hallucinations and shit were, but I will never include spoilers in my reviews. So just trust me when I say… it was insanity. I began skimming paragraphs just to GET TO THE END. But THEN there was a twist that I actually liked, and it was this twist that saved it from getting a measly one star. However, the book quickly got overly pretentious again for the ending and I was rolling my eyes SO. HARD. The ending was pretty stupid.

This book seems to be quite hit or miss, on Instagram I had many negative comments, however it does have its 5 star reviews on goodreads. Maybe it just wasn’t for me – I don’t think I’d be willing to read more from this author if his other work is in the same vein. At least the cover is kinda cool! 2 stars from me!


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