What do clowns, zombies, detectives, and babies have to do with each other? Answer: in a sane man’s world, absolutely nothing.
Fortunately for weirdophiles like myself, the world portrayed in When Graveyards Yawn by G. Wells Taylor, is not a sane man’s world. Rather the World of Change is a kind of Alice in Wonderland meets Night of the Living Dead meets Humphrey Bogart dystopian roller-coaster.
Our hero is Wildclown, a hard-drinking, hard living, hard boiled detective, that just so happens to be possessed by the amnesiac spirit of a dead man. Also, he dresses like a clown.
No, this book is not a comedy.
The setting of the World of Change is this: one day everyone stopped dying. All the dead woke up in their graves. And it started to rain.
And yet, in spite of the weirdness, and there is a lot of weirdness, it’s hard to overestimate how much When Graveyards Yawn has to owe to the old hard-boiled detective type of story that was popular when Humphrey Bogart was still on the big screen. This is a man story through and through. And it makes no apologies for it.
The plot simple enough. It starts out with Wildclowne being hired by a zombie to find his killer and subsequently getting into a gun battle with a gang of transgender bikers. I’m sorry, did I say simple? I meant to say insane.
And it only gets better from there. With the help of his zombie sidekick, Wildclown manages to get himself into all manner of scrapes as he gets pulled into the search for the Last Baby on Earth.
Bottom line, When Graveyards Yawn is a fun book. It builds a fantastic and compelling world and then fills it with wonderfully twisted characters, all the while keeping the plot tense and the stakes high.
If you’re still on the fence about this book…well first let me say that I feel deeply and truly sorry for you. But second, would it help if I pointed out that it’s available for free?
Get it. Read it.
And prepare to fall in love with a detective wearing clown makeup.