by admin on Jun.14, 2013
Marc Laidlaw is ace enough to know what near neighbors horror and humor are.
The grotesque is the soul of both. In Leng we see the two strains impeccably entwined. Our narrator, newly alighted in Leng: “Never have I visited a culture where mushrooms were of such great ethnic and economic importance.” (!) “… For myself, a mere mushroom enthusiast ” (as opposed to a real mycologist!) “it was an intoxicating stroll.”
To quote Leng at length is hard to resist, but would mar the delight awaiting the unwarned reader. The narrator is penetrating the high fastnesses of Leng in search of Schurr and Perry, two renowned mycologists who have gone before him.
Our seekers at length encounter Heinrich Perry at a temple situated just below the great plateau of Leng. Evasively he indicates that his wife Danielle Schurr is not immediately on hand because, “she has been recognized as a superior practitioner of the mushroom cult.”
These initial disclosures discohere into a yet more alien landsape, a narrative tour de force of transmutation of our characters and their setting alike. In this narrative as in all good horror, the floor caves in beneath us, again, and again, and at last.