REVIEWED: THE MEN UPSTAIRS BY TIM WAGGONER
THE MEN UPSTAIRS by Tim Waggoner / Delirium Books (February 2012) / 204 pp / Limited Edition Hardcover and eBook
A middle-aged divorced man notices a younger woman sitting on the floor, crying, in a movie theater lobby. He reaches out to her and learns some friends she had been traveling with “weren’t good to her,” so she’s now alone. He invites her to his home where he feeds and clothes her…and they eventually fall for each other.
When Richard comes home from work a few days later, a van with the words SONS OF BABEL is parked in front of his apartment building. The slogan under the logo is even stranger: “Because Sometimes Entropy Needs a Little Helper.” Richard meets the 3 men who own the van and learn they’re temporarily moving into the apartment directly above his. He also finds Liana cowering in his bedroom closet. Her only words are, “They’ve found me.”
Richard’s new neighbors begin to blast odd music all hours of the night and make other loud noises to the point he can’t take it. He is puzzled when he decides to peek in their fire escape window and sees an unfurnished apartment and the 3 men slamming their faces onto the floor.
Richard and Liana’s sex life also becomes increasingly strange, and he soon finds out the Sons of Babel…and Liana…aren’t quite what they seem to be.
Tim Waggoner’s horror novels perfectly walk the line between horror and bizarre, this latest novella being no exception. We’re quickly drawn to Richard’s middle-age fling, which becomes a genuine love affair of the most macabre, complete with Waggoner’s trademark over-the-top scenarios and even a happy (although dark) conclusion.
This is top-notch horror fiction from one of the genre’s most demented minds.
- Nick Cato