HAWKINS’ HORROR REVIEWS: Autumn by David Moody

Proud to have Rich Hawkins back on the blog to review another awesome horror tale, this time one of my all-time favourites.

Take it away, Rich!

AUTUMN by David Moody

I will begin this review by making a grand, bold statement, and I’m usually not one for such grandiose declarations:
‘Autumn’ is one of the finest novels in the apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic genre. Ever.

This is not hype, nor an emotive display of horror geek-love, but a conclusion I have come to since reading the novel about two years ago. It is a humbling slice of bleakness and apocalyptic imagery. Thought-provoking and terrifying. Intelligent and gripping. The story is set in a world where hopelessness and death is the default setting; where a scattering of dazed survivors try to understand why almost all of the population has suddenly dropped dead. Cities, towns and villages become silent open graves.

In the aftermath of the ‘apocalyptic event’ that decimates the population, the few people still left alive struggle to deal with the implications of their survival. The majority of them are stricken with shock and grief. They take shelter, and attempt to deal with the horrifying truth and the swathes of human corpses that litter the streets.

Then some of the dead get up and start to walk around.

But this isn’t your typical zombie story. Mr. Moody doesn’t even refer to them as zombies. They are the shambling, rotting dead, but they are something else as well and just as dangerous…maybe more so. And they possess one particular difference to the usual hordes of ghouls depicted in other works of fiction.

To me, ‘Autumn’ isn’t a zombie novel, but a study of how people deal with surviving end of the world and the loss of everyone they ever knew. Also, it deals with themes of isolation, grief and insanity, so don’t expect much humour or witty one-liners…

David Moody writes the story as if he were there taking notes amongst the traumatised survivors. You can almost smell the death and despair. And yet there is some hope for the survivors, if you look hard enough.
9/10 spleens

AUTUMN is available now from all good book stores. More info from author David Moody’s website.  

Rich Hawkins (writing under the name R.W. Hawkins) is a horror writer who has been obsessed with the genre since childhood, when he first watched John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’. He has several short stories published in various anthologies, and is currently working on a novel.
He lives in Salisbury, England, with his wife Sara and their pet dog Molly. His favourite hobby is daydreaming about the apocalypse and the horrors that lurk in the dark corners of the world. And, yes, he knows that’s a weird pastime.

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