Road To Hell, the "second" Max novel
Easily the most uniquely remarkable thing about
Max (and the twin pair of lethal sirens who share his bed
and life and warped passions) is that he truly walks in two
worlds: the world permeated by shadow conspiracies and the
continually shifting political aims of the military-industrial
complex, and the even more shadowy world of gods and goddesses
(typically demanding ) and spirits (typically vengeful). This
mixture makes for more than just an intriguingly heady brew.
It actually seems within the realm of possibility....and who's
to say that it isn't? Boundaries, remember. They're only as
enforceable as you'll allow them to be.
Brian Hodge, introduction to The Road to Hell
Houarner's got a great knack for characterization
and plotting, for keeping the people real enough (in the context
of the story) and delivering a good story that moves along
without losing any of the momentum it has at the beginning.
If anything, things just get weirder, and for me weird adds
interest. Enjoy the Road to Hell, as it appears to be paved
with magic, death, guns, desert sand, and sex-starved gods.
inet Reviews, online, 9/99 - Road to Hell
Houarner does a great job of filling this book with so
much weird shit the book never wants for actions or interesting
things. Houarner's got a great knack for characterization
and plotting, for keeping the people real...and delivering
a good story that moves along without losing momentum, never
letting up for a breather, but pounding along non-stop.
Midnight Hour review, Road to Hell
On the surface, ROAD TO HELL is a horror novel, steeped
in violence, gore, and the supernatural -- Death follows
Max like an acolyte, feasting on the carnage he creates.
But, to my mind the book is also grappling with the issues
of fatherhood and parental responsibility -- at its heart,
it is a book about family ties and obligations. Like many
new fathers, Max struggles with his inner demons while trying
to understand the emotions, both positive and negative,
his child arouses in him. Add to the mix his (admittedly
unique) job pressures and personal issues, and ROAD TO HELL
can be read as a metaphor for sacrifices and rewards of
fatherhood, and for the pain of letting your children grow
away from you. This subtext grounds the more fantastic action,
lending credibility to some of Houarner's more outrageous
There's much to like about this book -- Houarner's prose
shines, and he displays a truly wild imagination (in his
introduction, Brian Hodge refers to it as Houarner's tendency
to "color outside the lines").
Hellnotes, Hank Wagner review of Road
You may not know this just yet, but Gerard Daniel Houarner
has been slowly making a name for himself in hardcore horror
circles. ...his mix of twisted sex, deadened emotions and
black comedy has been garnering him a select circle of fans.
The Road to Hell is a well-written work, filled to
the brim with twisted ideas. Houarner's work is great, and
I recommend you acquaint yourself with it.
Fangoria, review of Road To Hell
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