Hunger of the Beast by John Driver
Jove, 1st edition, 1991
Genre: horror, total crap, trashy novel
Back cover copy:
It was the perfect hideaway for Dianna’s country weekend.
A place she could be alone.
So private … so secluded …
No one would ever find her there.
Except for Esau.
He lives in the cellar.
And Esau is developing an appetite.
For something soft … something warm …
Now the Wilkinsons have a present for him.
Pleasant dreams, Dianna.
Synopsis & Review: Dianna LaBianca is a theatre producer in New York City. Dissatisfied by her career and a break up with her married lover, she decides to get away from it all by staying in a remote New England inn for a few weeks. After nearly crashing her car on the way, the place where she had reservations is a smoldering ruin when she arrives. She finally finds accommodation at the unprepossessing Wilkinson Inn: four rooms, extensive grounds, stables, and a very unpleasant staff. And then there’s Esau.
Dianna’s stay begins pleasantly; though there is one other guest, he’s affable and attractive, and he and Dianna soon hit it off, quickly becoming lovers. Dianna begins riding again, something she gave up in her youth after a traumatic jump gone awry. And she spends time being alone, exercising her understanding of Zen. Then one morning she wakes up to see a startling confrontation between the inn’s dog Launcelot and a monstrosity.
The monstrosity is Esau, scion of the Wilkinson family. Born hunchbacked, deformed, and colossally retarded, his birth killed his mother, and at age nine he beat his father to death with a baseball bat. But Esau just wants to be booteful, and to love bootefuls and be loved by them. And now Dianna is his chosen booteful.
I found this squalid tome at Kapiolani Hospital when I was waiting for my mother to get off from work sometime during my seventh grade year. (Hospitals are great repositories of shitty books; people waiting there are captives to racks of the worst mass market paperbacks. When my mother was dying, I read a lot of Smithsonians and a singularly awful book called Neanderthal.) Years later all I could really recall were the nipples (oh god, the nipples!), the killer retard, and the climax wherein SPOILER ALERT Read the rest of this entry »