This review is for a novella from one of my favorite authors, Weston Ochse, published by the best horror publisher, Delirium Books (now Darkfuse). There really is nothing else that I could ask for. I was happy to finally have a copy of “Nancy goats” and did not wait long to dive right in to the story.
Brian Overstreet, now Paco de Poulet, is a man who is used to adversity. He struggled through his youth as his sexuality was thrown in his face not only by the small town that he lived in but by his father as well. He finally escaped to California, took his new name, and was a headliner at one of the premiere dance clubs in town. He had finally found his place in life and had learned to be at least content if not happy. This all changed one violent, fateful night.
Paco finds himself a prisoner in a madman’s mansion and that madman is Daddy Pain. Pain was once a medic that kept goats as a way of practicing his own brand of field medicine. Now as a MMA fanatic, Pain keeps his goats to meet out the punishment of the brutal sport as he and his sons practice. In order to be a good goat, Paco must leave his very self behind and give in to this madman and his deranged family as the target for their blood lust. But just as Paco has resurrected his identity from the ashes of his past as Brian, he will not blindly become a goat no matter how much damage it does to his body and soul.
Weston Ochse is one of my favorite authors and one of the finest that the horror genre has to offer today. Ochse often explores deeper themes of humanity and the human condition while at the same time writing a story that is exciting and compelling. “Nancy goats” is a good example of this. While I do not think that this story is Ochse at the top of his game, he still gives the reader plenty to think about in this tale amidst all of the brutality of the story. This is a fairly hardcore horror story and has some strong violence in it but it also has a heart at the same time and causes the reader to reflect on just what it is that makes each of us who we are as individuals. Brian had to overcome the hatred and abuse of his family and his hometown to finally blossom into Paco and now Paco is faced with another form of brutality that is trying to break his spirit and make him succumb to the pressures of the environment around him. It is an extreme story of one man’s struggle to remain true to himself that is mirrored in the world that the reader faces every day as the world tries to shape everyone into conformity and in which individuality is often seen as weak or obscene in the eyes of others.
It amazes me that Weston Ochse does not have a wider audience than he does. Ochse is one of the finest writers in the horror genre and in general right now and “Nancy goats” is a good example of the power of his works. While this is not one of Ochse’s best stories, it still shows his mastery of handling a story that sets him above most of his peers. Ochse is able to blend themes in his stories that both entertain and inform the reader by making the reader focus on real world dilemmas. He knows how to weave a tale that keeps the readers on the edge of their seats while making them ponder the moral of the story long after the last page is read. His ability to blend literature with genre themes sets his work above the rest and “Nancy goats” is a great example of just how good of an author Ochse is by raising the standard of the genre even while not being among his best tales. New readers will delight in this novella while fans will feel right at home taking another trip into the dark mind of this master of horror.
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