by Gary McMahon
Pendragon Press, Maesteg Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 0953859894
Date: 30 September, 2006 List Price £6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK /
The second release from Pendragon is a novella by Gary McMahon. Rough Cut tells of one Jude St Claire, a young man commissioned to write a biography of his late mother, a one-time screen siren of the sixties and seventies cheap British horror flick. What begins as a cathartic exercise descends into abject horror for St Clair, as his discoveries take him on a bleak journey towards his own dark origins and to Daleside, an abandoned asylum with a terrifying and murderous history.
Though it is essentially a well crafted and very readable piece, McMahon's novella suffers from the confines of it's word count. It is inescapably a novel squeezed and squashed into a shorter form - this concertina-like construction forces characters to come to their conclusions far too quickly and events tumble into one another without their consequences seeming to count for much. In spite of this uneven pacing Rough Cut marks McMahon out as a writer of no little class and promise - definitely a name to watch for.
(Source: Pendragon Press, Maesteg)