The Lords of Salem

lordsofsalemby Rob Zombie and B.K. Evenson
Grand Central Publishing 2013

Method of selection: Found in a shark’s belly. It was dead of shitty book poisoning.
First sentence: She awoke.
Worst sentence: Again, something was held beneath her nose and the smell thrust like a knife deep into her brain and some things grew clearer and others less so.
The first chapter ends: And then she died.
Things that have actually scared me more than this book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows; The Wizard of Oz; Falkor, from The Never Ending Story

Other reviews: None. I don’t even want to promote other people promoting this book. It’s that shitty.

This isn’t scary. Or good writing. I’m glad they specified on the cover that this is “A Novel”. I had originally thought it was some kind of gay reindeer and attempted to ride it to the North Pole. Even the librarian thought it was a reindeer!

When I first saw that horror groove metal pioneer Rob Zombie had written a novel I expected that it would be shitty. And it was. He teamed up with former Mormon and academic BK Evenson, and it’s hard to tell who’s carrying whom here. I think Evenson probably did the adjectives and verbs and Mr. Zombie did the nouns, Mad Lib style. Their first writing date probably went like this:

Evenson: First, give me a type of person. A person who frowns.
Zombie: Let’s see…an old lady!
Evenson: Yes! Now the old lady is cloaked in something. Something dark.
Zombie: A cloak!
Evenson: Heehee [writing it down]. Perfect! Now I need another noun. Something that glints.
Zombie: Do knives glint? Knives are cool. One time I saw this show where they sold real swords on TV. Like from the knights and stuff.
Evenson: That’s so radical! I saw that too and they had the one sword that was, like, all gnarled and had like spikes all over it…. Let’s see…now how about something scary that happens?
Zombie: A ritualized cesaerian section!
Evenson: Hmmm, I don’t know. Is there anaesthesia?
Zombie: No! It’s, like, in olden times.
Evenson: [writing furiously] This is gonna be hilarious!

There is also a movie written and directed by Rob Zombie with the same name, which brilliantly stars Rob Zombie’s wife, but from what I can tell from the trailer it’s a different story. Neither appear to be scary, which brings me to my first point. Witches are not scary. They never were scary. And Salem is also not scary. I live in Massachusetts. Salem is a bland north shore community with Halloween-themed family-friendly entertainment. Children have never been scared of witches or of Salem. They’re scared of bog monsters and flying dogs. So please tell Rob Zombie to upgrade his SCAREware (copyrighted).

Which brings me to my second point: It’s very very difficult to get famous writing novels. And this isn’t meant to be a joke at all. It’s extraordinarily hard work and even some of our most well-known writers would not be recognized in public, and there aren’t that many to begin with who are still living. But if you’re already famous, it is super easy to get a book deal. And it doesn’t have to be good. And what does that tell us about book publishing? That it’s a business. This book is about making money and nothing else. Please don’t buy it. Not even to support this site. It’s not even funny.

(Please do not support this site by purchasing this shitty book through one of the links below.)