The Mean Innocence of Black Canyon
I am so glad that Black Canyon is the first work by Jeremy Bates I've read. To be honest, since I have so many books waiting in line to be read – quite a pile on my table and in my Kindle, I wasn't planning on reviewing it at first. I wanted to save time and move on onto another book as soon as possible. But already in the first ten pages of this 2015 dark novella I knew this won't be the case, even if I reflect on it with just a few words.
It is a rarity to have an opportunity to read about the pre-teen young monster, who will grow into a new American psycho and a serial killer, from his own perspective. When a child (12-year-old Brian Garrett) tells you about the weekend camping with his parents in the Gunnison National Park in Colorado, you don't expect anything but the idyllic trip to the amazing and wild nature. And this is what you get. But coated with a few gory moments of surprise, very well timed twists, murders and true horror. The freakiest thing is the lightness with which Brian accepts his dark nature already at this early age, his calculated, heartless and almost mathematically precise survival instinct.
This is a quick-paced read about the seemingly normal but in truth one bad-vibed family which can be easily spotted and recognized too often around us, told in a simple and capturing narrative voice.
Black Canyon, which I also like to fondly call The Mean Innocence and The Growing of American Psycho, lingers in my mind with the aftertaste mixture of a novella and the movie Stand by Me and The River Wild movie, which I both quite liked, while Jeremy Bates, as an author, seriously competes to become one of my new darlings.