Aussie Sickos

Aussie Sickos by Simon McHardy

Warning! This book contains graphic content and adult language. It may disturb some readers and should only be read by seasoned readers of extreme sexual horror and violence.

Caleb Botha has idolised his murderous Uncle Red all his life. Now, in his twenties and with no prospects, he and his idiot brother, Sunny, decide they want to be infamous too. Together, they set off across the outback on a killing spree that Caleb hopes will rival even that of his legendary Uncle. If there is one thing Caleb has learned from the whispered tales of Uncle Red’s legacy, it is that there is more to killing than just the body count. To truly leave your mark and be remembered, each kill must be carried out in a manner more hilarious and sadistic than the last. The boys have their work cut out for them and are determined to make Uncle Red proud by taking up the mantle and becoming the next generation of true Aussie Sickos.

The IndieMuse Review

The last time I bought a book that warned me about extreme content, and suggested I should only proceed if I was a ‘seasoned reader’ of extreme horror, that book was The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum. I didn’t heed the warning then, and I guess I didn’t learn my lesson because here we are, reviewing the latest from gross-out horror maestro, Simon McHardy.

Aussie Sickos follows brothers Caleb and Sunny as they travel across Australia with the hopes of meeting their infamous Uncle Red, a notorious and brutal serial killer. Caleb is a huge fan and decides that he will do his uncle proud on this road trip, by indulging in the most vile and debauched acts imaginable, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake.

This isn’t an easy review to write without including the caveat that my review contains extreme content and should only be read by seasoned readers of horror reviews (if it should be read by anyone at all). Even passing mention of almost anything that happens throughout the book is more than I can bear to type. I did have a blast reading it though.

There are a lot of memorable moments in Aussie Sickos and there is a fun blackly comedic undercurrent throughout. This is not a remotely serious book and McHardy gets away with much more extreme content by keeping things light and humorous, typically ending each chapter with a killer punchline. He also manages some genuinely uniquely depraved scenarios. The brother’s unplanned visit to a plastic surgery clinic was a personal highlight, although the ‘desert surfing’ scene is nothing if not memorable and the Australian backdrop is put to creative use in the unforgettable dispatching of a particularly ill-fated yoga instructor.

As fun as the book was, it’s not without its issues. My experience with extreme horror leans more towards the Wrath James White/Edward Lee/Matt Shaw side of the sub-genre and I’m used to there being some semblance of a story to hang the explosive gore and dripping bodily fluids on. Aussie Sickos is basically a series of eleven extreme horror vignettes loosely tied together by a road trip premise. I didn’t have an issue with this, but when some of the early chapters got a bit repetitive, my interest waned. When the whole book hinges solely on the extreme horror without a solid story to back it up, it doesn’t take much of a dip in quality or variety for it to become glaring.

Aussie Sickos is less a story and more of a test of endurance, with each chapter getting progressively more outrageous and vomit-inducing. The story is non-existent and you’ll see the ending coming a mile away, but you don’t pick up a book like this for the plot. If you come for the body count and carnage, you won’t leave disappointed, assuming you have the stomach to finish. You have been warned!

RICHARD MARTIN

Richard started reading horror books at a young age, starting with R L Stine’s ‘Goosebumps’ and ‘Point Horror’ series. He traumatised himself at the age of twelve when he read Stephen King’s ‘IT’, and never looked back. He is currently based in the UK, where he lives with his partner, and an inappropriate amount of books.

Curation Results: Aussie Sickos

gHoster
B-Baal
Emo-Lee
KnotBTK
Deathdealer
Curator Notes: "More of an exercise in perverted prose than graphic story, McHardy's specialty is serving it up extreme and gross…and the sickos will gleefully get what they came for within this book's pages. " —Deathdealer

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