For the best of the Horror/Cult/Exploitation film experience
Pay Phone by Brandon Ford
Recently I was contacted on the Bloodtype Online twitter page about reviewing a book from author Brandon Ford, who is also someone I chat about movies with online frequently. I hadn’t read any genre fiction in sometime (mainly been absorbed with watching movies and working, but when I do read it’s generally some type of book about films) so I figured what the hell. Of course going into it I had no idea what I was getting myself into or even know what to expect of the book. But I have to say as I sit here and type this I am extremely pleased that Mr. Ford got ahold of me because his new book “Pay Phone” is pretty amazing.
“Pay Phone” is about a disturbed and lonely man named Jake, who lives alone in his New York City apartment and the pay phone across the street from the building is his only friend. See Jake has a plan on how he can manipulate people and feed his need to kill simply by calling the pay phone and finding out what sad soul would answer his call. Strangely enough Jake himself seems to be surprised at the people who answer the phone as well as basically listen to his every command even though they’ve never once met him or even know who he is!
To be perfectly honest I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy a book of this type but I really did. I found it to be an extremely honest and interesting look into the mind of a killer and how he operates. Something I really enjoyed about the book and Brandon Ford’s writing was the fact that the character wasn’t just a mindless, soulless creature meandering around killer one person after another. There was a lot in the book at actually showed the fact that he had once been a regular person, only to travel the broken path once things didn’t exactly go as planned in his life. But it wasn’t done in a way to have you sympathize with Jake, as it was done to lead you to understand how someone could have ended up this way.
Pay Phone was also incredibly intriguing to me because of the fact that there are other characters that don’t act as Jake does but most likely have had just as much of a hard life as Jake himself, only they don’t act out in the same way that he does. It really builds a foundation of how people hurting generally put themselves through things in life that are very misguided. I found the book to be much more of an examination about disturbed human condition than it was about a serial killer (although that’s certainly in there too).
Another very well done example of this book is the lengths that Jake will go with his victims. Lying to them, deceiving them at every turn, then turning into a pathetic delusional person the minute he kills someone. There are some incredibly disturbing instances in this book that are truly terrifying and chilling down to the bone. This to me is the mark of an excellent writer as Ford understands that all of this is a fine line of balance and if it’s tipped to much in any direction it’s not going to come off correctly.
I could tell you more, but I would rather not clumsily spoil important plot lines of the book. Just believe me that if you are into books about killers or anything of the like that you are going to want to check out “Pay Phone”. It’s a wonderfully written example of just how disturbed the human mind can get and how out of control it can become when everyone just ignores the person and the problem. This one comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me.