It’s a cold, typically Scottish Hogmanay afternoon, and I get a message from Matt Shaw ping through on my Facebook, we chat for a bit and Matt mentions a book that he’s written that would make me vomit.
Reads first few paragraphs
Oh…..my…..you didn’t just…….you did!
Didn’t vomit though. I finished the draft he’d sent through within hours, sent him a bit of creative feedback. I’m not a writer by any means, but I like to think it shows I pay attention to the words.
Matt and I are chatting again and Matt asks if I’d like to do some work for him. Of course, I said yes without really thinking about what I was letting myself in for.
Time passed and I eventually sat down to record the book. Theres a few things you need to know.
It’s graphic. It’s disgusting. It’s just all sorts of wrong. Theres something else though, underneath all the graphic violence, even more graphic sex and lashings of gore, theres actually a brilliant story.
Matt himself, although he will kill me for saying so, is a genuinely good bloke. Far nicer than the words he put onto paper would portray him. It’s like ‘Assisi’ by Robert McCaig in reverse; horrible, ugly things from really a rather good soul.
So we finished book one, and it went off on its merry way. I have to admit I had a bit of trepidation, I was still relatively new to Audiobooks and this was the up and coming Shaw, whose line of Black Cover books were causing a stir due to their extreme content. Would reviewers like it? Would I forever be ‘that guy who agreed to read those vile words’?
In the end I needn’t have worried. The world didn’t end and the book is one of my best selling to date.
So we agreed to do the sequel : Sicker Bastards
Again, same universe, same characters, I was comfortable with the flow.
It wasnt until Book 3 : Sickest Bastards that the twitching started. Matt really ratcheted up the revulsion factor, I felt sick just reading the opening statement.
I won’t post it because there might be a teensy-tiny spoiler for anybody who hasn’t read or listened to the first two parts but needless to say Matt finally got me, he found my limit and nudged me over it like Road-Runner pushing Wile. E Coyote off the cliff.
I finished and edited that one in a day.
I curled up into myself for a week after. It really got to me. I had to listen to Round The Horne in bed at night, using the of-it’s-time humour and innuendo as a security blanket from the nightmares I was sure I was going to get.
Thats the beauty of books by Shaw, if theres one thing that man can do, it’s get under your skin, put eyelid clamps on and force you to watch the old ultraviolence. You are repulsed and drawn in equal measure.
Now, put your sisters down, dinners ready.