Reviewed by Scott A. Johnson
Written by Ray Garton
Published by Leisure Books
Occasionally I read a book and wonder how it got published. How such a well-respected author could put out something so...bad. I suppose it comes from the idea that horror is subjective; what's scary to one person won't be scary to another. But in the case of Ray Garton's Scissors, the premise is so odd that the reader has a hard time staying in the story.
Scissors is the story of Stuart, an artist who works for a greeting card company. Many years ago, as a boy, his urologist performed a meatotomy (look it up, I'm not going into details here) on him while his mother held him down. So horrifying was the incident that Stuart still has nightmares about Dr. Furgeson and begins to become afraid that, more than thirty years after the fact, the old doc is coming to cut his dick off and perform the same procedure on his son. Of course, at the same time, everyone else in his life thinks he's gone crazy. His girlfriend begins to fear for his sanity, his son thinks his dad's a loser, and his ex-wife knows more than she's telling.
Scissors tries very hard to work around the ridiculous premise to the point that it moves into absurdity. Had Garton kept the whole thing as a psychological thriller about a man's gradual descent into madness, he might've had an impressive story. However, the book takes a left turn past the Twilight Zone and moves straight into loony-land with a plot twist that just doesn't seem to fit the rest of the story.
However, there are a few shining moments in this book. Garton's description of Stuart's declining mental state is, to say the least, chilling, as is his depiction of Stuart's son as a teen-aged angst-filled asshole. On the whole, however, no matter how engaging portions of the story are, the reader is brought back to the same premise over and over again. This is a guy who is afraid that his doctor is stalking him to cut his dick off.
1 1/2 out of 5
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