The Wilmont Chronicles: A Case of Puberty is the self-published first novel of Perth-based teacher Paul Harrison.
First off a warning: this novel contains some absolutely disgusting scenes. This does include defecation, masturbation and the blood of a goat.
The novel follows Milton Taylor, a young man in his final year of high school suffering from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a particular aggressive form of muscular dystrophy that only occurs in males and carries an average life expectancy of 25 years.
Without giving too much away young Milton is obsessed with his best friend Stacey Sommers, and he feels the need to become her. He finds a mysterious woman who introduces him to black magic. After obtaining materials from the object of his desire, he travels [on a school trip] to a church and performs some sinful business to invoke some serious powers and turn himself into the woman he so loves.
The novel has its moments, Milton's conversations with his fellow outcasts are very realistic and easily invoke all the sympathy one can muster for those left out of the loop but for the most part scenes are constructed to shock and disgust readers. These scenes are overly done, not necessarily graphic but excessively described to give you as many moments with repulsive bodily fluids as possible.
I don't have a problem with the gruesome aspects, and the idea of turning yourself into who you love the most doesn't bother me either. A love so complete that you want it in your body sounds sort of sweet in a demented way, and demented can be sweet too.
Blurred due to poor handwriting and unbridled pretentiousness.
My problem was that Paul Harrison obviously didn't have his work edited before choosing to self-publish. Every other page had a misuse of 'who' and 'whom', not something I'm picky enough to correct in conversation but it's somewhat disappointing to see it wrong in print. Coupled with a few similes that are then assumed as truth as basic spelling errors [including Duchenne], I was really frustrated all the way through and couldn't stop myself from editing like the annoying perfectionist I am.
Honestly, this book is too religious to be enjoyed by black magic fans, and too barbaric and determined to be disgusting for religious people to actually make it to the end. The ongoing themes of sin and sacrifice are poorly constructed and glaringly obvious, in the way after school specials actually say their moral, eight times.
It is however, good for a serious chuckle, not only for the humour in it or the silly situations Milton finds himself in, but also if you're laughing AT it, definitely good for some serious chuckles.