Review: Hunger / Author: Melvin Burgess / Publisher: Hammer / Release Date: January 17th
Melvin Burgess first rose to prominence with Junk – a hard-hitting YA novel about drug abuse and its consequences that quickly became a staple of Year 10 English classes. And it’s Burgess’ graphic prose that makes him an ideal writer to be published by Hammer's fiction line.
Hunger takes place within the student digs of Manchester and focuses on Beth, a student who wakes up in bed one morning covered in dirt and with no recollection of the previous night. Could it be that her past personal problems are coming back to haunt her? Only that doesn’t explain her enormous appetite or her sudden attraction to her lecherous housemate, Ivan. Then her father explains that she was the victim of supernatural activities as a child. And with the disappearance of her therapist, it's clear that something very odd is going on...
Burgess doles out a British brand of sex and gore. His descriptions are brief and to the point, but detailed enough to be genuinely stomach-turning at times. The Manchester setting adds to the grit, providing a sense that this could be happening in a street near you. On the downside, the story is rather predictable, and it's hard to empathise with any of the characters, who simply exist to service the story. Nonetheless, within its limits, Hunger is an enjoyable read and a worthy candidate to appear under the Hammer name.