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Matt Shaw, Michael Bray

average rating is 2 out of 5

Horror, Extreme

R. Alex Jenkins

Home-Video is my second Matt Shaw book after 'Porn'. A well-researched plot, plausibility, consistency and, most of all, good grammar and writing skills are mostly absent, while still being very important to me.

Although Home-Video is better than 'Porn', with a tighter writing style and improved editing due to collaboration with co-author Michael Bray, it eventually falls off a cliff in many departments.

I think Matt Shaw needs to stop publishing as many low-wordcount books as possible in the hope that something sticks! It's a chaos theory approach that doesn't reap rewards. Two books in and I am not a fan. Admittedly, that's my problem as I know Matt Shaw has plenty of followers and doesn't need me.

I'm a bit of a splatterpunk wimp anyway and maybe too highly strung to appreciate extreme gore for what it is - unimportant, throwaway entertainment. It's supposed to be rough and ready, right? But definitely not good quality.

The story here is plausible at first. A woman is captured and abused. Her partner is then threatened with her imminent death if he reports what's going on. As the story goes on it's impossible to believe he continues to go along with the conditions. No one could be that daft, shellshocked or naive.


  • If you don't want your partner to die, continue to watch her getting punched.


  • If you don't want your partner to die, continue to watch her getting tortured.


  • If you don't...

No loving partner fails to report what's going on at this point. Irreversible damage has been done and there's no point going on with it.

On the plus side, the book is thought provoking enough to question how you might react in a similar situation and worth a read if you like splatterpunk and extreme gore in general. The characters are relatable and there's plenty of initial tension while you wait to see how bad things might get. But although Home-Video is decent to begin with, by the end it's a massive dud!

Niggles and criticisms! On 'Day One' we're told "The love of his life, his fiance. He still hadn't got used to calling her that since she agreed to marry him." On 'Day Three': "Chase had been the best man at their wedding." When did they suddenly get married? While I was reading?

By the end of the book I disliked it even more, especially some of the head-splitting grammar: "he realised that despite not ever having actually hurting her." Besides the horrible 'having hurting her' error, the 'ever actually' concoction is appalling English.

"The only reason she didn't she was too afraid..." Read that twice if you like and alert the missing punctuation police, or try insertion of a 'was because' somewhere.

And why does a book that reads like it's set in England, spell-checked in UK English ('realised' for example) and written by English authors, pretend to be in the United States from time to time, with references to faucets, baseball and other American terminology?

Errors, inconsistencies and implausibilities go on and on until you mentally discard the experience as trash.

My next Matt Shaw book is Sick B*stards because it's the highest rated on Goodreads. These books are so short you can whip through them in no time and, you never know, there could be a diamond of extreme horror in the rough?

I know this is a smug review, but I love horror and didn't like this!

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