In his first work of horror, Bryan Perro is very freely inspired by the legend of the beast of Gévaudan, which had terrorized the population of this region of central France at the end of the 18th century. The beast has come up to date here and its designs are much more cunning.
Knowing the fascination of the author of Amos D’Aragon for legends and fantastic tales, one would have expected that horror rub shoulders with fantasy. We are at the opposite end of the spectrum, or almost, as much in form as in style. Perro makes the bold choice to write his entire book in the second person singular, the reader witnessing the exchange between what is understood to be the beast and Kevin, a miserable teenager living in a village of some community rural.
This bet certainly turns out to be a little redundant, especially since we are carefully made to understand how the beast has no regard for the “sheep” of the village of “morons” where Kevin lives, making the apology of “predators” by encouraging the young man to stop being a mere member of the herd. The first 200 or so pages are thus intended to be a sort of display of the many wrongs of our modern society, with the key being the dramatic radicalization of a young idle man. Meanwhile, Kevin’s transformation is accompanied by a shocking series of events that upends his daily life and that of his small town – the book is after all part of the Forbidden Tales collection, which has made headlines for bad reasons a few years ago after the release of Hansel and Gretel, by Yvan Godbout.
Nevertheless, we chain without hesitation the short chapters of two and a half pages in the hope of knowing more about the many elements which remain unexplained over the 43,956 words of the book – a figure which is not the result of chance. – until an original and surprising conclusion which, it seems, would serve the dark designs of the Beast…