First published back in May of 2015, British author Adam Millard’s novel ‘Milk’ offered up a stomach-somersaulting cross between ‘Mad Max’ and a Troma movie.

DLS Synopsis:
Oilhaven was just a dot of a town in the middle of a desert that no longer possessed a name.  Ever since ‘The Event’ had ravaged the world, wiping-out the vast majority of the population and leaving behind a desperate post-apocalyptic world, the sun’s assault on those remaining had been nothing short of relentless.  Now, for the small pockets of grime-covered survivors attempting to eke out an existence, day-to-day life was one long wretched and dirty affair.

In a world gone to hell in a basket fifty-year-old Lou Decker had actually managed to do okay.  As the proud owner of Lou’s Loot, the only convenience store within five-hundred miles, Lou had continued to bring in a moderately respectable custom.  He sold anything and everything.  All of which could be traded for further odds and ends and pre-Event knick-knacks.  However, his bestselling items were undeniably his sex toys.  It was fair to say that trading after the apocalypse was nothing if not interesting.

However, when Lou’s nipples inexplicably started to lactate thick creamy milk, after the initial shock had passed, Lou and his deathbed-ridden mother realised the hugely lucrative potential in this bizarre turn in events.

The Event had put a stop to farming, and of course the majority of the cows had been wiped out in the initial blast.  Women were no longer interested in sex, and therefore unlikely to get pregnant.  As such, milk had become a positively endangered beverage.  And Lou planned to capitalise on this for all it was worth.  After all, all of a sudden he had a fresh supply of milk on tap.  What the people of Oilhaven didn’t know about the source of the thick and creamy drink which Lou was now bottling up wouldn’t hurt them.  After all, milk’s milk.  Right?!

Meanwhile, a small gang of bandits known as ‘Los Pendejos’ (roughly translated as ‘The Assholes’) had arrived at Oilhaven’s outskirts.  Led by their albino leader, El Oscuro, the bandits had one thing on their mind.  To pillage and plunder the unsuspecting town for all it was worth.

But what the Los Pendejos along with the entire population of Oilhaven didn’t know was that the milk Lou had been selling to all the eager haveners was bad.  When Lou’s Loot started selling the stuff, the whole town had gone into a milk-guzzling frenzy.  But before long those that consumed Lou’s milk began to mutate.  One by one the milk-loving haveners began to change into flesh-hungry mutants.

Things are about to get very, very messy…

DLS Review:
Stu-frigging-pendous!  Possibly the most crazy and over-the-top read I’ve ever had the absolute pleasure to encounter.  I kid you not, this novel is every bit as good as it sounds.  It’s just as wacky and imaginative as the synopsis portrays, it’s just as wildly amusing as you hoped it would be, and it’s just as stomach-churningly messed-up as it needs to be.

If you took George Miller’s ‘Mad Max’ films, or indeed James Axler’s ‘Deathlands’ novels, and gave them a thorough ‘Troma’-style facelift, then you wouldn’t be all that far from the delights that Millard has to offer.  Indeed, Millard’s no stranger to post-apocalyptic fiction, having already penned his fair share of tales within this ‘currently-flavour-of-the-month’ premise over recent years.  However, what we have with ‘Milk’ is a particularly exaggerated take on the whole setting.  And by Satan’s swollen testicles if it doesn’t just work perfectly.

First and foremost you have perhaps one of the most imaginatively and ingeniously inspired plots to have arisen in god knows how long.  This is bizarro fiction, but with a far more accessible story and prose behind it.  Yes it’s weird, but only in its exaggerated and comically flamboyant style and plot.  You’re not going to get baffled by the oddness of the work.  This is easy, entertaining, swallow-you-up reading.  In fact, it flows so damn well that it’s more addictive than lashings of Lou’s Milk on Coco Pops.

However, what works most in the novel’s favour is all of the incredibly witty dialogue which Millard maintains throughout the length of the novel.  The book is bloody hilarious.  Quite frankly, if Millard hadn’t become an author, then he’d no doubt either be a wacky comedian, or failing that, a jabbering lunatic wandering our streets shouting at pigeons and causing all kinds of deliciously uncouth mischief.

The novel’s rich in characters, each of which bring their own wonderfully diverse oddness to the table.  You’ve got post-apocalyptic convenience shop owner Lou Decker whose sharp wit and off-the-cuff observations punctuate the entire tale.  Then there’s the ‘Los Pendejos’ bandits – a group of reasonably-low-IQ misfits who add that much-needed element of trouble.  Throw in permanently naked Mickey whose home is an alleyway, along with the disease-riddled aging whore Abigail Sneve, and the town’s bald-headed thugs Smalling and Harkness, alongside a whole host of similarly wacky characters, and you’ve got yourself one hell of an entertaining yarn.

If I’m honest, I can’t sing the novel’s praises enough.  This is pure undiluted entertainment from start to finish.  Sometimes you start a novel grinning like a Cheshire cat at the author’s witty manner, but after a short while the comedy gradually becomes stale.  Not so here.  Millard keeps the jokes fresh and colourful all the way through the tale.  The pacing is absolutely spot on.  The handful of threads to the story converge perfectly.  And not once does any part of the tale begin to feel like it’s getting tired.  It’s quite simply a masterclass in manically witty and outrageously original storytelling.

This really is one of the most entertaining novels I’ve read.  From the moment you pick it up you’ll become utterly addicted.  I literally can’t remember the last time I grinned so much reading a book.  Pure mind-bogglingly imaginative genius!!!

The novel runs for a total of 170 pages.

© DLS Reviews

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