You might be wondering why I would pick up a horror novel called Incel written from the perspective of an incel doing extreme incel things. I wondered that myself as I started reading and that familiar icky feeling filled my belly. If you are not an incel and you’ve ever browsed any of the incel subreddits, you know that feeling. Truth be told, the author was the driving force behind that decision. Matt Duchossoy is the pen name that Matthew A. Clarke uses for his horror novels. I like his writing style. But I also like books that put you in the minds of horrible people. I like books that make me uncomfortable. And boy does this one deliver.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term incel, let me introduce you to the main character of this book, Wayne. Wayne subscribes to the involuntary celibate movement, an online community of mostly men who are unable to attract women for one reason or another. Wayne describes it the way any incel would, laying blame squarely on women’s shoulders. He refers to attractive men as Chads and women as Staceys, femoids, foids, and other derogatory terms. Women don’t want to fuck him because they’re shallow sluts and he won’t have a shot at them until they’re old and used up. He addresses the existence of femcels, the female incel, and answers the most obvious question by stating that neither incel nor femcel believes they should lower their standards to couple with one another. The foids are shallow for not doing so though. It’s a disturbing mindset, but one that most are familiar with even if the term incel is new. The author did a ton of research into the movement while writing this book and it shows.
Anyway, while Wayne is deep in this mindset, he still has hope and tries to live a normal life. He has revenge fantasies, but no real intent on carrying them out. But this would not be much of a horror novel if he didn’t cross that line, now would it. His world is turned upside down when a cute waitress shows interest in him. He has no idea how to react or proceed, but he manages to successfully date this girl for several months. During this time, his friends have turned dark side and dragged him down with them. To be fair, they didn’t have to push much. He was ready, because despite his successful relationship, he never truly believed that his lady wanted him. He was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. He just assumed there was no happiness to be had for him. That defeatist incel attitude was ultimately his undoing, leading Wayne and his friends down a dark path filled with torture, sexual assault, and murder.
For a moment, I had the tiniest shred of sympathy for Wayne. The ending absolutely killed that. Like most incels, Wayne doesn’t have trouble with the ladies because he’s unattractive. He has trouble because he’s human garbage. He doesn’t see women as people. Good things happen to him and he still can’t let go of that incel ideology and try to be happy. But there was that brief moment where I thought he might redeem himself.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I hated this book. I also loved it. This is a cautionary tale that reminds the reader just how easy it is to give in to your dark thoughts, get caught up in the moment, and take things too far. It’s a reminder that some people have their heads so far up their asses that they can’t recognize the good when it happens. Thank you for making me feel things, Matt.
Big thanks to Matt Duchossoy for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. You can pre-order Incel on Amazon and begin reading it on Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2023) or read it as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.