Wow. OK this book is short, like short-story short and though I loathe to bring up William Burroughs now that I am no longer 19 nor nervously intrigued by extreme possibilities that form the antithesis of my placid life, this little romp of sexless sex and torture and mayhem reminds me of my favorite part in Naked Lunch, where a brother and sister are acting out a stark tableau of brutality on a gallows platform. This also reminded me of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, it's weird, inappropriate sit-around-the-cracker-barrel air of some of the dialog while unspeakable acts were happening.
The narrative here quickly goes off the rails and as I darted through its sparse 100 pages, I wasn't sure I had a picture of what was really happening or why, and I think that's what stories like these are doing with their outrageous cruelty - wallowing in the pointlessness and reveling in the immediate cause-effect nature of life and realizing the big picture is easily erased when the blood starts to spill.
I don't know if this is a good book or not, since it was over so fast, but I will say it was a perfect way to blithely kill an hour waiting for your lovely family to get back from Target. Abject cruelty has its amusement factor.
I thought I had read Harry Crews before but a scan through his other title informed me I was mixing him up with Hubert Selby Jr. Maybe I just had the record by Harry Crews, a Sonic Youth side project from 1989, and assumed that I must've read it, since I was reading stuff like this back then. Maybe I just wanted to and finally did it after all these years, which is exactly the motivation for what happens in this book....less Read More...