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Wounded Child Prostitute

I like some people so much, their whole way, and being, that I can't say a word for fear of wrecking it. So if you see me standing across the room, not looking, I'm probably in love with you. Damaged, benzo surfer...

Currently reading

Why We Love Sociopaths: A Guide To Late Capitalist Television
Adam Kotsko
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Jared Diamond
The Enormous Room
E.E. Cummings
Uses for Boys
Erica Lorraine Scheidt
Elizabeth Bathory: A Memoire: As Told by Her Court Master, Benedict Deseo
Kimberly Craft
The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future
Joseph E. Stiglitz

How to Write a Damn Good Thriller: A Step-by-Step Guide for Novelists and Screenwriters

How to Write a Damn Good Thriller: A Step-by-Step Guide for Novelists and Screenwriters - James N. Frey Very helpful. I'm not well versed on a lot of the movies he used as examples, but there are gems in here that are real shiny like.

The Contortionist's Handbook

The Contortionist's Handbook - Craig Clevenger I wrote this first paragraph a few days ago and it became moot pretty fast…so it goes. The rest is my general reactions to this book by my favorite writer.I’ve finished Craig Clevenger’s The Contortionist’s Handbook. I say finished because I have fifteen pages left and (this is not a diss) I’m not reading the end because I want to let it ride for a while. I kind of think I know what’s going to happen and I think it will hurt so I want to let things be the way they are for a while (in my mind). I know that is a bit weird. Clevenger is my current favorite writer, so I’m allowed to do shit like this. It’s like not calling your friend when you know they’re waiting for your call but they know and you know it’s okay because of your strange never ending relationship.I went ahead and finished it two days later, and I was right, it did kinda hurt. Clevenger`s depiction of Daniel Fletcher cut`s close to the bone for me because he carried a thread or number of threads that my own brother `Danny`was made of.‘Handbook’ is sort of like discovering you’re in the Led Zeppelin song ‘Kashmir’, licking honey off of the nipples of Isis and having an out of body experience while you’re being gang-banged in prison…all at once like.Clevenger is clearly a writer’s writer, an alchemist of words. He leaves microfilament molecules of iron in the neck bone of readers after they’ve paid him a few shillings for a mercifully clean cut.I want to say ‘noir’ somewhere when I think about describing The Contortionist’s Handbook, but it isn’t fair. Because I think of noir as commercial genre fiction and I can’t possible put Clevenger’s writing anywhere near that. I’d like to make some sweeping big review statement like, blah blah blah begins and ends with blah blah blah of what Clevenger is doing. And if I were educated enought to be that pompous and cloyingly aesthetic, I’d probably end up being right.If I start somewhere in the area of ‘dark’ as a description, I’d be getting somewhere relevant, but once again, dark novels are everywhere and many, most in fact, are replica iterations that take their place in the droste effect of novels disappearing off into the distance. Clevenger’s Handbook and Dermaphoria for that matter, do not deserve a place in the droste of the dark either. So I’ll call it nigredo.Nigredo is the alchemical term which descibes the fist step of the seeker of the philospher’s stone; all materials must be cleansed and cooked to a uniform black matter. The term is also used in Jungian psychology in reference to ‘dark night of soul’.The importance of distinguishing ‘dark’ writing from ‘nigredo’ is simple. The nigredo comes from those and I believe is primarily sent out to those, who have ‘walked the walk’. And when those who have walked it come across Clevenger’s writing, they immediately join in a shared communion of the nigredo.Thank you Mr. Clevenger for joining us together and giving us one little notch in the big nigredo holster in the sky. And for hitting a bullseye.If you don’t get what I mean, you can always go find a nice dark novel. Or you could give up everything you own, go live in an alley and fire up pipes for a few years, join a punk band, promise to have sex with whatever walks for six months, eat from dumpsters, smile when you have no reason to, get down with buddah pain, no, make it all of the above. Then go find a nice dark novel and see what you think.a few excerpts from the book:“I started doing favors for people. Big mistake. Jimmy or somebody would introduce me with words like forger or counterfeiter, sometimes with expert or master thrown in. Like I should be proud. I hated being introduced to people, and I told them not to use words like that. Whadda we call you, then?Told a girl once that I’d wanted to be a contortionist. Saw a guy on TV when I was younger, bend, twist and crumple his body into an airtight box no bigger than a knapsack. Stayed inside for two hours, like he didn’t breathe at all. When they opened the box, he crawled out slowly like some strange hatching thing, every bone intact and breathing like normal. I can’t explain it, but that seems closer to what I do than anything else.”“I learned that predators don’t intentionally choose the weak or old or sick. They kill what they can, which means the slow members of the pack. Thus, they strengthen the very gene pool they’re feeding from. The threshold for what is weak, old or sick gets raised, and the strength, speed and instincts of new generations of hunters grow. A beautiful, self-perpetuating system where evolution is the antithesis of entropy.”


Dermaphoria - Craig Clevenger Dermaphoria is the kind of poetic long lament that is possible in human life. Not that everyone is lucky enough to experience such painful things. I say lucky because to me, truth, beauty and pain are one thing really. I mean you can't have one without the other two, it's impossible, so reading Dermaphoria for some, for me anyway, was like going into those kinds of experiences and reliving them while reading a book. That's the nature of the subconscious. It will leave you crying for no reason other than the fact that you know there is a reason.The intersection of memory and imagination is the flipside of Broadway and 42nd or Hollywood and Vine. It's the umwelt, the total world that is there when you stand looking at the street sign and a little voice in your head is saying, 'it wasn't like this in the brochure'. Clevenger taps into that with microscopic vision using words as his utensils. He turns maudlin inside out and it becomes a mnemonic palindrome, one side is you and the other is the mirror. You are forced to look at your own Desiree, what or who she is, and ache for knowing the truth. Everyone has that buried in them, from this life or another and when you open the catacomb, bats fly out, light rushes in and you are stuck with the truth in your throat. All that matters is whether or not you want to open your eyes and face it.The best wordsmithing dissolves things in a chemical reaction and the coagulate is a mystery just as Eric Ashworth's psychedelic God in a test tube - an accident of nature, a dance of molecular structures with elements changing partners like glowing bugs in a petri dish. In writing, I don't want to divide and conquer, to break things up and look at how the parts work. I prefer the alchemical version solve et coagula. I dig the magic of accepting a purer form of myself. Thank-you Craig Clevenger.Oh, and I want to mention one more intersection - the place where paranoia meets lovelessness. There is an intersection like this in real life and in this book, I won't say where they're located in either place, but just know, there is no vacuum of darkness quite like it. Go there in the book if you can, in real life, well, you usually don't have a choice. There's nothing sadder than a love that has died.I could pour accolades but, well, come over, bring your own cup.

Dirty Little Secrets: Breaking the Silence on Teenage Girls and Promiscuity

Dirty Little Secrets: Breaking the Silence on Teenage Girls and Promiscuity - Kerry Cohen I'm putting this aside for the moment. After half of it, I found myself skimming and thinking, yeah, so? The polite way of putting it.

Suffer the Flesh

Suffer the Flesh - Monica J. O'Rourke I kept thinking of Das Experiment as I read this. I was intrigued when Zoey was abducted and then again a few sparks when she hid in the bathroom. So I think the writer has some skills, but I didn't find much in the book that was very interesting from a literary perspective. It was sort of 'The Experiment' meets 'some other movie I haven't seen. I was looking for some interesting new transgressive fiction I think, and something in the synopsis made me just grab it - here it is: "Somewhere between ecstasy and pain -- learn to SUFFER THE FLESH." If you you like filth, go for it. O'Rourke makes your feel like you're in the dungeon and you might be next. I'm curious about that place, between ecstasy and pain, and she delivered some - I won't say where though. Try this out if you're into transgressive fiction.

Lunar Park

Lunar Park - Bret Easton Ellis Here we go again, me gathering up more bad review karma. When I finally publish my book, I'm gonna get slaughtered with payback I'm sure.I was very excited to dive into Lunar Park when I read about it for two reasons. First and foremost, I wanted to see BEE's treatment of the meta-fiction component because my current wip (Folie à Deux) has a meta-fiction element. Secondly, and similar to Lunar, I have a few characters who are stretching the limits of their perceptions and crossing a boundary where, as writers, we are treading carefully to not destroy the suspension of our reader's disbelief we have so carefully constructed. So I thought, I really have to read this famous dude's book, it's so like mine etc etc. Ya, sure kid. Unfortunately (and this is my first book of his), I did not like BEE's writing at all. I felt like I was reading a narrative by someone who was extremely bored and ashamed of their life and they were being forced to somehow create a meta-fiction out of it. I couldn't help think that the BEE had to fulfill a contractual obligation and this was the result. You know, okay, I owe you a book, so here! Stick this in your dog's anus, see what hatches etc. etc... There are plenty of reviews about the book and in general, BEE's writing seems to be like patchouli, you either like it or hate it. I could go on quite a bit about the aspects of this book, but I don't have anything good to say, so I suppose this will do. Oh, for those who have read the book, I have to mention that when the so called horror parts began, you know, the 'Terby' and the lights flickering etc. I mean, I lolled, I had to cover my mouth because I subconsciously thought I was laughing in his face. How rude of me!

Dirty Weekend: A Novel of Revenge

Dirty Weekend: A Novel of Revenge - Helen Zahavi Bela is a woman who is a self-admitted helpless victim of the male victimizers of the world, misogynistic men who hurt women physically and mentally, and she's had enough. The intention is for Bela to get revenge and she goes at it fighting fire with fire. Her inner dialogue is interesting enough. It seems properly confused, helpless, making efforts in an honest way to pull together her revenge act. I had a problem with the language in the narrative itself, which seemed to be reminiscent of single women I'd met in London, UK while I lived there whose mother tongue was other than English. Fair enough, it added to the 'helplessness' factor for me. Zahavi used a technique of having Bela repeat certain observations during her inner narrative which became annoying. The repetitive technique reminded me of a poetry style and it seemed she was trying to tie the whole piece together in a repetitive, rhythmic way, which for the most part worked, but I felt it could have been trimmed a bit. The repetition got to me after a while and I started skimming. I could describe it as a cross between a Clint Eastwood movie and: The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes - see: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-highwayman - the poem has an example of that rhythmic repetition.[spoiler alert] [spoiler alert] I really finished the book to find out the end, which I'd already guessed as soon as she said she threw the gun away in the alley while killing off those nasty (Clockwork Orange-ish kids). Even though I sensed she'd kill the last one with her knife (which was conveniently muted), right up to the last pages, I was wondering if Zahavi was going to let her be killed and end with a tragedy. I'd say that without a doubt, the tragic ending would have been a superior story, but then everyone would disagree I'm sure, so I won't say that. Still a very good book, and a big touche for the Belas of the world. Bravo.

The Red Tree

The Red Tree - Caitlín R. Kiernan September 11, 2012 (9:59 a.m.)When I finished 'The Red Tree', besides anything else I was feeling, I immediately had an imaginary scenario in my mind of butcher block that is evidently used for prepping various meats. The butcher block is covered with slash marks of different colors, shades and depths and there is a pretty good coating on it; a mixture of bloods and fatty fat fats. It is evident that someone has just finished a rather long session of working at this block and has, I am guessing, scraped the last of the bits and goos into a trap just beside the butcher block.The trap is a stainless steel rectangle built right into the wood on the surface of the block and has a handle made of a darker wood. The stainless rectangle is in the open position and the butcher person has finished clearing everythng into the dark shape there, but he is nowhere, that is, there are no hands shuffling around or cleaning or doing anything. He was never there; I just came upon this vision, this imaginary scenario, and it's just a scene.But then I realize that the block is really me. At first I thought the block and the whole scene was my stomach though, but then I realized it only felt like that for a moment because the stomach seems to be my vulnerable place where emotional and psychic tumults tend to aim themselves. At that first moment the block was everything that obsessed and possessed me in that moment, but then after, the block, the scene I am experiencing is everything that is me, all the physical parts of me and it/me has all been you know, butchered and taken away somewhere, I assume to be con-sumed, and the scraps and various juices and slick, pasty things have all been scraped into the hole. And that is the scene I see and what I feel immediately.Then in the next moment someone, I suppose the butcher person, pushes the dark wooden handle of the trap and slides it closed into place, although I still never see his hand, and actually I don't know if he is a he or a she for that matter. I'd like to think it was a she at least, but I know we don't have choices like that in scenarios like this.Right now, I still feel a bit numb, a bit shakey even, my jaw feels tight like I've been coming off of the effects of psilosybin for quite a while and am at that place where I want the last of it to bleed out of me, to allow me to go back to normal because I want one or the other of course, not just the remnants.alt cover from » http://caitlinrkiernan.comI know that 'The Red Tree' will reverberate inside me for a while, perhaps - no, not that perhaps shit, it WILL be there inside me mutating itself into my parts and even when the goo, the juices, all that stuff that is left over on the block after I've been taken away to be eaten is all that remains of me, even then 'The Red Tree' will coexist with me and together we'll be scraped into that hole with the stainless steel plate on top of the butcher block wood with the many colored slashes.If you've read this and it's a bit confusing, well, no exuses, most of my writing is that way, and right now I'm certainly not going over this to make sure it's sensible.

The Writer's Little Helper: Everything You Need to Know to Write Better and Get Published

The Writer's Little Helper: Everything You Need to Know to Write Better and Get Published - James V. Smith Jr. Not as good as I anticipated. I read a few excerpts that were almost highlights. Still, every book on the craft is worth reading.

Portrait of the Psychopath as a Young Woman

Portrait of the Psychopath as a Young Woman - Edward Lee, Elizabeth Steffen Repetitive, repetitive, repetitive, cliche, stereotype. Five card flop. In the beginning I felt hope that the characters might expand into something interesting in the psychological realm of the psychopathic killer. It was my only hope for the book really, and in that regard it was a letdown. I felt like I was reading a book made from a cliche noir murder flick. It wasn't that long, and everything was pretty pat, so I skipped along to find out the end. If you like middle of the road television, you'll probably like this. Considering that the literary aspect was slim to nil, I have to say the extended and repetitive use of child abuse descriptions and child pornographic descriptions only served to make me feel they were an unconscionable use of creative license. To take on these kinds of subjects in such a gratuitous, mundane, repetitive and cliche manner can only mean that it was meant to appeal to a low minded class of reader, if not people who resemble some of the offensive characters in the book themselves. Sorry for sounding prudish to all you highly experienced horror readers, but it's just something that once you've experienced it first hand, it isn't allowable as entertainment period. Oh, and the injection of descriptive technical gear and their use by the co-author did little to enhance the book. This is my first book by Lee and my last.

Hear the Wind Sing

Hear the Wind Sing - Haruki Murakami, Alfred Birnbaum I intend to read all of Murakami's books, so I am using the star system for his work separate from other books, so in genpop the individual book ratings I give on his might've ended up being slightly higher. Also, I am viewing the trilogy as one book, so I'll just add a bit to this after I finish 'A Wild Sheep Chase'.---------------------------------------------------I've only read three of Murakami's books so far. I started with 'After Dark' which I found wonderful because he places the ordinary and the surreal side by side with great success. After two of the Rat trilogy books I see that he is developing a blueprint for a style which  I'll call 'surreal subliminal melancholy with an American cultural retronaut blend'. It is interesting to me as a writer how Murakami is taking the ordinary and making it into a reasonably compelling story while weaving in some aspects of the human condition which are often not touched on in such an existential manner in popular fiction. There is a general innocence that permeates the writing which reflects the difference in cultural dna of America and Japan; for example, he uses classic American cultural artifacts crossed with character dialogue that goes as far as a rural pseudo-cowpoke vernacular (J's bar scenes). At the same time the characters display a type of veneration that is a general practice in Japanese culture yet is for all intents and purposes vacant in American culture. This creates an interesting dichotomous feel in the sub-narrative for me: The Ugly American vs. the venerable soft spoken Japanese. I realize these are stereotypes I'm dealing with but ingrained nonetheless. The dichotomy also pings a feeling of loss, ie: N.American culture's continuously diminishing regard for the sacredness of family. The overall melancholy of the narrative in general verges on maudlin occasionally which I'm neither here nor there with, it just is. The innocence factor also figures into the sexual aspects of the stories. Most prominent for me is in the inclusion of the twins with no names (Pinball) who appear and disappear auspiciously, while instantly becoming bed-mates and sexual partners. The ménage à trois relationship has overtones of sibling sex as well for me, which lends an incredibly sensual ‘dangerous’ underlying motif of course and perhaps I am alone in this. Danger aside, the sexuality of the characters is still in the realm of innocence which works well for 'making the normal interesting'.I'll add more after reading 'A Wild Sheep Chase'.

Salvage the Bones: A Novel

Salvage the Bones - Jesmyn Ward Struggled a lot with this one, hoping the story would break out into something that grabbed me. I made it more than half way and thought I'd put it aside. Might be just me right now.

Gone Girl: A Novel

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn Ok, I was hanging in there through part one, even though Amy was being lame and Nick was increasingly becoming jerkier assholie guy. I knew that things would twist and turn and I do like the social cultural pundity jabberwocky of this x-Entertainment Weekly television critic and lovely gal Gillian Flynn. For those reasons alone I hung in through the set up. Why are set ups so, I don't know if I should say 'tedious' but so... something?Anyway, if you have read Gone Girl, things really do get gone as in an out of the park hit right in the beginning of Part II. That's where she had me of course, fully completely. I love her diatribe on 'Cool Girl' right as she breaks out the real Amy - this sets up Amy angst and sociopathic foundations nicely. The gist:"Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot." I still have a hundred pages to go, so I'll finish this later. Ok, it's later now. Just a note: I don't go into any suspense or mystery novels trying to guess ahead what will happen. It just isn't my style - I like keeping my eyes wide open in the dark, driving with the lights off. It's more exhilarating an experience and now that I think of it, it is the way one should read (and drive occasionally).That being said, in retrospect, the twists and turns were not that unexpected or unusual. You should know this comes from someone who has been involved with and related to more than a few psychopath/sociopath people. If you are experienced on that you will know what I mean when I say, it's no joking matter. THAT being said, when the gloves came off with Amy's true sociopath personality, Flynn's depiction was nerve-rattling, but also entertaining and funny - exactly the way that you experience relating with that type personality in real life. It is like one hand in hot water, one in cold, and pee running down your leg and you HAVE to keep smiling, otherwise... The absolute touche of course is having the perspective from both ends. One or two criticisms. The descriptions they have of and for each other were a bit redundant but not enough to be annoying, just noticeable. I caught myself skipping the odd sentence or paragraph, going.. ok that again. But as I said, minimal. Criticism no. 2: This is really more like wishful thinking than a criticism. I was quite let down when she chose Amy's ace in the hole as pregnancy. Even though saving the sperm was classic psycho bitch, I wanted so bad for her to take another real shot at him and for Nick to have been one step ahead. Therefore they could have finished in a true mutually hurting stalemate. He did after all say that he thought he'd caught up to her level. But the pregnancy ending was still well done. So if you get any thrill from delving into the psychopath/sociopath mind - this will entertain you plenty.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, Book 1)

The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins Did you know the end to this--I did, but it was still a good read. I read her bio after and I was right about her children's literature (influences) too. All fine and good.

Family of Women

Family of Women - Annie Murray I almost stopped reading half way through. It isn't that awful a book, and I did enjoy Rob's voice for the most part, but after a while his existential mooning was tedious. The mystery/plot was fairly straight-forward - I have to say that the 'unresolved' aspect of the ending didn't bother me as it did some; I felt that Rob's 'blanking out' of what may have happened in the woods was the thread of mystery carrying the whole thing, and by ending it as she did, the author painted the sky over the woods with a kind of longing - the smiling, sunshiny fun of those kids hopping the wall, something that is as warm as toast in the subconscious of us all. If you didn't get that, then maybe you missed it in childhood too. It's golden, why destroy it by painting awful details for the sake of closure?? The last pages raised a level of melancholy in me that is on par with any great writing I've come across (if you like your melon collie). I'd gladly read another by Tana French - she's an excellent writer, but I'll wait a while.

After Dark

After Dark - Jay Rubin, Haruki Murakami I've decided to real all of Murakami's books. I read After Dark first, but now I'm going back to the beginning and reading them in order. I'll read After Dark again later between 'Kafka On The Shore' and IQ84. I just want to say now that I picked up After Dark by chance last year sometime and was immediately taken by the writing; the voice, the surreal qualities in the writing especially, and the thing he is noted for which is making the ordinary extraordinary. I don't know how things will go with the rest of his books obviously, but After Dark will remain a classic in my mind, a book that I will read a number of times again.