Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Classic Serial Killer novel - Exquisite Corpse
I think any novel is better the colder you go in. The less you know the better. So Let me try to do as ambiguous of a review as possible. In the 90's the horror fiction community had a young rising star named Poppy Z. Brite. Her third horror novel, was the last she would write in the horror genre. She continues to write novels set in the restaurant culture of New Orelens, where she lives. I can see why Poppy burned out on horror after writing this book. Perhaps I am wrong about the reasons This book seems like it would be painful to write, it is basically a romance between two serial killers.
The sex in the book is also quite intense. there is a reason that Brite has a loyal gay male following.
I have a hard time imaging a more gruesome novel, Charlee Jacob's Haunter might be more gruesome but I found that book to be almost unreabable. While the splatterpunk generation of writers from John skipp to your Edward Lee's are known for the gore and grue nothing they have writen hold's a candle to Brite Transgressive 240 page horror masterpiece. Gruesome is just not strong enough of a word.
If that sounds intriguing then I suggest this book to you. If gore is not your thing but your interested in Brite's horror work then I suggest her second novel Drawing Blood. I prefer Drawing Blood myself but one thing about Exquisite Corpse is no one, not any other writer could have written Exquisite Corpse.
I read this novel a few years back but picked it up again because I had a feeling I would be able to get things out of it I didn't the first time. The first chapter is probably the books creepiest moment and this book has probably the most effective use of of an opening quotation ever. The quote about Jeffery Damher manages to stick in your mind as the pages turn.
The center parts of the book tell a gruesome and interesting story Brite does an excellent job of building up concern for the main charter Tran before putting him a horrible situation. the end of the book has equal suspense to the opening and it cements EC as being one of the most hardcore serial killers ever written. Kiss the girls is like a harlaquin novel compared Exquisite Corpse.