Saturday, November 20, 2010

Book Review: Slaughterhouse high by Robert Devereaux

Slaughterhouse high by Robert Devereaux
Deadite Press

For most people high school is a painful experience, I am Keenly aware of this not just because I endured it myself but my day job as a para-educator in a high school gives me a daily view. It is a hard gauntlet that seems impossible to survive. When you are facing the four years of daily education and social indoctrination getting out alive can feel like struggle to survive a slasher movie. And what about the cream of the crop? The prom queen and king have mastered the bullshit that is high school. Worse yet those assholes often take a nosedive and end up crashing into a life of mediocre tedium.

This to me is the brilliant heart of the satire that is Slaughterhouse High by Splatterpunk’s saintly uncle Robert Devereaux, the man behind a pre-bizarro but very clearly bizarro classic “Santa Steps Out.” This book is four parts bizarro and one part horror but is an all around visceral and deadly satire.

It takes place in the Demented states of America, where the greatest spectator sport is the serial killing of the prom queen and king across the country. The plot circles around the functioning of a small town and the big night at Condrum high school.

Devereaux has wicked and dangerous imagination and this novel exists in fictional universe every bit as real and fully formed as the world in science fiction novels like Dune or fantasy like Lord of the Rings. But it’s demented take on our own world similar but messed in that sense to Phillip K. Dick’s “Flow My Tears the Policeman Said.” But this not like putting goatee on Spock, this is a deeply fucked-up alternate universe. Don’t enter this world unless you are ready for blood and guts dripping down the walls.

Now I have given you lots of reasons to get this book. All valid, is there a weakness? A small problem but the only one I had with the novel was a lack of strong POV. There is no character that I felt I could relate to strongly, and there are so many characters and shifting Point of views that I think the novel suffered a bit for it. The invention of the universe it takes place in more than makes up for this minor shortcoming.

In the scope of the whole novel that is a minor complaint. Slaughterhouse High is master work socio-political bizarro satire.

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