Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre Audiobook

Jayne Eyre is written by Charlotte Bronte and published by Smith, Elder & Co. in 1847. An American version was then published by Harper Brothers in 1848. The novel focuses on the evolvement of Jane’s moral sensibility and morals. The novel is prominent for featuring elements of social criticism with morality as its core. The novel is considered by many as being ahead of time due to inclusion of themes such as religion, sexuality, classism, and proto-feminism. It is divided into 38 chapters with most of them 400 pages long.

The Audiobook Format

Jane Eyre Audiobook is a new version of the novel that presents it in audio form. Many people nowadays prefer to listen to jane eyre audiobook free online than reading it. Just like the written version, you will follow through all her stages as she develops from childhood to adulthood. As you listen the story through the five stages, there are important ideas and social issues that are presented. The Audiobook is the best for you because you can listen to even when doing something else.

Plot Summary

It is a first person narrative novel of the title character. It is set in a place in the north of England at the reign of George III. It goes through five different stages. First is during Jane’s early life at Gateshead Hall, living with cousins and aunt but is abused both physically and emotionally. The second stage is during her education life at Lowood School. At the school, she acquires role models and friends but suffers from oppression. The third stage is at Thornfield Hall where she acts as a governess. She cannot help it but ends up falling in love with her employer, Edward Rochester. Her fourth stage is when she stays with the River’s family where her clergyman falls in love with her. The last stage is the reunion and marriage to her lover, Mr. Rochester.

Posted in Reviews | Comments Off on Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre Audiobook

Marvel Monsters

Before Marvel Comics ushered in what has come to be known as “The Marvel Age of Comics” in 1961 with such now-familiar characters as The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, The Hulk and The X-Men, their claim to fame was a seemingly endless array of science-fiction and fantasy themed comics such as Journey Into Mystery, Tales of Suspense, Tales to Astonish and Strange Tales. Each of these interchangeable, anthology comics were all more or less the same, each featuring fantastic stories about time-travel, outer space and most importantly – monsters!

How did the monsters come to such brief but memorable prominence at newsstands across North America? In the mid-1950’s outrage from concerned parents, spurred on by an inflammatory book about the dangers of violence in comic books entitled Seduction of the Innocent, resulted in the adoption of a “comics code”. The Comics Code Authority was a self imposed regulatory body that effectively banned explicit depictions of horror and violence. With superheroes deemed passe since the late 1940s, and horror now a forbidden genre, comic book publishers looked to new themes to exploit to keep their readers entertained. Pulp inspired science fiction/fantasy tales in the vein of the Twilight Zone seemed to do the trick and for comic buffs the brief period 1959-1961 has come to be known as “The Monster Age of Comics”.

Marvel was not the only publisher with tales of radioactive beasts and mutants hell-bent on mankind’s enslavement and/or destruction but Marvel’s Stan Lee (who went on to co-create just about every Marvel character of the 60’s) was at the helm and not only was he starting to hit his stride as a writer, he also managed to entice some of the greatest comic book artists in the business into providing the artwork. This has ensured that these virtually throwaway comic books have become nearly as legendary as the superhero comics that followed.

There is little questioning Marvel’s wisdom at publishing Marvel Monsters. This handsome 224 page hardcover collects five of the very best of Marvel’s “Monster Age” stories alongside several new stories by some of today’s top artists and writers including such talents as Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Keith Giffen (Ambush Bug), Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy) and Tom Sniegoski (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

And what about the monsters? Fantastic! No one can fault the selection of classic monster tales on offer here. Titano The Monster That Time Forgot, Droom The Living Lizard and the renowned Fin Fang Foom are just three of the terrifying creatures featured here. And if their names seem less than inspiring, keep in mind many of these stories feature the artwork of Jack (King) Kirby. As the original artist of The Hulk, Fantastic Four, The X-Men and most Marvel creations of the 60’s, his ability to bring monsters to life on the printed page is truly uncanny.

Since many of the original stories have a rather dated quality to them (which can be charming) the newer stories in this volume do manage to keep things fresh and are hugely entertaining. In-jokes abound for Marvel comics buffs as do guest appearances by some of Marvel’s biggest names including The Hulk, The Fantastic Four as well as sundry Avengers and X-Men. The writing and artwork is top-notch and several of the stories are nearly as memorable as the tales that inspired them in the first place. An ad-hoc supergroup that includes the aforementioned Fin Fang Foom, called the Fin Fang Four is a ridiculous but very entertaining premise for a romp that literally pits monster against monster.

The icing on the cake is a 48 page overview of several dozen of Marvel’s most renowned monsters which is cleverly presented as a collection of files and emails belonging to Ulysses Bloodstone, Marvel’s famed monster hunter of the 1970’s. This gives readers the opportunity to get the background on 50 terrific beasts, from the pretty much forgotten Blip and Zzutak (both 1961) to the more renowned Groot (1960), Tim Boo Ba (1962) and Krakoa (1975). And yes – Fin Fang Foom!

While Marvel has recently been producing hardcover versions of many of the late 50’s and early 60’s series that these classic monster stories originally appeared in, this is an affordable and entertaining introduction into a rarely explored facet of Marvel’s publishing history. 9 out of 10 – Highly recommended!

Posted in Reviews | Comments Off on Marvel Monsters

The Satan Factory

Amongst the many memorable characters populating Mike Mignola’s Hellboy universe, Lobster Johnson is an unlikely choice as a breakout franchise, so this first-ever prose adventure of the enigmatic vigilante in The Satan Factory comes as both a surprise and an unexpected treat.

Much like classic pulp heroes The Shadow, The Spider and Doc Savage, Lobster Johnson is presented in Hellboy adventures as a fictional hero of movie serials, magazine adventures and comics who is in fact an actual person about whom scant little is known. Backed by a team of trusted sidekicks, Lobster Johnson battles gangsters, monsters and paranormal threats from a secret base of operations in New York City.

Although he apparently meets an untimely end battling the Nazi threat in the late 1930’s, his modern-day appearances as a ghost in issues of Hellboy and BPRD (both published by Dark Horse) have made him a fan favorite. His reputation for violence and habit of burning a lobster claw symbol into the foreheads of his victims with the palm of his gloved hand may have something to do with it.

Written by Thomas E Sniegoski, best known for his Buffy The Vampire Slayer-related novels and comic writing, The Satan Factory does an admirable job of conjuring up a gritty and dark Manhattan circa 1930 and the sad case of Jonas Chapel. A once-respected physician, Chapel flees New York City’s underworld and finds himself in Mexico face to face with a powerful witch and a cursed skeleton that gives him the power to transform men into monsters. Armed with this unholy power he returns to New York City hoping to create a savage army to do his bidding. Lobster Johnson rises to the occasion to bring an end to the mayhem before Manhattan itself is consumed.

Sniegoski has a natural flair for the pulpy crime-noir flavor that is integral to the Lobster Johnson character and his briskly paced writing style makes the story a pleasure to read. Scenes of carnage and wanton destruction are handled vividly and when things really get going, one can almost taste the blood of the unfortunate victims spilled by the savage squad of monsters unleashed on Manhattan. In classic pulp tradition, the outcome of the story is both satisfying and predictable.

So what about the monsters then? Evidently capable of doing murderous damage, the army of monsters in The Satan Factory are equipped with little more than razor sharp claws and teeth. Obviously simian in nature, the monsters benefit from Sniegoski’s vague descriptions as they are otherwise not particularly scary or unique, merely dangerous. Far more effective is the early appearance of The Human Brain, a misshapen carnival attraction with telepathic powers who steals the show in his one chapter appearance early in the book.

With no clear origin and only a handful of comic book appearances to his credit, Lobster Johnson is virtually a blank slate awaiting attention and Sniegoski crafts a worthy adventure for him, though he adds little to the character.

For die-hard fans of Lobster Johnson, The Satan Factory will be satisfying as Sniegoski ensures that the enigmatic qualities that make this character so compelling are present throughout the novel. The Satan Factory does underscore the formidable challenge for any writer trying to bring Lobster Johnson to life as he is essentially a one-dimensional character. For newer converts the recent graphic novel, The Iron Prometheus, with excellent artwork by Jason Armstrong, is recommended as an introduction to Lobster Johnson.

Overall the Satan Factory rates a solid 7.5 of 10 but the monster aspect is a bit disappointing with the beasts being little more than man-sized simians, so The Satan Factory earns a monster rating of a mere 3 of 10. Bring back The Human Brain!

Posted in Reviews | Comments Off on The Satan Factory

Scott Sigler’s “Infected”

Gathered around a campfire during the early days of summer, a group of friends and I were passing the time exchanging stories and listening to our favorite bits of audio fiction. The night was rather typical for that time of year, complete with mosquitoes and June bugs vying for our attention by constantly trying to get as close as possible to our warm, fleshy bodies. The annoying, buzzing critters were par for the course and while they were irritating at the time I took solace in the fact that I’d go home to a relatively bug- free zone to catch a few hours of sleep before work the following the day.

I hadn’t counted on the fact that each of those mosquito bites and the phantom sensations that the June bugs left upon my skin would haunt me for the rest of the night. When I started to read the book Infected, by best-selling Pod-cast author Scott Sigler, my body had a psychosomatic reaction that left me in a terrified mindset for the rest of the story! I found myself praying that none of the small bites on my body turned into blue triangles. Triangles, after all, are something to be extremely afraid of.

Infected tells the story of Perry Dawsey and the parasites that have taken a hold of his body and are living beneath his skin. It’s the story of the government agents that are trying to get a handle on the outbreak. However, Infected is about much more than those basic plot threads. It’s about paranoia, rage, hopelessness, duty, and above all else the possibility of true horror arriving in a very real world.

Sigler is a master in setting up the plausibility of events. Every detail feels as if it could be happening in the next town over or in the house next door. The “infection”, the triangle-shaped parasitical beings, could be anywhere. They could be in every itch, every scratch, every unforeseen violent crime. Sigler crafts the parasites the way a scientist might describe them. Their anatomy, function, and motives are all described in perfect and disgusting detail. Imagine The Andromeda Strain copulating with Invasion of the Body Snatchers with a pinch of 28 Days Later. That’s only the surface of what Infected has to offer.

As I progressed through the book, scratching at my own flesh just as Perry Dawsey scratched at his, I found myself becoming completely enamored with Scott Sigler’s style of prose. There was never a point where too much information was leaked to the reader too fast. Each character, main and bit players, received elegant treatment. I was also delighted when Sigler utilized the technique of switching character perspectives between chapters that not once did I feel cheated into reading a side of the story that I didn’t want to read. The truth is, I wanted to read everything. Few authors can achieve that throughout a whole novel and the fact that Sigler seemed to do with ease had me in rather giddy state of mind.

Infected is a book for fans of personal horror, realistic horror, or just plain down-and-dirty fun horror. Don’t delay with reading this one, because there’s no telling how much time’s left before the itching starts.

Posted in Reviews | Comments Off on Scott Sigler’s “Infected”

Datlow’s Inferno

Trains are a good place to read short stories. My general problem with both short stories and train rides is that neither are long enough, usually, to accomplish much. I say “usually.”

On most of my train rides I end up staring out the window, hoping to cultivate what my father calls, “a fertile boredom” that will eventually chafe me into a restless act of creation. But some days, I’m in a fever of productivity. And some short stories, I find, rather than making me want to kick something in unfulfilled frustration, can instead create perfect sinkholes in reality, sucking you down into infinitesimal and terrible worlds that last the length of a nightmare.

So with Ellen Datlow’s INFERNO.

First I want to speak on the layout of the thing. I’m not a girl to notice an overarching structure unless it’s staring me in the face, batting its eyelashes and winking desperately. But for once, the subtleties did not elude me. It was perhaps a few stories in when I noticed the thread, a thin, gossamer thread, that linked one story to another – even though each story was written by a different author, probably incognizant of what the others were up to. Sometimes it was a word. Sometimes a phrase. Or a theme. Corpses. Statues. Dead children. Demonic children.

I will not go very deeply into each and every story, although I enjoyed them all. Some more, some less. Like most anthologies, a gamble. If I had to pick my top 6 favorites:

1. MISADVENTURE. The structure of this was so solid, you could build a house on it. The protagonist, of whom I was skeptical at the beginning, grew more and more interesting, and by the end I had that shivery feeling in the pit of my stomach. A friend of mine recently termed it “ghost envy”.

2. Laird Barron’s THE FOREST was written with an appealing formality, in exquisite – almost overwhelming – detail from the first person narrative. His one-line character descriptions were the best part for me, like little razor blades I kept stumbling on. For example:

Their nicked up faces wore the perpetual scowl of peasant trustees.” And “Nadine shone darkly and smelled of fresh cut hayricks and sweet, highly polished leather.

Here, too, we have an interesting story-structure, that seems at first like a flat expanse of vanilla-white, then folds slowly – very slowly – into itself, like origami in reverse.

3. GHORLA should have been written when Hitchcock was still around. He’d have had a BALL with this one. There are some very cool P.O.V. transitions, eccentric characters, almost a campy scene of foreshadowing that has you rubbing your palms together in anticipation. Showing here:

One more thing,” Staines said, “why the bolts on the outside of the guest-room doors?”

“Oh that,” Browning replied, “just a mistake. We never use them. They should have been fitted on the inside. Cowboy locksmiths – you know how it is…

4. FACE, by Joyce Carol Oates. I mean. It’s JOYCE CAROL OATES. Nothing wrong here. Or – everything wrong, but in the RIGHT way! Something in her prose always makes me sick to my stomach. Last time I read a short story of hers, I had the worst nightmare in pretty much a decade. FACE didn’t quite bring me to that level of cold sweat, but it’s good for a deep shudder or two!

5. THE EASE WITH WHICH WE FREED THE BEAST. We get inside the monster’s head, and it is howling dark in there. Sucker punch of a piece.

6. THE JANUS TREE was my favorite. The following stories, THE BEDROOM LIGHT and THE SUITS OF AUDERLENE were good, strong, deserving of a re-read – but I was perhaps still unfairly occupied with THE JANUS TREE. Maybe I still am.

Once again: DATLOW’S INFERNO. Go on. Descend.

Posted in Reviews | Comments Off on Datlow’s Inferno

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

When I first heard of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I knew I had to read it, despite the fact that my interest in zombies is generally limited. But the zombies were undoubtedly the best part of this book!

The novel is credited to Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. While Austen’s books have stood the test of time, it is the zombies wandering around 18th century England that make this version a wonderful Monty-Python-esque romp. I couldn’t get enough of the zombies and found myself eager to see how they were next going to ingeniously appear in the story.

The premise is faithful to its original. Elizabeth Bennett is one of five sisters ranging in ages from 15 to 23 all of whom are unmarried, much to the consternation of their mother. But there is a zombie plague affecting England, and their practical father sends the girls to China to study under Master Liu of the Shaolin monks. Elizabeth becomes one of the best warriors in the country and dedicates herself to destroying “Satan’s legion”. But this is not enough to impress the handsome Mr. Darcy, who was trained by the supposedly superior ninjas in Japan, and therein lies part of the great divide between them.

The romance between Elizabeth and Darcy goes through the same ups and downs it always has, but this time with the added danger of their deadly martial arts skills. For example, the first time they see each other, Darcy’s initial dismissal now takes on a much more sinister importance:

“She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me”…
As Mr. Darcy walked off, Elizabeth felt her blood turn cold. She had never in her life been so insulted. The warrior code demanded she avenge her honour. Elizabeth reached down to her ankle, taking care not to draw attention. There, her hand met the dagger concealed beneath her dress. She meant to follow this proud Mr. Darcy outside and open his throat.
p. 13 -14

While some of the writing is lifted directly from the original novel, Grahame-Seth takes some substantial liberties in his re-telling, one of which is every character, save for Elizabeth, is reduced to a caricature of themselves. Nearly every character has a vomiting scene, (or in the case of Mrs. Bennett, several) which are vividly described. And Grahame-Seth goes for more cheap laughs by playing not too subtly on the word “balls”, which are routinely disrupted by zombies.

Mr. Bingley observed the desserts his poor servants had been attending to at the time of their demise – a delightful array of tarts, exotic fruits, and pies, sadly soiled by blood and brains, and thus unusable.

“I don’t suppose”, said Darcy, “that you would give me the honour of dispensing of this unhappy business alone. I should never forgive myself if your gown were soiled.”
p. 80

Given that Grahame-Smith is a screenwriter by trade, it should be no surprise that there is a movie version coming, and I dare say that even with all the Austen-inspired films it has to compete with, this one should not disappoint!

Posted in Reviews | Comments Off on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

No Ordinary “Garbage Man”

What happens when the contents of a landfill starts to germinate and coalesce into a sentient entity that consumes everything animate and inanimate? In Joseph D’Lacey’s second horror novel, “Garbage Man“, the only person to notice at first is resident recluse of the adjacent town, Mason Brand. Brand spends his time soaking his bare toes on top of the noxious soil on a nightly basis in his quest to become one with mother earth. He is not entirely surprised when the first globs of goo stretched around smaller bits of detruis and garden implements appears at his back shed looking for nourishment.

D’Lacey introduces a wide swath of characters living in this unfortunate British landfill town: the cheating married couple, the stoner gamer geek, the  respectable family man with a kiddie porn habit, the town religious zealot with a penchant for spying, the angry teen chomping at the bit to get out of this hick town. He weaves their stories back and forth between their dirty secrets and damaged relationships as this “shed-thing” proceeds to grow and be nurtured by Brand.

As the character’s lives begin to merge the shed-thing evolves, spawns, and starts to leak into the town to take small bites out of them. Mason keeps feeding it his own blood, then animals, and eventually (you know it), humans. And just as it’s not certain whether the people are changing for the better it’s not clear that this new voracious entity is entirely evil. Perhaps mankind in its blatant disregard (and pollution) of its surroundings deserves to be ripped apart and reconstituted into something new? And D’Lacey paints a vivid picture of what happens when trash “…becomes a moving tide of rubbish…” Like ground-cover zombies that are slow and ungainly (at first!) once they latch-on you’re up the creek in shit-smelling, sharp-edged-filled quicksand. (Note: To avoid a complete spoiler the character name is shortened to initials.)

It sheared off D- S-‘s left hand with filth dripping bolt cutters which unfolded from its chest.  It’s own fork hand had the boy’s throat so tight he was barely breathing;…But no grip was strong enough to stop the expression of shock and agony creasing the boy’s face as he felt his hand severed. The moment it separated, the shed-thing forced the bleeding stump into its own chest…While D- still breathed it opened him up from pubes to sternum. It began to select and remove his organs, holding them up for inspection in the angled bars of sunlight penetrating the shed before thrusting them through the many openings and unmade sections of its own body.  When it began to clip through the ribs, Mason had to look away.Garbage Man

The perfect cautionary tale for Earth Day!

Posted in Reviews | Comments Off on No Ordinary “Garbage Man”

Suddenly the Minotaur

Raping had become too easy in Guatemala…I wanted to debase a white girls who was liberated, unsubmissive, intellectual, and beautiful.

Suddenly the Minotaur, p36

So declares Mino Torres from a Canadian prison in this award winning debut novel from Quebec writer, Marie Helene Poitras. Suddenly the Minotaur is a slim but potent two part story; the first half from the point of view of a serial rapist and the second from the victim that obsesses him, the “one that got away”

In the first half of the book poetic phrases are spun through the bared teeth of the predator, Torres, as he recounts his life history and philosophy. He uses the same charm and deception that perpetuates the illusion to his family that he has made it good in Canada to rationalize the justification of his many (twenty) rapes.

I’m driven to do what I do by nature. My impulses come from the center of the earth. In a given space, prey and predator move around nonchalantly.

His crude analogy, “One dumb broad was watching tortugas leaving the sea to lay their eggs on the beach. In a bathing suit, with her long legs. Alone in the dark at night. I call that an official invitation to rape. A gazelle that cuddles against a lion’s ass to sleep and is surprised to wake up being eaten

Torres points out that he is not without morals. He would never rape a pregnant woman. And he takes care that his beautiful wife, who surely would be a target for rape, does not venture out of the apartment without him.

His account of life before prison keeps winding back to his recurrent thoughts of Ariane. She was different, she fought back and he almost killed her. Torres obsessively imagines a relationship with her, that they have a connection beyond that of victim and prey.

Ariane’s account is no less poetic but in the manner of one’s life interrupted by an unimaginable event, her thoughts are a mixture: a blend of the confident, independent University student she was before the attempted rape and that of being overwhelmingly fearful in a way that keeps surprising her by its persistence.

Her vivid recounting of the attack and the aftermath is metered out in pieces between the events of her solo, soul-testing trip to Europe. “…I try to distract my five senses, so they’ll forget what was done to them.” She finds in her visit to Dachau prison camp in Germany a place of suffering and odd public reactions that can finally eclipse her own. “Everything here left me with an impression of poorly coagulated healing, of fractured irony.

While Ms. Poitras’ story is disturbing on many levels (the rationale of a serial rapist, the brutal description of attacks, and the pain of victims) what sticks are the unsettling implications that seep in. An unassuming rapist could be anywhere, back woods South America or cosmopolitan Canada…sitting on your bus, watching you or your sister or your mother…getting off at your stop, walking behind you…or waiting for you a day later in the back of your closet.

Real monsters in fiction…those are the scariest.

Posted in Reviews | Comments Off on Suddenly the Minotaur

“The Jigsaw Man” is a Puzzle Worth Piecing Together

How valuable is your right foot? Does your left arm have a price tag? If someone offered you a ridiculous sum of money, would you consider selling off a bit of you? This is the question that Michael Fox, a homeless drunkard, is faced with in the beginning of Gord Rollo’s novel “The Jigsaw Man”. And that’s just the start.

The story wastes no time digging into unsettling territory. A super-rich doctor, condemned by the medical field, is looking to continue his research privately. Our protagonist is approached, seduced, and before you know it, on a nightmare ride unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The pacing starts fast, maintains fast, and ends fast. Rollo never gives you time to get used to things, moving along like a ride you can’t control.

One of the things we look for here at Killer-works is material that is not only well crafted and horrific, but different. This novel is wonderfully different. I once participated in a writers challenge with a simple concept; abuse your main character mercilessly and put them through the worst hell you can imagine. The products turned out to be generic torture tales, a litany of grotesquery’s so thin on story as to be ridiculous. Terrible (and not in a good way). It’s incredibly difficult to maintain a reader’s attention, let alone sympathy, with a battered punching bag as a protagonist.

Newcomer Gord Rollo pulls this trick off with ease. Never before have I seen a main character run a gauntlet of horrors like poor Michael Fox does in this book. There are things done to this man that make your skin crawl and actually make you thankful you still have skin to crawl! Half-way through the novel, I kept checking the page number and wondering… “How the hell is he going to fill another 150 pages? His protagonist is fucked beyond use!”

The book is a candy-land of imagery designed to haunt and bother, but it’s also conceptually creepy. Even without the gratuitous gore and blood (healthy doses!), it would be disturbing on account of what’s happening. It’s been called a modern Frankenstein story, but I’m not sure I agree with that. Sure, there are elements of science gone “bad”, and Dr. Marshall is definitely remorseless in his twisted pursuit, but the story is more about Michael Fox, the victim. Frankenstein was more about science stepping on religion’s turf. This is a man fighting for his life against a sick bastard who spends far too much time chopping people up in the name of ego.
“The Jigsaw Man” is an excellent foray into the dark side of medicine, and the darkest side of humanity.

Posted in Reviews | Comments Off on “The Jigsaw Man” is a Puzzle Worth Piecing Together

The End of Alice

Do all little girls have to die?”


The End of Alice (1996) is a complex, controversial tale that evolves through the correspondence between two disparate pedophiles; the narrator, an older, unnamed man imprisoned for murder and molestation and an 18 year old college kid referred to only as “the girl”. She is compelled to write to him about her maiden foray into pedophilia. The author, A.M. Holmes, uses the prisoner to weave us through both of their stories. As this biased narrator recounts the girl’s story of her summer “project”, it provokes within him the memory and recollection of Alice; his most important past victim. He weaves us back and forth from the girl and her letters, his own sordid past, to his current deteriorating life in prison.

Both the narrator and the girl question if her “true” calling is to be a pedophile as she recounts her seduction (and consumption) of 12 year old Matt.

“She slips the scab into her mouth. He shudders. She is eating him. He’s never seen anything like it. His eyes roll into his head; he falls back onto the bed. Fainted. Out for the night.”

At the same time we learn the story of his own road to pedophilia harkened by his horrific abuse as a child, perpetrated by his mother.

My hand goes through a dark curtain, parting velvet drapes. My fingers slip between the lips of a secret mouth. My mother makes a sound, a guttural ahhh. I try to pull my hand out, but she pushes it back in. Pushes it in and then pulls it out, pushes and pulls, in and out, in, out.

The End of Alice, while extremely well written, is not a comfortable read. The explicit nature of the sexual acts paired with the sensual narrative and intellectual rationalizations is cause for much unease.

For many people this book is erotically arousing. Part of the challenge was to put the intellectual, the horrific and the sexual all together. Attraction and desire are deeply, deeply complicated. They’re not always healthy, they’re conflicted. I think we have to acknowledge that. The book is also about the abuse of children.A.M. Holmes, author interview, BOMB

And if you don’t feel dirty enough after roaming around in the narrator’s brain (and the girls’ brain by proxy), the author has published a companion piece, “Appendix A:” A pedophile’s scrapbook of sorts.

“Appendix A is like a file of folders, I keep calling it epistemological evidence…Appendix A is an illustration of the process of imagination. And it blurs fiction, fact, and art. I stole these police report forms and filled them out as though they were real.A.M. Holmes, author interview, BOMB

Quite a controversial pair of books to give you a unique peek into a lurid world that asks more questions than it answers. Definitely not for everyone. The End of Alice pushes boundaries, but Holmes does it in a very high-end, skilled manner. It is not a glorification of child abuse but it does not tip-toe around the minds of those who perpetrate it. You won’t look at your shoe salesmen and babysitters in quite the same way again!

Posted in Reviews | Comments Off on The End of Alice