Tuesday, October 16, 2012

LAST DAYS (Brian Evenson)

There were times while reading this novella that I entertained notions of severing my hand so that I couldn't pick up the book again, but like a spectator frozen in a crowd at a French execution, my eyes remained riveted to the stilled guillotine, waiting for it to slice flesh and bone. Ahhh, can you imagine if people felt inspiration at a sight such as this and then made lopping off body parts a fetish, and then for it to morph into a religious experience with a fellowship turned cultish and schismatic, who in their ecstatic frenzy turned to murder and mayhem to promote and protect extreme ideas? (No, not the Taliban) Well, Brian Evenson has. Methinks this is one story that people have to go into with their eyes firmly attached to their sockets, because as riveting as it is (kudos to the author), its carnage and violence may not be suited to everyone's taste. I kept telling myself that it was a satire on religious extremism, and I might be right, or it was just a noir detective romp designed purposely to shock. Either way, it works. Don't judge me! I couldn't help if I, like Kline, pined for answers to the mysteries of cutters gone wild. Like prey caught in a giant spider's web, he struggles to understand his plight while feverishly trying to extricate himself. Some will really enjoy this tale, but take cautionary heed and tread lightly. . .or you might lose something.

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