Prometheus von Cornsilk (kingnixon) wrote,
Prometheus von Cornsilk

book review? why not!

i know i've mentioned this dude a couple times already, but wkjaefwegergkferfew! so okay, bentley little is a famous-ish horror writer who turned up in the 90s, and he is totally ridiculous. i've read a few of his books, having just finished University as of friggin 7:30am cuz i was up all night reading. it's about an evil university that possesses/influences everyone there and makes them crazy and just generally is an excuse for every damn thing to happen that he can think up. this was a lot broader than his other stuff i've read, in terms of effect -- The Policy was mostly built on menace, intimidation, and sexual creepiness. University was fuckin everythingggg he just pushed all the buttons he could find. there are murders, rapes, race riots, a lynching, an android, castrations, mysterious shadows, giant squirrels, mutilations, dancing bushes, killer dildos, genetic experiments, animal cruelty, more rapes, satanists, nazis, orgies, etc etc etc etc etc etc. there's a guy with muscular dystrophy beaten to death with basketballs. there's a sorority cult that wears nixon masks and worships a "particularly ugly and belligerent" spidermonkey they call the great god flan. while everyone aroudn them is driven totally batshit, the only influence the university has on two of the main characters is to occasionaly make them have really rough sex. frats go to full-on war with each other, and then with the police. my favorite scene was when this girl is closing up the library she works at and finds a bunch of dwarfs hiding in one room. they're afraid to leave because of 'the tossers', this gang of people who apparently whenever they saw them would toss them into a tree or something. and then they tossed some of them off buildings. she offers to call the police so they can be escorted to safety, and is told "The tossers are out there. They'll toss anyone who helps us." immediately after this she goes outside, is attacked, and screams out "Nooooo!"
so anyway, this book is bizarre. it has some of the most disturbing things i've ever read, some very gruesome and some very chilling. it also has some very hokey cheesy parts. it has incredibly odd pacing -- the first 150 pgs or so, there were terrible things happening at a fairly rapid clip and the tension is enormous, then pretty much nothing happens for 100 pgs, and then the rest of the book goes totally off the wall. one of the most upsetting things i've ever read is immediately followed by something toothlessly over-the-top stupid. it didn't seem like comic relief or anything, so much as he wrote everything he possibly could, tossed it all in the air, and published it in whatever order it landed in. maybe he wrote it for nano!
summary: the writing is 90% clunky but very effective when it counts. his dialogue is laughable. it's not horror in the adrenaline/chills down your spine sense, it's disturbing. i've read a lot of crazy shit without getting phased, but this got to me again and again, and somehow it's very compelling for that. recommended if you want to be shuddering and cringing for the rest of the night.

edit: i'll also note that this book beat Scream to the meta punch. it came out a year earlier, and one of the main characters is an english professor who focuses on horror. so he knows all about the cliches and classic references, etc. it's never done tongue-in-cheek as scream though

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