*Oysters? Diamonds? Conch Chowder? Spanish Fly? Amateurs.
Poetry? Flowers? Lingerie? Perfume? Pretenders.
The truest, most powerful aphrodisiac isn’t any of these – it is hate. Sex does not live in our heads or our hearts, sex lives in our bowels, in the dark spaces within and below. Sex resides in our loins where hate festers, masticating us from within until we explode in a rage of passion. I am hate. I was not born of God’s heart or spirit, but emerged from his mighty taint to expose the power of hate, to show that it is the envy of love. To love someone is to think of them three times, five times, ten times a day. To hate thim is to never have them out of your thoughts. To hate someone is to be smothered by them, overwhelmed by feeling, made alive by their very existence. Love can be cured by a slight, by gossip, by rumor, by a pair of socks left unhampered or a slip of the tounge at a dinner party. Love is fragile. Love is the lie we tell ourselves to make all the other lies manageable. Hate is pure, though. Hate endures against all logic, against all arguement, against any attempted reconciliation. Send me chocolates, I still hate you. Say you’re sorry, I still hate you. Fix what you have broken, I still hate you. And what is a more powerful, complete and devastating expression of hate than sex? Is there a better way to focus hate than to purify it in the places where it is most comfortable? Have sex with someone you love and then have sex with someone you hate, and then tell me which is more satisfying. Tell me who you would rather see vunerable, empty, weakened to their most base and animalistic, a lover or an enemy? I pity those that love me more than those that hate me because the haters feel what I feel. The haters see me as I see them. I am bound to the haters by experience. To hate me is to understand me, to understand me is to love me – and to be loved by me. My experience of what you call love is limited, and that love is poisoned by pain. Hate, though? I’m lousy with hate. Hate is where I live. Those that claim to not hate might as well claim to not breathe or eat or think. To exist is to hate. To be alive is to understand that “you” is the truest word and that the only way to join another is to connect with their hate of you and your hate of them. I hate because I seek connection with the world. I seek understanding, a shared experience, a brotherhood with man. I yearn to be hated, so please, hate me my loves. Hate me with all that you are. Climax with hate at the very thought of me and together we will see the world.
“There is but one truely serious psychological problem – and that is suicide.”
~ Albert Camus
The life of a small town…
The death of a small town…
Gethsemane was a small rural town. As small rural towns went it was a sleepy little burg. It woke up with the sun. It went to bed with the moon. The fields had been planted, and now the farmers watched them grow.
And the teenagers who normally ran rampant about the town – fucking, drinking, and vandalizing away the days – were afraid to leave their houses.
The teenagers in Gethsemane are dying.
When the news and papers finally pick up the story, they call it ‘The Suicide Virus’, but two residents of this town, Stephen & Elise, know differently. This is no virus.
But, let us not get ahead of ourselves here. THE SORROW KING is not the first thing I’ve read by Anderson Prunty, although it is the best so far. When I picked up the others, it was before I knew what Bizarro Fiction was, before I knew Prunty’s name. Knowing this now, I fully intend to go back and re-read my copy of Jack and Mr. Grin, and dive into the (at least) five other titles I already own.
Prunty does an excellent job with characterization. I got to know the main players well, Steven & Elise, Steven’s dad – Conner, Drifter Ken…(I would like more on this character – a SS maybe? There’s another story in Ken Blanchard.) You can get a feel of each character, without ever getting the feeling of TMI.
Alright. That’s way more than I’ve ever said on that. The story just grabs you in the first chapter, and never let up. I never had a moment of wanting to stop reading, and when I had to… I’d start again asap. This wasn’t one that just sat there like – ‘meh. whenever.’ It’s dark. Surreal.
It’s uncomfortable in spots. Capturing the teenaged mind all too vividly, it drags you through those disheartening emotions. Those days when every trouble is multiplied x100. There are some graphic sexual pieces. But, your not a prude. Not if your reading my reviews. They may be cringe worthy if you remember their ages, I do know a lot Steven’s sexual fantasies now. Hmm.
Back to the story.
The teenagers in Gethsemane (Ohio) are dropping like flies. Dying in apparent suicides. Steve knows better, he feels it, he’s writing about it in his sleep, but how can he stop it? Elise knows better, too. But, she believes she might be part of the problem.
Conner, desperately trying to make certain his son doesn’t become a statistic, starts looking for answers, too. The story he hears from the town’s Drifter is one of ghosts and poisoned towns.
Behind it all, is the Sorrow King. The Jackthief. And he’s growing stronger each day.
Did that grab ya? How ’bout this… “There are no happy endings in Hell”.