I was a little concerned when I read my first Edward Lee novel, that he was an author that might be mistaking hooliganism and thuggery for horror. That novel was called 'The Bighead' and it was about an inbred human so I gave him the benefit of the doubt because the violence and degradation and so on actually fit quite well with the story and characters, but then we come to 'The Pig and The House' and I begin to wonder if our Mr Edward Lee has nothing else to offer but that thuggery and purposely in-your-face violence.
So I picked up this next novel. A novel that got rave reviews. I thought if I was to get a really good horror novel from Mr Edward Lee then this must be it. So, it seems to be about a man forced to make extremely hard-core pornographic videos for the mafia to pay off a debt. All very well you might think, but where's the horror? Oh don't get me wrong, after passing the 20% mark in what is actually the first of two novellas there's been plenty of disgusting activity and plenty of scenes that seem to be saying 'look at how disgusting I can make this bit', but apart from that nothing that I recognise as 'horror'. It's horrible, yes. It's certainly disgusting, yes. But it isn't what I recognise as horror.
Maybe I gave up on it too soon. Maybe the real horror story kicks in a little later. Or maybe it's just a vile progression of violence and scenes intended to further disgust the reader, I don't know really, and I've no real desire to find out now. I'll just point out at this juncture that I always give any novel a good try before ditching it as wasting my time. The 20% mark seems fair as far as I'm concerned. If after reading 1/5th of the novel it hasn't got any better then I feel fully justified in casting it aside.
I'm going to try one more before I give up on Mr Lee. I've read a synopsis of a novel called 'Flesh Gothic' which sounds like it could be quite interesting, so I'm going to give that one a go.
Suffice to say, this one turned my stomach, but for reasons other than those I was looking for. The part of it I read didn't impress me at all and makes me wonder how it got so many great reviews.
Not good. A complete waste of my time. Try something else.