Summer Reading: Giant Insects vs. Child Cannibals!

I'm now in summer beach mode-- which means reading whatever the fuck I want-- and I've just polished off back-to-back novels that differ so vastly in content and style that they may not have been written by the same species of animal . . . I highly recommend both books, read in juxtaposition:

1) Tainaron: Mail from Another City by Finnish sci-fi writer Leena Krohn is a hypnotic series of thirty letters written by a nameless woman that has traveled across the sea in a white ship to reside in a city populated by giant, anthropomorphic insects; the book is precisely observed, philosophical, and slim, and tackles the cycles of life and death, and the dynamic metamorphosis of character and being, with memorable moments that aptly describe the smallest moments of consciousness, which are brought into sharp contrast by the existence of the giant insects, which are slightly empathetic but mainly alien . . . it's a weird, weird trip with an oddly satisfying ending to a mainly plotless ramble and it's up there with Karel Capek's War with the Newts;

2) Off Season: The Unexpurgated Edition by Jack Ketchum is the story of six tourists who visit the Maine woods in the off-season and are beset by a family of feral cannibals, mainly comprised of a horde of flesh-eating children . . . the book is so obscenely graphic, so realistic, so vivid, and so tightly plotted that you will read the entire thing without taking a breath, occasionally contemplating your own heinous aesthetic taste, occasionally laughing at the gruesomely pragmatic descriptions of cannibalism (the book is a bit of a how-to) and occasionally wondering if the local police department would really handle a case this abhorrently repugnant, or if they would immediately call in for the National Guard . . . but it doesn't matter, Ketchum doesn't give you much time to think logically, nor should you, because if a horde of flesh-hungry children are chasing you through the woods, your book-learnin' will get you nowhere . . . this was Ketchum's first novel, and there is an essay at the end of the book about his battles with the editor that led to the tamer first edition of the novel and how pleased Ketchum is with the unexpurgated edition that is now available . . . read this in the dark, late at night on your Kindle (because it's only $3.99!) but heed the warning on Amazon:

This novel contains graphic content and is recommended for regular readers of horror novels.


zman said...

When can you not read whatever the fuck you want? Isn't that the beauty of reading--you can give zero fucks as to content if you wish?

Dave said...

sometimes i have to read high school essays.

A New Sentence Every Day, Hand Crafted from the Finest Corinthian Leather.