I suppose I should start this review by warning you that this book isn’t for everyone. It’s nasty, perverted, unapologetic, gory, and great. I’m a big fan of M.R. Tapia’s work and this novella captures everything his fans would be expecting/craving.
Set in the small town of Eden, the story predominantly follows the lives of Adam and Eve, two college drop-outs with not the best of pasts. Although they both left higher education, their reasons for doing so were very different.
Eve has suffered at the hands of those people she should really trust. Multiple abortions following forced sexual encounters have scarred her, as I’m sure they would anybody.
Adam on the other hand, he’s more of a scarrer, if you know what I mean. But one who’s in denial.
But these two offer the residents of Eden a great service, a cathartic release. Thanks to them the divorce rate in the town has decreased dramatically. Couples with struggling marriages pay these two ‘angels’ to arrive at their homes late at night, and engage with them in very brutal sexual practices.
Adam and Eve offer, I suppose extreme sex services would describe it. The violent nature of these encounters is toe-curling and certainly erection-reducing. Each character tells their story in the first person, with every strike, punch, and insertion described in meticulous detail. Some may argue too much detail, but not I.
The book never shies away from the brutality, making it an uncomfortable experience but one you just have to go with.
After the first few chapters, this book sat on the brink of ‘Is this just going to be one sordid act after the next?’ But if you’ve read any of Tapia’s work before you’d be a fool to think this.
A year before the story takes place, a young girl, Jill, apparently committed suicide. Her death shocked the whole town and many of the characters still think about her. But as the story unfolds we realise that is wasn’t as simple as suicide.
As with any small town, many people are not what they seem. Although, they do engage in perverted and very painful sexual behaviour, so maybe they are exactly what they seem. Anyway, Eve finds out small details about Jill’s life and death, and feels it within herself to bring justice to Eden.
So as someone who ‘works’ in her line of business and with her past, her justice involves death. And blood. And lots of pain.
The case is eventually solved, Eve-style, but it turns out that isn’t even the twist. The final reveal is one I certainly didn’t see coming and it was expertly handled.
I’ve got this far without mentioning the religious themes present here. There’s sex talk Bible-style and even an appearance by that dude with nails through his hands. The ‘Bible quotes’ are great, very sweary, and brought on many chuckles by this sordid reader.
This is now the third book review of M.R. Tapia where I’ve mentioned the Chuck Palahniuk-esque-ness of the writing. The events in this book are completely horrific but are told in such a nonchalant and funny way, which I suppose makes them all the more horrific.
If you don’t like depraved sex and violence, give this book a go anyway and stop being such a whiney pants. But if you enjoy being shocked, appalled, and then ready for some more of the nasty stuff, then this is the one for you!
Categories: book review