- Paperback: 219 pages
- Publisher: Fc2/Black Ice Books; First Paperback Edition edition (March 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1573660116
- ISBN-13: 978-1573660112
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 47 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,476,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hogg Paperback – March 1, 1996
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Showing 1-6 of 47 reviews
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The (mostly) nameless, voiceless narrator of HOGG is an underage boy of possibly mixed race who begins his narrative by immediately shifting focus from himself to Hogg, a character so vile that it's hard to write a PG description of him. His profession is that of a rape artist. He rapes specific women in exchange for cash and enjoys his work, though admittedly he prefers the company of men.
When the narrator and Hogg meet, it leads to a weekend of unspeakable violence and puke-worthy sex. Racism literally abounds; some characters are referred to just by an epithet, and some of their names are only revealed in police reports. HOGG, the novel, plays on our sense of pity--we want to feel bad for the narrator. It's easy to see him as a victim of society. But as the pages go on, it gets harder and harder as he becomes more than an active participant in the goings-on.
The word "love" is never mentioned in the 200+ page novel, but the reader can feel an approximation of it in the relationship between Hogg and the narrator--maybe. This makes the ending just that much more powerful, when the narrator speaks his only line of dialogue.
This is a very powerful book, whether you can find something redeemable in it or not. It's very much a product of its time, and furthermore, it SAYS something, which I think these so-called "extreme" horror authors could learn a thing about. HOGG is not just filth for the sake of filth, or violence for the sake of violence. When put in context, it's heart-breaking and vile at the same time. I don't know if another book has ever made me feel this way.
1. Glad I was done with it.
2. Glad Delany could, and did, write perhaps one of the most silly and almost humorous filthy pieces of literature ever written.
What I discovered within myself as I was having to grind my way throughout this nonstop parade of obscenity, was my deeply held belief in the rights granted by the first amendment of our US constitution being profoundly enforced by this book. Almost every page is filled with the most graphic and sexual perversion only the most vile of humans could create. The absurdity of the never ending sexual prowess and stamina granted to almost every character in this book is laughable and ludicrous. The ability for any human to even commit some of the atrocities and acts described within these pages are simply impossible for human achievement. I found the book to be an exercise of perseverance and a complete monotony of topic. There will be very few people who will muster this book to its conclusion and even fewer will read past the opening chapter. And even fewer will read past the first few pages. As stated earlier. There really is no need to. While this book is the pinnacle of free speech and I commend Delany for having the right to pen such a thing; I feel it left out the abject horror so many attribute to this book. Most of the pages are filled with graphic male homosexual behavior that could hardly be constructed as real. And despite the attempt to have any kind of true character establishment it's just all run together as continuous sexual explicitness. In conclusion, the repulsive nature of this book is hard to get through. The act of rape on any human is second to murder (and that’s an almost tie in my book) and this book has a lot of both. There is an attempting tone to the books characters with a nonchalant "business" attitude to both rape and murder. One feels the characters are an almost anesthetizing feature to minimize the brutality of the crimes against its victims. Finally, there are far better books to experience if the reader is looking for horror. I will not opine my opinions on this topic as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And behold. There is no beauty within these pages, save the freedom to write them.