- Paperback: 188 pages
- Publisher: Swallowdown Press (October 17, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1933929065
- ISBN-13: 978-1933929064
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 75 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #569,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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We Live Inside You Paperback – October 17, 2011
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From the Inside Flap
"What makes JRJ's work stand out from his contemporaries' isthe strange sense of empathy--in that regard he is not unlike David FosterWallace's wicked and perhaps deranged younger brother. Sometimes the horror is so understated that it's deadly. JRJ has the ability to balance sheer humanitywith sheer grotesquerie."--21C MAGAZINE
"I'm a longtime fan of Johnson. A master of derangement, he's been bringing it for years."--LAIRD BARRON, author of The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All
"A haunting collection from a wildly talented author, WELIVE INSIDE YOU is composed of nineteen perfectly-wrought nightmares, every oneof which will stay with you long after you've finished reading."--PETER CRAIG,author of Hot Plastic and Blood Father, co-screenwriter of TheTown
"The people populating these stories are real and vital andyou WILL care, deeply, about what becomes of them... and in JRJ's harshuniverse, baaaaad things happen. Often. Prepare thyself."--CRAIGDAVIDSON, author of Rust and Bone, The Fighter, and SarahCourt
"Favorite collection for 2011: WE LIVE INSIDE YOU."--STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES, author of The Ones That Got Away and It Came From Del Rio
"The guy's a genius. Reminds me of William Gibson--the darkinterest in altered states of consciousness, the unrelentingly furious forwardmovement, and the same kind of unlimited imagination."--BEN LOORY, authorof Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
"Tongue-replacing isopods, brain-raping copepods andbody-warping worms are far from the most insidious parasites that infest JeremyRobert Johnson's hapless literary victims. Though the squirmy bits elegantlypioneer new frontiers of sickness, WE LIVE INSIDE YOU is at its most twistedand mordantly revelatory when it drops the body-horror metaphors and digs intothe real horror of all the parasitic drives that ride us--tapeworms of greed,lust like plagues of crab lice, and the lethal heartworms of true love. Sotightly written and so fluidly brutal you'll want to consume this psychosexualdemolition derby in one sitting, but you'll spend the rest of the nightchecking yourself under a microscope."--CODY GOODFELLOW, author of SilentWeapons for Quiet Wars and Radiant Dawn/Ravenous Dusk
"Waaaay out at the deep end of the collectiveunconscious--where even the bravest of brain cells fear to tread--Jeremy RobertJohnson performs stand-up comedy for the gods. And their laughter is amarvelous, terrible thing. He's the kind of post-Lovecraftian geniusberserker who makes the Great Old Ones new again. As with Clive Barker,there is no glorious mutational eruption that Johnson can't nail directlythrough your gawping mind's eye."--JOHN SKIPP, NY Times Bestsellingauthor of Spore (w/Cody Goodfellow) and The Bridge (w/CraigSpector)
"WE LIVE INSIDE YOUcontinues to showcase the author's staggering ability to craft stories aspoignant as they are strange. The gamut of emotion conjured between the firstand last page provides a workout for practically every muscle in a reader'smind. In its most twisted moments, Johnson's writing is toogleeful to pigeon-hole as strictly horror, and when he steps outside thegross-out game he transcends most other straight literary writers."--VERBICIDE
"WE LIVE INSIDE YOU isa genre-bending mix of stories akin to a literary blitzkrieg and'Persistence Hunting' is one of the best noir stories you'll everread. Johnson can write horror, science fiction, crime, and Bizarro. Sometimes hedoes all of the above within the same story. He's at once brutal andelegant, innovative and an immediate classic, ridiculously talented andan obvious perfectionist."--HORROR TALK
"Johnson weaves vivid and fascinatingly grotesque tales."--BOOKGASM
"I don't know if Mr. Johnson sold his soul to the devil togive him this gift for nightmare imagery, but by god, this guy can write.Johnson excels at pathology and perversity. A confirmed weirdo and authenticwriter of uncommon emotional depth who deserves to be watched."--CEMETERYDANCE
"Johnson is probably a few books away from doing for horrorwhat Jonathan Lethem did for science fiction. Plain and simple? Forget horror;this is good fiction."--GIRL ON DEMAND
"The stories contained in this book would make even David Lynch, David Cronenberg, and William Burroughs' post-orgy crack baby jealous. They are everything horror should be: uncomfortable, gritty, and violent. Each story is unpredictable and haunting. I'm almost convinced that Jeremy Robert Johnson wrote these stories in the fit of a long PCP bender, stopping only to drink the blood of sacrificed virgins."--BEST HORROR NOVELS
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Sorry, I'm late on writing this review and just want to add a positive review real quick. I just remember really liking this book and re-telling some of the stories to kids at school (Im sort of a teacher not some weirdo that goes up to schools and says "Hey kids! Wanna hear a scary story?!?" ... Just to be clear). They were interested and liked them :) I DID NOT tell them the actual ending to the first story with the things in the guy that .. flower... blooming.... oh god no... the screams! I can hear them again!!!!
Many of these stories are so fun, and over the top that you will without a doubt be re reading them shortly after your first go. Persistence Hunting and the Gravity of Benham Falls are my two favorites, having read them before in a sampler, and a few times now that they are housed in this book.
You may be asking, "what genre is it?!"
Weeeelll, this is my favorite part about JRJ, he seems to pack a multitude of genres into one book. Of course most of it is crime/thriller/horror, but the Alex Pardee cover artwork should be a dead giveaway for a outline of genre. Once you've started reading, you quickly realize Johnson knows short stories, he knows genres, and he knows how to captivate a reader in each form he writes from. This is much more than just some collection of horror stories with a gnarly cover.
There's even a little surprise in here for fans of good music. I can say with no shame that I had learned something very interesting by the end of this books that I felt disappointed I had not known already. Johnson turns to non fiction and documents the creepiest "behind the music" happening I've ever had the joy to discover. After finishing this book, I did something an author had never so easily convinced me to do, which was listen to an entire album promptly in isolation.
Looking back on WE LIVE INSIDE YOU, I can't help but marvel at how it feels Johnson has crammed more into a book this size than it is possible to. This book is packed to the brim.
If you are considering checking this out, I would strongly recommend grabbing EXTINCTION JOURNALS and ANGEL DUST APOCALYPSE as well. Maybe even THE BEDLAM IN GOLIATH album he discusses in this book. You'll be a happy camper if you order it all at once.
In "Cathedral Mother", the titular character is a conspiracy theorist/ecoterrorist/survivalist type who will do anything to save the Redwoods from deforestation. When an internet presence known as 'Myco' (from a type of mushroom that exudes a single drop of a blood-like substance when punctured) offers her a way to save said forest if she can gain entry without being seen and collect samples of the environment. What she brings back with her from these samples ties her entire biochemistry in knots as well as her son's.
"Persistence Hunting" sees JRJ get down with his socialite, clubby, jogging side as a guy with a trust fund and a penchant for home invasion falls head over heels for a stripper he thinks he can save, proving some cliches never tire.
In "Trigger Variety", a man feels so compelled to erase his father's alcoholic genes, he shoots growth hormone intramuscularly and joins a gang with quite the agenda for the night as it unfolds.
"A Flood of Harriers" sees a guy with the love of his life and that love subsequently break apart when a bathroom emergency on his wife's part forces him to pull over in a very, very bad neighborhood on their way to Burning Man Festival. This one was the heartest to read, but not for the same reasons as those who made this story's original printing so controversial (the portrayal of Native Americans, but anyone can be dangerous, skin color or culture doesn't change that, people). It was the dissolution of their entire relationship that disturbed me more than the racial content (read: not racist). My heart broke for the extremely likely protagonist of this piece as he is forced to stop off in a place he knows neither he and his wife are safe in, then suffers as his worst fears come true just from one innocent pit stop as a handful of deviants threaten him with a box cutter and his wife with rape (while she's in the toilet). All this is bad enough, but when she sees him emasculated and no longer feels safe with him... I could see in my mind's eye just how devastating that could be to a man to lose everything in less than twenty four hours to circumstances so totally out of his realm to effect. It was an incredibly sad read, sadder than even Cathedral Mother, and if this piece really is reflective of a real life event in JRJ's life, I hope it didn't end quite as stark as it did for the main character.
All these gems of fiction were enough, but perhaps what fascinated me most was JRJ putting on his music journalist face and tackling esoteric subject matter: The making of The Mars Volta's indie rock occult concept album "The Bedlam in Goliath." I marveled at his ability to boil such a complex topic down to its essence, to reveal every nook and cranny of the hell a simple witch board from Jerusalem had unleashed on this art rock band from El Paso.