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Murderland Part I - H8 Paperback – June 30, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"There's no way to prepare. No way to protect yourself. Garrett Cook's work has an edge ... and it's at your throat."
--Robert Dunbar, author of The Shore and Martyrs and Monsters

" ... as farcical as Swift's "A Modest Proposal," yet no less poignant."-
--bravenewworks.com

"Cook has written a very fast-paced engaging novella with Murderland Part 1-H8." --Fatally Yours

"It is one thing to create a world. It is another thing to make it real. Cook's impressive and highly ambitious novel does this admirably."
--Sean Keller, screenwriter Dario Argento's Giallo

"Definitely a serious talent" --Mort Castle, editor of On Writing Horror

About the Author

Garrett Cook is an author of horror and Bizarro fiction, winner of the first annual Ultimate Bizarro Showdown.  His work has appeared in Polluto, Exquisite Corpse, The Magazine of Bizarro Fiction, Houdini Gutpunch and The Bizarro Starter Kit (Purple). Murderland Part 1:h8 is part 1 of a series that also includes Murderland 2: Life During Wartime. Other books by Garrett Cook include Archelon Ranch and the upcoming Jimmy Plush, Teddy Bear Detective.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (June 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439200815
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439200810
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,040,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lee Widener on July 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Murderland I - H8 is a novel about a time in the not so distant future where serial killers are celebrity athletes. Their exploits are discussed on television as spectator sport. Just as people today rehash the previous evening's game ad naseum, so do people discuss the latest grizzly murder. It's not too far off the mark today with cable channels and websites galore dedicated to detailing true life crime.

The protagonist of this novel is Jeremy - a rather mild mannered pharmacist whose live in girlfriend is obsessed with these celebrity killers - as is most of the rest of society. Jeremy, however, has a secret. He's actually the greatest serial killer ever, and nobody knows it. He's also one of the very few people aware there are Lovecraftian type alien Dark Ones all around us looking for potential hosts for their seed so they can spread their kind across the Earth.

Murderland I - H8 is told mostly through Jeremy's inner dialogue and he is one sick puppy. Author Cook took a great risk choosing to show us events only filtered through such a twisted perspective but he's got the skill to pull it off. Jeremy's inner world is what makes the book so compelling. Jeremy perceives the world around him as a personal Hell - a world gone mad. This simple fact is what pulls us in and makes us accept Jeremy as a sympathetic character even though he's a psychopathic killer. This is what makes the book work.

Cook also has a great ear for language. I found myself reading a great part of this book aloud to myself - it cries out for a voice. The prose flies, never falters. It's an exciting read, a delicate balance between plot development, character details and tidbits about the future society woven together with great care.
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This book is so beyond good and evil ... it's beyond positive and negative reviews, beyond star-counting, beyond being liked or disliked. It describes a future in which serial killing, as a practice, has been rehabilitated through media exploitation and liberal sensitivity until it's finally legalized as a sport, with its own scorekeeping commentators and an infatuated subculture of filking fanboys. And then against that dire background, Garret Cook tells a love story -- a love triangle, actually, between a sweet young fangirl, her caring boyfriend, and the voices in his head telling him to kill.

If you have the serial-killer infatuation, then you've got to read this book. Cook's portrayal of Reap culture disturbs because it's so utterly how the world could be, if serial killer infatuation was just ten or fifteen percent broader than it is already.

I'm impressed by the ambition of this book. It's an interesting new step for the psychonovel; the first-person madman as a mixture of identities and warring tendencies barely aware of each other is a spot-on model of a certain kind of human mind. The best parts, worthy of Jim Thompson, are those subtle moments where we see the warring personalities complaining about one another, manipulating one another, sneaking past each other like grumpy housemates in dark hallways.
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It was very unique book, Like death race 2000 but with serial killers as reality TV stars. Good read. Fast shipping, love dipping and sipping, zipping up whipping on a man named rudyard kippling, who like a dog was always yipping, and yapping, as if it couldn't happen, but thats what's you get when you're naked and a nappin.
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Garrett Cook's "Murderland Part I" (looking forward to reading part II) is a sly look at American culture's obsession with violence and (somewhat less with) reality television. Others have done it better (The Hunger Games springs to mind - the book, not the movie), but none with so absurdist an eye. The way in which Cook unfolds the protagonist's own proclivites is ironic and subtle. And while I found the beginning somewhat disjointed, by the end I was enthralled and could not put it down.
The satire is thick and well done - a rarity amongst Bizarro writers, making "Murderland" well worth your time and money.
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This was a fun read. It's sort of like "Watchmen" but for serial killers, if it makes any sense. "h8" seems to be a leadup to what promises to be a pretty excellent series of whacked-out thrillers and it leaves you looking forward to the next piece. It's also considerably more interestingly written than one expects from books about pharmacists-cum-serial-killer-killers (or is Jenkins just a serial killer too? Who knows?!) and has a not inconsiderable amount of heart. Recommended!
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Murderland I: H8 is Garrett Cook's first novel and it's an impressive one.

Immediately it is evident that the author has taken a lot of time to create the language he uses for this book. It takes place in the near future where serial killers are superstars akin to athletes and movie stars.

The book takes on different perspectives, back and forth from first person and third person, using both narratives and journal entries. It works well.

On the back of the book, the description states that "Jeremy's earth shattering two-fisted pulp destiny begins." The problem I have with that is that this is far from pulp. That word underestimates the merits of this book. This is truly interesting and dark dystopian bizarro story.

Using experimental and occasionally stream of consciousness writing, Cook shows us a world that is actually eerily similar to our own. Serial killer groupies who worship people who do things that they don't have the guts to do themselves, an idea that does have parallels in today's world. The worship of violence which is evident in the youth's worship of "gangsta rap" and violent video games. Cook creates and explores a society where our society's acceptance of violence is finally out in the open.

Mixed in with this future is the idea of beings from another dimension are turning people into "terrifying automatons and breeding machines." I found that this idea was just as interesting (if not more) than the world itself.

The writing itself is excellent and does show that the author has indeed worked on his craft before submitting this work to his publisher.

Because it is a first novel, I think it deserves 5 stars. I have not read a debut novel that was this good in a long time (or as far as I could remember.
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