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The Venus Complex Perfect Paperback – November 1, 2012
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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"A novel by a female Cenobite that gives the world a smart, artistic, cynical, cultured serial killer who could give Hannibal Lecter a run for his money. On top of that, this is a poignant, funny, sexually-charged, hardcore critique of popular culture and a deconstruction of relationships, academia, and art."
-Gabino Iglesias of HorrorTalk's Top Books of 2012
"Wilde... is one of the finest purveyors of erotically charged horror fiction around."
-Fangoria Magazine Issue #320
"The Venus Complex, as the title suggests, is an erotically charged novel, and there are some passages that give the likes of Anais Nin and Alina Reyes a run for their money." "...Hitchcockian in its portrayal of murderous obsession."
"The book has been garnering great reviews, firmly confirming the literary course that is now defining Wilde's life. Damaged people, ultraviolence, murder and explicit sex - what's not to love about her work?"
- Chris Alexander, Editor-in-Chief, Fangoria Magazine Issue #321
"...the Professor appears to be a normal man, perfectly capable of living alongside any one of us without raising suspicion. And that is Wilde's genius in charting the rise of a sociopath of cleverness and cunning enough to match that even of Dr Hannibal Lecter (God knows where and how she did her research)."
"Imagine the hottest, horniest f***book in the Black Lace library spliced in with a Quantico serial killer profile report & you've got The Venus Complex. Read it & try NOT to squirm, either in ecstasy or horror. It simply cannot be done."
- A. Riordan, Brutal As Hell
"This brilliant look into the mind of a serial killer is full of poetic anger, and beautiful vitriolic ranting, that it makes you wonder from which pit of hell the lovely Barbie came from. In a genre saturated with bland serial killers, and even blander plots, this book shines out like a beacon."
-Ginger Nuts of Horror: Books of the Year 2012
"The Venus Complex is an epistolary portrait of psychopathy as razor sharp as Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me or Hubert Selby Jr.'s The Demon. Disturbing, erotic and powerful."
-Jovanka Vuckovic, Filmmaker (The Captured Bird, The Guest)
"The Venus Complex is full of brilliant, flawless touches throughout Michael's transition from extremely disturbed, to the kind of serial killer that would eat a guy like Dexter Morgan alive." "... one of the best depictions of steadily mounting evil this side of Poe. Or Clive Barker, for that matter. "
-Gabriel Ricard, drunkmonkeys.onimpression.com
"Read the damn book... Fall in love with tainted love and fight the frightfuls, The Venus Complex is, in every sense of the word, the real thing."
- Garrett Cook, The Imperial Youth Review
After purposefully killing his wife in a car accident, art professor Michael Friday finds his perspective on things has become a little...warped. Via his personal journal, we're allowed into his mind to slowly watch the disintegration of it, bearing witness to his unnerving sexual cravings and ideas about killing: intertwined with the paintings he loves so much. As Michael writes, he's "turning into something dead"; but at the same time he wants to be somebody, not a nobody.
Using his diary to rant against the world in general--including everything from banks to popular culture, from national holidays like Christmas to politics--he reveals more about the big, gaping hole in his own life. But as the novel goes on the first person narrative tensely builds up, displaying his dark dreams and innermost thoughts; his way of filling that void and presenting his grisly "works of art" to the world. As intelligent and cultured as Hannibal, easily as disturbing as American Psycho and infinitely less reassuring than Dexter, this is a sexually-charged real life horror story that will definitely stay with you.--Paul Kane, award-winning horror and fantasy writer
From the Inside Flap
Other Works by Barbie Wilde
"Sister Cilice" (From the Hellbound Hearts Anthology, 2009, edited by Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan)
"Barbie Wilde's "Sister Cilice" is devastatingly haunting, piercingly erotic and is one of the true stand-out stories of the anthology."
- All Things Horror
"Finally there's Barbie Wilde, who played one of the Cenobites of the original HELLRAISER, and contributes "Sister Cilice", a potent piece of nunsploitation . . . It contains plenty of grotesquerie, and, unlike the majority of the book's other tales, doesn't wait until the end to dish it out!"
-The Fright Site
"In fact, Wilde's "Sister Cilice" is one of my favorite entries in HELLBOUND HEARTS."
"My absolute favorite of the bunch was "Sister Cilice" by Barbie Wilde... Her short story absolutely stunned me with its simplicity yet complex character... the character of Sister Nikoletta is so conflicted and perverse that I was just drawn into the story and it stuck with me long after I had finished the anthology."
-Fatally Yours Reviews
"Sick, but in delicious ways!"
-Doug "Pinhead" Bradley
"U for Uranophobia" (From Phobophobia, 2011, edited by Dean M. Drinkel)
"Wow, wow, wow. That pretty much sums up my feelings about this story. Barbie has created a story that reads like a power of nature. Gaia's story is both powerful and deeply shocking. This tale of latent revenge and pent-up anger was a joy to read."
-Ginger Nuts of Horror
"Polyp" (From The Mammoth Book of Body Horror, 2012, edited by Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan)
"The stories offer icky pleasure for those fascinated with a subgenre concerned with the body turning against itself. Some are funny and disgusting (Richard Matheson's nuclear fallout nightmare "'Tis The Season To Be Jelly!", Barbie Wilde's bowel-with-a-brain-of-its-own yuk-fest "Polyp")..."
"It's surprising that a history of body horror in literature hasn't been done before now--so thanks to Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane for this treasure trove of stories--ranging from some classics in the genre, "The Tell-Tale Heart", "Survivor Type" and "The Body Politic" to some stories that will almost certainly become classics of their time--the absurdist, very enter- taining shocker "Polyp" to the brilliantly executed "Sticky Eye"--one of my favourite new stories in this anthology."
"Barbie's story, "Polyp", more than lived up to the task. This a wonderfully disgusting story that manages to both shock the reader and make them giggle. Barbie has created a brilliant twist on the creature feature genre. I really enjoyed how the tale went from being a very personal story into an apocalyptic cliff hanger. After reading this story, which in all reality was chosen at random, I knew this book was going to be great read."
-Ginger Nuts of Horror
Top customer reviews
Professor Michael Friday is one sick puppy. Actually, he believes he is coming into his own…finally. He is an artist. Ok, he is definitely a sick puppy and spreading his form of sickness around. Nobody wants what dude is putting out there into the universe. Unless you are into mayhem and death.
A twisted, satisfying and recommended read. I will be checking out her new one, for sure.
Michael Friday is one sick puppy. After a car accident that kills his wife--which he causes because he finds out she is cheating on him--he survives, and months of rehabilitation later he goes home. But his life is not a comfortable place to be. He's constantly bored and spends too much time alone. He becomes addicted to trashy TV even though he despises it. And it's not until he has a very vivid dream about a dead girl that he realises what it is that's missing from his life.
So he starts on a horrible and disgusting path of chasing the high he can only capture while killing someone. But that isn't enough, and when he spots the beautiful Doctor Elene Sheppard, he decides he's going to create a serial killer persona. One that will get her attention, and because he's focusing on what he teaches--art history--she might just need his help to solve the case...
OMG. This book. It's one of those books that is so well written I was hooked from the first word. It's a story that made me squirm many times, to the point where I actually felt dirty just by reading it. The subject matter is one that we're all familiar with--serial killers--and while I've read many books from the POV of one, this guy's sexually depraved fantasies and actions were very disturbing.
He makes no apologies for his immoral thoughts or desires. He's one-track minded and obsessed with getting what he wants. While I'd like to admire his determination, the subject of his obsession deterred me from doing so.
If you like reading wicked stories dripping with raw descriptions, or are just curious about this book, go ahead and read it. But if you're squeamish, stay away from it. Luckily, I've been reading and enjoying horror for many years, so I could keep what I was reading at a distance.
I have to admire Barbie Wilde for writing such an intense thriller, starring a very awful person. I'm not sure if it was because of the brain damage he got from the accident, or just because he's one sick puppy... but Michael is despicable. I'm glad he's a fictional character.
Having said that, this was a great book! The fact that the author hooked me in and kept me intrigued all the way through--no matter how uncomfortable I got--says just how good a writer Barbie is!
Recently I reviewed Hellbound Hearts, an anthology series of short stories related to Clive Barker's Hellraiser setting. Barbie Wilde's story "Sister Cilice" stood out from the bunch due to its strong connection to the deeply sexual themes explored in Barker's original tale. My significant other informed me that Wilde had written a full length novel. Wilde's first novel continues her exploration of the twisted depths of human sexuality and the connection sexual desire has with horror.
To read the rest of this review and others like it, please visit my blog, the King's Crier: Book Reviews on Blogger.