EXQUISITE CORPSE by Poppy Z. Brite

EXQUISITE CORPSE

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Or Necrophiliacs--The Serial Killers' Love Story. Brite's first horror novel, Lost Souls (1992), a high-intensity rock-'n'-roll epic about southern white-trash vampires, gained much of its energy from parody and her over-the- top bloodlust. A follow-up, Drawing Blood (1993), cleverly absorbed an R. Crumb cartoonist into Brite's universe of lyric soul-sucking. In this third novel, the author, now 29, outdoes herself, creating a pair of gay necrophiliac lovers--both serial killers--who meet in New Orleans for a feast of corpse-eating and coupling with the rotting dead. Brite may well lose fans this time, her superbly composed arias on the most disgusting forms of death and sloshy decay being likely to turn off many admirers of her previous torchlit searches through the caverns of hell. Is it art, or simply a compulsive rolling about in the most intense descriptions possible of the ecstasy of hideous murders and the gourmet delights of human flesh-eating? It's sure repulsive. And yet Brite can be defended as an artful poet of murder and obsession, uncannily capturing the dead souls and unhinged appetites of two memorable characters. The plot follows the adventures of young serial killer Andrew Compton, who escapes from a British prison cell by playing dead, flies to Atlanta, then to the Big Easy, where he meets wealthy young serial slayer Jay Compton. The two quickly realize that they're kindred spirits as Jay leads Andrew into ever greater refinements of gay desire and bloodlust. Meanwhile, the gaudiest of several subplots features the pirate-radio station WHIV and its AIDS-infected host Lush Rimbaud. That's all of the plot you need to know. A blood-soaked romance with human entrails and sandwiches of flank-meat lightly fried in butter. Shocking and fascinating in about equal measure, but only for the strongest stomachs.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-684-82254-7
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1996




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