Posted 20 hours ago


ZTS2023's avatar
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Joined in 2023

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The cows know, as Orwell wrote in Animal Farm, “Never listen when they tell you that Man and the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the prosperity of the others. Man, ngl, I've read some MESSED UP books, but this one wasn't just that - it was easily the most unique book I've ever read, and there's a lot to it. It is scatological, offensive, disgusting, filled to the brim with sex, violence, and sexual violence, and is probably capable of inciting nausea in those who are perfectly capable of sitting through atrocity footage and watch driving school videos for fun. I was led to this book by various reviews that said things like “the most extreme novel you’ll ever read” (from the back cover copy), “gruesome beyond reason,” “most intense book I have ever read,” “most gruesome book I have ever read,” “I almost felt like I was doing something wrong reading it. We can’t say that Steven is the type of main character we want to live within, he’s probably mad too, as in insane, and matching him is every other human in the novel.

In fact, this book is so good at creating a warped, immersive reality of its own—inside our protagonist, Steven’s head—that I can wholeheartedly say I absolutely loved it. Fortunately, a new job at the local slaughterhouse introduces him to Cripps, an insane foreman who preaches the gospel of self-empowerment through killing. Before, when she was alone, the dripping accretion of neuroses in the deep pools of her guts was a rain sound across all of life.Do not get me wrong, there is plenty of depth as well, with so much under the surface to contemplate. The book made me honestly think, and knocked dust off parts of my brain that had long since atrophied from banal reality and controlled responses. Maybe not to this full extent but the thought that anyone would have to experience any part of these horrors that the main character has to endure is ghastly and unimaginable. While he was important for Steven’s development and self discovery, I found his character to be too-over the top for the rest of the story.

It says things about rebellion, oppression, and corruption with such originality—I was laughing, cringing, and recoiling in disgust simultaneously. First it utterly destroy your stomach into a heaving mess then you will go into a psychedelic trip of insanity. This one will absolutely not be for everyone, but I see now why it’s gained such a long and warranted life in the dark fiction community.Stokoe has crafted a story that does have significant depth and had me really thinking and it is an engaging piece of fiction, if you can get past that layer of filth and look for the treasure chest resting at the bottom of the sea.

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