Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
Bloch’s first novel is styled as the written confession and diary excerpts of a serial killer. The misogyny is so vividly portrayed that I could only read so much at a time before needing to go scrub my brain and find something more pleasant to occupy it. The main character’s hatred, though targeted specifically at women, extends to his fellow men, himself, and society in general, and there’s just enough twisted truth in his observations to give him authenticity. It sucks you in with an amusingly cynical worldview, then pushes it several steps too far, so that the reader is along for the ride that becomes increasingly disturbing until you want out, but the doors are locked and you’re stuck there riding along with a madman filling your ears with his raving. It’s a fascinating look at 1940’s pop psychology.
In reading about the author and the writing of this book, I was interested to discover that Bloch was actually a protégé of Lovecraft and a member of the Lovecraft circle, and this book does have a bit of a gothic feel to it, although the horror is entirely psychological.
Apparently, Bloch re-released this novel in paperback, with some revisions and an all-new epilogue to end it that gives more insight into the main character. The darn book is out of print, but I’m so interested in comparing them that I ordered a copy from a used bookseller.
I read this for the 2018 Halloween Bingo square Free Read. Now I feel the need to go back and re-listen to Psycho, which I remember being outstanding on audio (read by Paul Michael Garcia), and for which I apparently neglected to write a review.