The Mulch Pile / Albert Berg
Synopsis – An older brother. A younger brother. A finger. A mulch pile. A neglectful, abusive father and a passive, broken mother. Put them all together and you have… an older brother who is finally pushed across the threshold into insanity.
Reaction – A delightful tale mixing literary, horror, fantasy, and YA genres, told in the voice of an introspective teen. I was particularly enamored of this story because, although I didn’t live in a trailer park as a child, I live in one now. And I have my very own huge composting mulch pile in my backyard, bordering “the wood” forest. Just like in the book. And I have my every own garden shovel. Just like in the book. The wire fence – just like in the book – is coming down this year. I’m not the least bit hesitant to put “unusual” items in my mulch pile. I wonder if I’ll get much lightning in my neighborhood this spring.
Recommendation – This book renewed my will to live.
Prodigal Son / Christine Sutton
Synopsis – A young boy is abandoned by his misogynistic, violent daddy, leaving him to be alternately neglected and tortured by his alcoholic mommy. So of course he grows up to be just like daddy. All grown up, he goes on a quest to find his dear old dad so he can join him in his life of misogyny. Kidnapping, beating, raping, and killing women – real father-son bonding stuff. Different strokes for different folks.
Reaction – This book was pure torture porn, in my opinion. In the interest of not just posting reviews of what I consider average- to high-quality books, I read this brief book to the end so I could post my review. This story could’ve benefited from some scrap or hint of humanity in the characters. But I found no trace of redemption. Every single person seemed to be a caricature. The main caricatures came across as demons from Hell. Read this book if you’re into excruciatingly detailed descriptions of marathon rape sessions. If not, skip it.
Recommendation – I guess some people would find this book worthwhile in some universe somewhere.