Posts Tagged ‘psychedelic’

Dead Love

April 4, 2012

Author: Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Title: Dead Love

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 2010

Number of Pages: 304

Geographical Setting: Tokyo, Haiti, Amsterdam, Malaysia, Singapore

Time Period: Present

Series (If applicable): n/a

Plot Summary: Okay, here goes: Eighteen year old dancer Erin Orison (our narrator), a gloomy – but incredibly hot – product of European boarding schools, is summoned to Tokyo by her (evil!) father, also the U.S. Ambassador to Japan (as well as an important cog in the Consortium, an international secret society intent on unleashing supernatural evil upon the world), to appear in a production scripted by a famed Japanese choreographer.  After being somewhat murdered by Ryu, her bodyguard come lover and Yakuza assassin, Erin awakens in a hospital morgue a not-quite zombie, the full transformation having been botched by an unknowing hospital intern.  Erin is now caught in between a human and zombie existence, possessing consciousness and self-will, albeit in a hazy, dream-like state.  Enter Clement, the puppet master behind all these doings.  Clement is a ghoul (a ghoul being an eternal yet formless being that inhabits, and feeds upon, recently deceased corpses) and has been stricken from afar for Erin since she was an infant.  What ensues is a hunt around the globe for Erin (and the microchip inside her body that would unveil the Consortium’s dastardly plans).

Subject Headings:  Zombies, Conspiracies, Supernatural, Dance, Voodoo, Vampires—Dutch, Yakuza, Ghouls, Tokyo, Haiti, Amsterdam, Malaysia, Singapore, Secret societies, Assassination, Manga, Nightclubs, Pursuit.

Appeal:  Dreamlike, surreal, psychedelic, atmospheric, dark, foreboding, otherworldly, melancholy, moody, mystical, nightmare, eccentric, complex, well-crafted, literary, aggressive, brooding, menacing, weary, gloomy, bleak, eerie, ominous, stylish.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Surreal, atmospheric, eerie.

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Theories of International Politics and Zombies by Daniel W. Drezner

A professor of international politics, Drezner attempts to explain different theories on international political systems by supposing the various schools supposed reactions to the world being overrun by zombie hordes.  For instance, how would a realpolitik reaction to zombies differ from, say, a neoconservative one.  Could there be human-zombie alliances for political gain or security?  And would shock and awe be so shocking to the already dead?

The Epic of Kings: Hero Tales of Ancient Persia by Firdausi

This book is suggested by McFerrin in a footnote contained in Dead Love regarding the origins of ghouls.  These myths and legends from the ancient world include ghouls, demons, jinn, and many other supernatural rabble-rousers.

Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting by W. Scott Poole

From colonial times, monsters have always loomed large in American culture.  This compendium examines the various things that have scared our nation senseless over the course of generations.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service by Eiji Ōtsuka and Housui Yamazaki

Not only is one of Dead Love’s chapters presented in manga form, the prose does well in evoking the visual moodiness of some supernaturally concerned manga.  In this on-going horror series, a group of students at a Buddhist college, each of whom possesses a special “power”, go into business collecting corpses while acting out the last wishes of the dead.

Thirsty by M.T. Anderson

Chris’s only desire is to be a normal teenager: hang out with friends, pursue his high school crush, etc.. Chris also lives in a world where vampires are hunted down and killed like vermin.  Much like Erin, Chris has embarked on a slow, agonizing descent toward supernatural damnation, this time by way of vampirism.  Much like Clement, Chris has his own other-dimensional puppet-master in Chet the Celestial Being, a servant of a vampire lord.  This book is also hilarious.

Magic For Beginners by Kelly Link

This very highly acclaimed collection of bizarre and humorous short stories includes the likes of zombies, witches, ghosts, superheroes and a whole bevy of supernatural delights.

Name: Bill S.

Vurt by Jeff Noon

June 10, 2009

Author: Jeff Noon

Title: Vurt

Genre: Science Fiction

Publication Date: 1993

Number of Pages: 342

Geographical Setting: Fictional Manchester

Time Period: an alternate current reality

Series: Related books by Noon: Pollen, Automated Alice, Nymphomation

Plot Summary:

“A young boy puts a feather into his mouth…”

With Vurt, Jeff Noon creates a world where the walls that separate the real from the unreal are dangerously permeable. This strange, dark, wet Manchester, England has been warped and shaped by the the Vurt, a hallucinogenic, drug-induced shared reality. By sucking on the color-coded feathers, users are able to fall into the Vurt… Not all feathers are legal, and some are downright dangerous… It was on one such trip, riding on an English Voodoo, that Scribble lost his sister, Desdemona… the love of his life. He woke up with an amorphous blob, “The Thing From Outer Space”, swapped out from the vurt world in place of his sister.This is where we find our narrator, Scribble the writer. He’s desperate to find his sister, no matter what lengths he must take. With the rest of his companions, Stash Riders – Beetle – their leader and driver, Bridget – the shadow girl, and Mandy – the newcomer.

The world is surreal, poulated with all sorts of people – humans, shadows, dogs, and robos, and all at various levels and mixtures. Both drugs and technology are almost magically fluid with the functions of everyday life in this warped version of Manchester. Except for the small “interjections” of the Game Cat, who gives added insight to the Vurt world, little is done to explain the workings of such things. Things simply are, and Noon’s unique use of language and “lingo” really immerses the reader in this world. The pacing wavers between swift and almost manic at times, as danger seems to lurk around every corner as the Stash Riders peruse their quest and the next score.

Subject Headings:

Brothers and Sisters — Fiction

Virtual reality — Fiction,

Appeal: closely observed, introspective, strong secondary characters, vivid, eccentric, atmospheric, dramatic, dangerous atmosphere, lyrical, dark imaginative setting, colorful, inventive use of language, bizarre situations, strange trip, drug-induced, psychedelic

terms that best describe this book: Strange, lyrical, vivid

Similar Authors or works (fiction):
Lewis Carroll and the Alice Books: Carroll is arguably the largest influence on Noon’s work. Both are loving wordsmiths, fascinated with visiting strange worlds.

Only Forward, Michael Marshall Smith: Strange, alternative sci-fi world with a man on a bumpy and often confusing ride through different worlds and realities, searching for a lost person.

Dead Girls, Dead Boys, Dead Things by Richard Calder: elements of paranoia, complex styles, bizarre situations and a lyrical narration.

Similar Authors or works (non-Fiction):
High Anxiety: Cultural Studies in Addiction by Janet Brodie and Marc Redfield: explores the history and ideological ramifications of the modern concept of addiction, references to Vurt, examining Scribble’s character.

Aspects of the Theory of Syntax by Noam Chomsky: Appealing to reads interested in language and theory.

Morrissey’s Manchester by Phil Gatenby: Manchester is an essential backdrop to Noon’s work. While inspired by Manchester’s The Smiths, Morrissey’s Manchester is a loving introduction and thoroughly researched guide to the city that is so important to the world of Vurt.

Name: Chris