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  • TITLE: Haunter
  • AUTHOR: Charlee Jacob


    Even wasters must specialize eventually, after the chaos of indiscriminate mangling and mincemeating has left them sated or disappointed by turns. One hopefully, eventually, finds one's niche.

    --Leisure Books, ISBN 084395096x, c.2003, p.99


    Other than the rudiment of always sell what you don't have, a sure-fire guide to effective, modern advertising is to always push product improvements, larger sizes, bigger quantities. Horny as they were scary, able to suck and fuck you till all your bodily appendages vortexed in a bloody cyclone up your own rectum (p.10). Marketing demands constant facelifting to keep merch fresh in the eyes of its target audience. “New Improved” reads as “New Sticker” to get your attention; M&M candy thinks it needs new colors to keep you eating their sugardrops; remember when Amazon.Com used to sell just books? The yellow cock squirted like some poisonous jungle mushroom, in gushing streams of rice gruel and goat curds (p.15).

    So, be forewarned: Haunter sells at an “Upgraded” Gore-Whore level, as it contains more brutal asides, rape and murder reminisces and vulgar, sickshit carnage than you can shake a spike-studded speculum at. A tampon up her rectum all the time, because too much ass-reaming by large animals had left her incontinent (p.35).

    Of course, excess almost singly defines current capitalistic consumerism. But this one had a box of dum-dum grenades. She would pick one up in her twat, actually pull the pin on it with her vaginal muscles, without dropping it, and then toss it out into the crowd (p.50). There's no argument that gore and violence have increased in audiences' favor along with nudity and sexual explicitness when following most 21st Century entertainment trends. The dangerous undertow of nightmare laughed its butt-fuck babble, leaving bloody spit in her hair (p.68). The point where a normal, well-adjusted human being turns away and says, “That's enough” is purely subjective and certainly alters as tolerances and attitudes change with maturity. She wended through mercy's greasy sphincter (p.71). Obscenity laws aside, the currently-held position seems to be that damn near everything is exploitable; it is the responsibility of the audience to sort through the bins, or regulate their kids from doing so. Humid as a crotch lined with garish gonorrheal sores (p.87). This is certainly acceptable, because I don't want to nitpick and itemize with the hard-fought and well-intentioned laws concerning obscenity and pornography. Besides, who can really determine what is obscene in a world where babies are used as bombs by terrorists*? Charlee Jacob 's “cradle songs crooned in the strange language of gargled semen” (p.34) is similarly as defensible as Molly Bloom's soliloquium on Blazing Boylan's balls. In a day the fly eggs had begun hatching. The maggots began eating him from the inside out. In two days the Cambodian began weeping. . . . flesh literally crawled as if some obscene book of demons was being written beneath it (p.79-80).

    Cinematically, I say “enough is enough” pretty early into those torture scenes from schlock-shock gut rollers like Wolf Creek or Borderland . Harry didn't blink at decapitated heads frowning from sharp bamboo impalements, expressions on faces in slack-jawed screams, the eyes already dined on . . . nor did he gasp at the naked woman tied to a pole, covered in mosquito bites, belly sagging, a gout of blood dried in her pubic hair and down her thighs, bayonet on the ground with a human fetus skewered on it, impromptu abortion (p.91). Reading-wise, my imagination lives in a much bigger room where things aren't quite as technicolored and inescapable, which is obligatory for a novel as heinous as Haunter . Take out the large, erect cock, and guide it into that infected mouth. He just sucked and nibbled, suppressing groans as sores behind the lips broke, leaking trails of highly contagious spirochetes . . . then the boy leaned away, spitting out pus, jizzum, and blood (p.89). I personally hide in the “redeeming value” argument when offended people ask the obligatory question: how can you watch/read this shit? His erection wouldn't falter, doing it like an experiment to see what it was like going from body heat to gelid ice in a cooling corpse (p.93). If I'm gonna absorb the pain, bile-heaving butchery, and man's grisly inhumanity to man, I want meaning, enlightenment, or moral justification to negate the unsupportable possibility of vicarious and gratuitous titillation. And, inside its “wilted lettuce uterine lining” (p.225), chewing with “stewed teeth and charcoal gums” (p.206) and smelling of “slaughterhouse musk” (p.180) “seasoned with blood clots” (p.170), Haunter has this counterpoise buried in it somewhere.

    What your testicles looked like after they'd ripped them off at the roots and chewed them for a spell, turning them into a paste that reminded you of deviled ham and snot (p.112). This continuation of the Tyler family exploits debuted in This Symbiotic Fascination is not the pornographic horror of, say, Carlton Mellick III's Razor Wire Pubic Hair (“a multi-gendered screwing toy is purchased by a razor dominatrix and brought into her nightmarish lifestyle of deranged sex and mutilation” back panel blurb, Eraserhead Press, ISBN 0972959815, c.2003). It does not create a world in and of itself where fetish distorts so convincingly through horror that it becomes pure surrealist vision. Chew open a hole where the knot of your navel was and then fuck you in the warm tangle of your guts (p.112). Jacob is still concerned about cosmic consequence, so her story dances with the Pol Pot-like “facts” of Southeast Asia, corporate America's scandalous irresponsibility to its environment and people, as well as dark fancies about Hindu gods becoming earthbound. In Shiva, author Jacob has found the embodiment of all opposing voices and visions rounded up under one canopy—“the all . . . the full . . .the horror that brings us joy”(p.307)—so that torture becomes caress, and mutilation is honored like prayer beads made from scar tissue. The deeper part [of his mind] that found the damaged bodies of his fellow men to be alluring also found the stench to be a kink (p.166). It is an iffy, if not controversial and ill-favored proposition even though “it comes with a cosmic finesse of abominating that practitioners of a more asthetic path can never fathom” (p.222). He tasted skinless half-roasted penises and semen thick as swamp water but sweet as lychee fruit. Blisters had burst as they forced his tongue to rasp across second-degree burns on torsos, flavored with finger and soured body grease. He'd gagged on so many indefinable members, wept as more pushed up his backside, reaming him with a pitiless tenderness (p.168).

    Plotting verses poetry becomes a problem in the novel. The blade whirred and sliced up, the parting intestines like the Red Sea itself, if that sea were full to bursting with boiling cherry eels (p.180). As parodied in the structure of this review, Jacob loves the short, sharp stick, but the powerful verbiage is a punji pit to the pace and concentration of the multiple narratives. He fingered the shoulder stumps, then played with the braised tip of the little penis, crumbly as fried bacon. Saab broke off a tiny piece and put it in his mouth (p.207). Then add sub-level characters who re-appear so far down the timestream of the novel that you forgot who they are, mix in disjointed flashbacks, and you have a rutted road billboarded with imagery as anticipated and illicitly mesmerizing as the interrogation room beaver from Basic Instinct . His dysentery-bruised sphincter muscles clenched, fluttered spastically as their flotsam gummy flap-cocks rammed into him, turning his bowels to more mush with each thrust, tearing with wet-sheet splits and gargled farts (p.250). Like TV advertising out-sophisticating network programming, after awhile all you see and remember are the commercials. Jacob ties it all up with the loopy, intestinal ropes of a typical big-bang ending, except its John Holmes on Viagra showing Jeffrey Dahmer the neighborhood. Would she die, her baby unable to be born, perishing inside her? . . . her corpse on the floor, gut swollen way beyond the usual death distension because the infant within was decomposing and setting off its own gases. Would those gases have pushed it halfway out of her, until it appeared as if she'd died while trying to squeeze out a giant turd with a face? (p.132-33).

    I have difficulties with this author. Had this twirly, jerky strip of dick then pissed out a scalding light that sprayed down his throat like the golden showers of a fiend who has drunk sulfuric acid? (p.231). I gave up trying to say anything about another novel of hers I read last year called Dread in the Beast, where “love and filth [read shit, literally] are combined under one banner” (Necro Publications, ISBN 1889186465, c.2005, p.84). I was thoroughly puzzled and somewhat indignant about studying filth and waste from a religious standpoint. But with Haunter, her novelistic skills seem mispaced, unnecessarily convoluted, and just sloppy**. He peeled each strip of skin back from the flesh beneath. He cored out the nipple. He worked to insert the end of his cock into the wound, his voice a curious mixture of moans and growls (p.262). And, as far as her use of agro-sexual explicitness goes, it's like coming up on a car wreck where all you see is broken glass, blood and bodies. Jacob appears not interested in establishing involvement, only your shocked reaction to “the bestial acts displayed within, graphically committed by creatures both hideous and gorgeous” (p.268). She'd tilted her pelvis so he could see the dark knot of asshole, the sewn-up gouge of vaginal tunnel with the opening maintained by the insertion of splinters of ivory in the infibulated vulva. He could see the small hole she pissed through. It was as if she'd been cored out with a potato peeler, then stitched up like the tunnel into a baked goose. The thought of how much that must have hurt made his scrotum itch. But he could see she ought to be tight enough (p.162-3). To be equitable, however, there is atonement here, as well as a fair amount of balancing karma displayed, but the obvious glee of Hindubabble oddities and egregious phrasing *** overwhelms the possibility of a more subtle and compassionate read.


    He'd sought empowerment through abusing every hole he saw as the womb of both Madonna and Terrible Mother, the saint who bore her pain nobly to give birth but then devoured her babies. . . [Now] he was the hole he'd always strived to first rule and then destroy.



    I heard somewhere Charlee Jacob's had hundreds of poems published. In fact, this year she won another Stoker in that venue. I don't read poetry, but I'll bet a rib bone Ms. Jacob is sutured tighter in following that "niche".


    *Benazir Bhutto outlived a previous assassination attempt only because she didn't embrace a live baby swaddled in C-4 held out to her at a political rally.

    **The descriptive passages of her final act read like discarded rough draft work, debasing the third-person omniscient viewpoint to lunacy. See pages 322-327.

    ***I don't even want to quote out the worst cruelty ever deliberately done to young living flesh as scrupulously documented on page 144-5.



    © copyright 04/23/2008 by Larry Crawford

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