Thursday, 12 February 2009

Book review:
The Eyes by Jesus Ignacio Aldapuerta

Available in English for the first time, this truly chilling collection of short fiction by a Spanish devotee of the Marquis de Sade whose suicide in 1987 may well disguise real-life crimes as horrific and as sordid as those he envisioned, no easy task, holds the same grim fascination as a road traffic accident.

Often surreal (the war-maddened masturbator of "Necrophile" stumbles out of New Worlds via the films of Jorg Buttgereit), frequently fantastical (no more so than in the flying torture chamber of "Ikarus") and never less than mind-numbing, The Eyes is memetic toxic waste: there are images here which refuse to creep back into the shadows, much as one would wish them to. Be warned: these are dark tales of insanity and inhumanity, foul splinters in the mind's eye. Read them at your own risk.

[First published in Critical Wave #44/45, April 1996; more than a decade on, The Eyes remains available from Headpress, which ran the Critical Vision imprint]


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