Kiss Me, Judas:
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Kiss Me, Judas: (Phineas Poe #1)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  2,432 ratings  ·  162 reviews
"If you want to llive, call 911." Phineas Poe -- an ex-cop just released from a state psychiatric ward -- wakes up in a Denver hotel room in a bathtub full of ice, with this soggy note in a seductive, girlish script stuck in his hand. A day, or was it two days earlier, he was lured into bed by a beautiful but menacing woman named Jude. Now he must be rushed to the hospital...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Viking Adult (first published 1998)
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Well, this was different!

Kiss Me, Judas, classified as "noir", gave me the creeps the impression I was watching Sin City .
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This book made little sense, but managed to keep me entertained. I won't talk about the story. You have the blurb for that. Instead, I'll just list some of my likes and dislikes.


The writing : Phineas Poe's 1st person narration is funny, graphic and crazy, because most of the story he is drugged out of his mind and hallucinates, making it difficult for the reader to dis...more
Let me preface this by saying that I liked Baer's writing quite a bit here. What I didn't like was

Phrases like 'furious silence' pepper the pages and are more than enough to keep me reading when when I stopped giving a shit about the plot a third of the way in. See, the story is told in the first person, and that person may or may not be crazy. Combine that with the fact that every other character seems to have a hidden agenda (or maybe doesn't). So the reader is never QUITE sure wha...more
So I finished this book days ago and certain scenes have begun to fade. I really should stick to writing reviews the day after I finish a book. I try to include at least one night's sleep between finishing and reviewing but this has been an overly hectic week all around.

So, like I said, a certain amount of fading has happened yet how I felt while reading is still pretty strong and I really have only good things to say in that area. The first chapter sucked me in, aroused my interest. The idea o...more
Colin McKay Miller
Four stars.

Omnibus review:

Will Christopher Baer is a more respectable version of Chuck Palahniuk. They’re very similar—both are dark, first-person storytellers with a predilection for the twisted underworld of sex and violence—but I’d place Baer more on the side of dark storyteller and Palahniuk on the side of shock writer. Plus Palahniuk bled one narrator into (many, but for sure his initial) four novels; Baer just accepted his love for that voice and made a trilogy.

The Phineas Poe trilogy—Kis...more
Nov 17, 2010 Brandon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of noir fiction
Recommended to Brandon by: Matt Hardy
Shelves: fiction, 2010, neo-noir
Plot: Have you ever loved someone who's mortally wounded you? Phineas Poe, disgraced cop and morphine addict, has just been released from a psych ward when he meets a beautiful woman named Jude in a hotel bar. Red dress, black hair, body like a knife. He takes her back to his room and wakes the next morning in a bathtub full of blood and ice, missing a kidney. Dragging himself from a hospital bed, Phineas discovers he wants to be with Jude like a hunger and he wants to find her and kill her. Fal...more
This one is (as most anyone who's read it seems to concur) "hard to describe." I'd probably propose a new genre for it: "oneiric noir." The moody, poetic writing prose and the frequent breakdown of borders between the real and the dreamed/hallucinated on the part of the feckless narrator are the highlights of a narrative that is not always clear but is always compelling. It's a hard novel to put down, and while the plot is nothing new (pretty standard noir tropes crossed with one of the most mem...more
Why do I keep reading books from a genre I don't like? I really struggled with this book. First of all, I hated the way it was written. At times there was no way of way of knowing who was doing the talking or if the text was meant to be a dialogue or a thought. It was too damn confusing. Just 'cause you want to portray a mess of a character it doesn't mean you have to be messy in your writing. Most of the time you didn't know what was going on and, yes, I get it, the main character is mostly hig...more
Phineas Poe is an ex-cop, just released from a psychiatric ward after a six month stay for a nervous break down. His job is gone, his wife is dead, and Poe really doesn���t have much to live for. Enter, Jude. This beautiful woman in red sits down next to Poe and the two begin to converse. Poe is easily seduced by Jude ��� especially after she drugs his drink. Poe remembers nothing after taking her back to his hotel room. He wakes up smack dab in the middle of an urban legend. Shivering in a cold...more
Kiss Me, Judas. A story about a man whose kidney is stolen by a prostitute. Can that urban legend be anything but the stale center of an overtired premise? Apparantly, it CAN be something more.

Will Christopher Baer's writing is edgy, visceral, and almost nauseating in its effectiveness. Nauseating in the same way that leaping off a cliff can be nauseating. Phineas Poe, the central character of the novel, starts the novel kidney-less and on the verge of death, and for the rest of the story he eat...more
This work is an atrocious piece of trash that should be avoided at all cost. I will list a couple of the issues that I have with this book in order to help dissuade possible interested readers from having to deal with the literary torture.
1. It is obvious that the Author has never been to Denver. Locations are wrong there is no description of the city, or even of the mountain backdrops. He misses out on all the possible seeding dealings that could be used like the city of Englewood, and Colfax a...more
Kiss Me Judas had me constantly feeling as though I'd stepped off a mental Tilt-A-Whirl. While it's never confusing, it's often confounding and Baer gives the reader just enough information to keep up with the wild pace. Kiss Me Judas is dark, gritty, endearing, and confusing -- it is the essence of neo-noir.

The novel starts with a cliched urban legend -- the protagonist, Phineas Poe, wakes up in a bathtub full of ice with his kidney missing and revenge on his mind. He falls in love with the wom...more
Rahul  Adusumilli
Very sharply written. You'll have to search far and wide to find another book that employs so many tasty metaphors.

Puzzling why it was marketed with a b-grade title and a b-grade cover.
Heath Lowrance
The premise sounds hackneyed and unlikely: messed-up ex-cop meets a woman in a bar, gets drunk, fools around, and wakes up in an ice-filled bathtub, missing his kidney. The stuff of urban legend. But Baer takes this absurd idea and turns it into a hallucinatory, melancholy, gorgeously written novel. The protagonist, Poe, skates along the very edges of sanity in his search for the woman-- who he's a little in love (or at least lust) with-- and his journey brings him into contact with an assortmen...more
Sarah Schantz
Honestly I read almost all of this book but did not finish. There were so many factual errors I was appalled--did no one else read the drafts that came before publication? No one just rips out a catheter because they feel the urge to pee. First of all, with a catheter in there is NO urge--a person urinates without knowing it, and second, it would hurt so much to rip it out. The fact he is worried that his kidney was replaced with heroin is also ridiculous. By the time he worries about this he'd...more
Kiss Me Judas is the tale of a junkie ex-cop who goes to a bar after being discharged from a mental hospital. At the bar he meets a seductive call girl named Jude who talks him into going up to his hotel room for some sex and water sports. Hours later, he wakes up alone in a bathtub filled with ice and one of his kidneys stolen, the culprit being the call girl.

If Kiss Me Judas was an Eighties film it would be a cross between 9 ½ Weeks and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The first third of the no...more
This book is all about style. The plot, narrative, and characters are all Noir standards but the use of language forgives just about everything...wonderful to read...equal parts comedy, pathos, and pure villainy also help the read along. If you don't have a strong stomach and have trouble suspending belief this isn't for you...but if you're looking for an amoral romp this is the book for you.

I loved it...highly recommended.
Lauren Reese
This book is beautiful in its darkness. It as an original piece from an original voice. Enjoy this and the other Phineas books now, and tell everyone you were reading this author before he became well known, the movie was made etc...
Richard Thomas
If you want to know what neo-noir is, this is the book to do it. Baer is not only an idol of mine, but an inspiration. This is what got it started. Dark, rich, sexy, powerful, captivating, and visceral.
This book hasn't been around for that long, but I honestly cannot tell you how many times I have read and re-read this. Easily one of my favorite, favorite books.
Very dark, very unique, very experimental, and very morish. I found my self continually wanting to stop, yet unable to put it down.
This is the novel you would get from a savage mixture of broken heart, Bladerunner, Dashiell Hammett and things that live in dark alleys...
This is my new favorite book. It's up there with Iodine by Haven Kimmel and Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek.
Jeff Rowe
What is the rationale for eliminating all quotation marks in the dialog? Is it supposed to make the reader a participant in the pain? Like having your kidney removed by a prostitute in a hotel room? Because if that's the case, it worked really well. I started out being annoyed. And the whole first person narration by someone who is insane didn't help. But the story turned out to be an excellent hard-boiled tale of mystery. The characters were all excellent. So I gave it an extra star after all b...more
Fabulously wicked!
KISS ME, JUDAS came highly recommended to me from several different people. It's not hard to understand why. Will Christopher Baer creates a rich story full of deep characters, deceit driven plot and a full bodied prose so exacting it can leave you as disoriented as the protagonist when he is in a drug fuel haze. I just wish I were able to feel as strongly about this book as those who recommended it to me.

KISS ME, JUDAS is written in the noir style. It's a style I've only recently come to read m...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tony Moore
Welcome to Kiss Me, Judas. Prepare yourself for awkward metaphors and a serious lack of quotation marks.

Before diving into where I feel that this book goes wrong, let me address what this book does well. Smashingly well, in fact! The plot line is a million dollar idea. You know the saying that every book's plot line can be boiled down to one sentence and you can tell from that just how much potential the story could have. In this case, Will Baer nailed it with "Ex-cop is in love/obsession with t...more
Phineas Poe used to be a cop. Or maybe that’s just his new fake memory implemented in the mental institution he’s just left. He meets a beautiful stranger. The woman in red, Jude, steals one of his kidneys. He wakes up in a bathtub filled with ice, staples in his body. And he may or may not have fallen in love with her.

Not much in “Kiss Me, Judas” makes a whole lot of sense, but then again we experience this hallucinatory world through the eyes of Poe. Slowly lured into a sinister hole populate...more
I've been doing a lot of reading lately. One of the books which left a haunting image on my mind is Will Christopher Baer's "Kiss Me, Judas". This is the first in a trilogy about the misadventures of Phineas Poe, erstwhile cop, recently released from a psychiatric hospital. On his first night out Poe meets Jude, a prostitute, who unaccountably agrees to spend the night with him - only to wake up to find himself in a bathtub filled with ice and staples on his skin where his kidney was removed. A...more
"Kiss Me, Judas" by Will Christopher Baer is one of those books that I probably would not have bought if I had read the sample text from Kindle beforehand. I'm not a fan of the noir style of writing that Baer used. But once I accepted that I was reading a noir novel, I realized that it was very well executed and it complimented the grittiness and shiftiness of the characters and plot very well.

Baer created a very interesting protagonist, Phineas Poe. Throughout the book, he is never well. He's a...more
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Will Christopher Baer is an American author of noir fiction, often delving into sex, violence, mystery and erotica. Currently published works include Kiss Me, Judas, Penny Dreadful and Hell's Half Acre, all of which have since been published in the single volume Phineas Poe. His long-awaited fourth novel, Godspeed, was originally set to be published in 2006, but saw several delays before publisher...more
More about Will Christopher Baer...
Penny Dreadful Hell's Half Acre Phineas Poe: Kiss Me, Judas / Penny Dreadful / Hell's Half Acre Godspeed

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“And my life went to pieces, like a love letter in the rain.” 39 likes
“Which do you prefer, she says. Sex or Violence?
I try to smile. What's the difference, really.”
More quotes…