Exquisite Corpse
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Exquisite Corpse

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  5,667 ratings  ·  416 reviews
To serial slayer Andrew Compton, murder is an art, the most intimate art. After feigning his own death to escape from prison, Compton makes his way to the United States with the sole ambition of bringing his "art" to new heights. Tortured by his own perverse desires, and drawn to possess and destroy young boys, Compton inadvertently joins forces with Jay Byrne, a dissolute...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published August 20th 1997 by Touchstone (first published 1996)
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Chris
It appears that 2008 is going to be the year I plunge blindly into the ever-growing morass of uninspired and weak drivel that is gay literature. Every other book I pick up concerns one recurring element; completely unbridled homosexual revelry. And I’ll be honest; I’m disappointed. One would think that in all that time that the homosexual minority is busy being shunned, alienated, and whatever else they gripe about in their heart-wrenchingly ‘honest and unbiased’ tales of ostracism (generally be...more
Paul
Jan 30, 2011 Paul rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: goths of all ages between 10 and 15
Shelves: verysleazyfun, novels
Why didn't I review this one before? Probably because I'm a leetle bit embarrassed - okay, more than a leetle bit embarrassed - to have read it at all. I remember reading this on a jolly family holiday in Dorset, a short walk away from Thomas Hardy's cottage. Georgia was making sandcastles and bouncing on trampolines and there was I reading about gay serial killers who eat their victims and then each other. It was inappropriate. No other word.

As stupid books go this was insanely gruesome but it...more
Sloan
Favorite book of all time. Lucky to have read it because I stumbled on to it by accident. I was looking for a book at a book store in Nashville. I read the jacket and was intrigued by the serial killer meets serial killer plot. I was even more interested when I saw that it was written by a women. But when I opened it and saw that the author dedicated the gruesome book to her mom I had to get it. I wasn’t disappointed. Some of the most shocking things I have ever read. Shocking in a gross, murder...more
Taylor
Well this was different.

Four characters, each with their own POV, make up this little book of gore and death. It begins with Andrew's story, a necrophiliac serial killer from London. We follow him as he shrewdly escapes prison and makes his way to New Orleans to start over. Next, it's Tran and Luke, an estranged gay couple dealing with the aftermath of an HIV diagnosis and renouncement from a very traditional Vietnamese family. Last is Jay, an attractive and very sophisticated cannibal who preys...more
Kernos
I set out to read a horror for the season, knowing nothing about the author, but having his name and some books dropped on several groups. What I got was a gay grotesque, horrible I suppose if one were a victim, difficult to identify with the needs of the victimizers (thank the gods). This is a psychosexual horror without any occult elements. It is quite straight forward, requiring little work on the reader's part.

Others have summarized the plot (see below). His style is effective, the characte...more
Jason Pettus
i read the ultra-dark gothic erotic thriller exquisite corpse for the first time in a mad 24-hour fever dream, while hopped up on vicodin and cold medicine; and maybe this is the best way to get through the book, in fact, in that this atmospheric yet disturbingly violent tale takes some getting used to. don't get me wrong; i love this book! be aware, by the way, that author poppy z. brite has gone through a big change in her career since then; she's now much more known for a series of funny rela...more
Katya
I very, very rarely quit on a book halfway through. I always feel guilty and have to slog through it just so I can feel like I gave it a fair chance. This was one of the few books I couldn't stand to finish. Now, I'm not squeamish, so the gore and sociopathy described in the book didn't bother me at all. What did was the lack of dimension in the characters (Brite seems to think that writing characters who are evil and disturbed will automatically give them some sort of depth - it doesn't) and th...more
Anna  (Bananas!)
This was a brutal read. I give the author props for certainly putting me into a murderer's POV, to the point where it was uncomfortable at times. I didn't feel much for the characters, except for one who...well, things didn't go well for him.
If you're into extreme reading, go for it, just know you've been warned. I gave it three stars because it was one hell of an experience and I am glad I read it. I may even read it again someday, but I'm in no damn hurry. ENJOY!
Barks & Bites
Poppy Z. Brite's EXQUISITE CORPSE is darker and infinitely more disturbing than any of her previous works. This is an unflinching, unapologetic love story between two cannibalistic serial killers.

Brite's writing is done so well you can almost smell the scents of the decadent French Quarter. Her dialogue is clear, cutting and painfully honest, her imagery so vivid when that first slice is made into the delicate human abdomen you feel your own guts begin to churn. The story is made all the more ch...more
Brian Williams
I first read this book aout ten years ago. I had read two other books by Poppy Z. Brite, and was a big fan of them (Lost Souls and Drawng Blood). Exquisite Corpse took me into a place that was darker than I had ever been, and disturbed me like no book I had read up to that point. The writing, as always with PZB, is first-rate. She is extremely talented, and a master of her craft. The book manages to be both violent and sexy; the super-graphic blood and gore may prove to be turn-off for some read...more
Ⓑⓔⓣⓗ
wow I honestly don't know what to think with this book or where to start.

I spent most of the book wondering how many stars to even give it because in all honesty I am not even sure I liked it. The best way to describe this book its to liken it to a pile up on the M1, you don't want to keep reading/watching but you have to you hope its not to gory but you keep reading when it it.

Sometimes I was like....



then I was....



However the story line/plot was fantastic and the way poppy tells the story reall...more
M
This book is demented. It's the most obscene and grotesque thing I have ever read. Like looking at crime scene photos and being unable to look away. And yet I enjoyed it so much it made my teeth ache. But I very much feel the need to wash out the inside of my skull now. It is definitely not for the squeamish.
Noah Soudrette
Nov 22, 2007 Noah Soudrette rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Brite fans, horror fans, grossout lovers, GBLT enthusiasts
Shelves: horror
Poppy Z. Brite's hardcore horror opus is not for everyone. This story, while very compelling and dark, also features some rather gruesome imagery and is not for th faint of heart. That said, we end up with a really strong character study of four men, in two relationships. One is the soon to be victim and his ex, the other, two serial killers. If that sounds like a good hook, it is. However, this is not really a thriller, so if your looking for a smash bang ening, look elsewhere. Still, for those...more
Kate Jonez
I made it through the entire book. I feel dirty. I guess thats a good thing. While this book is not for everyone,(possibly me) the writing is solid, with the exception of some pov problems at the end, and the characters are well drawn. Exquisite Corpse is definitely of its time (mid 80's) I'd forgotten how horrified people were about AIDS and serial killers. Both subjects seem thoroughly explored even overdone today. But I do see why its become a classic of its genre. It captures a moment in tim...more
Elizabetta
This is nightmarish horror, lurid and grisly. As the author says...who amongst us doesn’t crane to look at an accident on the side of the rode, to see how bad the damage is? And so it is possible to get sucked into the morass. In ‘Exquisite Corpse’ bodily fluids flow freely and the time setting, the early days of the AIDS epidemic, is integral to the general feel of hopelessness.

As with Kyle Sullivan’s How to Rape a Straight Guy we are invited into the world of the psychopath, people as connecte...more
Megan
I am trying to think how to write this review. I don't like using profanity in my book reviews, but I am about to tell you that this is the most FUCKED UP book I have ever laid eyes on. I don't consider myself to be sheltered in any way. I am not shocked by much. But damn. I cannot believe this book was ever published anywhere. Yay for freedom of expression. But HOLY SHIT.

This book kept me reading an entire day when I was home due to Hurricane Isaac. I would like to say that I was so offended b...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
The author writes on her website that both her U.S. and British publisher turned down this, her third novel, due to its shocking and controversial subject matter. I can't help but think both firms also considered it something of a mess.

Brite wrote her vampire novel, Lost Souls when she was nineteen. It's gloriously overwritten and steeped in perverse atmospherics. Then came Drawing Blood, a gay romance with supernatural elements, considerable amounts of blood, and a happy ending. Here are the ba...more
Michael Osorio
When I read this book, I can only say that it went far and beyond my expectations. Now, I myself love horror/serial killer themed books, and with that being said it is pretty clear that I have a morbid and disturbed mind. . . only just a tad. 'Exquisite Corpse' is not a light read in the least bit, nor is is a book to fully be enjoyed. Poppy writes (as her title implies) in the most disturbingly exquisite way.

Now most readers, and reviewers of her book on here complain that is was dirty, disgus...more
Bryan
Gay cannibals in love! So okay, this is some warped stuff, but if you can get over the serial killing, cannibalism, and necrophilia, all rendered in loving detail, it's a compelling little read.

I don't know that it's aged especially well since it was published in 1996. A lot of Poppy Brite's stories from that period explore themes of homosexuality and gay sexuality, and subsequently there's a certain "OH MY GOD LOOK HOW WE'RE HAVING TEH UBER GAY SEXSSS!!!" exuberance that seems kind of quaint in...more
Eve
It's extremely gruesome and truly morbid, but inexplicably charming. The relationship of the two serial killers is fascinating. Where this felt just a little bit unbelievable was the portrayal of their ultimate victim (view spoiler), but even so I have to give it five stars just for being so off-kilter and unforgettable.
Aleksandr Voinov
It's the Doc. Him and Tanith Lee were likely the biggest influences on Young Alex striking out to write his own shit. :)
Katie
Hmmm, I almost don't know what to say about this book. It's really hard to say you loved a book like this. It's sick to the core, perverted, shocking and the two main characters are just awful. However that is what I expected and I got what I expected and more with this story.
I don't really understand the bad reviews on this book myself. For example when I read the reviews for under the skin, by Michel Faber everyone was raving about it! About how scary and twisted it was and they loved it. The...more
Bridget R.
Actual rating is 4.5 stars.

I seem to be reading quite a few books where I feel the need to have a disclaimer as to why my rating is so high. Oh well, I'm not a member of the DMC for nothing, right?

The reason I rated this so highly is because the author kept me turning the pages even as I began to despise all of the characters--yes, every one. It wasn't a "I want to kill them because they're stupid" kind of despising that goes with stupid characters, it was a "tell me again why I want to read abo...more
Ceann Steeltown
Frankly, it's a terrible book that's extremely well written. It's been at least 5 years since the last time I read Exquisite Corpse, but it's the kind of book that sticks with you. It's brutal and deals very bluntly with nightmarish topics like cannibalism, necrophilia, murder, the careless spread of HIV/AIDS between characters and so on.

I have to admit that I found the whole book fascinating. The first time I picked it up I was 17 years old. And it was horrible. I hated it and I loved it. It c...more
Taylor Siluwé
Andrew Compton is a London serial killer who fakes his own death to escape prison. He finds himself in New Orleans, in the backyard of his American counterpart, Jay Byrne. After a delicious courtship dance, the two set their sights on a beautiful Asian drug-dealer named Tran. Luke Ransom, Tran's misanthropic ex-lover, may be the only one capable of saving Tran from being their most exquisite corpse ever.

This story--well, this tale of interlocking love stories, with two of the principle players...more
Anastasia
A treacherously grotesque and horrific love story.
Each chapter is filled to the brim with gory, unremitting filth and the pages pore out a tragic tale of deception, love, and the dark and exotic passions of some very vicious men.

When I initially picked up the book I expected it to be an interesting depiction of two different serial killers and I was excited to see what would happen when they met. I was, however, violently thrown by the gore and the deep cuts this book made on my psyche. What's...more
Hollowspine
At first I wanted to do a review which would say simply one word: Disturbing. The reason? First because it is true, the novel is very disturbing, secondly because I found that I had very little else to say about it. In the end, with all of it's shock and horror, the ending was expected and the events unsurprising. I was almost bored at point, scanning through the text for the next interesting tidbit. When I had turned the last page and realized I was finished no great emotion of relief or closur...more
Barbara ★
This is a horrible book. It chronicles the life and times of four gay men with AIDS and two of them necrophiliacs.

The book stars with Andrew Compton - convicted serial killer of young boys - who escapes from jail and travels to New Orleans. Andrew likes to kill these young boys and then f*** their corpses for days. YUK! From the back cover, the book seems to be about him and at some point Jay Byrnes. However, the book starts with Andrew and then morphs into a tell all story about 3 other gay me...more
Stephie
Well this was certainly not a joy to read. I spent most of the book being disgusted by the hideous main characters and the graphic descriptions of their victims' murders. Unlike American Psycho, where you'd read a particularly gory bit, but then have a chapter about Huey Lewis and the News to recover from it, there is no recovery time in 'Exquisite Corpse'. You get through one vile murder, and then before you know it, it's on to the next.

I agree with another reviewer who said that the end felt r...more
C.C. Bowen
"So it's a bit of a game you like, Jay? Well, that's all right, then. I like a game too."

This story is sick and perverse and all sorts of wrong yet, like a horrible car wreck, I could not look away from the mangled mess.

EXQUISITE CORPSE is told by multiple POV's, including that of killers Jay and Andrew, as well as the androgynous Vietnamese-American runaway, Tran, and his AIDS infected ex-lover, Luke, in the perfect crime/drug-infested backdrop of New Orleans. Eventually the lives of each ill-f...more
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Poppy Z. Brite (born Melissa Ann Brite, now going by Billy Martin) is an American author born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Born a biological female, Brite has written and talked much about his gender dysphoria/gender identity issues. He self-identifies almost completely as a homosexual male rather than female, and as of 2011 has started taking testosterone injections. His male name is Billy Martin.

He...more
More about Poppy Z. Brite...
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“It was like discovering that your innermost fires and terrors, the things you believed no one else could fathom, were in fact the basis of a recognized philosophy. Some part of you felt intimately invaded, threatened; some other part fell to its knees and sobbed in gratitude that it was no longer alone.” 40 likes
“Never relinquish your terrors. That's when they catch you.” 10 likes
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