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The Orange Eats Creeps

3.01 of 5 stars 3.01  ·  rating details  ·  936 ratings  ·  233 reviews
It's the '90s Pacific Northwest refracted through a dark mirror, where meth and madness hash it out in the woods. . . . A band of hobo vampire junkies roam the blighted landscape—trashing supermarket breakrooms, praying to the altar of Poison Idea and GG Allin at basement rock shows, crashing senior center pancake breakfasts—locked in the thrall of Robitussin trips and the ...more
Paperback, 172 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Two Dollar Radio
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Crapalachia by Scott McClanahanMira Corpora by Jeff  JacksonThe Orange Eats Creeps by Grace KrilanovichHow to Get into the Twin Palms by Karolina WaclawiakI'm Trying to Reach You by Barbara Browning
Two Dollar Radio
3rd out of 41 books — 19 voters
Mockingjay by Suzanne CollinsSpirit Bound by Richelle MeadClockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareLast Sacrifice by Richelle MeadRoom by Emma Donoghue
Best Books of 2010
319th out of 1,271 books — 2,372 voters

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Community Reviews

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Envision the largest stained glass scene from the church of your choosing, shattered into pieces no larger than a Kennedy half-dollar and given to you on soiled butcher paper with the instructions to recreate the image with a Slipknot album cover as a guide. That is the equivalent of this masterful, mindfuck of a novel.

This book isn’t for everyone, and I won’t argue with the Goodreads community that pitched it after fifty pages. I experienced long sections of 20-30 pages that I had to reread to
Once upon a time in the Pacific Northwest a slightly fucked up girl escaped her unsatisfying life by starting to run with some vampires. By paring down some of The Orange Eats Creeps backstory you could almost make the sort of basic premise of this novel sound like a delinquent version of Twilight. The vampires (if they really are vampires and not just a teenage affectation, or the construction of the narrators very disturbed mind) aren't beautiful, nor cultured. They most likely smell really ba ...more
This book was all voice and far too little of plot, coherent incident or arrangement, narrative development, character, or even imaginative backdrop. Reading it felt like taking a cross-country drive with a junkie who talks the whole way in desperate monotone, never hushing, commenting on each thing his eye lights on, and as it's a cross-country drive, endless things pop up in no apparent succession, with little connection, and no ultimate design.

I have quite a high tolerance for style over plot
David Katzman
Jan 23, 2011 David Katzman rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of long-form poetic prose without expectations of narrative
I almost saw G. G. Allin perform. Running late for his gig, I was rolling up to the entrance of Stache’s, the small indie-rock/punk club on High Street in Columbus, when a burst of people stumbled out the door. “What’s going on?” I asked someone who was running by me. “G.G. is naked on stage with the mic cord wrapped around his dick, and he’s throwing bottles and shit at the audience.” I’m pretty sure he meant actual shit.

O-kay. Maybe not so much.

G. G. makes a brief cameo in The Orange Eats Cree
Jack Haringa
Apparently I'm going to need to add a shelf to my list: books I couldn't finish. I guess I'm not cool enough/ punk enough/ young enough to "get" this novel, but it didn't pass my 50-page rule. After some friends and reviews spoke highly of The Orange Eats Creep, I thought it would be something I could enjoy. It isn't. I'm all for non-linear and achronological novels, even angry, wild, fragmentary, or hallucinatory novels, but (big but, here) there has to be some clarity of purpose or sense of mo ...more
Sarah Etter
here's a book you have to adjust your brain for. here's a book you have to say yes to and then follow through with that yes.

i understand why it's so hotly contested here - based on all the reviews here, it's clear you either go along with krilanovich or you don't.

i did. but it still took time - i kept having to come up for air from this book. it was harrowing and jangling, like music with a very erratic rhythm. but once my ears and eyes got used to it, it got into my heart.

nothing is easy here
Anita Dalton
The plot, such that there is, follows a small gang of young men and the narrator, our fucked-up heroine, as they wander about aimlessly and purposelessly. The heroine wants to find her sister Kim. They were in a foster home together and Kim took off and joined her own gang of “vampires.” The search for her takes place mainly in the heroine’s mind, but Kim occupies a lot of her thoughts. There is a passage in the book that can lead the reader to believe that there is no Kim, or that the narrator ...more
Uhh...I apparently did not get the memo on this book. First noticing it appear on NPR's Best Books of 2010 and then seeing rave reviews pop up on Goodreads and elsewhere made me super excited to read this novel. Plus, it was billed as being about hobo junkie "vampires" running around and causing could it not be good, right? So disappointing. Yes, the writing was interesting, descriptive and oddly beautiful, but there was NO STORY. At least none that I could find in the weird rambling ...more
The Orange eats Creeps is pretty impressive debut. A dream vision of 90’s Pacific Northwest filled with wild, possibly vampiric, teen delinquents, strange and visionary homeless and runaways, serial killers, and stranger figures that echoes with the fervent music of basement hardcore, stoner metal and riot girl. Despite its declaration of itself as novel this is more of a prose poem, though I guess you can’t market those anymore. This is too bad since along with the novella it is one of my favor ...more
Matt Leibel
Oh man, I think I was supposed to love this one--Steve Erickson who intros it in (typically) hyperbolic style is probably my favorite living American novelist, and it got hyped on various litblogs that I also enjoy. Plus I like a hallucinatory style in general, and am intrigued by the kind of "European novel" that one of the blurbs compares this too. But the whole teenage vampire slut thing--the vampire metaphor was a little too forcedly metaphorical (they're really just runaway teens), and the ...more
Brent Hayward
Could have been three or four pages long: a stark and hallucinatory piece, a kick to the head. As it was-- though the scene of homeless teens drinking cough syrup and either going to rock shows or trashing convenience stores at night was deftly written-- I became numb and lost interest. The same scene repeated over and over. Forty years ago, this strategy might have been considered groundbreaking; today, not so much. Nonetheless, I plowed ahead, hoping to see why the book ended up on many 2010 b ...more
Shawn Towner
Easily one of the worst books I've ever read. The author seems to think that by repeating various iterations of Hobo Vampire Junkie Sluts that the words will somehow gain meaning. There is no plot, the characters are given names and repeatedly called hobo vampire junkie sluts, but they are all entirely interchangeable. A complete and thorough waste of my time.
Melanie Page
I give up.

I understand that Krilanovich is challenging what literature means, what I think of a book. I can only say that a book and a story are not the same thing; TOEC is a book. Honestly, if this work were a short story, I would have more positive things to say (and I would have finished it), and Kirlanovich would have accomplished the same goals, I believe. Instead, by going for 208 pages, she throws challenges at the readers that most of us are not willing to accept without reward. I was re
review copy from publisher

It's a christmas miracle! For a moment there, I thought for sure that I would never finish this novel. December has been an awful month for me when it comes to reading. I barely had any time to sit down and just get lost in a novel, and when I did find time, this one wasn't really sucking me in - I wasn't "feeling it", and found myself rereading paragraph after paragraph trying to make sense of it all.

Grace Krilanovich is a first time novelist who creates her own form o
I picked up this book truly hoping that someone, particularly a woman, had cracked open what has become the often vapid vampire novel market with an experimental, high-art take. It wasn't until after I began reading it and was looking for perhaps some missed insight that I read the reviews. Lots of comparisons are bandied about between Krilanovich and "the experimentalists" (Burroughs, Acker, etc). Perhaps that's appropriate, as it takes a certain kind of reader to appreciate those kinds of writ ...more
Bradley Skaught
A really extraordinary and captivating novel. The richness of the language alone would have been enough to satisfy me, but there was also a profound emotional resonance that made it powerful and genuinely moving. For a book as experimental in nature (and as devoid of traditional plot) as this to also be so touching and emotionally engaged is truly a triumph. It reminded me of David Lynch's movie Inland Empire -- similar in that a swirl of images and experiences surround the very personal journey ...more
Mason Jones
Grace Krilanovich will be an author to watch, but her debut doesn't quite deliver on its promise. Discarding ordinary structure and character, this book is primarily first-person chiaroscuro, all impressionistic scenes and description of surreal surroundings and vague events. Blurbs making comparisons to Burroughs and Charles Burns have a point, but what's lacking is real drive and movement -- the book is pretty much the same from beginning to end. It's a series of scenes and observations which, ...more
One of the weirdest books I've read. It was all tone, mood. Get ready for things not to make a lot of sense. Felt more like a long poem than a novel. It's 172 pages, but should have been about half that long--the 1st half was stronger, in part because the whole thing was so repetitive. She likes the word 'fissure.' I'd probably like to flip through this again. Made me think of Kathy Acker.

My favorite passage:
The night is brown browntime, the day is orange orangetime, then pink pinktime. Travelin
Blake Fraina

Did you know that Kathy Acker and William Burroughs had a love-child? Her name is Grace Krilanovich and this is her debut.

The Orange Eats Creeps reads like an extended tone poem written by someone on an LSD trip who has just woken up from a fever dream. It shares quite a bit of DNA with Acker's surreal Don Quixote - weirdly disjointed, albeit evocative, prose written from constantly shifting perspectives and describing the palpable horrors of a vagabond, junkie teenaged girl roaming the st
Jason Martinucci
It was weird reading this book, I finished it pretty quick and plan to reread it. Some of the locales she wrote about I once lived by. I lived in Eugene back in 1999-2001 during the Seattle WTO riots. Our apartment was in the Whiteaker neighborhood at the end of Route 105. Meth heads were common on my street, heroin was cheaper than pot. Junkies hung out under the underpass by my aptartment. There was a riot down the block I walked to and watched burn outs scream at cops in riot gear. Seven of u ...more
Comment, not review: I'm not sure I'm liking this early on and I've kinda run out of steam but the language is intense, hypnotic, hallucinatory, disjointed. Imagine Burroughs in his most addicted time now writing as a meth addicted teenage girl runaway and you start to get the shape.

I stalled on reading this, wanting to like it more than I did so far, and, frankly, it's very unusual for me not to plow through a book to its bitter end, regardless of the effort or chorefulness of the task.

On the
I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. But I couldn't even finish it, even though I picked it up and put it down several times hoping I could acclimate to the unusual rhythm and approach. Because I can appreciate experimental fiction. And I found a lot of dark, fucked up beauty in the language of this book. But ultimately, there was nothing to keep me turning the pages. I couldn't find even the thinnest thread of a plot. I kept getting confused about details. And I couldn't manage to ...more
Dear lord, I finally made it through this book. First moral of this story is don't believe the hype. I think I picked up on this book through a couple of short articles on it saying how it was a new take on the vampire genre and comparing it W.S. Burroughs. But having waded my way through this garbage, I feel like the book should have been titled 'The author throws up words on a page', and also any reviewer that compares with Burroughs is either doing Burroughs a huge disservice or has really ne ...more
Grace Krilanovich uses incredible, well thought out, and persuasive prose. Her main character’s soliloquy is quite astute, vivid, and it leaves a remarkable impression on the
This story's travels and memories take you on a surreal mind trip that leaves you either wanting more, or ready for a lighter read.
What I find remarkably interesting about Krilanovich’s way of writing is that she only needs a few sentences to deliver a powerful and detailed account or message in the story. Krilanov
A book that grew in my mind after I finished it. I remember opening my mouth a lot as I read it, nodding unconsciously, losing focus on the narrative to admire the prose. To read Krilanovich’s book is to be hypnotized. I recall bits of phrases, such as how one drug-addled punk’s eyebrows fluttered and raised like a manic toilet flusher. That’s the language she used.
Excerpt: Our town is doomed. We’re just hanging out waiting till it turns into the next thing, then we’ll go to sleep. Just build yo
This book had some wonderfully hallucinatory prose, but ultimately it felt quite repetititive to me. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and I work in an independent bookstore, so I know that vampires are all the rage out here in this dark and damp environment. But this tale just didn't have enough of a storyline for me. I felt like I was reading disjointed excerpts from Grace Krilanovich's teenage diary from her years in a foster home. Maybe I needed a few doses of cough syrup to really enjoy this ...more
This book has a hopped up, dreamy (sometimes nightmarish) style that I quite liked. It's all atmosphere and mood, ostensibly about young drug addicted (vampiric? hobo?) teens running wild through a Lynchian version of 1990s Pacific Northwest. But nothing of plot or character really rises out of the swirl. There are some great descriptions and some witty and insightful observations, but it just needed something more to keep me interested. I think I just have a hard time getting into books with no ...more
Grace Krilanovich pens her junkie vampire tale with an emphasis on Dadaist literature and psychopomp pacing. Initially setting the stage as a search for a missing foster sibling, Krilanovich's teenaged vampire protagonist explains her affectations for railways, meth, and attention. The addition of a subplot involving a serial killer and an unresolved quest blend into a stream of consciousness so verbose that the author (and protagonist) lose sight of their intentions. While a verbal tour de forc ...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
I quit on page 92. I was actually more or less enjoying it, was certainly impressed by it, but I decided I had gotten all I was going to get from it around the halfway point. There was a relentlessness to the prose that I am sure is beautifully maintained to the end, but I had had enough. Great atmospherics and well-depicted locales -- the basement rock club, the cabin where the rockabilly anarchists hang out, the aisles and break rooms of many 24 hour grocery stores. The blurbs have comparisons ...more
Stan Feckless
The reviewers at Flavorwire completely lead me astray on this title. There was absolutely nothing to recommend it. No plot. The imagery never resonated. The language was redundant. If someone were to conduct an individual word count of this book they would probably find that the words junkie vampire hobo and slut make up 25% of the text. I have no problem with stream of consciousness/ meandering perspective story telling but there has to be a beautiful sentence and/or insightful observation thro ...more
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Grace Krilanovich has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a finalist for the Starcherone Prize. Her first book, The Orange Eats Creeps, is the only novel to be excerpted twice in Black Clock.

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“Everything satisfies precisely. Engorge sticky pricks. Enrage secret processes. Endure sexy pretense. Emerge surrounded parasitically. Energy sufficiently pulverized. Erection scoff prevention. Endorphin scream passage. Ecstatic speed patriarch. Embers slash plastic. Embalm severe parents. Epidemic seduction procedure. Escape seemed possible. Enormous secretion property.” 2 likes
“If you’re cold, you’re dead, but if you’re cool, you’re only halfway there.” 0 likes
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