karen's Reviews > Eutopia

Eutopia by David Nickle
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Oct 08, 15

it was amazing
bookshelves: icky-sex, czp, upstairs-neighbors, from-publisher-or-author
Read from March 22 to 25, 2011

it is october! read something spooky!

like deliverance...with monsters!

CZP is three for three!!

i love this book. i always ask people to recommend me some good horror books because i just can't get scared by books, and i want to feel that lovely shivery feeling of "what's that noise!!??" "what is that shadow doing?? ahhhhhh!!" and while it's true i slept fine after reading this - i wasn't cowering in my bed with the blankets pulled up over my face for protection, there were several scenes where i felt my skin crawling, and i actually leaned forward into the book, the way you would if you were psyching yourself up to poke a sleeping lion with a broomstick.

this man knows how to write creepy and atmospheric scenes. they are great.this is a very literary horror novel, but it still fulfills its role of being effective in its horror-mode, i would not call it cerebral horror, like in a henry james manner, which is intense and foreboding; he is in-the-head-intense, whereas this is the good primeval gut-fear i crave.

it is hard to talk about the plot of this one - i was telling dana about how much i was enjoying it on the subway home last week and i was getting more and more animated, with my hands flailing and saying "and then this and then that and oh! then this and but then" and her eyes just sort of glazed over while she thought about college basketball and M/M fiction... and that's fine - this is definitely not the book for her, and i probably overcomplicated the plot in my excitement. but if you like a narrative that unspools slowly and has great characterization and creepy undertones and then explodes into a scene of ensemble horror in a very traditional or classic way... does this make sense?? because the ending, or the climax anyway, seems like a callback to really great traditional horror or sci-fi films of a certain era. so it is familiar in a way, but not exhausted. it is like the way i can watch certain twilight zone or x-files episodes a million times and still get excited by them.

this begins as a historical piece: 1911; a black doctor experiences a lynching attempt by the KKK during which something very odd and spooky occurs. meanwhile, a young boy outlives everyone in his town, seemingly immune to the plague that has killed everyone else.

dun dun dun....

but then it spirals out to include a million different things: eugenics (hence the clever title), an amazing collection of hill-people, some really gross breeding and birthing situations... i just loved it.

this was his first book with CZP:

i love this cover and even though i have never read it because i still feel like i am not a fan of short stories even with the written review-proof that i frequently am, i always have it on the table at work because it is eye-catching and for some reason customers like to hold it up over their face as if it was a mask. and they always think they are being very original, like when they, separated from their friends or mate, yell "marco!!" sigh.

but - great story about this book that was told to me by brett, the co-publisher from CZP: apparently, a friend of his was reading it at LAX, and so many people complained to airport security that the cover was "disturbing them", that they made him put it away. hahhaah love it!! book cover - you are a winner!! this book and snow globes are not allowed onboard!!

i feel i have strayed from the matter at hand.

this book = very good.

it will be out in may.
write it down so you don't forget.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 77) (77 new)

message 1: by Stephen (new) - added it

Stephen Great review and a very "unsettling" picture.

karen don't take it on a plane!! be warned!!

message 3: by Krok Zero (new) - added it

Krok Zero Yup, this sounds like the kind of thing I was inquiring about...neat.

That "disturbing" cover reminds of the puppet from Interpol's great "Evil" video: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8ie...

karen hahah - ahhh interpol!! i used to live with paul. not intimately.

message 5: by Krok Zero (new) - added it

Krok Zero wait whuuuuut? you lived with the lead singer of interpol? or do you mean like you lived with him in your heart

karen hahaha no, i lived with him like people do, as roommates.

message 7: by Esteban (new) - added it

Esteban del Mal Is Interpol something I should know about? I thought they busted up pedophile rings in Czechoslovakia and stuff like that.

message 8: by Krok Zero (new) - added it

Krok Zero karen, you don't seem to understand how hilarious this is. Did he wear fancy black suits around the house?

message 9: by j (new)

j that's fun! interpol was verry fameus a few years ago.

message 10: by j (new)

j one time my girlfriend was almost roommates with the drummer from bound stems, but someone else took the apartment and also they weren't very famous and later broke up (the band, i mean). but pitchfork gave them a 7.8!

karen well, he was like an army brat, so he had lived all over the world, and had managed to pick up a bunch of vurry vurry european friends along the way, and when they would visit, they would all go out and be very fashionable. but around the homestead, he was usually just shirtless in jeans, listening to john frusciante. he is a really good guy. very chill.

but i would love to take this opportunity to state that carlos is a douchebag. he and i crossed paths many times and i think we always hated each other, and every time he would turn up somewhere, i was like "oh god, that guy again??" he was everywhere. and i mean, just look at him. he is way too affected for me.

message 12: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy karen wrote: "well, he was like an army brat, so he had lived all over the world, and had managed to pick up a bunch of vurry vurry european friends along the way, and when they would visit, they would all go ou..."

Ha! Didn't that guy collect Nazi regalia or some such bullshit?

message 13: by j (last edited Mar 29, 2011 07:57PM) (new)

j it seems kind of ridiculous to accuse someone from interpol of being "way too affected." he does have asshole facial hair though. and he left anyway, apparently.

man, i would be so excited if it was 2004! they were my favorite band from 2004-late 2005-ish.

karen Ha! Didn't that guy collect Nazi regalia or some such bullshit?

paul?? that would surprise me. carlos - that would not surprise me. did i mention that i hate him?

message 15: by j (new)

j i think his style was simply described as "nazi chic." his wikipedia entry makes him sound like a total douchebag.

karen wikipedia would never lie.

message 17: by Krok Zero (new) - added it

Krok Zero I love it. Next thing you'll be telling me you had a one-night stand with Julian Casablancas.

karen i don't know who that is.

message 19: by Krok Zero (new) - added it

Krok Zero oh, it's the guy from The Strokes... y'know, another fashionable New York rocker from the early 2000s

karen oh, blarg. yeah, i know for a fact we did not hook up.

message 21: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy Yeah, I meant Carlos.

karen the "d" is for "douchebag"

message 23: by Kwesi 章英狮 (new)

Kwesi 章英狮 I don't know if I should laugh or be scared to the picture.

karen both!

message 25: by Alan (new)

Alan Karen you love short stories now doncha?
PS I knew the guitarist from Motorhead (1984-89), Wurzel. From my hometown. Didn't live with him though.

karen i have certainly come a long way in that direction! even still, even with all the stories i have loved over the past year, every time i pick up a book to look more closely at it, and i see the word "stories", i have a tiny knee-jerk reaction of "stooories?? blech."

but the reaction is getting less pronounced, certainly...

message 27: by Courtney (new)

Courtney I also love the cover of Monstrous Affections. The title is interesting as well. I don't like short stories either unless they have connections, otherwise I will lose attention.

message 28: by Dana (new)

Dana my eyes did not glaze over! i asked you questions! and wondered how the creepy monster could impregnate a boy!

karen i felt like you were elsewhere....
far away...

Jasmine I started this... it's really weird.

Wendy Darling This sounds awesome. AWESOME. Um...but why the icky sex shelf? I'm wincing because I'm afraid of the answer.

karen oh, that shelf is a catch-all for pedophilia, incest, necrophilia, bestiality, and other... cross-species stuff.

this book contains no pedophilia.

i mean - it's not a major component or anything, but there is some...ick. but a great, great book.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio karen wrote: "hahah - ahhh interpol!! i used to live with paul. not intimately."

L___ A_ T___ F______ H______!

You and your ascot jokes can forever fall on deaf ears now.

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio That Carlos guy's wikipedia entry is douchetastic and he looks like Crispin Glover, if Crispin Glover had been mutated in utero with Agent Orange poisoning or something.

karen he is nowhere near as cool as crispin glover, sheeeeit.

does that really make me a hipster?? even though it was pre-interpol? it wasn't like i was some sort of edie sedgwick, lolling around in my drainpipe jeans smoking with asymmetrical hair....

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio karen wrote: "it wasn't like i was some sort of edie sedgwick, lolling around in my drainpipe jeans smoking with asymmetrical hair...."

That's too bad. Now I have to retract my masturbation fantasy.

karen at least you will always have september 25th...

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Huh?

karen that's when my unders became famous on the internet. right?

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I'm never not fondling myself. Don't be too flattered.

karen damn.

message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

the airport thing:

Was that for the cover of

Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism


Monstrous Affections?

karen for monstrous affections

message 44: by Miriam (new) - added it

Miriam He has more books out -- there's an ad in the back of A Tree of Bones (which I think you mentioned you had, too?).

karen yeah, he has two more - i was supposed to read one of them, and then i got scared

message 46: by Miriam (new) - added it

Miriam I thought you wanted to be scared?

karen oh, not scares like ghosties, scared like "will i even understand this??"

karen i am reading his new book now, but i haven't been on here in a while, so to make sure you don't forget about me, i am floating.

someday i shall return

message 49: by Jason (new)


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