karen's Reviews > One Bloody Thing After Another

One Bloody Thing After Another by Joey Comeau
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's review
Oct 22, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: tastes-like-people, upstairs-neighbors
Read on May 23, 2011

this is one of those books...

wait, is it??
i'm not entirely sure what kind of book this is...

it opens with some bloody vomit at the breakfast table and ends on an awkward comic relief rimshot of a line.

and in between. well, there's ghosts and zombie-ish types and a really endearingly stupid dog and good old fashioned teenaged helpless desperation and rage. and if that sounds like a jumbly mess to you, remember that this is the same author who brought you Bible Camp Bloodbath, and if anyone's going to know how to make those disparate elements combine into good fun times, it's him.

this book is almost perfect. it has such a great sense of pacing and wackiness, but it is a wackiness that does not lack taste or a sense of control. this is someone who knows how to edit their imagination before it strays too far into the surreal, wandering just far enough before it becomes a hazard. me, i cannot tolerate weird for weird's sake, and i think this little nightmare of a book captures a tone that is moody and tense, while retaining a purpose to the storytelling that is not all gloss and shock.

the most reductive synopsis is: a girl falls in love with her best friend while both of their lives are falling into chaos and the obstacles to their love turn out to be supernatural in nature. but it's more than that. it is also about putting all your trust in something that seems permanent and immutable only to have it ripped away, piece by piece, leaving only bewilderment and fury. and that feeling - panting in the wake of the places and people you thought you could count on as they recede... i mean, who wouldn't throw a rock through a car window??

let's just say i can relate to this impulse.

there is a weird wonky hiccup about 2/3 of the way through that threw me a little and made this somewhat-less-than-perfect in my eyes. but otherwise, some really gorgeous writing here, and a truly fun book that has a sharp-toothed undercarriage.

do it.
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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karen yeah - it's a little bloody for you.

message 2: by Dana (new)

Dana eh, lesbians.

karen you mean "yayyy" lesbians!

message 4: by Dana (new)

Dana are you putting this on the gayble?

karen no, it's not a lesbian novel, just one of the characters has lesbian feeeelings.

message 6: by Dana (new)

Dana i'm leaving for bn now! time for the gayble!!!

karen yeah for the month of june...

karen ooh!! no, but now i'm going to!! and you can't stop me!!

karen orlando is usually on the table but this year i tried to mix it up with some new stuff - i don't want to get stale.

karen ten years is a pretty good run, ross...

but i can slap it on there... along with well of loneliness and all the same old same old titles...


karen !!!

message 12: by jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

jo what's the hiccup in the middle? i looked for it but didn't find it.

karen not really a "hiccup;" my language is imprecise - but there is a shift in tone, you know? and it just didn't work as well for me as the way the story was being told before that.

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