karen's Reviews > KIN

KIN by Kealan Patrick Burke
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's review
May 17, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: tastes-like-people
Read in May, 2012

for some reason, i thought this was going to be another one of those downtrodden working poor novels i so love. damn that cover: barn, grass, isolated-looking rural atmosphere. i didn't even realize that blob in the foreground was a nude girl. oops.

i knew this had a horror angle; i knew it was going to have some - you know - cannibalism in it, but that's never bothered me any; i just for some reason thought this would have some of the poetic literary language i love from these books - the way everything is expressed so beautifully juxtaposed against the harsh realities of the landscape and the hopelessness of the characters - the diamonds in the rough...i thought it would be like Kings of the Earth, which review i so helpfully floated recently to pave the way for this one. you're welcome.

instead, i got this:

first, his nose was broken and throbbing like a teenager's pecker at the prom.

and that sums up my gripe with this book; it lacks subtlety.

it is this:

instead of this:

and that's fine - i don't read horror often, but i have definitely read some fine horror novels in my time. this one is only okay. it did have some wonderful gross-out moments (elizabeth - skip this)

there was no momma anymore, he said, not the way they remembered her. now she was a mass of suppurating bedsores, fused to the mattress where old wounds had healed and the torn flesh and pus had hardened to form a kind of second skin around the material and bedsprings beneath. the mattress, once plump and soft, had been worn down by her weight to almost nothing, a wafer thin slice bent in the middle, pungent, soggy and stained by the fluids that had soaked down from her corpulent body over the years. the boys took turns washing and tending to her wound, grooming her, scooping out the large quantities of fecal matter that gathered between her enormous thighs, then giving the remaining stain a cursory, half-hearted scrub before leaving her to wallow in the vestiges of her own waste.

and that is not even the worst of it - let's just say that i will never read the word "rebirth" the same again. shudder.

this book has mostly four- and five-star ratings on goodreads which surprises the crap out of me. am i just being star-stingy? did i miss something? were my expectations just different so that they clouded my appreciation of what this book was? have i just read too many better examples of god-blinded individuals killing in the name of their skewed worldviews?


it tickles me that one of the tags this book has on here is "military" and yes - two of the characters have spent time overseas, being exposed to and somewhat numbed to violence which definitely shaped their characters, but i highly doubt that fans of tom clancy or larry bond are going to derive the same kind of pleasure from this splatter-book as they are from their helicopter tales. just...be warned.

and this is the book that did it. this is the book that may have convinced me to get one of them newfangled e-readers. because it is out of print, and i had it on my to-read list because lou had recommended it to me, and it sounded like something i would like, but if i had actually tracked down a used copy of it, well then now i would be stuck with this book i thought was okay, but i will never reread. (i read this on a store-borrowed nook) so... maybe. i am considering it. because for 5 bux i could have read this and moved on with my life, without cluttering up this tiny-ass apartment of mine. and as much a i love the thrill of the hunt and the buying of books an abe.com and such, well, the e-readers make things that much easier. nothing to get lost in the mail, nothing to cause book avalanches in the middle of the night, nothing for the cat to throw up on. (well, something very expensive for her to throw up on...) i don't know. just know that i am considering it. and i will reserve my book-hunting for more "guaranteed" good reads.
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Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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message 1: by Bill (new)

Bill you have a thing for cannibals?

karen of course!

message 3: by Bill (new)

Bill i'm still wanting to come and visit you at some point, but now i'm beginning to wonder if that's such a good idea!

karen oh, bill, i don't even have room for a subterranean dungeon right now....you're safe.

message 5: by Bill (new)

Bill oh good!

message 6: by Mary (new)

Mary Poor momma ;(

message 7: by Greg (new)

Greg I couldn't see the second picture.

You know if you don't like a book you can always sell it or donate it and get it out of your apartment!

karen really?? dammit. stupid pictures. hang on....

i know i can get rid of things, but i feel bad. what if it just gets thrown away?? at least with me it is safe and warm, if unloved. like a foster kid.

karen now can you see it?

message 10: by Greg (new)

Greg Yup!

message 11: by Katie (new)

Katie karen wrote: "really?? dammit. stupid pictures. hang on....

i know i can get rid of things, but i feel bad. what if it just gets thrown away?? at least with me it is safe and warm, if unloved. like a foster kid."

You are awesome. That is all.

karen hahaah thank you! it is just hard for me to get rid of things. i would be a terrible buddhist monk.

message 13: by Andy (new)

Andy Hey Karen, I just got a "very good" book from an A%@#&n partner. Since it wasn't, I ordered another which supposedly is "new." Since I don't think I'm gonna like it enough to need a loaner copy, can I send you the first one? I don't know what to do with it else. :-|

karen wait, which book??

message 15: by Andy (new)

Andy The Phoenix Guards (not sure what edition that one is, but the one I have is mass-market paperback)

message 16: by Andy (new)

Andy I was thinking of offering you this one, too, once I've finished it. I don't think I'm gonna give it 5 stars. :-|

(oh, yeah. the words "this one" in the comment are a link.) ;-)

karen hmmm - well i have already read the elkin - is good! as for the brust, i am not sure i would want to read that, but please advertise it here on the thread:


but thank you!

message 18: by Andy (new)

Andy I got the Elkin after reading YOUR review. :-) Just not for me. (shrugs)

message 19: by Sheryl (new)

Sheryl Karen -- Think I'll pass on this book, but your review was entertaining, hilarious, and very fun to read!

Kat Stark Awe...maybe I loved it so much because I value the first poster more than the second. But anyway :) great review and at least it wasn't a DNF for you

karen i definitely love the first poster - i have a deep and abiding love of splatter; i guess it was just the experience of getting splatter when i was expecting grit, you know?

Kat Stark I gotchu G.

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