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Exquisite Corpse

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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  8,670 ratings  ·  650 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
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 20th 1997 by Gallery Books (first published 1996)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,670 ratings  ·  650 reviews


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Paul Bryant
Oct 18, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  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
May 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
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
Chris
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Cody | codysbookshelf
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Grossest book I've ever read. After not finishing Asylum, I wanted something scary. Brothers and sisters, that's what I got with Poppy Z. Brite's Exquisite Corpse.

I have an exceptionally weak stomach, which is why I usually avoid gore. I've never seen the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies. I've never seen the Freddy Kruger films. Gore's just not my thing; I'm more of a psychological terror guy. Horrors left offscreen are more effective on me. This book is quite scary psychologically, but it also r
...more
Bill
Oct 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-fiction
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
Jun 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
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.
Taylor
Dec 25, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Katya
Jan 29, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: imitating-life
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
Beth
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Bark
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Anna (Bananas)
Oct 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: horrorshow
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!
Megan
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Victoria
When I was 13 I attempted to read this book, and now, I distinctly remember throwing it away in disgust after the first chapter.
WARNING, WARNING, WARNING
This novel truly is *disgusting*, vile, extremely disturbing, putrid. Feel brave? Come on in.
This would be equivalent to a scratch and sniff garbage pail kid sticker, labeled bloody fart.
But....SERIOUSLY this retched story sucks you right in, twists and turns you all around, has you writhing in gore, wincing through DETAILED rough gay sex, an
...more
Brian Williams
Dec 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Noah Soudrette
Nov 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Tressa
Jun 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: serial-killers
This is my first--maybe last--Brite book, especially if they're as uninteresting as this one. A co-worker explained the book like this: It's like a book written by a high schooler who knows how to write pretty well. Sums it up for me. The writing, while trying to be daring and disgusting, just came off as juvenile.




Kate Jonez
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Cody Sexton
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is repulsive, no question, and yet Brite can still be defended as an artful poet of murder and obsession.
The title, Exquisite Corpse, refers to a unique literary style originated by the surrealist school of writing. This machination is used to describe a method of writing through collaboration where each writer will tack on their narrative to the end of the last, without necessarily knowing what came before. This particular story was not written in that way by multiple authors, instea
...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
Bryan
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Emily
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Your life collided with mine...and you simply failed to survive the wreckage."

I don't even know what to say about this book. This is probably the grossest book I've read (maybe), and it was disturbing on all the levels, but oddly enjoyable. It's like if Jeffrey Dahmer fell in love. If that doesn't sound interesting to you, definitely don't read this book 😂. It's graphic, and gruesome as hell, but it was definitely interesting. It's even kind of campy (yet so so disgusting). This was my first Po
...more
Yosra Abdelkader
this book is kinda:
euuuu3333
WTF!!
whaaaaaaat?
Sh**!
WTH!
No way!
He did what?
I need a break!!
The last part though!!
My God!!


Michael Sorbello
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exquisitely horrific, shocking and grotesque. The intensely vivid and uncomfortably erotic details will leave even the most established horror enthusiasts feeling a bit squeamish at points. Hannibal Lecter would probably view this book as the greatest "romance" novel of all time. This is a poetic and disturbing character study of society's most rejected degenerates, a vivid exploration of the minds of killers and taboo fetishists. Splatterpunk at its finest.
Charles Dee Mitchell
Nov 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
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
Kendare Blake
Aug 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love Poppy Z. I love that she's weird, and punk, and that she was true to her word and stopped writing goth when she got older. This isn't her best work. I actually think her short fiction is her best work. This one, I picked up because of all the hype about it being based on Dahmer, and Dahmer was one sick bat nut. Maybe it was that comparison though, that made the book less effective. That it was loosely based on Dahmer is clear. And no matter how visceral the prose tried to be, it couldn't ...more
Eve
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Stefanie Von Guest
May 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Boring
Not sure how it's voted as one of the top goriest books, I've read far worse.
Found it tried to be too gothic with its descriptions and the characters lacked depth.

The reason it gets two stars is because the author can clearly write, they just suck at making something with substance.
Cynthia Krathaus
May 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Rather than fudge this review, In all honesty I stopped reading this book at page 50. Although the writing was acceptable, the premise behind the story was creepy and not believable. That’s not to say others won’t enjoy the book, but it wasn’t my “cup of tea”.
Mike
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Extreme and way over the top.Britte's writing is awesome and her characters are brilliantly handled.The only flaw of this book is the lack of a more coherent plot.Exquistie Corpse makes J.G. Ballard's Crash look like PG 13 soap opera.It's that intense.Loved it.
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2,089 followers
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
“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.” 67 likes
“Horror is the badge of humanity, worn proudly, self-righteously, and often falsely.” 28 likes
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