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The Venus Complex

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  131 ratings  ·  42 reviews
A man rises out of an abyss of frustration and rage and creates works of art out of destruction, goddesses out of mere dental hygienists and beauty out of death. It's also about the sickness and obsession that is LOVE. Enter into Michael's world through the pages of his personal journal, where every diseased thought, disturbing dream, politically incorrect rant and sexuall ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published October 5th 2012 by Comet Press
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  131 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Paul Nelson
The Venus Complex is a provocative journey into a psychopathic consciousness that is one of the most gripping and disturbing mind trips I've read. Told in a journal entry style first person narration, the first time we meet Michael Friday is the recounting of his wife's death in a car accident. His wife was cheating on him, his accusation and her reaction bring about a clean definitive snap of his mind, from normal to implacable killer and here lies the beginning of a jaunt that nibbles the edge ...more
Janie C.
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
I really like the cover art of this book. It's creative and edgy-looking, bordering on the abstract. That's what I expected the book to be like. Personally, I was disappointed. The story is told through journal entries of a man who allows his obsessions and his fantasies to become reality. The details are graphic, sexual and violent, but they are also carefully controlled. I didn't feel as if I was looking through the eyes of a madman. Instead, I clinically observed the thoughts of a rational ma ...more
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Perhaps 4 1/2 stars.

Michael Friday the narrator of this book, a wanna be serial killer, a college professor, a complete sicko, of Barbie Wilde’s first novel “The Venus Complex” is clever enough to research the history of serial killers and where they went wrong (available at a library or book store near you) prior to embarking on his new venture of a killing spree a well-planned out killing spree.

Michael Friday as part of his grieving process and rehabilitation after his
Bark the Overwrought Keyboard Warrior
3 Stars

The Venus Complex takes an intimate look inside the head of a man with deviant tendencies who decides to act on them and it is horrific and somehow strangely compelling. I felt rather ewww after spending time in his head and had to take breaks but that didn’t stop me from coming back to it. It’s probably not a story for everyone though . . .

A depressed fellow is told to keep a journal by his doctor in order to help with his recovery. He’s been in a terrible accide
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been on my tbr for a while, solely based on the Daniele Serra cover art alone. Then I saw a review from my GR friend Paul (and progress status from Charlene) for “Voices of the Damned” which is the new story collection from Barbie coming out later this year, I believe. That lit a wee fire under me to finally check out this one out and I’m glad I did.

The Venus Complex is the story of Professor Michael Friday, told in first person narrative thru the entries in his personal journal.
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
It is beautifully written,and cynical in a nasty way,but much too graphic for me,though I like her choice of words.
It depicts a dark,sexual world imagined by a crazy pervert from beginning to end.
Thomas Strömquist
Some good and very effective elements in this one, but ultimately unsatisfying.

American Psycho. Well, that was unavoidable, so I thought I'd just get it out of the way at once. Michael Friday is (a not all the way convincing) art professor that wrecks his car to off his cheating wife, a plan that works great. After his own lengthy rehabilitation (well, it didn't wo
Tamara Romero
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This novel is a winner. Barbie Wilde has a huge talent to build up a masculin protagonist from his insides. As a reader I felt 'forced' (in a good way) to empathize with the killer Michael Friday in a disturbing 'dexterian' way. The novel seems well researched and has a very interesting erotic approach that reminded me to the cenobite imagery. You'll definetely enjoy it if you liked American Psycho. The Venus Complex is catchy and a real pageturner! I'd love to read more Barbie Wilde's works soo ...more
Yolanda Sfetsos
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, thriller, kindle
I heard about this book on Twitter. Someone mentioned that it was written by the female cenobite, so of course I had to check it out. ;)

Michael Friday is one sick puppy. After a car accident that kills his wife--which he causes because he finds out she is cheating on him--he survives, and months of rehabilitation later he goes home. But his life is not a comfortable place to be. He's constantly bored and spends too much time alone. He becomes addicted to trashy TV even though he desp
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First impressions now I've completed this book in record time - if I had to be murdered by any serial killer at all, then this is the guy that I'd pick. More sensual than Dexter, less punchable than Patrick Bateman, this is a romp with a very purposeful, very smart and utterly irredeemable monster. But the emphasis is more on sex than torture, and the erotic aspects are played out in a way that feels very fitting for a book by a former Hell Raiser Cenobite.

So twisted and wrong, but extremely we
Mandy DeGeit
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Venus Complex, by Barbie Wilde, follows the main character’s descent into madness by way of his diary. After a car accident, Michael is left to rehabilitate physically and mentally. While his body may have healed, his mind takes a turn for the worse. A college professor and art lover, he puts his life on hold and immerses himself in the study of becoming a serial killer. Plagued by his dreams, he acts out on his most depraved thoughts, which in turn spurs on the darkness just a little bit mo ...more
Sarah Hall
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have an undying appreciation for stories that are creatively unpleasant, and this is easily one of the most creatively unpleasant things I've ever read. The back cover compares it to American Psycho, which made me scoff and roll my eyes before my reading commenced. Now that I've ingested the whole thing, though, it's actually a very astute comparison. I don't think I've ever read a book this wholeheartedly dedicated to exploring such a thoroughly repulsive and irredeemable character since Amer ...more
John J Questore
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow ! Just, wow ! Barbie Wilde played the Female Cenobite in Hellbound: Hellraiser II - and if you thought she was great in that, you'll love her as an author.

What can be said about The Venus Complex that hasn't already been said?

It has been compared to American Psycho - maybe, but I found Bret Easton Ellis' writing to be long, drawn-out and wishing the book would end so I wouldn't have to choke down another endless stream of babbling consciousness that added nothing to the story. T
Lee Howard
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, horror
I love dark crime, and this is by far the darkest story I've ever read. I felt guilty for enjoying it so much. THE VENUS COMPLEX is deep in social commentary, yet tense and fast-paced, dizzyingly bold in its perversion. Like a serial killer obsessed with his next victim, I could not turn away from its decadent sadism.

Following the tradition of Ellis's AMERICAN PSYCHO and Oates's ZOMBIE, Barbie Wilde has broken new ground in the field of dark crime fiction. If you like the lurid and s
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Everybody has desires and nobody - except the psychopathic few - has the guts to go out and just take what they want”

Imagine Ted Bundy’s violent sexual nature, BTK’s organisation and the Unabomber’s hatred of the the world and you have the main character of this book. He is your text book serial killer and Barbie Wilde has given us true crime junkies exactly what we look for, an insight to the madness. A very entertaining and quick read.
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
M.J. Meade
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novel was so fun to read. It is written as the personal diary of a sophisticated college professor as he finds his true ‘purpose’ in life—being an artistic serial killer! The main character, Michael Friday, recounts his crimes in gruesome and erotic detail that isn’t for the faint of heart. If you enjoy dark crime, serial killers, and horror erotica, you’re missing out if you haven’t given this book a chance.
Sep 06, 2013 rated it liked it
I read an article recently by author John Skipp entitled 'Why killing the sh*t out of interesting people is clearly the way to go'. With The Venus Complex Barbie Wilde has neatly inverted this idea in that her serial killer, Michael Friday is an interesting person killing the sh*t out of people.

Michael's story is told in the form of a personal journal, with entries running the gauntlet from his sick and twisted sexual fantasies, to his accounts of graphic murders and razor sharp soci
Nicholas King
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Literary serial killers are a strange conundrum for readers. On the one hand we should be repulsed by their actions. On the other hand they make for excellent character studies. It’s rare to find serial killer characters that capture the public’s attention (Dexter and Hannibal Lecter come to mind). Barbie Wilde’s The Venus Complex delves deeply into the neuroses and mental degradation of a serial killer. It’s a bold but flawed work and I found myself enjoying the novel for the most part.
Paul Flewitt
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a story and felt the need to wash your eyes out, maybe go to confession? This is one of those...

Michael Friday is a nasty piece of work from the off, but I defy you not to like him. You will read his deeds with horror then see his musings on world affairs and agree with him wholeheartedly, that in itself is a worry.
You will follow Michael from his triggers to planning more killings and carrying them out with a few interesting twists, some men will relate to his si
Bob James
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is not for the faint of heart. It repels and attracts in equal measure, down through, and in every disturbing, unnerving detail. It is in many ways the mirror that most of us don't ever want to look into, because whoever, and wherever we are, the potential for an individual's descent and ascent into this dark realm of the heart, soul, and mind within each of our contexts is ever present. I was more than a little surprised at how much empathy I had for our protaganist Micheal Friday. He ...more
Carmilla Voiez
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
A remarkable debut novel from Barbie Wilde, of Cenobite fame. It follows the psychological "reasonings" of Michael Friday who after having lost, or rather disposed of, his wife embarks on a journey he believes will lead to both greatness and the admiration of a woman with whom he becomes obsessed. Written in journal style it is full of horror and erotic scenes. It reminded me of Maniac crossed with Hannibal, but in Wilde's own distinctive voice.
Danny Davies
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully twisted stuff, this. An acutely observed trip inside the (damaged) head of a newly minted serial killer. It pulls no punches, really is quite remarkable for it. In the tradition of American Psycho. Only a lot, lot better :)
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Awesome and disgusting...............a great read
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Great first novel, a little twisted but a very good read.
Jesse Raven
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book! The Venus Complex is written so that you just keep turning the pages. You're dying to see what's next. Eager for another!
Steven Shroyer
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A taut, gripping work. Oozing with sinister brilliance.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
How momentous that I finished this on Halloween!

WARNING: first person POV of a criminal, rapist, necrophiliac, killer, random world wide news and history, cool art explanations, descriptive con and non-con sex.

This book is disturbing to the point you might want to put your book down just so you could leave his headspace for a moment before you dive back into his aggressive monologues.

I started this book with that knowledge and boy do I happy it didn't disappoint!

I loved
Horror DNA
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gabino-iglesias
It takes a talented author to pull off a first person narrative without sounding clichéd. Barbie Wilde does it, and that's only the beginning. The Venus Complex is written in a brutally honest voice that makes for compulsive reading. The journal entries range in length and tone, so every new page brings a surprise. Also, Michael Friday is racist, judgmental, misogynistic, and unapologetic. Surprisingly, he's also smart, likeable, and sharp. Reading about a heartless serial killer is entertaining. Reading ab ...more
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: before-2019
I've enjoyed everything I've read from Barbie Wilde except this. I made it to the end, but it was hard for me to stay awake. Fans of the movie "American Psycho" might appreciate this book. I disliked that movie for the same reason I disliked The Venus Complex. I was simply bored with it.
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Barbie Wilde is a Canadian-born British actress and writer. She is best known for portraying the Female Cenobite in 'Hellbound: Hellraiser II'.

#1 best selling horror magazine Fangoria has called Wilde "one of the finest purveyor of erotically charged horror around".

Barbie Wilde's first dark crime novel, 'The Venus Complex', is out now and is published by Comet Press. The cover art for
“Most modern men want sex and can’t have it. They want success and never get it.
They want money and never earn enough. Everybody has desires and nobody—
Except the psychopathic few— Has the guts to go out and just take what they want.”
—Professor Michael Friday”
More quotes…