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Six Dead Spots

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Frank makes a startling discovery in the shower. He finds six strange circles of skin gone completely numb—three neatly spaced down the center of his chest and abdomen, and three more down his spine. His doctor takes sadistic pleasure in carving out bits of Frank's flesh and a perverse childlike glee flipping through hundreds of pictures of his interior. But when the tests come back, he's unable to make a diagnosis and refers Frank to a psychiatrist. Under guided hypnosis, Frank uncovers clues in a repressed dream, but his sessions on the couch are soon cut short when he loses his job and his health insurance. Now Frank is forced to solve the mystery of his six dead spots on his own. Armed with nicotine patches, pornography, sleeping pills, and a stack of books on lucid dreaming, Frank delves into a world of nightmares to do battle with the monsters lurking inside his head.

134 pages, Paperback

First published November 21, 2013

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About the author

Gregor Xane

18 books325 followers
I prefer science fiction, fantasy, and horror without the spaceships, dragons, and zombies.

Add your e-mail address to my New Release Mailing List. I'll send you a short story.

The Kindle edition of The Hanover Block is now only 99¢!

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews
Profile Image for Janie.
1,039 reviews
April 15, 2018
Frank discovers six numb spots on different areas of his body. With his doctor's assurance that there is nothing physically wrong with him, Frank consults a psychiatrist, who suggests that psychosomatic disease can be contracted through dreams. And Frank has just had one hell of a scary dream. As the nightmare repeats itself, Frank self-medicates and devises ways to force "out an incubus by invoking the succubi." This narrative swerves erratically between everyday reality and sequences that are both alarming and surreal. The author's descriptions of people, places and objects fall somewhere in the back of consciousness through episodes of otherworldly encounters. In an effort to explain the unexplainable, Frank's journey through either hell or madness is impossible to put down.
Profile Image for Nefariousbig.
121 reviews109 followers
December 10, 2013
There is a place between waking and dreaming. Gregor Xane’s Six Dead Spots stops there. When the door opens, he invites you to take a tentative step down, into this enthralling story. An exercise in lucid dreaming.

Being aware of the dream, able to see it clearly, didn’t allow him to make sense of any of its strangeness. It only made the bizarre more vivid, the twisted more deeply felt.

The story, like a dream, moves in jerky film-like fragments. It’s a story about Frank. Frank is working. Frank is dreaming. Frank is at a party. A magician runs six pipes through Frank. Frank feels nothing. Frank is not dreaming. Frank feels nothing. Frank is in a sanitarium. Frank is golfing.

Xane weaves together words to create images and scenes that are creepy and strange:

The silver-gray hand poked out, clumsily rotating, spinning fast, losing its shape like a failed vase relapsing into clay on a potter’s wheel.

“What’s so scary about a fucking doll’s arm?”
“It persists. Every night it made its appearance, and then the succubi came and blotted it out for a while. But now it’s back. […] I’ll be getting a head job and I’ll look down and see Harley Cheeks deep-throating the damn thing.”
“The doll arm?”
“Yeah, the fucking doll arm. One night, Becky Highborn and Bambi Biggs burst through my back door with chainsaws, wearing strap-ons.”
Steve Laughed. “Terrifying.”
“They tried to rape me.”
Steve didn’t stop laughing.
“They were baby-doll arm strap-ons, Steve.”

There is no question that Frank is a disturbed man, with a disturbed mind, with a hard time dealing. His dream life is strange and wonderful and horrible, but so is his waking life. Somewhere in-between the waking and dreaming, and the horror of life itself, Frank finds the meaning behind his six dead spots. Or, does he?

Tonight, Gregor Xane is my Dream Weaver.

I've just closed my eyes again
Climbed aboard the dream weaver train
Driver take away my worries of today
And leave tomorrow behind
Ooh dream weaver
I believe you can get me through the night
Ooh dream weaver
I believe we can reach the morning light
Fly me high through the starry skies
Maybe to an astral plane
Cross the highways of fantasy
Help me to forget todays pain
Though the dawn may be coming soon
There still may be some time
Fly me away to the bright side of the moon
And meet me on the other side
Profile Image for Evans Light.
Author 34 books402 followers
January 5, 2014

Six Dead Spots is the second work I've read by Gregor Zane, the first being the excellent short story "It Came from Hell and Smashed the Angels" featured in the anthology TWO: The 2nd Annual Stupefying Stories Horror Special.

Six Dead Spots is a class act from start to finish, with impeccable formatting, stellar pacing, top-tier writing chops and nary a typo in sight. The story hooked me from the get-go, and keep me engaged until the very end. Although a short novel, the length was just right for the story it tells.

Though this story definitely lands within the broad confines of the horror genre, it crosses over a bit into bizarro land a little at times at well. There's a nice amount of levity and clever humor stirred into the mix, resulting in a concoction that feels at times like a highly refined mixture of David Wong (though Xane is a much better writer than Wong) and David Lynch , with a pinch of Tim Burton and Don Coscarelli tossed in for good measure. The resulting product is a strong, assured new voice in horror. Color me impressed.

The book very successfully brings lucid dreams to the reader, nowhere more in full Technicolor glory than in the scene featuring a magician at an orgy. You'll just have to read it to see what I mean. Pure psychedelic bliss, I kept picturing Les Claypool of Primus as the magician for some reason.

While I felt the big reveal and the final conclusion was a bit of a step back from the giddy creative heights of the seventy-five pages or so that proceeded the denouement, it was certainly satisfying enough and leaves me eager to read more from Gregor Xane - looks like I may not have to wait too long with The Hanover Block having now been announced on Goodreads.

What a way to make a professional-grade debut into the horror field. Well done! If you haven't read Six Dead Spots yet, do it now. If you love intelligent and extraordinarily creative fiction, you won't be disappointed.

Profile Image for Char .
1,615 reviews1,467 followers
July 17, 2014
I'm not sure WTF was going on here, but I am sure that I liked it.

This was a dark novella served up with a dark sense of humor. At times I wasn't sure if the protagonist, Frank, was dreaming or awake. With sometimes surreal, sometimes a bit too real,and always disturbing imagery this story sucked me right in. It was as if I could not tear my eyes away. I guess I should be happy that my face even has eyes?

If you want to know what I mean by that, I guess you'll have to read this story. Recommended for fans of surreal,and at times, comedic dark fiction!
*Read 4.24.14.
Profile Image for Brian.
Author 1 book970 followers
December 19, 2013
Fast moving, vivid and chilling scenes - and yes - a horrific dream sequence I really wish I hadn't read before bed, this first novel by Xane is a great addition to the genre. There's plenty here for horror veterans and initiates alike (and an ending that will have you re-reading the last few pages again and again).
Profile Image for Ctgt.
1,410 reviews83 followers
March 19, 2016
A bit of a disclaimer here. Gregor and I are friends here on GR, not like we're bffs or anything but we do have similar tastes. Ok, enough of that.

What a strange, cool, disturbing and entertaining book. The story switches, primarily, between the POV of two brothers. Kinda like Wally and the Beav on acid. Frank wakes up one day to discover five (he figures out later it is six) numb circular spots on his torso, three in front, two on the back. While Frank tries to figure out just what the hell is going on, we meet a physican who seems to take particular glee in collecting tissue samples and taking hundreds of pictures with his new imaging machine. Only to find....nothing. We then move on to the psychiatrist who takes him under to discover a suppressed dream. Here's where things really get crackin'.

Frank goes to a party at his brothers house, I'm thinking Eyes Wide Open meets Alien only instead of a creature popping out of someones chest, a crack forms in the wall of the house to reveal...... Ha! You're gonna have to read it!

Are these a series of dreams? Some alternate evil dimension? Or just one mans descent into madness?

It was one wild ride I won't soon forget.
Profile Image for megHan.
604 reviews83 followers
December 17, 2013
I don't even know where to begin with this one. Gregor, you write crazy SO well.

I really like Frank, but then he's my kinda character. I like the ones that are a little um off the beaten path. After finding these dead spots on his body, having to deal with Dr Peel (who is AWESOME), being sent off to a psychiatrist and then losing his job, things seem to just be terrible for poor Frank, but he insists on handling everything on his own, especially figuring out the repressed dreams. And those dreams - or maybe it's reality - or maybe it's a little of both - are insane and hilarious and ... wow.

My favorite part is when his brother finds him in the living room ... just read it, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for David Brian.
Author 19 books380 followers
January 7, 2014
Anyone who follows this author's blog will know he is an educated and articulate individual... likely too, they will also be aware of his somewhat 'left of field/off the wall/outside the box/Bizzaro'- hell, just take your bloody pick(!)- approach to things!

Understand me, Gregor Xane is a uniquely interesting writer. This is 'crystal' to anyone who follows the reviews he posts on line. Therefore, I had little doubt that Six Dead Spots would entertain me. I also had little doubt that it would mess with my head!
I was right on both counts... and then some!

Frank notices some spots of dry skin about his body. Blemishes, devoid of sensation when touched. Dead Spots, if you will. Medical tests confirm he has a problem, but offer a less than satisfactory treatment. To make matters worse, Frank isn't entirely convinced it is a medical problem. Very soon it seems as though a greater evil is in play, and from then on Frank's world enters a rapid spiral of decline.

For anyone planning on opening up Six Dead Spots (and I'd recommend you do!), then I'd offer this piece of advice. Buckle up - Hold on tight - and just enjoy the ride!

This is a good read. Nicely paced, and with an always interesting narrative which keeps you wanting more... even though, for the majority of the story, you likely won't see quite where you are headed.
Welcome to Frank's world, and his affliction of Six Dead Spots. At times you'll loathe him. At times you'll pity him. But the one thing which is a cert; you won't want to be him.

There is definitely an element of Bizzaro in this novella. Credit though to Gregor Xane's writing style, which presents an interesting, entertaining, sometimes gross but always thought provoking journey into the horrific decline in one man's fortunes, and the ultimate decision he faces when seeking resolution.
Profile Image for Hudson.
181 reviews46 followers
January 15, 2014
This was a fast paced read with an interesting storyline and fantastic, horrific imagery. There was one scene with a young girl that was absolutely chilling! This was a fun book to read and I thought the ending was great.
Profile Image for Adam Light.
Author 21 books250 followers
December 10, 2014
Six Dead Spots was a nightmare ride through a surreal landscape with equal parts creepy horror mystery and darkly humorous satire. I enjoyed it immensly and recommend it.
Profile Image for Patrick Kelly.
Author 1 book52 followers
May 22, 2014
Six Dead Spots is a short novel that isn't short on shocks. As the story and its hero descend to ever-darker places with every flick of the page, you'll never be exactly sure whether protagonist Frank is awake or dreaming—an effect I'm sure Mr. Xane intended, and one that comes across with great effect.

Frank's story begins with the odd discovery of six dead spots on his body (three across his trunk, perfectly mirrored by an equally-spaced trio running down his back). When no one is equipped to explain the root of his malady, Frank begins his own investigation—one that includes adventures with sex spectres, porn stars, buckets of bodily fluids, prescription drugs, and lucid dreams.

Check this one out if you're looking for something as dark as it is comedic. It's well-written, even entrancing at times, and a great example of the good work that exists in the indie horror game.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
1,677 reviews2 followers
June 13, 2016
Six Dead Spots is one of the longer works I've read by Gregor Xane, but it retains the dark, often sardonic humor that I've come to expect from this author. We begin with our main character, Frank, who discovers one morning six spots of dead skin on his body--three down the center of his chest, and three corresponding spots on his back. When doctors and therapists bring him no closer to discovering the cause, Frank goes out on his own.

Battling nightmares that seem linked to his new dilemma, Frank has to face the madness of this thing with madness of his own.

Sound confusing?

Absolutely! Xane's disturbing humor will have you laughing at things you'll later find yourself wondering "why" exactly. However, following the book to its conclusion brought everything into place (albeit a warped one!) for me. Highly enjoyable tale for anyone looking for a new breed of terror!
Profile Image for Jason Parent.
Author 45 books656 followers
November 24, 2013
I received an ARC copy of Xane's Six Dead Spots, and I was certainly glad I did. What a unique novella, and a thrilling ride through horrific dream sequences and the morbidly devilish downfall of a seriously disturbed fellow(almost humorous - that kind of uncomfortable laughter one feels when another falls in some silly clumsy way but doesn't yet know if he/she is hurt).

Xane's work will keep you guessing what's real and what isn't, who's responsible and who's a victim, what's sad unwarranted cruelty and what's well-deserved punishment. Is this a story of a man losing his mind or a man tormented by something darker, something sinister, something that would make a strong man wet his bed in the still solitude of night?

So whether psychological thriller or supernatural horror, Xane's novel takes the best from both. The writing is a bit choppy in a few early segments, but Xane is at his best when horror sets in, and when it does, the story takes off, and the lead devolves, at an alarming yet enjoyable gallop.

Definitely recommended.
Profile Image for Rodney.
Author 5 books63 followers
December 29, 2013
"Read this sentence. Now look away from this book. Stop! Look all around you-really take it all in- before going on to the next sentence. We really mean it...Now that you have looked away, re-read the five sentences above. Are they the same sentences you read just a second ago? If the answer is yes, you are awake. If the answer is no, you're dreaming."

This book fascinated me and kept me guessing. I am very happy to have taken this journey with Frank, the protagonist in the book. After discovering his "six dead spots," we are taken on a quest to discover their significance. Along the way, I loved the connected pieces of the dreams where the plastic arm led us to the next piece of the puzzle. There was a magical quality along the way that took me back to the vivid fantasies we experience as kids that I really connect to when they are in a book. A great read.
Profile Image for Angie.
253 reviews49 followers
March 31, 2014
I enjoyed this novella, which follows Frank, who descends into an increasing surreal life following the discovery of six dead spots on his body.

The characters in the book were well written, but mainly focused on Frank and his brother Steve. The dream sequences get more and more involved for Frank as the book progresses, and I wasn't sure whether it was a dream or really happening. I liked how Frank's life rapidly goes downhill, and the way he can't seem to process things normally.

His obsession with his nightmare causes him to lose all sense of reality, and the ending was especially good. I liked how freaky his doctor was as well,
Profile Image for Martyn Halm.
Author 9 books60 followers
March 27, 2014
Disturbingly funny, or hilariously disturbing, Xane's wonderful Six Dead Spots chronicles the protagonist's floundering descent into madness when Frank discovers first five, then six spots on his body where there's no feeling. Frank finds out that the 'dead spots' have something to do with a recurrent dream that grows ever more difficult to grasp. Using self-medication Frank tries to penetrate the dreams to solve his problems, but as his health deteriorates his friends and family are trying to help him. Or are they? Nothing is clear to Frank anymore and he risks his life and sanity to solve the puzzle.

Xane has a wonderful imagination and this quirky story is both original and enthralling. Like Joseph Garraty, Xane proves himself to be one of those self-published authors whose quality and originality supersedes that of many trade published peers.

Recommended to readers who enjoy quirky horror stories.
Profile Image for Bill.
1,525 reviews107 followers
July 29, 2016
Frank is having a bad run lately. Frank has dead spots. Counted 5...no, wait...6. Doctors aren't any help at least ones called Banana. Even of lesser help are doctor’s assistants named Carl or psychiatrists named Vo.

So Frank does what any of us would do, by drowning his sorrows in prescription pills, french fries, alcohol, nicotine patches and pornos. (Sounds like college to me)

His dreams are plagued with baby doll arm strap ons and crazy orgies - Now Frank must try and master his dreams only to figure out the answer truly lies in the waking world. Or is it all a dream? Or is Frank simply mad?

This was an excellent novella from Gregor Xane. Very soild. Disturbing, dark and creepy. 4+ Stars! Highly recommended! I will be looking forward to more from Mr. Xane in the future.
Profile Image for Donald Armfield.
Author 64 books154 followers
February 11, 2014
I'm a sucker for sleep deprived, dreaming and crazy people. Novels.

Gregor gives us Frank a man who wakes up with six spots on his body. A reacuring dream that he thinks has the answers. His family is worried with his bizarre behavior and the way he is living.

The last 60% is very interesting leaves you glued to the conclusion. Gregor has created a dream of deranged man. I mean seriously who lets a full magazine from a gun on a helpless golf cart.

A creepy gray baby doll arm is watching you from the crack in the wall.

Will stay in my top ten reads for 2014
Profile Image for Chris.
Author 13 books13 followers
February 21, 2014
We meet Frank in the first sentence of the book, and establish right away that he has numb, “dead” spots of no feeling at five different places on his body. With this fact established, it becomes difficult to trust anything that happens after, as Frank seems to drift from event to event. His doctor and psychotherapist act in ways that are almost completely unbelievable, but still stays just within the bounds of reality, which is really the first hint that something is not right.

As the story continues, things get weirder and weirder, and when Frank becomes obsessed with a recurring, disturbing, Eyes Wide Shut type dream, things really get crazy.

At first, I was a little put off by the detachment and unrealistic portrayals of some of the characters. Frank himself is defined by his increasingly erratic behaviour, but we really never get a lot of insight into his thoughts, and he doesn’t change much through the course of the story. However, once it becomes clear that the ENTIRE story is not to be fully trusted - rather treated as a shifting, changing dream in itself, it becomes a twisted, unsettling ride.

There is a POV shift at just the time that Frank has become obsessed to the point that he is no longer a relatable character - losing himself in disturbing (but still strangely amusing) lucid dreams fuelled by drugs and pornography. Steve, the brother-in-law, never really becomes a real character, but serves his purpose as an outside view of Frank’s growing eccentricity.

The ending was a little jarring, and perhaps a little too quick for what it was, but then, what nightmare ever let a person down easily?

Read this one quickly - as it’s more powerful when you can get pulled along from scene to scene, and experience the nightmare for yourself.

(Slightly extended review here: http://chrisallinotte.tumblr.com/post...)
Profile Image for Lynda Dietz.
57 reviews10 followers
March 16, 2014
I'm not even sure how to describe how I feel about this book. The main character, Frank, notices some dead spots on his body, has some medical tests done to see what they are, and begins his seesaw between dreams and reality.

There was certainly the element of horror, but the way the dreams, physical and psychological decline were presented was the thing that had me anxiously turning pages. Frank's dream progressions and supposed dream manipulation left me feeling as if I needed to hit the "reset" button on my brain.

I wouldn't be me if I didn't mention the delightful lack of editing issues. I love it when a book is so well written that there is nothing to pull me out of the story.

Bottom line: this guy has the most incredible imagination. The book is bizarre. It's also terrific. The ending made me sad, even though it made sense in the light of events. Wow.

Definitely recommend to fans of horror and psychological messed-up-ed-ness.
Profile Image for Jen Warren.
61 reviews9 followers
August 12, 2016
Without doubt, this is the most bizarre thing I've ever read, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Six Dead Spots begins with the discovery of - you guessed it - several dead patches of skin. Worried about the implications, Frank seeks help from a caricature of the medical system. His self-serving doctors are exaggerated, yet recognizable. The psychiatrist who adds the compulsion to buy his book at the end of a session of hypnosis, for example. These are things the cynics among us suspect, even as we hope otherwise.

The story moves along at a fast pace as physically, and mentally, Frank falls apart. The POV shifts that occurred (I want to say) about halfway through the book, while a bit startling, were quite effective. The concern and discomfort of both family and strangers really reinforced the image of this man's deterioration.

It was disturbing, sad, and impossible to turn away from. Each time I thought it couldn't get weirder, it did. Again, I mean that as a compliment. This book was more than I thought it would be, and better than I could have imagined. Descriptions are sparse at times, but fittingly so. We're given the information we need, and no more. Same for dialogue. It was realistic and appropriate. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of this author's work.
Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,649 reviews214 followers
July 23, 2016
Have you ever seen Twin Peaks? If you have and you loved its craziness and the lack of explanation for most of the events, you might like this story too. You can tell by the liked it rating that I liked Twin Peaks.

I first tried a two-and-a-half-chapter sample and it stops in such an annoying place, that I had to get the rest of it to see what the dead spots are. Frank finds them on his body and he doesn't feel anything there. His doctor is hilariously creepy.

Then Frank starts having this recurring dream and his obsession of it makes him do pretty weird things. The whole story is Frank's spiralling towards something he cannot fight.

What I loved here is the imagery. The language is easy, the sentences fast and there is nothing flowery in the writing to distract you. And, yet, you will be distracted more than once. As I said, imagery in this book is very powerful.

What I didn't like is unexpected POV switch to Frank's brother, but that is just my preference. All in all, a weird and great story, though not really scary.
Profile Image for Robin Lee.
99 reviews
November 17, 2016

Lucid Dreaming: is the ability to consciously observe, and /or control your dreams. It transforms your inner dreams into a living reality, where everything you see, hear, feel, taste and smell is as authentic as life.

Altered State: a state of mind that differs from the normal state of consciousness, typically induced by drugs, hypnosis or mental illness.

Premonition: a strong feeling that something is about to happen, especially something unpleasant.

I have started this review by giving you 3 definitions and an actual answer. So, read and you decide.

Yesterday, while posting a review to Goodreads, I must have hit some button by accident and this book cover popped up. Well, the entire premise piqued my interest. Probably due to my background in medicine, science and psychology.

It turned out to be a very disturbing, bizarre yet humorous/dark comedy. At some points in the story my husband heard me laughing out loud. In fact, the way the novella is written, with almost cartoon like characters, I believe they are also laughing at each other at times. Most of the story is told from the POV of the Frank. The man who starts to slowly descend into madness. There is very little interaction with other main or guest appearances at all. Yet, when they do decide to join in it is hilarious… Example, his GPN is Dr. Peel, who used to be called “Banana” back in school. Plus, the examination and biopsy of the “six dead spots” never, ever, occurs in an office environment. It was like being chopped by a hack. Lol… This is only the beginning of the story. When you finally get to the very detailed, vivid imagery that is haunting our character, start counting backwards, where we will all awaken to an altered state. Then the story stays in a one dreamlike, hallucinogenic trip, where our own minds are subjected to every demonic vision Frank sees. Which by the middle of the story just worsens, as we follow Frank into periods of just depravity and some real gross, stomach, churning moments. Some readers may be asking themselves if they are experiencing Lucid Dreaming. Lol. Yet, never losing our own sight of how Steve is almost complicit in his brother’s road to insanity.

The whole, horrific story just flows perfectly. Until I got closer to the end, where it seemed the chapters became too short or choppy. Yet, what is going on at this point, I believe the author wrote the ending this way to convey someone who is now mentally ill and on psychotropic drugs.

For some readers, may not get the ending, but yes there is an ending. That let me say, “Wow! I understand now”. It still all comes back to the original, medical complaint. The “Six Dead Spots”.

This is my first time reading anything by author, Gregor Xane and it won’t be my last. Just for the fact he could entertain me and make me laugh.

I kind of get the feeling that story may have come from Xane’s own experience with Lucid Dreaming. Lol…

Reviewed by robinleehorrorbookreviews.com
Profile Image for Amber Foxx.
Author 13 books67 followers
March 21, 2014
Compelling and disturbing. Don’t read this at bed-time.
Horror at its best creeps in through the door of the ordinary, and Six Dead Spots delivers it this way. Frank, a graphic designer, has a mildly abnormal experience, a symptom, the sort of thing that the reader can easily identify with. The author crafts the entry to a nightmare from events and characters many of us find unnerving—encounters with the health care system, the flawed providers we are limited to by our plans, medical testing and uncertain diagnoses, and the side-effects of over-promoted prescription drugs.
Brand names are a pervasive feature in the landscape of this book, fictitious brands with cheerily realistic names that call attention to their invasion of our lives. Brand names and lowest common denominator popular media are everywhere, giving a superficial, disconnected and satirically ordinary aspect to the normality that is gradually punctured by the abnormal.
The suspense builds ceaselessly. Settings come to life with tight, vivid language. Each character is drawn with deftness of a sketch artist by showing them in thought, dialog and action, never telling their traits.
I enjoy horror novels and yet at a certain point in almost all of them I reach a point where my mind says, not believable. I finish them anyway. To me, subtlety is more terrifying than gross monstrosity. (Other readers of the genre must not have this problem, since this moment seems to be a consistent feature in every book.) Xane handles the transition to that point in his story well, keeping little elements of the ordinary and the subtle in the scene where what I’ll call “the big scariness” is revealed. I was so fully submerged in Frank's experience that the question of believability barely hiccupped into my consciousness.
The knock-out punch at the end made me go back and reread the book. After a second reading, I was still left with level of ambiguity about Frank’s experiences. If that was the author’s intention, he succeeded. I went for a run after and was still thinking about it. What happened?
This book’s problems are minor.
The point of view shift in the middle of chapter nine was startling. After eight chapters in close third person from Frank’s POV, it took me a moment to realize I was now seeing his brother’s perspective even though the author makes no errors in how he sets it up. The shift to Steve’s POV is central to making the story work, and the choice to wait late in the plot to do it is, while unusual, done for a solid reason. Doing it in mid-chapter is perhaps not the ideal place, though. All the other chapters have only one POV, and as short as these chapters are, the consistent use of that structure would, in my opinion, work more smoothly.
Profile Image for Nathan Robinson.
Author 46 books68 followers
March 21, 2015
Six Dead Spots by Gregor Xane

“Frank makes a startling discovery in the shower. He finds six strange circles of skin gone completely numb—three neatly spaced down the center of his chest and abdomen, and three more down his spine. His doctor takes sadistic pleasure in carving out bits of Frank's flesh and a perverse childlike glee flipping through hundreds of pictures of his interior. But when the tests come back, he's unable to make a diagnosis and refers Frank to a psychiatrist. Under guided hypnosis, Frank uncovers clues in a repressed dream, but his sessions on the couch are soon cut short when he loses his job and his health insurance. Now Frank is forced to solve the mystery of his six dead spots on his own. Armed with nicotine patches, pornography, sleeping pills, and a stack of books on lucid dreaming, Frank delves into a world of nightmares to do battle with the monsters lurking inside his head…”
With the way this starts off, with Frank, our protagonist finding six spots of numb flesh on his torso, I imagined something like Joe Hill’s “Horns”; body horror that somehow leads to a superpower, or prophetic, like Dean Koontz’s “Odd Thomas”.
I was wrong. Six Dead Spots takes our man Frank on a journey beyond looking into what caused the six, coin sized, circles of unfeeling skin, but to discover why and what it means to him.
I really enjoyed the first third of this as it settles nicely into Bizarro-Noir, where the colourful characters get stranger and stranger as Frank is still dumbfounded as to what causes his affliction, and he turns to medication for answers. The middle section however, descends into a nonsensical dreamland that may or may not be in Frank’s drug addled imagination. As brilliantly as this is written, it steers the reader away into a Cronenberg fucking Lynch nightmare that unsettles the story to point you forget what the plot is, as Frank’s madness takes main stage with smearing shit on the walls manic glee. To be honest, I wasn’t as keen on the middle section. Sure it showcases Frank’s Videodromesque bottoming out into utter madness, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. It’s equally fascinating , confusing, sparse and yet deep at the same time.
The final chapter however, ties up any loose ends, returning full circle to the original mystery. This is a short tale of obsession, and mans quest to fix himself no matter what the cost, begging the question; what is worse? The affliction, or the treatment?
509 reviews3 followers
March 21, 2014
There were many things I enjoyed about Six Dead Spots. It had some problems for me, but overall I thought the concept was pretty novel and I liked the disturbing quality of the book. I am a big fan of disturbing books!

I read this book in one sitting. It was very short. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, although I did feel like some areas of the book might have been fleshed out more. I liked the ending and it was not what I expected, which I liked. However, given all the things that go on in terms of the directed dreaming and hallucinations of the character, it felt like some of that particular stuff was not resolved or did not go into building the specific events in the climax of the book.

I liked the voice of the main character. Later in the book we get some surprising jumps in POV that felt awkward. I might have rather heard Frank's voice exclusively, or had a better balance between the voices of other characters so that it did not seem so surprising to suddenly be in their POV. I could imagine that it might be difficult to follow Frank completely through his descent into the hallucinations, but I did like the areas that tried to do that.

A good effort and I'm glad I got a chance to read it. Could have used some editing here and there. Very unusual and compelling plot and main character.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
160 reviews18 followers
May 5, 2014
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I was glad to do it! The author has created a creepy chiller in SIX DEAD SPOTS, a story of a man who discovers something troubling in the shower... Six areas of numbness on his body.

Frank is a fairly average joe. He's self-employed and barely making ends meet. His brother is the one with a well-paid career in pharmaceuticals, complete with the the house and family. He looks after his brother (half-brother, my apologies) and helps him out when he can. He even invites him over for a house party, though his motives are a little questionable and the entertainment... stimulating.

SIX DEAD SPOTS kept me reading; it's a very well told novella with creepy imagery and a Doctor nicknamed "The Banana". Oh, and there's a doll arm.
Profile Image for Joel Kleehammer.
131 reviews3 followers
July 11, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. Gregor did an excellent job writing. He leads the dear reader down a dark, creepy path - often to a place the reader does not want to go. And he does it with style. While the subject matter may be of fantasy, the scenes were realistic and enjoyable. The fantasy was fantasy. An excellent read. I'm looking forward to more works from him.
Profile Image for SueSue.
182 reviews4 followers
July 17, 2018
After having read a few of Zane's stories now, it seems like there's always some thread of loneliness and general disgust with the human condition that makes the writing all the more disturbing.
This wasn't as good as The Hanover Block, but creepy nonetheless.
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