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Viscera

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  175 ratings  ·  50 reviews
"A dystopian fantasy of earthquakes, killing fields, drug addiction, and routine eviscerations that is also profoundly humane and laugh-out-loud funny." —Camille DeAngelis, author of Bones and All

The Gone-Away gods were real, once, and taller than towers. But they’re long dead now, buried in the catacombs beneath the city of Eth, where their calcified organs radiate an eld
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Talos Press (first published 2016)
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Bogi Takács
I think I have found the sleeper hit of 2016 and it is full of guts. Literally.

Viscera is a dark fantasy novel – wait, a body horror novel – does it count as horrific if it is presented as “just the way we do things”? – a sword & sorcery satire – a — wait, what? *clears throat* Viscera is a novel that’s hard to categorize. But it certainly contains viscera.

Read the rest on Bogi Reads the World!
Zazu
There are some stories that rarely get told. Viscera is not only a rarely told—and sorely needed—story, it is also an exquisite amalgamation of heart-wrenching truths and singularly eccentric fictions.

A motley crew is assembled on a journey, thrown together by mere chance, as life so often has it: the unkillable Ashlan, whose torn-out guts or poison-filled veins just keep regenerating anew; Rafe, a wandering junkie with chest pains that hint at deeper secrets; the sinister walking, talking cloth
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Cameron Van Sant
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tatiana
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought I had marked this on my Goodreads when I started but I guess not!

This was a very interesting read, and very difficult for me to describe what exactly it's about.

But it's considered a fantasy novel, and it's a really unique way to engage the genre. If there were more fantasy novels like this, I think I'd get back into reading it for sure!
Kaa
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
So first of all, it's important to know that this is a book filled with blood and guts and death. There's lots of gore, lots of trauma, and lots of violence. There's anti-trans and anti-queer violence and threats. It addresses addiction and suicidality. While it's written in a very matter-of-fact way that makes these things (at least for me) easier to read about, there's still a lot of darkness in this book.

But there's also a lot of humor, and in the end, a lot of hope. A gorgeously written, wo
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Renay
Body horror gets in the way of my emotional connection to stories, I guess? The writing was so lush and good, though, that I'm sad I didn't like it more.
Michael Hitchcock
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lara Donnelly
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Weird and wonderful and beautifully disgusting, Viscera belongs on your shelf between China Miéville and David Edison. Squailia uses body horror to talk about body politics in a way that hurts just as much as a knife to the gut. And she sprinkles it all with a strange combination of steampunk, sci-fi, and high fantasy.

This book has brings together a sadistic talking doll, a snarky superhealer who just wants to die, a one-armed snaggle-toothed con artist, a trans man assassin from a long line cla
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Andy Coleman
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
A SIMPLE MAN'S REVIEW:

Description of this book is impossible. The blurb released by the publishers stumbles around the backdrop in which the story takes place, but it doesn't touch the actual narrative. Honestly, the title is more telling than the whole paragraph on the back. And now having said that a description is impossible, I can't possibly turn around and describe it to you (although if I were to try, I would say it is about two people, then two more, and then one more and a bear).

What yo
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Gretchen
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Strange, bloody, dare I say...visceral story of a motley assortment of messed up people who band together after trying to kill each other in a disturbingly bloody world. The characters are fascinatingly awful and relatably human, the worldbuilding is intriguing and the plot pulled me through the book even when I was cringing at what was going to happen next. Multiple trans characters were very welcome to see as well
Vangluss
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
In short, I wasn't impressed or truly disappointed by this book but enjoyed it enough and that's what matters. To explain further, I will describe with my (pending) patented method of Six Points; where I place credit where I believe it is due and argue where credit shouldn't go - basically, I try to be fair and even.

(Bad) Credit One: The Pacing. This book is only around 300 pages, so I wasn't a expecting a slow burn of a read. Instead, what I got was a lot of meandering and jerking bursts of nar
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Catherine
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
3.75. I really enjoyed this book for the most part. The diversity represented and the storylines for most of the characters is really good.

There were a couple moments in the end (with Ashlyn's POV) that were a bit too loosey goosey for me, but there was a small twist that almost compensated for it.

I'm pretty certain this is a standalone book, but I would love to revisit this world, especially following the aftermath of what happens (no spoilers!!!). I'm really looking forward to reading Squalia
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Tori
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Honestly frustrated by this book. I felt like for a book that doesn't even crack 300 pages, a whole lot of nothing happened... Which is a huge disservice to the characters that genuinely interested me. I like that this book wasn't afraid of having a trans main character or lgbt relationships and the world-building that went along with it.

However, I feel that the "drama" didn't get a lot of building and I found myself more confused than not. Many words and concepts should have been laid out more
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Lilliana Rubio
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very unique and we'll written book! I kept wishing there was more: more history of the universe as well as more backstory for the main characters, but the plot moved along at a pretty good clip and it was really only after finishing the book in a daze that I wanted so much more. Squailia has a really concise writing style, but it never makes things feel clinical or heartless. Also, this book is full of queer characters!! I have found it hard to find fantasy novels with queer characters that ar ...more
Gus
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Viscera takes place in a world built on body horror, and the characters are flawed and hurting, and the spirit of the book cares so deeply about the characters. I am not personally a fan of gratuitous gore; this book doesn't do that. The viscera in this book is what gives it room to be so compassionate towards characters who struggle with their bodies and the things their bodies can or can't do and the way their bodies make them feel.

The worldbuilding in this book pulled me in and the characters
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Leslie
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came for a quick read with some lovecraftianish body horror, and lovecraftianish body horror I did receive! However, the trans representation, world building (the story manages to be both self contained while introducing us to what seems to be a sprawling and complex world) and entirely-too-likable-for-the horrible-things-they-do characters bumped this up to four stars for me. Definitely check it out if descriptions of characters wading through a river of corpse slurry in their bare feet doesn ...more
Diana Ethier
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A rare gift of imagination and imagery

Not for the faint of heart but so richly written it is worthy attention. Gabriel takes the reader to another world with characters both human and inhumane and managed to hit us in the gut with images of our own world as woeful as it could be. This book offers a lot to think about and isn't that what all great writers offer in the end.
Jill
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jill by: Giveaway
This is one of those books that when you finish it, you ask yourself "what the **** did I just read?" I will say that it was interesting. I'm new to the dystopian genre so I am still getting the hang of it. It was a good read.
Jenny
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I only give it less than five stars because I simply want MORE of it. The world and mythology are so rich and I would live to have the opportunity to delve deeper into it. Squailia is a unique voice in the literary world and I fully expect to be just as ensnared by their other novel.
Sierra
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
The book wove a brilliant story of what’s going on literally & figuratively inside the denizens of Eth, while simultaneously telling the story of Rafe, Jassa, Ashlan, and Hollis. What are they, inside? What do they present to the city? It’s a whirlwind of fantasy fantastically written.
Brian Beatty
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
At about 100 pages in I was tempted to stop reading, it was just too weird and a little hard to follow.
But I'm glad I didn't. Yes, it was unnervingly strange at times and still confusing in some places, but it was also oddly beautiful.
Shauna
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've never read a book with such a satisfying conclusion. I also enjoyed a dystopian novel that wasn't just about revolution and at times just about survival
Sarah Lehman
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting idea and world. A little too much of a PSA, and sometimes the graphic nature of the descriptions felt more pornographic than purposeful.
Vincent
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really interesting world and characters. This book hooks you fast, but some scenes and plot developments seem rushed.
Georgia
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
So weird but immensely interesting.
Susie Munro
deeply weird and compelling, not sure what I read but I know I enjoyed the experience
Rick Cook
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was a pretty grimdark outing, with no punches pulled.
Mark
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Eh
John Dow
Jul 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: go-away
No. Just no.
Lotte
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Finished with this book a few days ago, loved the themes in this.
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Gabriel Squailia is an author and professional DJ from Rochester, New York. An alum of the Friends World Program, she studied storytelling and literature in India, Europe, and the Middle East before settling in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts with her partner and daughter. Squailia's first novel, Dead Boys, was published by Talos Press in 2015.
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“Absolutes are the hallucinations of culture.” 2 likes
“My family taught me, too, to begin every burial with these words, which my mother said were true of everyone who lives long enough to walk and talk—from the most honorable person lying here, down to the very worst.” He closed his eyes and touched his chest. “ ‘How they tried,’ ” said Rafe. “ ‘How long, how hard they tried.” 2 likes
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