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The Orange Eats Creeps

3.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,487 ratings  ·  324 reviews
It's the '90s Pacific Northwest refracted through a dark mirror, where meth and madness hash it out in the woods. . . . A band of hobo vampire junkies roam the blighted landscape—trashing supermarket breakrooms, praying to the altar of Poison Idea and GG Allin at basement rock shows, crashing senior center pancake breakfasts—locked in the thrall of Robitussin trips and the ...more
Paperback, 172 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Two Dollar Radio
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Crapalachia by Scott McClanahanMira Corpora by Jeff  JacksonThe Only Ones by Carola DibbellThe Orange Eats Creeps by Grace KrilanovichBinary Star by Sarah Gerard
Two Dollar Radio
66 books — 43 voters
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Best Books of 2010
1,484 books — 2,563 voters

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Average rating 3.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,487 ratings  ·  324 reviews

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Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Envision the largest stained glass scene from the church of your choosing, shattered into pieces no larger than a Kennedy half-dollar and given to you on soiled butcher paper with the instructions to recreate the image with a Slipknot album cover as a guide. That is the equivalent of this masterful, mindfuck of a novel.

This book isn’t for everyone, and I won’t argue with the Goodreads community that pitched it after fifty pages. I experienced long sections of 20-30 pages that I had to reread to
Once upon a time in the Pacific Northwest a slightly fucked up girl escaped her unsatisfying life by starting to run with some vampires. By paring down some of The Orange Eats Creeps backstory you could almost make the sort of basic premise of this novel sound like a delinquent version of Twilight. The vampires (if they really are vampires and not just a teenage affectation, or the construction of the narrators very disturbed mind) aren't beautiful, nor cultured. They most likely smell really ba ...more
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book was all voice and far too little of plot, coherent incident or arrangement, narrative development, character, or even imaginative backdrop. Reading it felt like taking a cross-country drive with a junkie who talks the whole way in desperate monotone, never hushing, commenting on each thing his eye lights on, and as it's a cross-country drive, endless things pop up in no apparent succession, with little connection, and no ultimate design.

I have quite a high tolerance for style over plot
Sarah Etter
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
here's a book you have to adjust your brain for. here's a book you have to say yes to and then follow through with that yes.

i understand why it's so hotly contested here - based on all the reviews here, it's clear you either go along with krilanovich or you don't.

i did. but it still took time - i kept having to come up for air from this book. it was harrowing and jangling, like music with a very erratic rhythm. but once my ears and eyes got used to it, it got into my heart.

nothing is easy here
David Katzman
Jan 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of long-form poetic prose without expectations of narrative
I almost saw G. G. Allin perform. Running late for his gig, I was rolling up to the entrance of Stache’s, the small indie-rock/punk club on High Street in Columbus, when a burst of people stumbled out the door. “What’s going on?” I asked someone who was running by me. “G.G. is naked on stage with the mic cord wrapped around his dick, and he’s throwing bottles and shit at the audience.” I’m pretty sure he meant actual shit.

O-kay. Maybe not so much.

G. G. makes a brief cameo in The Orange Eats Cree
Jack Haringa
Jan 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Apparently I'm going to need to add a shelf to my list: books I couldn't finish. I guess I'm not cool enough/ punk enough/ young enough to "get" this novel, but it didn't pass my 50-page rule. After some friends and reviews spoke highly of The Orange Eats Creep, I thought it would be something I could enjoy. It isn't. I'm all for non-linear and achronological novels, even angry, wild, fragmentary, or hallucinatory novels, but (big but, here) there has to be some clarity of purpose or sense of mo ...more
Nate D
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Scrappy and wild, but with an overriding post-postmodern intelligence. You could almost jump in and out of this book at any point and have a similar experience of reading: scenes and people move but the iconography and sensation of the work remain deeply, monolithically unchanged. The deep obsidian core of the novel resists any ordinary approach or attempt to penetrate. Despite this, it's easy to get caught up in the exhilaration of the incidental narrative moments, and nothing ever feels unnece ...more
Feb 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
Uhh...I apparently did not get the memo on this book. First noticing it appear on NPR's Best Books of 2010 and then seeing rave reviews pop up on Goodreads and elsewhere made me super excited to read this novel. Plus, it was billed as being about hobo junkie "vampires" running around and causing could it not be good, right? So disappointing. Yes, the writing was interesting, descriptive and oddly beautiful, but there was NO STORY. At least none that I could find in the weird rambling ...more
Shawn Towner
Dec 21, 2010 rated it did not like it
Easily one of the worst books I've ever read. The author seems to think that by repeating various iterations of Hobo Vampire Junkie Sluts that the words will somehow gain meaning. There is no plot, the characters are given names and repeatedly called hobo vampire junkie sluts, but they are all entirely interchangeable. A complete and thorough waste of my time. ...more
Lee Foust
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I used to write for a very cool and original San Francisco zine back in the 1990s called H2So4 that had a killer and lengthy review section. I remember particularly a review of The South Park Movie that said something like "everything great in this movie was equally balanced by something terrible so in the end it kind of cancels itself out." I felt pretty much the same way about The Orange Eats Creeps, although some of those very things that I loved about the novel were also the things that ulti ...more
Melanie Page
Apr 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: confusing
I give up.

I understand that Krilanovich is challenging what literature means, what I think of a book. I can only say that a book and a story are not the same thing; TOEC is a book. Honestly, if this work were a short story, I would have more positive things to say (and I would have finished it), and Kirlanovich would have accomplished the same goals, I believe. Instead, by going for 208 pages, she throws challenges at the readers that most of us are not willing to accept without reward. I was re
The Orange eats Creeps is pretty impressive debut. A dream vision of 90’s Pacific Northwest filled with wild, possibly vampiric, teen delinquents, strange and visionary homeless and runaways, serial killers, and stranger figures that echoes with the fervent music of basement hardcore, stoner metal and riot girl. Despite its declaration of itself as novel this is more of a prose poem, though I guess you can’t market those anymore. This is too bad since along with the novella it is one of my favor ...more
review copy from publisher

It's a christmas miracle! For a moment there, I thought for sure that I would never finish this novel. December has been an awful month for me when it comes to reading. I barely had any time to sit down and just get lost in a novel, and when I did find time, this one wasn't really sucking me in - I wasn't "feeling it", and found myself rereading paragraph after paragraph trying to make sense of it all.

Grace Krilanovich is a first time novelist who creates her own form o
Brent Hayward
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Could have been three or four pages long: a stark and hallucinatory piece, a kick to the head. As it was-- though the scene of homeless teens drinking cough syrup and either going to rock shows or trashing convenience stores at night was deftly written-- I became numb and lost interest. The same scene repeated over and over. Forty years ago, this strategy might have been considered groundbreaking; today, not so much. Nonetheless, I plowed ahead, hoping to see why the book ended up on many 2010 b ...more
Anita Dalton
The plot, such that there is, follows a small gang of young men and the narrator, our fucked-up heroine, as they wander about aimlessly and purposelessly. The heroine wants to find her sister Kim. They were in a foster home together and Kim took off and joined her own gang of “vampires.” The search for her takes place mainly in the heroine’s mind, but Kim occupies a lot of her thoughts. There is a passage in the book that can lead the reader to believe that there is no Kim, or that the narrator ...more
Matt Leibel
Nov 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
Oh man, I think I was supposed to love this one--Steve Erickson who intros it in (typically) hyperbolic style is probably my favorite living American novelist, and it got hyped on various litblogs that I also enjoy. Plus I like a hallucinatory style in general, and am intrigued by the kind of "European novel" that one of the blurbs compares this too. But the whole teenage vampire slut thing--the vampire metaphor was a little too forcedly metaphorical (they're really just runaway teens), and the ...more
Oct 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
I picked up this book truly hoping that someone, particularly a woman, had cracked open what has become the often vapid vampire novel market with an experimental, high-art take. It wasn't until after I began reading it and was looking for perhaps some missed insight that I read the reviews. Lots of comparisons are bandied about between Krilanovich and "the experimentalists" (Burroughs, Acker, etc). Perhaps that's appropriate, as it takes a certain kind of reader to appreciate those kinds of writ ...more
Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
First off, before anyone who knows me freaks out, this book is not really about vampires. I hate vampire fiction. Everyone knows this. Anyway, this book is filled with some excellent lines (not being about actual vampires and all). The voice is extremely inventive and the imagery is gritty and visceral. Perhaps the story was a bit more discombobulated than I normally care for, but the writing still kept me very interested.
Craig Vermeer
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Sometimes you read a book and you want to approach the author and, inconspicuously, draw them off to the side. You'll look them earnestly in the eye and, maybe look around to make sure you're not drawing undue attention, and say to them "Dude. Are you... okay?"

Mike Young
Sep 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
pac northwest fever punk reverie; a major score and an enduring book; reminds me of the best parts of denis johnson's Already Dead ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
four unbelievably grotesque stars for the writing alone... unsure exactly what transpired in this phantasmagoria of sensory overload... vampires? um, in a way... leeches would be more apt, or remoras... symbiotic drawing off of other beings for sustenance and survival... this was a heady read, full of gore and semen and blood and flesh and dirt and rotting matter and junk food and mysterious animals... plenty of questionable behavior: rampant sex (of any and sundry types), rape, beatings, murder ...more
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book lobotomized me. It's a bit like if Heather O'Neill and a rabid city squirrel did a bunch of hard drugs and fused together and then woke up in the deep dark ocean and had to find their way out. Every time I felt a had a fist around it's crux, I was shaken loose and mocked. I doubt I could recommend it to anyone. ...more
McGrouchpants. McGrouchpants!
Slinking around, a feeling of in-between days — it's not an easy thing to catch, not so much because the impulse to do spurns pages of unreadable, stream-of-consciousness prose with no real fixed point or center, but because people don't often try.

The real impulse, the real beat between the next thought, the next decision: This, you'd have to be aware of enough by exhausting other life narratives, thought-trains, mental & visceral states.

Strange as it may seem to say, the overabundance of indie
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those looking for something different or build their vocabularies
Recommended to Curtis by: "10 Essential Surrealist Books for Everyone" on
The Orange Eats Creeps is not very story-oriented; rather, it's oriented around its own crust-punk style. Your enjoyment will come from whether or not you can get into Grace Krilanovich's schizophrenic writing, as opposed to whether the story or characters appeal to you. As a result, a lot of readers are going to find it nearly impenetrable. The narrator hallucinates, dreams, has flashbacks, and even flash-forwards in quick succession without telling the reader. Time and space continuously shift ...more
Mar 24, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-on-kindle
Dear lord, I finally made it through this book. First moral of this story is don't believe the hype. I think I picked up on this book through a couple of short articles on it saying how it was a new take on the vampire genre and comparing it W.S. Burroughs. But having waded my way through this garbage, I feel like the book should have been titled 'The author throws up words on a page', and also any reviewer that compares with Burroughs is either doing Burroughs a huge disservice or has really ne ...more
Aug 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
Grace Krilanovich pens her junkie vampire tale with an emphasis on Dadaist literature and psychopomp pacing. Initially setting the stage as a search for a missing foster sibling, Krilanovich's teenaged vampire protagonist explains her affectations for railways, meth, and attention. The addition of a subplot involving a serial killer and an unresolved quest blend into a stream of consciousness so verbose that the author (and protagonist) lose sight of their intentions. While a verbal tour de forc ...more
kerry cullen
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
no idea what actually happened, but lots of gorgeous phrases.
Eden Brower
Jan 30, 2021 rated it liked it
Just got around to reading this one and though it seems to be an either love it or hate it thing going on here I neither loved it nor hated it. The blurbs are misleading for sure. And it did take me a while to get through this one..over a week for 172 pages. I liked her prose for the most part though I do wish there was more of a plot as a serial killer and the Donner party were barely mentioned and I certainly disagree that this books marks the beginning of a new kind of literature. I have read ...more
Aaron Marsh
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-books
This book certainly has nerve -- buckets of it. Some weird intersection of Coover and Burroughs and Denis Johnson, but filtered through a grungy female gaze. I like all the parts working here, but this short book took me quite a while to get through, partially because it shifts beneath you within single paragraphs and sometimes within the sentence itself. I had seen this book described as a long, demented poem, and that feels incredibly apt. It made me realize that what I love from Denis Johnson ...more
Apr 06, 2019 added it
Shelves: columbia
weirdly felt like listening to la dispute the entire time I was reading this
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Grace Krilanovich has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a finalist for the Starcherone Prize. Her first book, The Orange Eats Creeps, is the only novel to be excerpted twice in Black Clock.

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