Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Exquisite Corpse” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Exquisite Corpse
Poppy Z. Brite
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Exquisite Corpse

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  7,800 Ratings  ·  555 Reviews
You've probably heard that this love story about two cannibalistic serial killers (loosely modeled after Dennis Nilsen and Jeffrey Dahmer) is over the top. You've been warned about the lovingly meticulous descriptions of murder and necrophilia. But the novel also features a keen look at the AIDS plague, in a setting almost worth dying for: Brite's doomed aesthetes dance in ...more
Published (first published 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Exquisite Corpse, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Exquisite Corpse

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
May 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jason Pettus
Jun 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 29, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Maria  (Mhemnoch)
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Casi todo el libro he estado pensando que le daría sus buenas 4 estrellas porque estaba muy bien desarrollado y me gusta mucho la forma de escribir que tiene Brite, pero, que coj*n*s!! se lleva las 5 estrellazas!
Intento no ser demasiado benevolente con las estrellitas, pero es que se lo ha merecido.
Los últimos capítulo, pese a que se sabe lo que va a pasar, te dejan sin aliento, sin poder dejar de leer.
Han habido veces que hasta me he encogido de dolor (como cuando ves que alguien se parte algo
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Brian Williams
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
Bark's Book Nonsense
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
Anna  (Bananas!)
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!
Noah Soudrette
Nov 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kate Jonez
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una historia de amor muy bestia, no apta para estómagos sensibles.

Me han gustado el estilo y las descripciones, consigue meterte en situaciones muy extremas, a la vez que los personajes transmiten que lo que ocurre es de lo más normal para ellos.

Si te interesan las mentes trastornadas y no te echan para atrás las descripciones gráficas de sexo y violencia, es una novela recomendable.
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
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Charles Dee Mitchell
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
Kendare Blake
Aug 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.

Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Michael Osorio
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I read this book, I can only say that it went far and beyond my expectations. Now, I myself love horror/serial killer themed books, and with that being said it is pretty clear that I have a morbid and disturbed mind. . . only just a tad. 'Exquisite Corpse' is not a light read in the least bit, nor is is a book to fully be enjoyed. Poppy writes (as her title implies) in the most disturbingly exquisite way.

Now most readers, and reviewers of her book on here complain that is was dirty, disgus
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What to say? What to say? That this is shock rock with heighten stereotypes of gay men and their animal lust? That this is a critique of society and how gay men are conditioned to hate themselves and the disservice this provides to all involved parties. That this is the gay American Psycho? One hell of a slasher novel? Porn? A cookbook? A really, really raunchy porn? A New Orleans guidebook? An AIDS awareness flyer? All of the above? None of the above?

This left me feeling disgusted, dirty, and d
Nick Jonick
Dec 25, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 1-star
Βιβλίο που σκοπό εχει να προκαλέσει αηδία στον αναγνώστη. Πολλες εμετικές σκηνές και τιποτα παραπάνω. Δεν τρομαξα σε κανένα σημείο ούτε είχα αγωνία για την τυχη του πρωταγωνιστή. Απ οτι θυμαμαι ο πρωταγωνιστης ήταν ενα κουτορνιθι που εμπλεξε με εναν οροθετικό γκέι ανθρωποφάγο. Απ τα βιβλία που σε κανουν να σταματάς το διάβασμα και να αναρωτιέσαι γιατί συνεχίζεις να το διαβάζεις και δεν το πετάς στον κάδο απορριμάτων. Απο ενα σημειο και μετά γέλαγα με τη συγγραφέα που ισως νομιζε οτι όσο πιο σιχα ...more
Ksenia Anske
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Never was horror written so beautifully. I just loved the writing. Effortless. What treasure have I found! Sorry, Stephen King, but Poppy Z. Brite beats you. Careful, though, if not possessive of iron stomach, the contents of this book might make you puke.
Jun 14, 2007 rated it it was ok
Disturbing and, in my mind, fairly pointless. (This is in spite of the part of me that hears "serial killers in love" and thinks, "Aww! Cute concept!") However, I am proud to say that I was able to eat an entire burrito while reading it.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Omicidi, cannibalismo, atti di estrema violenza fisica e psicologica, omosessualità, droga, AIDS, delinquenza. Definire “Cadavere squisito” un libro splatter è un eufemismo. Qui c’è tutto, ma davvero tutto, quello che scotta, con delle scene che solamente ad immaginarle, verrebbe voglia di rinchiuderlo in un cassetto e di perdere la chiave per sempre...e infatti, l’ho letto per curiosità, convinta che non gli avrei dato nemmeno un centesimo. E invece no. A mio avviso questo non è assolutamente u ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fraud! 10 40 May 17, 2016 03:55AM  
  • Silk (Silk, #1)
  • Berserk, Vol. 30
  • Gantz /20
  • NightWhere
  • Skin
  • Battle Royale, Vol. 14 (Battle Royale, #14)
  • Deadman Wonderland Volume 10 (Deadman Wonderland, #10)
  • MPD Psycho, Vol. 2
  • How to Rape a Straight Guy
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.

More about Poppy Z. Brite...

Share This Book

“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.” 61 likes
“I'm your nightmare. Did you think you were done with nightmares, now you've become one?” 20 likes
More quotes…