Qin's Reviews > Claustrophilia

Claustrophilia by Ezra Blake
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The five stars the incredibly detailed writing, ghoulish yet somehow almost poetic (though not always convincingly done, as I was able to smell out the overuse of a thesaurus), the sustained pacing that only weakens in the last part, when the dramatic tension is supposedly rekindled though a walk down memory lane, and sheer authorial fortitude needed to broach such a theme on the grand scale, are worthy of need to be compounded by what I take to be the needlessly convoluted personality of the protagonists; a lack of payback for the reader who suffered through so much graphical torture, relentless depravity, and disjointed mental rambling for nothing, since while no positiveness whatsover is to be found within the story, not even in the ending which neither surprises nor comes as anything of a shocker, or in the less flawed of the leads, I was equally unable to find out what on earth the Butcher and Chris do bring to each other beyond feeding the other hero's obsession; and the irritating feeling that rather too much fuss has been made about precious little. Necrophilia, for example, is a notoriously challenging topic to make palatable; probably because they are masters of both erotica and horror, David Morrell or James Herbert managed to have it sound almost seducing, but not so Mr Blake - he has no qualms about describing bouts of cadaver riding as grisly interludes void of any metaphysics and keeps things at that very basic level. Such soulless operations in his book lose more than they gain by being repeated at regular intervals; all the more so since they do not provice the reader much insight into Chris' mindset with respect to what has been painfully established previously with respect to his deviancy. While he certainly cuts an imposing figure, Ivan aka the Butcher falls a long way short of being an Hannibal Lecter redivivus, let alone another Maldoror; far from reeking of insane charisma and from oozing sexy malevolence, something which in my humble opinion must be done with the utmost restraint and in such a fashion as to leave the reader's imagination amplify the tidbits of the text, to me he was overdone, therefore merely gross, usubtly disturbing, over the top, and oftentimes ridiculous. It is a shame that only intermittenly could I find him to be mildly fascinating. Finally, I think the book falters in its universe building - there was no atmosphere outside of the creepy seclusion Ivan keeps Chris in, not even in the very beginning, before the kidnapping does occur. Two stars and a half rounded up to three, but reluctantly.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 4, 2019 – Shelved

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message 1: by annob (last edited Jan 06, 2019 11:26PM) (new)

annob Excellent review, Qin. Your insights, along with many other positive reviews by GR friends, point to this book being too dark for me to handle. But the qualities mentioned have made sure I'll follow the author to see if any future, upcoming books of his are will be a better match for me.


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