lara's book club:
#might be for you if you like Chuck Palahniuk, J.G Ballard, Lemony Snicket, Jim Thompson, or other noir-ish or offbeat* literature.
#Will not feature uplifting triumph-against-adversity cliche novels, or anything written by a Canadian.
#Will not feature books that are "good for you" but no fun to read.
#Will feature books you probably haven't heard about (ie if it won the Pulitzer, I'm ignoring it)
*or even beatoff literature.
Okay then, the first title is
Throat Sprockets by Tim Lucas.
Have you ever seen a movie that changed your life? In this novel, a 30-ish man who spends his idle hours in a porno theatre stumbles across a mysterious, underground film called "Throat Sprockets" and becomes obsessed with both the film, and with the erotic nature of women's throats. His compulsion is made no easier by his gradual discovery that the film seems to effect everyone who sees it, and that others are also compelled to re-enact the final, bloody scene of the film. It's a nicely spooky and evocative novel, though it's more creepy than erotic.
If you've read J.G. Ballard's "Crash" (or even if you've seen the film), you'll probably know about what to expect from this book (although I found "Crash" rather onerous to read). Unlike "Crash", Lucas shows how the obsession builds, rather than just re-iterating it in scene after scene. There's a conspiracy element to the plot as well- did the creator of the film intend that it should effect its viewers in this manner, and if so, for what purpose? If you're a film buff, there are some great bits of wordplay to catch (while this is the author's first novel, he's written lots of film criticism, specializing in horror movies). The story unfolds quickly and the plot moves fast. The book is a reasonably svelte 232 pages. I've now read it twice, and it still creeped me out after the second reading (about 5 years apart, I think).
Unfortunately, this book is out of print, but since 101 libraries in the US own it, and there are 3 used copies at amazon for $6 or less and 5 used copies at half.com for $5 or less, it shouldn't be too hard to get one. Ask your library about something called "Interlibrary loan" if they don't own a copy. Or if all else fails and I know you well enough to know I'll get it back, I'll loan you my copy via mail. email me and we'll work it out.
And if you already have read this book and enjoyed it as much as I did, you're probably my soul mate or something. email me and we'll plan the wedding.