‘The Targeter,’ a Surreal Novel, Chapter Four

I’m peaking on the ecstasy now!

It’s been a while since I snorted that line of ketamine, so it should be kicking in any second.

I have a few lines ready on the coffee table here. Would you like to snort one? I also have a few more E pills. Want to take one and break it in two, so you can down a half pill? I have some Jim Beam and Coke in the kitchen, if you want a drink. It’s much more fun being drunk and stoned with a friend than doing it alone.

Wait, I just finished off that joint; I’ll roll another one, then you and I can smoke it together. Let me just get out another paper…there…spread the marijuana on it…good…Now I’ll roll it…seal it…there…Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll light it up and take the first few tokes…[inhaling sounds, and a pause as I hold it in.]

[Blowing it out my mouth] OK, now I’ll hand it over to you…Wait a minute…[looking more carefully at what seems to be a shadowy human shape in the chair next to me, then seeing…] “Nobody’s there!” I say out loud, embarrassed at my hallucination. Wow, I think. This dope is powerful. I thought that was my cousin David for a while, back when we were still friends…talk about wishful thinking.

My new glass of Jim Beam and Coke is sitting on my coffee table. I haven’t had any of it yet, so I pick up the glass and gulp a bit down. The Indian music is still playing, the tablas still making the outside gunfire and explosions hardly noticeable, if at all.

Still, the fear has been looming in the back of my mind, fear of imminent death. Here’s the good news, and just in the nick of time, too: the ketamine is kicking in.

I’m looking down at my coffee table. Instead of seeing its wooden frame and legs, and its transparent glass top, through which I’d normally see stacks of books, paper, and notebooks in which I write the first drafts of my blog articles, I see what looks like a large, dark green growth of fungi. Soon, the whole room looks as if I’m surrounded by such dark green fungi.

A room of mushrooms.

This is not exactly the feeling of protection that I’ve been hoping for. But wait–something else is beginning to happen, something that is feeling rather protective.

It looks and feels…as if there’s…a kind of…electric force field all around me. It feels…as strange as this must sound…as if this force field will protect me…from the bullets and bombs outside.

Yes…this feels safe…this feels good. Even without the tabla tapping, I’m far too stoned to notice the sounds of war outside, too stoned to care about the danger. This is the safety I want to have…not real safety, of course, since getting that is impossible. I’m not so stoned as to think nothing will happen to my body. The prospect of being incinerated by a bomb, or being riddled with bullets, is still very real.

I’m just too stoned to care.

The feeling of protection, however illusory, is getting even better. Now I feel as if my skin has turned into a metallic, protective armour. Eat your heart out, Tony Stark. When the Indian music is over, I should put on my Black Sabbath CD–Paranoid. I’ve been paranoid enough lately.

“No nuclear blast can kill me now,” I mumble in a slurred, barely intelligible voice. I close my eyes, and hovering between consciousness and unconsciousness, I begin one hell of a trip…

‘Furies,’ a Horror Novel, Part Five, Chapter 2

“Come on, Faye!” the midwife said as she was waiting for the baby’s head to appear. “You can do it.”

Please, Faye, Brad thought, sitting beside her. Don’t have a heart attack now. We all know how weak your heart is.

I’m amazed at how well my heart is holding out, she thought as she was pushing and groaning in pain. I’ve felt it tighten in much less stressful situations than this.

Don’t worry about your heart, Faye Elephant, Tiffany’s ghost thought while watching the parents-to-be with a malicious smirk. I’ll keep it safe for you. I want you to live…for the moment, anyway.

“Hey, the head is coming out,” the midwife said. “It’s almost over. You’re doing great, Faye. Just hang in there.”

Faye gave out a loud grunt and pushed hard. The whole head was out now, along with the shoulders.

The midwife looked askance at the emerging baby.

“Is anything wrong, Janet?” Brad asked her.

“Oh, no, uh…I just h-had an itch,” the midwife said. “It’s gone now. C’mon, Faye, we’re almost there.”

Faye pushed again with another grunt. Her daughter was half-way out now.

The shape of the baby’s head looks strange, Janet thought. Is it hydrocephalus?

She had the swaddling ready, not wanting Faye or Brad to see the head yet. This was to be a happy occasion. She would break the bad news to them later, after Faye had rested properly.

The baby had come all the way out.

“OK,” Janet said. “She’s out!”

“Wow!” Brad shouted for joy. “I’m a Daddy!”

“You sure are, Brad,” Janet said. “And you’re a Mommy, Faye.”

Both parents had tears of joy in their eyes.

“Lemme see her, please!” he said, getting up.

“Well, just a minute, Brad,” Janet said in a wobbly voice. “I still have a few things to do first.” She tried her best to cover the baby’s deformed head from his vision. “Have a seat, relax, and be patient. You’ll see her soon enough. Faye has to deliver the placenta, and I want to wait a bit before clamping and cutting the umbilical cord.”

“Why?” he asked, sitting back down and wondering why Janet wouldn’t let him just see his daughter’s face.

“Because delaying the clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord will increase the flow of nutrient-rich blood,” she said. “It’ll be better for your baby. It’ll also increase her iron stores, reduce the risk of anemia, and promote healthy growth.”

“OK,” he said. “I guess that makes sense. But can’t I just see her face?”

“Don’t worry,” she said. “You’ll see her soon enough. I just need a minute or two to do these things.”

She cleared the baby’s airway, making sure to block Brad’s and Faye’s view with her body. The umbilical cord was cut, the placenta delivered. Janet wrapped the baby in the swaddling clothes and picked her up.

“Well, can I see her now?” Brad asked impatiently.

“Come with me, Brad,” Janet said, taking the baby out of the room. “Let’s have a chat out here.”

“What’s wrong?” he asked, getting up and following her.

“Nothing,” Janet said. “Everything’s fine.”

“What about me?” Faye asked, now as worried as Brad.

“You just get some rest, Faye,” she said. “We’ll show you your daughter after you’ve had a nap.”


After an hour of napping, Faye woke up with Brad and Janet standing next to her, him holding the baby.

“Faye?” he said. “Are you ready to see our daughter?”

“Oh, yes,” she said with a yawn. “Let me see her.”

“Well, before you do, we need to tell you something about her, so you’ll be ready,” he said.

“What is it?” she asked. “What’s the problem?”

“She has…,” Janet began, “…a deformed head.”

“A deformed head?” Faye blurted out. “What the…?”

“It’s OK, it’s OK,” Brad reassured her. “It’s not too bad. We’ll work it out. It may be hydrocephalus. She’s still our daughter, and we’ll give her all our love. You just need to get used to her appearance, that’s all. We’ll consult a doctor, and see what we can do from there, OK?”

“Well…OK,” Faye said with a frown. “Lemme see her.”

“Are you ready?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said. “I’ve braced myself.”

“OK,” he said, handing the baby over almost reluctantly, knowing how his wife got when she was disappointed or shocked by something. “Here she is.”

Faye took the baby in her arms and looked at its face…yes, its face, for Tiffany altered it even more.

Faye saw a baby’s head, but with the ears, trunk, and tusks of a peach-skinned baby elephant.

Faye shrieked, her eyes and mouth agape in horror.

“Faye!” Brad said. “It’s not that bad!”

“Not that bad?!” she said. “Look at it!”

The baby’s trunk reached for Faye’s face and boxed her hard on the nose.

Faye screamed and threw the baby.

“Faye, what the hell?!” he yelled, trying and failing to catch the baby. She hit the hard, wooden floor, head first, breaking it and killing her instantly. “Jesus Christ, Faye! What did you do that for?!”

It lay there motionless in a growing pool of blood.

“Oh, my God!” Janet sobbed. “Why, Faye?”

“The deformity wasn’t that bad!” he bawled. “Why?”

“It looked like an elephant!” Faye screamed.

“An elephant?!” he shouted. “No, it didn’t! What are you talking about? Are you crazy?!”

“Yes, it did!” Faye insisted. “An elephant!”

An elephant, Tiffany’s ghost hissed, audible only to Faye, who looked the other way to find the voice. An elephant, just like her mother.

Faye’s skin whitened when she recognized Tiffany, an apparition neither Brad nor Janet could see. “Tiffany!”

“Faye, what are you looking at?” Brad asked.

“Who is ‘Tiffany’?” Janet asked.

Brad picked up the baby’s body. Faye looked at it again, but now saw a human face with only an enlarged head. She looked back at Tiffany’s ghost. “You bitch! You just couldn’t let it go, could you? A little high school bullying, and you just had to get your revenge, didn’t you?”

“Faye, who do you see over there?” he asked.

“Who are you talking to?” Janet asked.

Tiffany looked at Faye and began laughing.

“Don’t you see her?” Faye asked Brad and Janet, clutching her chest. “Unh!”

“Are you hallucinating?” Janet asked. “No one’s there, Faye!”

Tiffany’s laughing rang louder and louder in Faye’s ears to the point that they hurt.

The pain in her chest was much worse, though–the pressure, the tightness, the squeezing. It spread to her arms, jaw, neck, back, and stomach. She squeezed her eyes shut and groaned.

“What’s wrong now, Faye?” Janet asked.

“Oh, no!” Brad said. “It’s her heart!”

The last thing Faye heard, indeed, the very last thing she experienced in her physical life, was the sound of Tiffany’s crescendo of laughter.

‘The Splitting,’ a Sci-Fi Horror Novel, Book IV, Chapter Ten

As Peter and Michelle continued walking out of the neighbourhood and towards a park filled with people, including kids in a playground, they kept those stupid, mindless grins on their faces. It didn’t matter how sore their faces were…they had no choice.

All they could do was cling to the microscopic hope that they’d sooner or later meet with non-carriers.

Their hopes kept getting frustrated with every person they passed by on the sidewalk.

A man or a woman would be walking in their direction, and while they were far enough away from the approaching person, Peter and Michelle would think, Please, please let this person be normal!

Then, once they got close enough, the man or woman would bare his or her teeth and say, “Hi!” like a robot.

Granted, Peter and Michelle were doing the exact same thing.

Could any of those approaching them have been doing the same grinning act, too?

The sun was going down. They’d passed the park, and were now in an area of the neighbourhood with far fewer people.

Still, they were getting desperate to find somebody who was normal, perhaps someone who had a house nearby where they could stay and be safe.

They were getting tired from all that walking. They were hungry, too. The moon and stars were out.

They walked by a small restaurant with no customers at any of the tables. The owner, wearing an apron and presumably the cook, seemed to be the only one inside. They went in.

“What can I get you?” he asked with that all-too-familiar grin. “I was about to close, so you’re lucky to be my last customers.” He turned the sign on the door from OPEN to CLOSED, then he locked the door.

“This could work to our advantage,” Peter whispered in her ear. “We could spray him, then take control of this place, and eat all we like.”

“Not for too long,” she whispered back.

“Better than nothing.”

The owner approached their table. “So, what will it be?” he asked, grinning and with his pad and pencil ready to write down their orders.

They looked at the menus on the table.

“I’ll have a burger and fries, an orange juice, and a coffee, double-double,” Peter said, handing him the menu.

“I’ll have the same, but with a ginger ale instead of juice,” she said, then gave him the menu.

“Are you the only one here?” Peter asked him.

“Yes,” the owner said as he wrote down their orders. “Why do you ask?”

“Oh, just curious,” Peter said. “You seem lonely in here.”

“Oh, I’m fine. I’ll go cook your burgers.” He walked off to the kitchen area.

As he was cooking, he could look out from the kitchen and onto the dining area, where he could clearly see them talking at their table. Peter and Michelle were letting their guard down, and he could see them expressing themselves in a most non-Bolshivarian way.

He finished cooking their orders and served them, but as they ate, he kept his eyes on them. Still, they were behaving in a conspicuously non-carrier way, showing emotions other than that fake contentment that was supposed to be the norm. Peter was tactlessly expressing his usual annoyance with the world, and Michelle had a look of worry on her face.

When they finished their meal and went up to pay, the owner looked in their eyes.

“Did you enjoy your meal?” he asked.

“Oh, yeah,” Peter said. “It was great.”

“So, you’re content?” he asked, meaning something more than just the service.

“Sure,” Michelle said. “Of course.”

“You seem a little less sure than that,” he said, always grinning.

“What are you getting at?” Peter asked.

“This,” he said, sending out the little lights from his fingers.

“You fucker!” Peter shouted, then found a steak knife on a nearby table.

Michelle had her can of bug spray already out. She sprayed the lights, dropping them to the wooden floor with the sound of bouncing marbles. The owner stepped back.

“No, Peter!” she said as he approached the owner with the knife. “You don’t need to–“

Peter slashed at him with the knife, slitting his throat. His blood sprayed out everywhere.

“Oh, Jesus, Peter,” she said, wincing at the sight of the owner staggering and coughing blood.

A few passers-by looked in the window and saw the blood, then saw the owner fall to the floor.

Michelle looked out at them. “Oh, shit!” she yelled. “Peter!”

He looked out. “Oh, fuck me! C’mon, let’s get out of here.”

They ran into the back and hid in the darkness of a storage room. They could hear a shaking of the locked front door, then a banging on it. Peter looked over to the back door.

“We can’t stay here long,” he said.

‘The Splitting,’ a Sci-Fi Horror Novel, Book III, Chapter Four

The next day, Peter was in their bedroom looking at his cellphone.

Again, I’ll take another look for videos of the Bolshivarians doing good deeds for the Earth, as I did yesterday, he thought as he did a search for relevant videos. I didn’t find much to convince myself yesterday, so I’ll try again today. I’ve just got to be sure that when they say they are working to improve life here, that they mean what they say.

The search included a video with this title, uploaded a few hours before his search: “Aliens reversing flooding near Rio de Janeiro, interrupted and attacked by Lloyd’s of London military.”

OK, he thought. I’ll check this one out. He clicked PLAY.

Indeed, the video showed a swarm of the floating dots of white light near a neighbourhood with flooding almost up to the second floor of the houses. The video went on for a period of about twenty boring minutes, but near the twenty minute mark, one could see the water level begin to recede ever so slightly. After another five to ten minutes, the water level was significantly lower than that.

One could tell by noting that the water, having risen up the wall of a house about ten yards away from the person getting the video, had covered almost all of the house’s first-storey window. The surface of the water had now gone down to reveal the upper half of the window by the twenty-five minute mark. By the thirty minute mark of the video, all of that window was showing.

“They really are helping us,” he whispered.

A minute or so after that, he suddenly heard shouting in British accents: “It’s the aliens! Kill them! Fire your bug spray! Now!” Then the sound of bug spray could be heard hissing all over the area. The shaky cellphone camera swung around to get video of men in Lloyd’s military uniforms spraying in the direction of the one holding the cellphone and at the Bolshivarians behind him or her. Since this person didn’t fall down and die, dropping the cellphone, he or she obviously wasn’t a carrier.

Whoever made this video isn’t a carrier, and so probably isn’t presenting pro-Bolshivarian propaganda, he thought.

The camera swung back to show the balls losing their light and dropping dead to the ground. The flooding waters began to rise again; the rising had been apparent after only a minute, for that window was covered up a third of the way already with water.

“You stupid bastards!” he said of the British troops. “Are you so blind as to how they’re helping us?”

Screams of those troops could now be heard. The cellphone camera swung back around to show other dots of light, coming from behind and entering the troops. From a distance of about ten yards away, one could see their bodies ripping out of their uniforms and flesh tearing open to show internal anatomy. A lot of dark red poking out of green camouflage, but no rivers of blood, until the bodies exploded.

The cellphone camera followed the dots of light as they floated over the carnage and, at a safe distance from where the bug spray toxins were still in the air, they resumed reversing the flooding. The cellphone camera resumed getting video of that house. After a few minutes, Peter saw the water go down below all of that window again.

“Well, thank God for that,” he said.

“Peter!” Michelle called to him from the living room. “Come watch this!”

He left his cellphone on the bed and came out of the bedroom to see what she was watching on the news. President Price was at her desk in the Oval Office.

“We know there are some people out there, not carriers of the aliens, but sympathizers with them,” she said. “They would have you believe that the aliens are our friends, here to help us. Well, I’m telling you now just how wrong, misguided, and outright mendacious such a notion is. In fact, such false information is dangerous. We have video, taken just today in Brazil, just near Rio de Janeiro, that will show you how wrong it is to believe the aliens are a force for good.”

The TV switched away from Price to video that looked exactly the same as what Peter had just watched…

…well, almost the same.

Now, instead of the water level going down to reveal more and more of that window, he saw the water going up.

Peter and Michelle heard Price say in a voiceover, “Notice how the aliens are raising the flooding water, exacerbating the flooding of the world, not lowering the water, as their apologists claim they do.”

“That’s not true,” Peter said. “Someone has tampered with this video.”

“How do you know?” Michelle asked.

“I’ll show you in a minute,” he said. “Let’s just see where they’re going with this bullshit.”

Soon, they heard the voices of troops, but with American accents instead of British ones, saying, “The aliens are flooding the area! Spray them before they kill those people!”

The cellphone camera swung around to show the troops, who were now seen in the uniforms of the military division of Newmont Mining.

“They altered the uniforms, too,” Peter whispered.

“As you can see,” Price said in the voiceover, “our brave American servicemen and women tried valiantly to stop the alien menace…”

“You lying bitch,” Peter grunted, scowling at the TV.

“…but alas, they couldn’t,” the voiceover continued. “It is the formidable nature of this foe that shows we may need to take more drastic action than we have.”

Now the video showed the Bolshivarians entering the troops and tearing up their…American…uniforms. At the first sight of red internal organs, the video stopped abruptly. Price was seen in the Oval Office again.

“In heated discussions with the members of my administration, I have been strenuously arguing the case against the use of nuclear weapons, and I will continue to do so,” she said. “But the seriousness of this menace is making it harder and harder to argue my case.”

“Bullshit,” Michelle said. “You’ve wanted to nuke Latin America and Africa from the beginning. You’re just rationalizing with this propaganda, and preparing the world for the worst, bit by bit.”

“I’ll prove that what you saw is all lies,” Peter said. He ran back into the bedroom to get his phone while saying, “I was just watching the original video when you called me over to the TV. I’ll replay it for you.” He came back into the living room with his phone. “The Bolshivarians were lowering the water, not raising it; and the troops were British, not Am–“

His phone indicated that the video was no longer available.

Another Poem about Trauma, Written by a Friend

I have another poem, an improvised one about the writer’s experience of trauma and the painful memories associated with it. Translated from Dutch and written by my friend, Gerda Hovius, it’s called “Be Mindful of the Superego”:

I can be so anxious about grief. 
A mess of feelings that throw me back into old pain and shame. 
I can sometimes feel sad and that is a natural feeling, 
as a child I was always alone with my sadness 
and was rejected and reviled for it.
So what did I do, keeping the grief in out of fear,
until it floods and then that feeling came back 
of not being good enough that nobody cares about me, 
that I have to do everything alone. 
Now after 41 years I know that if I am sad and that voice comes
up, that is the inner criticism 
the superego that has formed in my small developing child’s
brain, and then I can name it, 
emotions are of course nothing that need to be feared, 
I may cry that is not wrong,
a natural process of the body, 
there is no shame in sorrow.

And now, my analysis of her writing.

Trauma, grief, and anxiety sure do make up “a mess of feelings,” a mess that’s hard to process and clean up. We sufferers of childhood trauma by definition tend to find ourselves alone with our sadness, “rejected and reviled” whenever we try to give voice to our pain. What else can we do, but cope by “keeping the grief in out of fear”?

We cannot keep the pain inside forever, though, or else “it floods.” We have to let it out somehow, and that’s why I encourage everybody out there to write something like this, and I’ll read it, publish it, and analyze it to help you process those feelings as best I can. We all have those feelings when we think we aren’t good enough, and that nobody cares for us, so in these posts, I’ll try to help mitigate those bad feelings for you. You don’t have to feel you must do everything alone.

What makes us still feel these bad feelings, even years after getting away from our abusers? Our inner critic, that harsh superego that is an amalgam of all those internal objects of our abusive caregivers from our early years. When we can “name it,” that is, find the right words to express our trauma, we won’t need to be so afraid of those feelings.

As Gerda says, “there is no shame in sorrow.” What you write doesn’t have to be of Shakespearean, high literary quality. Just let out your feelings in writing, and if you like, I’ll share it here and give you validation by interpreting your meaning. Peace and love! 🙂

Fright Fest 2019: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Thanks to Thomas S. Flowers for sharing my analysis of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ to his page! 🙂

Machine Mean

Image result for 2001 space odyssey 1968Director: Stanley Kubrick

Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke

Starring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, et. al.

Released: May 1968

Article “Analysis of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ written by: Mawr Gorshin. Originally published on MawrGorshin.com.

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction movie produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and written by him and Arthur C. Clarke. The film is often said to be based on Clarke’s short story, “The Sentinel,” but this is a gross oversimplification, as only a small moment in the film parallels the story, and even that part is radically rewritten. The actual literary equivalent of the film is the novel credited only to Clarke, but cowritten by Kubrick.

Considered one of the greatest films of all time, 2001 is an epic meditation of philosophical, mystical, and even spiritual/religious proportions; Kubrick was annoyed that early…

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Mindfulness in Healing from Emotional Abuse

Another post I’m not seeing in my list of blog posts, so I’m reblogging it here.

Infinite Ocean

calm daylight evening grass Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

[NOTE: please read the second and third paragraphs from this post before continuing. Important–don’t skip reading them!]

In our healing journey, trying to recover from C-PTSD as a result of narcissistic, emotional abuse, we may make some progress, but then backslide into our old ways. That is, we at first are growing calmer, more at peace, and more patient in dealing with life’s irritations; then, pleased with our progress, we get complacent and lazy, skipping our planned meditations and other forms of self-care. Finally, those inevitable, difficult situations arise again, and we react in our former, emotionally dysregulated way…then the shaming inner critic comes back!

What can we do? We want to get back on track, we have to get back on track, but discouragement daunts us, and tempts us to give up.

We must remember that progress in healing is neither a steady…

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Courage in the Face of Psychological Abuse

Just a reminder that this blog post still exists…since it isn’t showing up on my list of past blog posts anymore, and I’m rather annoyed about that.

Infinite Ocean

portrait angry closeup black and white Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

[NOTE: please read the second and third paragraphs from this post before continuing. Important–don’t skip reading them!]

One of the many ways the family kept me in control was to denigrate me as weak and cowardly. This, of course, is a common bullying tactic, to keep the victim from fighting back by making him or her believe that sticking up for him- or herself is a useless gesture.

What must be understood about bullies and emotional abusers, though, is that they are, in fact, the real cowards. I was put in a situation with a power imbalance in which my probably narcissistic mother used her golden children–my older brothers R. and F., and her #1 golden child, my older sister J.–as sticks with which to hit me. As the family scapegoat, or identified patient, I rarely, if ever, got sympathy from…

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Paranormal & Supernatural in Review: The Entity (1974)

Thanks to Thomas S. Flowers for publishing my analysis of ‘The Entity’ on his blog! 🙂 [I just wish he’d gotten the year for the film right.]

Machine Mean

The Entity is a 1982 supernatural horror film based on the 1978 novel of the same name by Frank De Felitta, which in turn was based on the Doris Bither case. Bither claimed to have been repeatedly raped by a trio of spirits–two holding her down while the third raped her–over a period of many years, the assaults eventually becoming less and less frequent until, apparently, they finally stopped altogether.

The film stars Barbara Hershey as Carla Moran, who is based on Doris Bither. It also starred Ron Silver as psychiatrist Dr. Phil Sneiderman; Alex Rocco played Carla’s boyfriend, Jerry Anderson, David Labiosa plays her son, Billy, Jacqueline Brookesplayed parapsychologist Dr. Elizabeth Cooley, and George Coe played psychiatrist Dr. Weber.

Here are some quotes:

“Welcome home, cunt.” –The entity, to Carla

Carla Moran: I mean I’d rather be dead than living the way I’ve been living…

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Mark Will’s Review and Analysis of My Erotic Horror Novel, ‘Wolfgang’

I wish to give my thanks to Mark Will at Cadmus and Harmony Media for reading and reviewing my Wolfgang: a Werewolf Erotic Horror Novel. Here is what he said about it:

“Stylistically, Wolfgang: A Werewolf Erotic Horror Novel would seem to belong to the transgressive literary tradition of Sade and Bataille. The scatological aspects of the book remind one of both authors, while the sexual didacticism and the cataloguing of perversions, which I often found highly comical, are particularly characteristic of Sade. Rightly or wrongly, I even detected Sadean echoes in the names of the three avenging spirits Sades, Chisad, and Chebirüsad

“Unlike the work of Sade and Bataille, however, that of Mawr Gorshin is ideologically infused with a sympathy for the wretched of the earth and an outraged sense of social justice. I was impressed by the manner in which Gorshin appropriated the European folkloric motif of the werewolf and placed it within the context of African liberation in order to condemn the slave trade and the capitalistic exploitation of labor. 

“At the same time, Wolfgang may be read as parody. The various allusions to the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale are playfully amusing, and the protagonist Wolfgang himself can be seen as a kind of Dracula-Christ with a lycanthropic twist. The doppelgänger motif is also relevant here: the character Renate, for example, is a parodic double of the character Etty (as well as Wolfgang’s mother and wife), just as the character Marko is a parodic double of Wolfgang’s father. 

“The Christological nature of the Wolfgang character is emphasized by the themes of crime/punishment, atonement, redemption, and absolution of guilt. These themes are juxtaposed with various Freudian elements: detailed descriptions of erotic dreams, ritualized reenactments of family traumas (with a particular emphasis on the Oedipal), and an implicit association of the superego with good cop/bad cop personae. This eclectic combination makes for a fascinating reading experience. 

“Overall, Wolfgang is a book of great subtlety and complexity. I highly recommend it to readers with the fortitude necessary for a foray into the realm of the transgressive.”

Thanks again to Mark Will (whose translation of AeschylusPersians I wrote up an analysis of) for this wonderful, thoughtful review and analysis!