REVIEW: THE VENUS COMPLEX BY BARBIE WILDE
A man rises out of an abyss of frustration and rage and creates works of art out of destruction, goddesses out of mere dental hygienists and beauty out of death. It’s also about the sickness and obsession that is LOVE.
Enter into Michael’s world through the pages of his personal journal, where every diseased thought, disturbing dream, politically incorrect rant and sexually explicit murder highlights his journey from zero to psycho.
I’m sure everyone who reads this blog knows who Barbie is is, if you don’t then you should hang your head in shame. Not content with being a cinematic icon of the horror genre, Barbie has also shown that she has a great gift when it comes to writing horror. Her stories in The Mammoth Book of Body Horror, and Phobophobia, were among the stand out stories of those collections. Both of these stories gave the reader the chance to get a little peek through the curtains of Barbie’s mind, The Venus Complex throughs back the curtains and allows the reader a full blown look into the dark, twisted, ans sensual mind of highly talented reader.
Told in the form of a series of diary entries The Venus Complex, is compelling, shocking, frightening, and at times sickening account of one man’s decent from respected art historian to a crazed cold blooded serial killer. When Michael Friday finds out his wife has been having an affair,he decides, in a fit of madness to kill his wife in a car accident. However the madness and rage has not gone away. Fuelled by perverse sexual dreams, Michael has got a taste for the feeling of power that killing gives him. In a world full of nameless and talentless celebrities, Michael is determined to make a name for himself as the number on serial killer.
This is one hell of a novel, Barbie Wilde, has written one of the most tense and powerful stories I have read in a long long time. This is not a book for the feint of heart, there are passages in here that will truly shock you. Michael Friday is an angry man, he rants at everything from celebrity culture, politic and national holidays. I don’t know from which dark recess of Barbie’s mind she dragged this story from, but she is really beginning to scare me. It is as though some dark primal rage takes control of her mind when she writes stories like this.
It is refreshing to read a story told in the form of a diary, it adds an extra level of tension and horror to the story, by grounding it in reality. This is a horror novel, where the horror comes solely from the actions and thoughts of depraved and fractured mind.
But fear not, this book isn’t just about shocking the reader, which it does to the maximum. This book is also extremely well written, you will become captivated by the sheer talent of Barbie’s writing. She manages to turn a vile evil character into someone that you will perversely start rooting for. I was so taken with this book that I even read part of it by the light for a cigarette lighter while waiting on bus.
What sets this book apart for the vast majority of serial killer novels, is the sheer depth of the content. When reading The Venus Complex it really did feel like you were reading the journal of a serial killer, by aiming his anger at such diverse topics, Barbie has created a book that is as much a vicious punch at the vacuous way of modern life, as it is a character study of a man possessed with terrible urges.
From reading her short stories I knew Barbie Wilde had a talent for writing. With The Venus Complex, Barbie’s talent has been given a much larger canvas to play with. And Barbie has filled every square inch of the canvas with a stunningly brilliant work of fiction.
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