The author of Kalifornia creates a palpable sense of terror in a chilling tale of obsession and death, as a Southern California teenager and a serial killer become involved in a terrifying duel.
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Another well-written but depressing dystopian thriller by Laidlaw (Kalifornia, 1992; Dad's Nuke, 1985). Laidlaw always enjoys drawing truly screwed up families, with neighborhood wars in Dad's Nuke and a new baby that turns out to be a living processor of nuclear waste, and a family in Kalifornia so crazily cooked up that its deformities can't be encapsuled in a sentence. This time, we have the orphaned brothers, Sal Diaz, an open gay who teaches karate and tai chi and drives around in a black van looking for young boys to seduce, and Lupe Diaz, who bears a bright switchblade and looks girlishly smoothfaced because he has no testicles (he dreams that they were burned off with a blowtorch), though he does have an imaginary gang he carries around in his head. Let's add--in clearing up the title--that the Greek root for ``testicle'' means orchid (as in orchidectomy). And then there's the ex-con biker Hawk, a Bible-beater who more or less invents his own Jesus for his band of youthful converts--Hank's girlfriend calls him Peter Pan. Lupe has been released from the hospital and comes looking for Sal in Shangri-La, a part of Bohemia Bay where Hawk's gang gathers somewhere outside of Los Angeles. Then there's high-school art student Mike James, who draws dragons and has fallen in with a low-brow gang from the Alternative School. As it happens, Lupe is an artist as well as a rather femininely attractive serial killer, though his sketches are of his victims whose life-power he has eaten--that mute gang crawling around in his head ``like baby rats.'' Everybody belongs to some gang, and Hawk's and Sal's gangs fall out, and make peace--but then Sal's found dead with Hawk's crucifix up his rectum.... The urge for gang buddyhood among boys is woven with the obsessions of a serial killer their age bent on eating...orchids. Not heartwarming. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
With unusual insights into the cruel extremism and vulnerability of adolescence, this suspenseful thriller of psychosis and serial killing follows the parallel stories of a young murderer and the boy he might have been in the quiet Southern California town of Bohemia Bay. After several years of street life and wandering, Lupe Diaz arrives in Bohemia to settle a score with his older brother Sal. Lupe blames Sal for his brutal castration (cauterized by blowtorch) at the hands of a gang. As might be expected, Lupe's psychological scars are far worse than his physical ones and he finds comfort in collecting a ghostly gang of victims. The drug-peddling Sal has a gang of his own, a group of gay runaways he shelters in his Bohemia Bay house. Elsewhere in town, Mike James, a bright, artistic high school student, finds an outlet for his thirst for action in a group of semi-delinquents from the local alternative school, led by an ex-con, ex-biker turned Bible-thumping Peter Pan. When some gay-bashing pranks bring Mike into contact with Sal and the dangerous Lupe, the three gangs collide with murderous results. Laidlaw ( Kalifornia ) peoples Bohemia Bay with colorful multidimensional characters, both teenaged and adult, and tells their grisly story with evocative prose in a penetrating, convincing voice. Clever plotting and a lively pace fortify an imaginative, offbeat and often unnerving tale.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción St Martins Pr, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0312105150
Descripción St Martins Pr, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110312105150
Descripción St Martins Pr. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0312105150 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW6.0132916