Dis-torture

HARDIN, Rob

Published by FC2, 1997
ISBN 10: 1573660272 / ISBN 13: 9781573660273
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First edition, first printing. Fine in illustrated wraps. Signed by the author. Bookseller Inventory #

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(11 ratings)

Synopsis: It is the end of the century again: the stories in Distorture are elegiac, exquisite panels written in memory of certain decayed angels.

A woman is buried by a musician who has sworn to protect her. A narcoleptic is found, still dreaming, with cryptic symbols engraved into her back. In an elegant loft, a silver-haired man studies the torso of a comatose surfer, and the bodies of the two men are transformed into an intricate work of art. These are only a few of the tortous stories of Rob Hardin, a veteran studio musician and stylist whose work has been called "impeccable" by Dennis Cooper.

Distorture is a fiercely modern book full of jeweled descriptions of violent eroticism. In Distorture, his first book of stories, Rob Hardin subverts nineteenth century romanticism and redefines the aesthetics of excess. Distorture splices the digital and the autumnal with the drive of the dark ambient music and the elegance of a late Liszt Sonata.

Review: Distorture is a very unusual, elegantly designed (and illustrated) collection of short stories and a few poetic essays--densely embroidered with expressions like "a sandpainting of empty bodies and fixed lamprey eyes," and "the stained remains lay plainly disembrained." Rob Hardin is dark, challenging, cruel, and often hilarious. He alludes to Charles Baudelaire, David Koresh, Jacques Lacan, Joel-Peter Witkin, Minnie Mouse. He gives us "Twenty-Five Reasons for Liking Horror." He is a musician as well as writer, and he surgically splices what he calls "linear dissonant counterpoint" right into the reader's brain. Poppy Z. Brite found Distorture so disturbing, she couldn't finish it. For me, Hardin's word-magic induces a gorgeous, razor-edged nightmare from which I wish never to awake. I think Jim Goad, author of The Redneck Manifesto, sums it up best: "There is a brief moment in which the abused shakes off his chrysalis and turns into the abuser. This book freezes that moment and runs it through a series of rigorous forensic tests."

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dis-torture
Publisher: FC2
Publication Date: 1997
Edition: First edition, first printing.

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