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THE ORCHID EATER

Laidlaw, Marc.

20 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0312105150 / ISBN 13: 9780312105150
Published by St. Martin's Press., NY:, 1994
From Kathmandu Books (Winter Park, FL, U.S.A.)

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HC in dust jacket. 1st Printing. A fine copy in a near fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 2341

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE ORCHID EATER

Publisher: St. Martin's Press., NY:

Publication Date: 1994

Edition: 1st edition

About this title

Synopsis:

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.

From Kirkus Reviews:

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.

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