Exquisite Corpse, by Poppy Z Brite [horror]

Title: Exquisite Corpse
Author: Poppy Z. Brite
Genre: horror, serial killer
Summary: After escaping prison, serial killer Andrew Compton heads for New Orleans to pursue the art of what he calls “the art of killing boys.” He joins up with a dissolute playboy who has pushed his art to limits even Compton hadn’t imagined. Together they set their sights on a young Vietnamese-American runaway, whom they cast as the perfect victim.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Definitely NOT for children or anyone with a weak constitution or any kind of gag reflex. Seriously, the stuff in this gets pretty heavy-handed and pushes the limits of everything that’s right in the world.

“Exquisite Corpse” is, at its base, a story about someone looking for a soul mate. Someone that is alone in the world and sees the people around him, but has no real connection to them in any emotional capacity. Oh, and he’s like Jeffrey Dahmar.

This is basically Dahmar (or a character startlingly like him!) somehow escaping from prison and going on the lam. He kills a bunch of people on the way, and somehow manages to find his way to the French Quarter in New Orleans (where the vampires and ghouls live, because that’s where I would live if I was a vampire or ghoul. Though honestly, I’d probably move to Alabama, which my nephew firmly believes is overrun by zombies and that’s why we don’t go there. Or Amsterdam.)

He meets a man that shares his morbid interests and they get together to have sex amongst the rotting corpses and plot to kill a somewhat wide-eyed street kid that was probably the most interesting character in the whole book (a male Vietnamese prostitute? Hell yeah.) From there, things get hinky.

All that said, I gave this book 4 stars because it was morbid and fascinating and sucked me into reading the whole thing. Not Brite’s best, but still a creepy “What-if” story.