Review: Bullet Through Your Face by Edward Lee

(Review for Bizarro Brigade.)

Edward Lee has long held a reputation as the King of Hardcore Horror, and this collection of novellas serves up definitive proof. This horror is indeed hardcore, in more ways than one, bringing together three of Lee’s most controversial, over-the-top tales.

“Ever Nat,” which chronicles the fallout when a bored businessman picks up a sexy backwoods hitchhiker, has gained much notoriety in the years following its initial publication, and rightfully so; it’s one of the grimmest, grimiest things Lee’s ever written, a non-stop barrage of depravity capped with a downbeat finale. Not for the squeamish (that goes without saying with this material), but a must-read for the dedicated Edward Lee fan.

“The Salt Diviner” is the story of a compulsive gambler and his long-suffering fiancee who find the answer to their prayers in an ancient Sumerian fortune teller. It’s a more playful story, illustrating Lee’s penchant for queasy humor, yet doesn’t skimp on the grue.

The final novella, “The Refrigerator Full of Sperm,” details the nefarious reproductive plans of an alien race in rural Maryland. This slab of “splatterspunk” works as a black gross-out comedy, pulling out all the stops with its misogynistic, amoral, priapic protagonist Micah Hays. One can almost picture the demented grin on Lee’s face as he continually ups the deviant ante with one extended anecdote of sexual misadventure after another.

Kudos to Deadite Press for making Lee’s hard-to-find back catalog in affordable, attractive editions and giving splat-fiction fans everywhere reason to rejoice.

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