Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Come to my Brother – review

Author: Christopher Zeischegg

First published: 2013

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: David and Daniel grew up together in Northern California. They became friends and then brothers; started a band and then became lovers. But Daniel disappeared four years ago, and he's come back as some kind of monster. The young men's reunion could bring about the end of the world. Christopher Zeischegg's first novel is updated and revised, and still entrenched in the canon of horror, loss, porn, and coming of age in the early 2000's.

The review: This was the author’s debut novel, originally published in 2013. For review I read the 2017 revised edition that was sent to me for review. If we look to the blurb for a second you’ll see it mentions porn. The author acted in adult movies under the name Danny Wylde and, as the saying goes, he wrote about what he knows. The character David is a porn actor to make money to get through film school. The aspects around this are very matter of fact and the novel doesn’t lose itself in eroticism – though it is safe to call it queer literature.

Of course, despite coming-of-age aspects and the aforementioned queer aspect, the main thrust of the novel is vampirism. The vampirism has its own quasi-religious aspect and creates a lore that suggests vampirism was something that came about through Christ’s temptations in the desert, when he reveals to Lucifer that the ability of the spiritual to take human form was not restricted to God alone. Consequently Lucifer fused his essence into a human – creating the first vampire.

Whilst our primary protagonist dismisses this, and we see the world through his eyes, there is an undercurrent suggesting that the folklore of their source and the prophecies that surround them may be true. Further lore suggests that, unless the victim is killed outright, a bite will turn the victim.

What I liked about the novel was the style of prose. Zeischegg delivers a clean, sparse prose that still manages to be evocative and delivers the necessary emotional punches. Very occasionally it stumbles but that is experiential and as he grows as an author those rare rough edges will smooth out. The sparseness does threaten to make the narrative too thin occasionally – there are moments within the book that could have stood more exploration, especially at the end of the story, but the narrative is still satisfying as it is. I did like the fact that the book maintained the idea that there are consequences to actions by characters in a horror setting, too often that is missed. 6.5 out of 10. A trailer for the book is embedded at the foot of the review.

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