Headpress review of The Guest

Headpress, ‘The gospel according to unpopular culture,’ said this about my e-novella The Guest:

“Personally, I find it harder to say whom the phenomenon of negging reflects worse on – those sexually cynical enough to employ it, or those pliable enough to so readily go eating from the palm that just slapped them (they deserve one another, perhaps). Something of the same dilemma adheres to The Guest, debut e-Novella by La Bouche Zine editor Josie Demuth, in which the ostensible heroine/victim April, is, whether intentionally or not, easily as objectionable as the sociopathic villain/hero Gideon, a sort of super-negger who attempts to kidnap April’s psyche as part of his ongoing grudge against womankind.

I should here stress that this Gideon, a derelict schizophrenic as well as a crack seduction-psychologist, doesn’t merely draw upon negging for his amorous arsenal, but also covert hypnosis and the whole psychological gestalt that negging ostensibly exemplifies (as David Foster Wallace puts it, “somewhere between symbol and synecdoche”): our increasing awareness of what makes us tick… and how we might be made to tick. As such, Demuth’s Gideon (think Derren Brown on the pull) is an interesting invention, and the author deserves credit for espying this bold and relevant theme and fashioning it into a narrative that often moves with impressive momentum.”

Read the full review here

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