In Awe – Scott Heim

Having greatly enjoyed Mysterious Skin, I found this book disappointing. The last few pages are engrossing but the earlier parts of the book are confusing and I wonder how many readers persevere to the end.

As in his other work, Heim’s descriptions are graphic: you can almost taste and smell the scenes. Some are onomatopoeic, e.g. ‘the wipers squeak their rubbery swath, stamping leaves and June bugs further into the flotsam at the windshield’s bottom’

In common with his previous book are disappearings, thunder storms where something awful happens, prostitution and sexual abuse. Additionally, we get a teenager siphoning off a love-object’s urine from a toilet with a test tube and drinking it – talk about taking the piss. There is also a scene of necrophilia which I found disturbing and sad by turns.

It is a tale about revenge by people who don’t fit in. But the revenge goes too far.

(We have not discussed this in the group but it was a ‘spin off’ from one of our meetings and this review is in a personal capacity.)

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