Book Review: You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood by Eric LaRocca

Title: You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood

Author: Eric LaRocca

Genre: Horror

Number of Pages: 236

Rating: B

Recommended?: Yes


 

Not as good as Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke, but better than We Can Never Leave This Place. Like I’ve come to expect from this author, this novella is a deeply odd and polarizing experience. The uncanny combination of randomness and deranged creativity are on striking display even if the book itself is very uneven.

Two gay men, Ambrose and Martyr (seriously, Ambrose and Martyr, and Martyr’s last name is Black for God’s sake, LaRocca went all out in the ‘silly-ass names’ department) go on a killing spree before suddenly disappearing without a trace. Martyr’s writings on his crimes and poems are interspersed with his and Ambrose’s recorded rambling conversations and a horror novella (a book-within-a-book) written by Martyr himself. It’s been published by a small press prior to the men’s disappearance and is (surprise!) titled You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood.

It’s the story of young siblings Tamsen and Presley, who arrive at a mysterious compound where Tamsin is supposed to start her job as a game developer. Weird shit starts happening and Tamsen and her little brother find themselves caught up in something bigger than themselves. The ending of Ambrose and Martyr’s storyline is a little abrupt, not unlike the ending of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. Their characters could use to have had more detail, Tamsen and Presley essentially takes over the narrative.

There’s a subplot about guys jerking off while watching patients in cancer wards that’s very… uh… Eric LaRocca? The thing about the druggie girl being kept alive in a coffin was crazy too, it kind of reminded me of the ‘Christ child’ story in Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. They’re so disturbingly memorable they could be the subjects of horror novellas in their own rights. This guy has a big imagination. Some of the conversations between Martyr and Ambrose are a bit pretentious, but also kind of realistic in the sense of how random human interactions can be. I wish these characters had been fleshed out more instead of playing second fiddle to a meta horror storyline.

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