Friday, February 26, 2010

The Safety of Unknown Cities, by Lucy Taylor

(pb; 1995, 1999)


Val Petrillo, a jet-set serial fornicatress, seeks "the City," a legendary, mystical location where all forms of carnality and perversions are indulged in. Unbeknownst to her, she's being pursued by a suitor she abandoned - Arthur Quentin Breen, who "alternate[s] back and forth between convivial killer and misanthropic recluse."

When Val meets Majeed, a hermaphroditic (primarily male) prostitute, and becomes his lover, she figures she's found a way into the City. But Majeed is reluctant to take her to the City - not only because of what he says he experienced and saw there, but because he's being stalked by Dominick Filakis, aka the Turk, to whom Majeed owes a nebulous, potentially flesh-riving debt.

As dangerous and perverse as Val, Arthur and Majeed are, they've got nothing on the City-linked Turk, whose powers seem limitless.

Safety is a sexually and horrifically subversive novel that recalls the horror works of Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite and Lucifer Fulci, rammed home with over-the-top Dario Argento-esque/snuff splatter scenes.

Check it out, if you've got a strong constitution and a love for true horror.

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