Lowering the Tone

ASS GOBLINS OF AUSCHWITZAss Goblins of Auschwitz – Cameron Pierce
Eraserhead Press – 2009

Ugh… Hmmmmm….. Ehhhhhh…….

This book first showed up on my radar a few years ago when an uncle jokingly posted an image of its cover to my facebook wall. (I think I deleted his post so that my woke friends wouldn’t give me any hassle.) I came across the book’s title again until I was reading about Bizarro fiction for my review of Carlton Mellick III’s The Cannibals of Candyland. I found a copy very easily, and before I knew it I was actually sitting on the bus to work reading Ass Goblins of Auschwitz.

There were a few moments at the beginning when a part of me (probably a few parts actually) told me to stop reading. There weren’t any specific events in the text that prompted this; it was more the realisation that I was giving attention to a person who was shamelessly looking for attention. The book isn’t about the real Auschwitz or real Nazis, and while that’s fortunate in some ways, it’s a let down in others. Cameron Pierce wasn’t making a bold statement about human nature, resilience or suffering. He was using the word Auschwitz because that word would make people notice his silly book.

I used to work in a coffee shop. One day a man walked into the shop with a live parrot on his shoulder. Every single customer in the shop commented on his parrot. When the man got to me and asked for a cinnamon bun, I told him it would be 3 dollars and took his money quietly. I met his hopeful stare, but I refused to let my eyes wander to the colourful talking bird perched on his shoulder. I would not give him that satisfaction. I hate people who shamelessly look for attention. Shove that parrot up your ass, you stupid wanker.Seriously, what kind of a brazen dipshit has to resort to that kind of bullshit to start up conversations?

Anyways, the actual story in here is far too childish to truly offend. It’s just silly teenage nonsense. There was one part where a man absorbs a bike into his scrotum, and I wondered if this was a nod to Flann O’Brien’s Third Policeman, a real masterpiece of absurd fiction. The rest was forgettable garbage – big walking bums abuse children and shit out swastikas. There was one part that made me laugh out loud, but I have a remarkably childish sense of humour, so a single LOL from 100 pages worth of pooing bums is actually surprisingly low.

I’m not usually this harsh when it comes to reviewing fiction, but I can’t ignore these issues. In fairness though, this book was published when the author was only 21 or so. I wrote some fairly embarrassing stuff when I was that age too, so I won’t hold this book against him. He seems to have deleted/frozen his web presence in the last 2 years. I wonder if he’s still writing.

Books of Qliphothic Black Magic

thomas karlsson Qabalah, Qliphoth and Goetic MagicQabalah, Qliphoth and Goetic Magic – Thomas Karlsson
Ajna – 2009 (First published 2004)

Before picking this up, I had read an introductory book about Qabalah/Kabbalah/Cabala and encountered the topic in many more general books on the occult, but I had never fully got my head around the concept. Years ago, I heard somebody say that this was a good book on this stuff, and I was hoping that reading it would clear things up.

It didn’t. Honestly lads, this is rubbish.

Qabalah is a complicated way of trying to provide unintelligible answers to impossible questions. It’s based on the naive assumption that the human mind can grasp and comprehend the divine. Human beings, Kabalists and wizards included, are little more than machines that turn food into shit. To believe that they can comprehend the true nature of anything is pathetic. Our brains and mind are structured to ensure the survival of our species, that’s all. Just as a hamster’s mind is incapable of understanding the concept of dramatic irony, neither can the mind of a human being possibly comprehend the emanations of God. The arrogance required for a person to take this stuff seriously must be monumental.

There was a chapter on the nature of evil that I found a bit hard to stomach. There was also a bit on Goetia. Heap of shit if you ask me.
adam eve lilithPart of the appeal of this book was that it was written by a guy who is involved in heavy metal. Thomas Karlsson has been the lyricist for the symphonic metal band Therion for more than 20 years. Therion used to play death metal, but they have since put out some of the worst music that I’ve ever heard. Seriously, watching this makes me feel like doing a poo.

book sitra achraThe Book of Sitra Achra (A Grimoire of the Dragons of the Other Side) – N.A-A. 218
Ixaxaar – 2011
Jesus fucking Christ, this one was another slog. Written by the same individual who wrote Liber Falxifer, The Book of Sitra Achra is “the first complete and completely Qliphothic Grimoire”. What that means, I have no fucking idea.

I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, but this book was completely over my head. As a sensible explanation of an esoteric order’s set of beliefs, the Book of Sitra Achra is useless, but I suppose it might be enjoyable if you were to approach it as a book of abstract philosophic poetry. There’s lots of dark imagery in here, but none of it makes any bloody sense. The sentences are hilariously long and complicated, occasionally taking up entire pages, and I feel like I understand less about the Qliphoth than I did before reading it. Are they monsters or ghoulies what? Honestly lads, what is this bloody mumbo jumbo!?

You might read other reviews of this book that speak of how incredible it is. Let me tell you something though. There’s a few different editions of this book out there, and they currently go for anything between 1000 and 21,000 dollars. Anyone who spends that kind of money on a book is either going to write a glowing review of it or look and feel like a stupid tit. I feel embarrassed enough admitting I wasted my time reading a pdf of it.

So the lad who writes Therions lyrics wrote Qabalah, Qliphoth and Goetic Magic , and the lad who wrote lyrics for Dissection wrote The Book of Sitra Achra. I like Dissection a whole lot more than I like Therion, but one book was just as bad as the other. Qliphothic black magic is a load of wishy-washy rubbish. The only times these books will ever come in useful is as props for when you’re dressing up as Voldemort for your local cosplay convention.

Psychopathia Sexualis – Dr. Richard Von Krafft-Ebing

krafft-ebing psychopathia sexualisPsychopathia Sexualis – Dr. Richard Von Krafft-Ebing
Putnam – 1965 (First published 1896)

Psychopathia Sexualis is an early work of psychiatry that catalogs every sexual deviancy known to the author, from exhibitionism to trampling to necrophilia. All of the really lurid parts were originally printed in Latin so that uneducated people wouldn’t be able to read them, but this translation is all English. thank goodness. Most of the theoretical writing went right over my head, and what little of it I did understand was rather outdated. I focused my attention on the 200+ case studies on the lives of different perverts.

Some of these cases were shocking, some were hilarious, but most of them were rather sad. The sad ones were either about people who were clearly suffering from severe mental illnesses or people whose harmless kinks and preferences had landed them in prisons, insane asylums or graves. Many of these “perversions” would be considered fairly normal today. By Kraft Ebbing’s standard, pretty much anything other than regular sex counts as unnatural.

When I was a teenager, my friends and I tried to outdo each other by downloading the grossest porn imaginable to each other’s desktops – I have seen videos of people engaging in truly bizarre acts of sexual perversion. I have also read the Marquis De Sade and quite a few other gross books, so there weren’t many perversions in Psychopathia Sexualis that I had never heard of before. Some cases, however, are interesting enough to warrant recounting here:

Case 33 – A man would pay a prostitute to put on a fancy dress and lie down. Then, after looking at her through the keyhole of the door for a while, he would run into the room and do a poo on her expensive frock.

Case 77 – The case of a Minister who would visit a brothel, take the shoe of a prostitute, violently smush it against his cock and then rub the resulting ejaculate into his own armpits. After this, he’d borrow the shoe for a few days and “always, at the appointed time, returned it with thanks.” This courteous gentleman was hurting nobody! Smush and smear on, my good sir!

Case 114 – In an attempt to overcome his fear of sexual intercourse with his wife, a man who developed a fetish for female shoes at an early age was advised by his doctor to “hang a shoe up over his bed and look at it fixedly during coitus, at the same time imagining his wife to be a shoe.” This remedy worked a treat, and along with allowing him to make love to his wife at least once a week, it also cured his epilepsy.

Case 203 – A flasher who, in a public house, “rapped his exposed penis on the window so that the children and servant girls in the kitchen were forced to see it.”
“Tis some visitor,” they muttered, “tapping at our chamber door
— Only this and nothing more.”

Case 211 – a chronic masturbator with the filthy habits of drawing lewd cartoons, cross-dressing and dipping his dick into the pails at his parent’s milk store overcame his impotence by exposing his penis in public.

Case 222 – A man masturbated so much that he went impotent. The only way he could achieve sexual satisfaction was to “pick up a living bird by the bill and swing it around in the air. The sight of the tortured animal provoked erection and when the flapping wing touched his penis, ejaculation would ensue with enormous sexual lust.”

Case 229 – The farmers in a small provincial town noticed that many of their chickens were being raped to death. A 30 year old man of high social position was found to be responsible. “To the question of the judge, as to the reason for such an act, the accused said that his genitals were so small that coitus with women was impossible. Medical examination showed that actually the genitals were extremely small.”

There’s lots more, and many are far darker. There’s cannibals, necrophiles, mutilators, “girl prickers”, murderous rapists, paedophiles and a man who tried to impregnate his daughter with the messiah. This is not a funny book. In fact, it was so depressing that I only ever read a few pages at a time. It took me almost a year and a half to get from cover to cover. It’s a pretty good source for insight into the depraved depths of human sexuality, and countless horrible music acts have based works on this book, notably Clandestine Blaze and Whitehouse.

krafft-ebing psychopathia sexualis backThese are a few of my favorite things…

This book had been on my to-read list for years. It sounded interesting, but I don’t think I would have ever got around to actively seeking a copy out. I was fortunate enough to find one in a stack of books that the local university library was giving away for free. Sometimes you get lucky.

The Cannibals of Candyland – Carlton Mellick III

the cannibals of candyland carlton mellickThe Cannibals of Candyland – Carlton Mellick III
Avant Punk – 2009
At some stage in the not-so-distant past, a tribe of paedophagists (cannibals with a taste for kids) that used candy to catch its prey was separated from the rest of the human race. Somehow, they very quickly evolved candy hands to make hunting small children easier. Now their entire bodies are covered in candy, and they live in a giant cave under the sewers, only surfacing to snatch kids away for dinner. This book is the story of Franklin – a man whose siblings were eaten by these cannibals – and his quest for revenge.

I was looking for books in a thrift store a few days ago, and I found this on the bottom shelf of the horror section. Recently, I’ve been expanding my horizons with some rather trashy horror fiction, and when I saw this priced at a cool 3 dollars, I thought I might as well take things one step further. I had seen mentions of Bizarro fiction before reading this book, but I had never given it any attention. (Bizarro fiction is a niche underground genre of literature that a quick google search will help you understand.)

Maybe the rest of this Bizarro stuff is absolute crap, but this book was pretty good. I have an interest in gross, offensive art, but I don’t have much time for offensiveness just for offensiveness’ sake. It takes no skill or intelligence to string together a bunch of obscenities. Likewise, I don’t mind zany, off-the-wall art, but I quite dislike zaniness for zaniness’ sake. (When I was 17, I went to a house party where my friend’s friends were sitting in a circle playing the “random game”, a game in which players took turns saying “random” things – “Cheese, huh huh”. The idea that people would feel comfortable acting that way makes me feel nauseous to this very day.) While The Cannibals of Candyland was both thoroughly repulsive and rather strange, it didn’t feel forced. Once the admittedly ridiculous premise of the story is accepted, the whole thing is pleasantly cohesive. The book is filled with revolting gore and uncomfortably bizarre sex scenes, but these facets are being used to tell a surprisingly relatable story. Also, the book is nice and short; it never gets boring.

I don’t know how many Bizarro novels will really fit in on this blog, but this one was definitely horrible enough to warrant its inclusion. I enjoyed reading it, and I like the seemingly DIY nature of the Bizarro movement. I reckon I’ll be reading (and probably reviewing) more of this kind of stuff in the future.

One for the Rockers

horror rock
Heavy metal has a long history of borrowing elements from the realm of horror fiction. Anthrax wrote Among the Living about Stephen King’s The Stand, Iron Maiden have Phantom of the Opera, Moonchild and lots of other songs about literature, Metallica did Call of Kutulu and The Thing that Should not Be about Lovecraft’s work (their Ride the Lightning album also got its name from The Stand), and Reverend Bizarre were clearly big Dennis Wheatley fans, penning songs titled They Used Dark Forces and The Devil Rides Out. (This list is far from exhaustive; I’m limiting my examples to books I have reviewed on this site.) Its pummeling cacophony, sludgy riffs, piercing shrieks and gutteral growls make heavy metal sound like the events in a horror novel, and it’s not at all surprising that several authors have tried to switch things around by writing horror stories involving heavy rock music. (I’ve previously reviewed Ghoul, an awesome novel about an evil rock band, and Shock Rock, an anthology of rock’n’roll themed short fiction.) This post looks at three more horror novels that have chanced their arm wrestling the rock monster.

night music shelia bristow garnerNight Music – Sheila Bristow Garner

Pinnacle – 1992

This was an awful book. It’s about Kitty, a boring, plain-jane nurse, who falls in love with Michael, the singer in Fiasco, a shitty covers band. Soon after Kitty and Michael meet, a new guitarist joins the band, brainwashes Michael with a combination of hypnosis and rohypnol and then initiates him into a satanic cult. As Michael gets deeper and deeper into Satanism, his relationship with Kitty falls apart.

The characters are frustratingly flat – the good guys are good, and the bad guys are bad. Also, the members of Fiasco, the band, are suspiciously familiar – Michael leads, and David, he plays keys. Freddy’s cool but rude, and Jocko, well, he’s a party-dude.

The Satanism in here is never explained. To Sheila Bristow Garner, Satanists are just people who cut out other people’s hearts to worship the Devil. She assumes that her readers think so too. I was hoping that the horror in here would be of the supernatural variety because of cool skull on the cover, but I was sorely disappointed. The Satanic character is a good musician, and while he wouldn’t be the first character to receive his musical prowess from Satan, the book never explicitly suggests this. The most horrifying thing about this book is how dull it is. The main characters are so bland that I spent most of the book hoping that they would die horribly. This book is the literary equivalent of eating a stale cheese sandwich when you’re not hungry. Reading it feels like sitting on a train beside a person who has just farted. As soon as you realise what’s going on, you just want it to be over.

shelia bristow garnerThe author

This isn’t a horror novel. It’s a shitty romantic thriller that mentions Satanism. (There’s a surprising amount of loving, tender, consensual sex in here.) The rock ‘n’ roll element is limited to a few mentions of the blues-rock covers that the band perform. Everything about this book was disappointing. The cover art is by far the best part, and it doesn’t have much to do with the story. Look carefully and you’ll see that it pictures a bass guitar. The bassist in Fiasco is one of the least important characters in the story. He is never involved in any of the Satanic activity, yet the hand on the bass guitar is wearing a pentagram ring! Bullshit.

 

the foundling frank lauria
The Foundling – Frank Lauria

I quite liked Frank Lauria’s Doctor Orient series, and the cover of this book is an image of a devil-child playing an electric guitar. I had to read it.

I had read a rather unenthusiastic review of The Foundling before sitting down with the book, but it really wasn’t that bad. Sure, there’s only 4 or 5 real horror moments throughout, but I found the characters interesting enough to keep things afloat. This is the story of a retired rock-star and his wife adopting a preteen girl in an attempt to save their failing marriage. Unfortunately, the girl is sex-crazed, evil and magic. Whenever somebody annoys her, they end up dying horribly. The fact that the girl is evil is established early on, but the surprising reason for her evilness is only revealed towards the end. (Skip to the next paragraph if you’re planning to read this book.) It turns out that she is evil because she was brought up as part of the Manson family. That’s right. Not content with ripping off Carrie and the Omen, Frank Lauria decided to throw in a bit of Helter Skelter too. Surprised? It doesn’t make much sense in the context of the book either.

As far as rock’n’roll content is concerned, there’s not much to say. The dad character produces an album in the family’s basement, and the little girl writes a song, but that’s pretty much it. The rock’n’roll could be entirely removed from the story with just a few changes. Frank Lauria has played in a band, and the first Doctor Orient book features rock’n’roll mind control, so I guess he just likes it.

This was a quick read. It’s nothing special, but it was enjoyable enough.

 

stage fright garrett boatman
Stage Fright – Garret Boatman
I have been planning this post since the beginning of 2017, but tracking down this book delayed things considerably. I knew on seeing the cover that I would some day read it, but at that time copies were going for about 20 dollars, just a little more than what I feel comfortable paying for a trashy paperback. After being included on the cover of Paperbacks from Hell, this book became very difficult to find, and I had to spend a ludicrous amount of time and effort tracking down an affordable copy. I am delighted to announce that it was worth it.

This book is just as deadly as the cover would have you believe. While not really about a keyboard playing skeleton rocker, Stage Fright is a gory, slimy, slab of entertaining sci-fi horror. The instrument on the front cover is presumably the controller to a Dreamatron, a machine that allows its user to project their imagination into the dreams of an audience. Isidore Stark, the world’s most famous Dreamatron artist, decides to ingest the blood of schizophrenics to enhance his dreamscapes, but this leads to him losing control of his mind and the machine, and the results are very, very bloody. Characters from classic horror movies, the paintings of Bosch, and the books of Tolkien and Lovecraft show up in the “dreamies”. There are certain discrepancies to the story (how does the dream machine actually work?), but it’s pretty easy to let this stuff slide when you’re being confronted with flesh mazes and grotesque monsters tearing people’s limbs off. While this book isn’t about music, its intensity made it feel far more rock’n’roll than either of the other two books reviewed in this post.

I’ve only found one other full review of Stage Fright online. It’s quite a bit more critical than this one, but I suspect that Joe Kenney hadn’t slogged through two very mediocre (boring) rock novels directly beforehand. He is correct in claiming that some of the characters are overdeveloped and that the book is probably longer than it should be. Stage Fright is pure trash, but I prefer pure trash to diluted trash.

Joe Kenney also, very perceptively, notes that the inside cover of Stage Fright advertises another novel by Boatman Garrett called Death Dream. No such novel was ever published, and Kenney suggests that Death Dream might actually have been the original title for Stage Fright. This could explain the fact that the cover and title don’t have much to do with the plot of the novel; Death Dream would be more appropriate for this story.
death dream garrett boatmanDoes this then mean that Onyx had originally commissioned this cover art for an actual novel about a keyboard playing skeleton that was never published? Is there a manuscript of the real Stage Fright in some forgotten archive? We’ll probably never know.

 

I have reviewed these books in the order I read them. If I had ordered them by ranking, they’d be in the same position, Stage Fright being the best, Night Music being the shittest. Despite their incredible cover art, none of these books are really about rock music. My search for the perfect blend of horror and metal continues. Fortunately, I have these two books lying on my shelf for later.
the scream and kill riff

Black Sun – Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke

black sun nicholas goodrick-clarke
Black Sun (Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity) – Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke
New York University Press – 2002
Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke’s The Occult Roots of Nazism was one of the first books I reviewed on this blog. It was a good book, but I remember being mildly disappointed with the type of occultism I was encountering in it. I had read stuff on the internet about Satanic Nazis and Hitler’s UFO fleet, but this book was about Theosophy and Runes. The author had written a book about the actual Occult roots of Nazism and confined the silly conspiracies that developed after the war to a short discussion at the end of the book.

Black Sun, published 17 years after The Occult Roots of Nazism, is the same author’s account of the neo-Nazi conspiracies and ideologies that arose after WWII. They are mind-bogglingly insane. Featuring folks who think Hitler was a manifestation of God, groups who think that “the Jews” are an evil alien race that have willfully displaced the real Hebrews (who are actually the Aryans), and more flying saucers than you can shake a stick at, this book is overflowing with insanity.

esoteric hitlerism serranoThis dude has Swasti-chakras on his ass.

Unlike many of the books about insane topics that are reviewed on this site, Black Sun is actually a well written and researched piece of work. Goodrick-Clarke explains the theories; he does not espouse them. Another crucial difference between this book and most of the others I review is that the ideas contained in here are not just bizarre; they are vile, hateful and extremely dangerous. While the material is off-the-wall and genuinely fascinating, this book will probably leave you feeling worried and uncomfortable. After a detailed look at various racist organizations and the ways in which these groups rationalize and manifest their hate, the book ends with this chilling sentence:

From the retrospective viewpoint of a potential authoritarian future in 2020 or
2030, these Aryan cults and esoteric Nazism may be documented as early
symptoms of major divisive changes in our present-day Western democracies.

donald trump

I try not to get overly political on this blog, and I know that lots of Trump supporters will probably roll their eyes at this allusion, but here is a video of one of the hate groups described in Black Sun campaigning for Trump’s election. I don’t believe that all Trump supporters are neo-Nazis, but the amount of neo-Nazis that support the current president of the United States should be concerning to everyone. If this book had been written 15 years later, it doubtlessly would have had a chapter on the alt-right and the Cult of Kek.

I’m planning another post that will discuss some of the specific issues that come up in this book, so I’ll leave this post quite short. Black Sun is definitely one of the best non-fiction books I’ve reviewed, and I don’t need to pick it apart like I normally do. I strongly recommend reading it for yourself. I was fascinated to read about the lengths that neo-Nazis have to go through to rationalize their hate. Hating a person because you believe that they’re the descendant of an evil satanic alien is far sillier than hating them because you’re not used to how they look and speak and because you’re afraid that they might take your stuff. If you’re going to be a racist piece of shit, at least be honest with yourself.

Breakthrough – Whitley Strieber

Picture this:
You enjoyed last night’s chili so much that you had two large bowls. Now it’s the morning after and you’re straddling the toilet, aware that an eruption of Vesuvian proportions is imminent. Whooosh! The intensity of the shitflow is equal parts relieving and violent – it takes about 6 seconds for your anus to dispel what took you 20 minutes to eat only hours earlier.

Now imagine a gigantic ass shitting with that intensity for a prolonged period of time. Somehow the being this ass belongs to has an infinite reservoir of rancid, hot, soupy crap feeding the flow of their disgustingly stretched and overworked anus. Their high pressure fountain of fluid feces is pointed directly at your mouth. Try as you might to avoid them, the diarrheic rapids find their way into your maw, rebounding against the back of your throat and sending squirts of wet shit out each of your nostrils. You are drowning in dysentery, yet you remain alive.

That’s what reading this book feels like.

breakthrough - whitley strieber

Breakthrough (The Next Step) – Whitley Strieber
Harper Collins – 1995
I reviewed the second entry in Strieber’s visitors series only 3 months after reviewing the first, but it took me almost 2 and a half years to pluck up the courage to move on to Breakthrough, the 3rd entry in the series. By no means did I think that Communion was a good book, but Transformation was definitely worse, and I knew that any further forays into Strieber’s silly nonsense would prove to be absolutely terrible. I was right.

This book really is difficult to read. Strieber included his most interesting abduction experiences in Communion, and Breakthrough is just the continued coming to terms with having had aliens probe his rotten shitbag that Whitley started in Transformation. There’s very little alien activity being described in here; it’s nearly all speculation on the nature of the relationship that Strieber thinks the aliens want to have with us. He thinks they want to open our eyes to new levels of consciousness and understanding. This is getting closer and closer to that new-agey garbage in books like You Are Becoming a Galactic Human.

Highlights of this book included the description of the smelly goblin that lived in Strieber’s house for a month, Strieber’s astral voyage to the literal Garden of Eden, and the sin spiders that appeared above his bed. I really doubt that Strieber believes his own bullshit. These are just bad dreams he had or ideas he came up with on the toilet. At one stage he describes an experience in which he and a friend drive through an alternate dimension, an idea that I am certain he plagiarized from Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut, a short story by Stephen King. (If you’re interested in this comparison, the incident occurs in Chapter 11, page 139 in my edition, and King’s story is in Skeleton Crew.) Strieber puts little effort or care into making his story believable because his audience is mostly made up of low-grade-imbeciles.

All in all, this is a remarkably atrocious book.

whitley strieber visitors
I have The Secret School, the 4th book in Strieber’s visitors series, but after this, I don’t know if I’ll ever read it. This series is terrible, awful rubbish.