"Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room" is an unrelenting assault of sex and horror, a sensory overload that will blow your mind, all set within the claustrophobic confines of a mysteriously malevolent hotel, frequented by men and monsters alike; a nightmarish nexus of carnal carnage, with flesh-eating Mexican vampires, alien spies, mad scientists, deviant dwarves, horny zombies, teenage werewolves, Elvis impersonators, hit men, hustlers, clairvoyant cats and other random rebels and rejects feverishly fornicating and ferociously feasting beneath the repressive radar of polite society. This is Extreme Erotic Horror Noir, with a dash of satire and a twist of irony, not for the squeamish, but for anyone who wallows shamelessly in the corporeal illusion called Life.
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By Steve Isaak
Mar 21, 2012
"Freaks", like Viharo's previous genre-blender, "A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge", is a violent, gory, pornoriffic and potent blend of horrors and strange semblances of society and humanity, with overt links to Viharo's other works, particularly his theme- and tone-varied Vic Valentine novels (starting with "Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me") and "Chumpy Walnut". "Freaks" is shorter and less complex, structurally speaking, than "Mermaid", but sports the same spirit of "Mermaid", with its cinematic references (love the chapter titles), seedy (often relatable) desperation and unrelenting violence. Worth owning, this. This is one of my favorite reads from Viharo, perhaps topping even "Mermaid" in its direct, unapologetic simplicity.
First, a disclaimer. I liked Will Viharo's other books so much, I hired him to collaborate on a book project with me. So, I'm not an unbiased reviewer. I read "Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room" on a coast-to-coast flight; it's just the right size for that. Not a lot of pages but the prose is intense, so it's not something you're going to skim through in two hours. Even taking it slow I'm sure there were nuances I missed on the first reading. This is a mood piece; the characters and situations take a back seat to the pervasive gloom of the setting itself. Viharo pulls the reader into a claustrophobic world where the characters blur and fade into one another, and individual relationships are fleeting moments in a seemingly eternal timeline where the duet of sex and death is sung in an endless fugue. The themes are both human and epic, as the characters play out their petty fetishes in an attempt to drown out the ultimate aloneness of every life in the face of... More > certain annihilation. “Freaks” handles deep philosophical questions with a strong dose of visceral gore and unrestrained sexuality, the complete opposite of the emo teen vampire/werewolf/zombie genres that seems to be the height of popularity nowadays. After reading “Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room” on the airplane, I checked into the hotel for my business trip with quite a bit of trepidation. Things are quiet here, too quiet… and what exactly is that bleached-out stain on the sheets?< Less
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