Written by: Nathan Crazybear
Self-publishing has become easy. With the rise of Amazon and eBooks, any jamoke with a pen, a half-assed idea, and Internet access can write up a book and send it out into the world. As cool as this can be, it also has the downside of filling the market up with some not-so-great content. We’ve wound up with folders upon folders of poorly written cliché-filled eBooks, leaving readers with a sea of underwhelming works to sift through. With so much content it can be difficult to find books that are really worth reading.
It’s because of this large number of less-than-satisfying books thrown out into the worldwide web that I’ve often heard self-publishing decried as not really being valuable, that lacking the validation of a publisher does not for a real writer make. While that’s an idea I disagree with entirely, it says something for a market that has perhaps become oversaturated. So how do we find the trash among the treasure? We dig, my friends. We dig for a diamond amidst the rough that perhaps is the world of self-publishing.
“This Is Not A Lovesong,” is one of these diamonds to emerge from the pile. The self-published debut of writer, Hjdoom, “This Is Not A Lovesong,” is a short, twisted novel of horror in the extreme sense, driven by two fascinating characters and their not-love story. Written as a series of vignettes, Hjdoom delivers readers the tale of Billy Hate and Sandra Void in rich and eloquent prose. Each vignette takes a snapshot of his characters’ twisted thoughts and misdeeds, their collective pieces coming together to create portraits of a duo that each individually are just as interesting as any Norman Bates, Hannibal Lector, or Patrick Bateman.
“This Is Not A Lovesong,” opens with Billy Hate, wonderfully developing his character, Hjdoom drags us through the dirt that is Hate’s perversions, relationships, hobbies, and struggle to assimilate into a world that he cares nothing about. Hate is an outcast and as we’re walked through the dark thoughts and weird activities that make up the character’s day to day life, our attention is held not just by our growing fascination with Hate (and his growing cannibalistic urges), but by how eerie our world looks through his eyes.
Hate’s story arrives at a turning point when he meets Sandra Void. Hjdoom then takes a step away from Hate to tell us her story through another series of vignettes. While the seeming departure from our protagonist in Hate may seem at first jarring, Hjdoom’s style and the story’s focus (the reality that this is the story not of Billy Hate but of both Billy and Sandra) allow the story to continue to flow smoothly. Sandra Void is another curious character, grabbing the attention of readers just as solidly as we were interested in Hate, Void is a clever and murderous killer whose cold approach to the world is driven by her desire for dominance. It’s the collision of these two sociopathic characters that turns “This Is Not A Lovesong,” into the tale of what is created by the intercourse of two twisted minds.
“This Is Not A Lovesong,” is graphic and unrelenting. This is not a book that you offer to a friend for “light reading,” nor is it the book you gift to your mother (at least not my mom). Hjdoom’s descriptive prose is filled with dark similes and stomach-churning imagery that feels like the uncomfortable press of a blade beneath your fingernail. His characters relate to us the sick thoughts that no one would ever say out loud and act upon those thoughts with cruel joy. Hjdoom’s debut novel is a well-written extreme work of horror that is not for the faint of heart and that’s creation resulted in one of the many books that can be offered up as proof that great things come out of the self-publishing world.
“This Is Not A Lovesong,” is not the story of two outcasts that find something to live for in each other. It’s not the tale of two murderous sociopaths whose struggle to understand life drives them to connection. “This Is Not A Lovesong,” is not a love story…or maybe it is.
Order it here