I read a book: Full Brutal, by Kristopher Triana

If Kristopher Triana wasn’t already on my insta-buy list, he would be after reading this book.

There is so much to say about this book. To say that it is brutal is an understatement. It begins with a couple of quotes, one about the cruelty of man by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and a second seemingly glib remark by Jeffrey Dahmer. “I carried it too far, that’s for sure.” — Jeffery Dahmer. Don’t you just love it when you finish a book and then reflect on the quotes on the first page and understand their significance in relation to the book?

This Mean Girls meets American Psycho type tale features a teenage girl who has it all. Kim White is a popular cheerleader, she’s beautiful, all the girls envy her and want to be her. There’s just one problem. She’s bored af and ready to check out if something doesn’t happen soon. After a conversation about the life changing effects of losing your virginity (har har) with her friend, Kim decides that that’s exactly what her life is missing. She could fuck any boy her age she wants, but she sets her focus on her teacher. He is a weak man and it doesn’t take much for him to give in. She finds that it isn’t the sex itself that gets her out of her funk, it’s the instant regret of her teacher and the knowledge that she can destroy this man on a whim. She feeds on despair. She goes from threatening to expose him, to destroying his family, to going on a full on rampage. Because of who she is (and her careful manipulation of people), no one suspects her of any wrongdoing, which just makes it easier to escalate. When it’s all said and done, the reader is left thinking about Kim and how her father and her peers will react, just as we watched her peers react to all of the shit that went down in the book.

I listened to the audiobook as I read, as I often do. The narration was spot on. Solid performance by Dani George.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for me. I loved it. It’s got everything. Drama. Murder. Cannibalism? Yeah. There is so much to say about this book, but if you are into extreme horror and splatterpunk, you should read it for yourself. In the words of Jeffrey Dahmer, she “carried it too far, that’s for sure.”

You can get a signed copy of Full Brutal at Kristopher Triana’s website, or grab a digital version on Amazon.

I read a book: Gone to See the River Man, by Kristopher Triana

For the last couple months I’ve been running a book club in one of my favorite book groups on Facebook, Book Lovers Cafe. Titles have mostly been chosen from Amazon First Reads. They’ve been good, but not stuff I’d typically read. Bored with the same old thing, I decided to start up a secondary book club for horror aficionados like myself. I dubbed it the Cool Ghouls Book Club. The first book I selected was one I’d seen recommended a lot in a different book group, Books of Horror. Gone to See the River Man, by Kristopher Triana.

At first it seemed like it was heading in a typical thriller path and I thought the main character was somehow going to end up being murdered by the man she obsessed over. Which…did happen. But the path from meeting him in prison to meeting him in her apartment was not typical thriller material. One might wonder why someone would find themselves obsessed with a serial killer, but as the story unfolds and you learn more about Lori, it isn’t so mysterious. Lori is seriously flawed, cut from the same cloth even. She has shared all of herself with Edmund and he knows she is the right person for his mission. Like Lori, you’ll find yourself wondering how much of the journey to see the River Man is real and how much is in her head. Is the River Man real? Or is he a manifestation of her mental and moral decline? This book is dark and graphic and utterly disturbing.

It’s a short read, but doesn’t feel like it’s lacking story building like some novellas do. If you like horror, splatterpunk, otherwise dark stories and don’t mind gore, give this a read. And if it’s your first horror book ever, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised, as this one group member did.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Closer to 5 honestly, but I made my rating and I don’t like to go back and change ratings unless I reread.

Great book. I’ll definitely be reading more of his work. Grab your copy on Amazon.