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Selfish, Little: The Annotated Lesley Ann…
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Selfish, Little: The Annotated Lesley Ann Downey

by Peter Sotos

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A book detailing sundry subjects of pedophilia and graphic violence, with particularly nuanced detail to the abduction and murder of Lesley Ann Downey. Much of Sotos' earlier work alternates between anecdotes of glory hole escapades and newspaper excerpts of child murder cases through the vehicle of a spiteful voice. Those elements are also found here, but there is a more particular structure with a large amount of focus on the titular subject that leads to a more reflective narrative voice, one might even say a compassionate voice. That same voice later wishes for opportunities to view increasingly graphic depictions of children being abused and murdered, and to rip apart large animals. A reader has a hard time reconciling the regret or remorse or transformation earlier in the book with these desires. It is even harder to comprehend in terms of a first person, potentially semi-autobiographical narrative.

We might want Sotos to come out and unwrite his own output, to counter it and cast everything previously written into some sort of inverse moralizing or cultural criticism. Is that fair? We don't ask repentance or transformation from the voice of Maldoror, or the narrator of Cooper's Frisk. Perhaps is it because we see some part of Sotos himself in the voice here. Which part? Even the most deranged and hateful voice can reflect or fluctuate, and even the average individual contains some form of violent desire. This is, if nothing else, a study in the abject position. It contains a great amount of ugliness, but there are surprising glimpses of beauty here too. ( )
1 vote poetontheone | Nov 3, 2013 |
Sotos is hard for me to read. He is relentless. I have to put him down and come back to him. I can never read him in one go. He upsets me. He makes me sick. At times, I do not understand him and when I do, it bothers me because it makes me wonder about the sickness that lurks in my own soul. But I comfort myself that what is happening to me is that Sotos is provoking a reaction, not a realization, which is why I think this book exists.

I expose myself to Peter Sotos for the same reasons I expose myself to any number of artistic darknesses: I have to. It is a compulsion and one I gave up fighting years ago. Sotos leaves me bewildered, unsure about what I just read. Parts of the book are unclear. Was it truth, a remembrance of actual sexual couplings? Fantasy? Is he describing himself or is it a fiction? And would knowing the truth make any difference?

I don't know. Read the rest of the review here: http://ireadoddbooks.com/?p=500
1 vote oddbooks | Mar 2, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0977799514, Paperback)

In this unnerving new book, cult author Peter Sotos examines the brutal murder of Lesley Ann Downey at the hands of British "Moors Murderers" Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. With frank, inimitable prose and self-deprecating wit, Sotos interweaves numerous accounts - culled from tabloids, memoirs, and television specials - of the sensational crime and its devastating aftermath with analogous excerpts from recent headlines, explicit erotic fantasies, and graphic descriptions of degrading, often-anonymous carnal encounters. Sotos persistently seeks the truth where others are afraid to look, and discovers an implicit pornography in the public lamentations of Downey's grieving mother, media coverage of lurid sex crimes, and journalistic forays into the private lives of sex offenders. Replete with autobiographic tales of sexual excess, telling interviews, and thoughtful musings on crime, art, and pornography, Selfish, Little is a surreal "smorgasbord of unabashed vulgarity."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:06 -0400)

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