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Flesh Gothic by Edward Lee
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Flesh Gothic (2005)

by Edward Lee

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It's been a while since I've read a good haunted house story and this book fit the bill perfectly. It had the required haunted house with ghosts, demons and other entities. It had a cast of complex characters who you weren't quite sure of which ones to trust. And it had a ton of sex. OK, sex isn't required in a haunted house story but it certainly adds to the enjoyment.

After a brief prologue and the introduction of all the characters, the story follows Westmore, a reporter who has been hired to determine the secrets behind some murders which occurred by her husband at a huge mansion. Westmore soon gets set up at the house along with two assistants and four psychics; the investigations start turning up weird event after weird event. Before we know it, paranormal events are happening daily and are taken as normal. Stranger and stranger events unfold. And a supernatural charge within the house builds until the climatic ending. All in all, a very exciting and mostly spooky read that I highly recommend. ( )
  dagon12 | May 20, 2014 |
a good read, I had a little trouble getting into it but it's nothing against the book I am just feeling burned out on horror. this one had a lot of stuff with the psychics and out of body experiences and deviners that reminded me of the inferno series, so did the flesh temple and opening the rift and everything on the other side of it. at the same time it was more of a ghost story and also reminded me of the house party of pig and house which is one of my favorites. all together it was good and probably would have gotten a five if I was in the mood for it. ( )
  justin.eaton.35 | Feb 5, 2014 |
First Edward Lee book that I've read and while I liked it, I also caught myself laughing in a few places. Just a little bit too much penis worship for me to take it seriously. This book is like Rosemary's Baby meets the Haunting of Hill House with a dose of Viagra mixed in. And the women in the novel were either crack whores, porn stars, ex-porn stars, mutilated virgins, sex addicts, schizophrenics or devil worshipers. Maybe the misogyny wasn't intentional, but it was there. ( )
  Mumugrrl | Jul 18, 2010 |
Though I’ve only read two of his books, I can tell that Flesh Gothic is far from Ed Lee’s best work. I think Edward Lee is a good writer, but haunted house stories are obviously not his forte.

We begin with a ritualistic slaughter at a mansion that doubles as a porn studio. The prologue was pretty interesting, and tracking the last survivor (through a room of flesh!) of what comes to be known as Slaughter Night at the Hildreth House was pretty intense. After that the wife of the mansion's deceased owner hires a group of psychic investigators to find out what happened that night.

This is Edward Lee, who has earned his reputation as a writer of ‘extreme’ horror, so there is more at Hildreth House than spooks in sheets and slamming doors. Flesh Gothic eschews the usual, implied scares of most haunted house stories. Instead we are exposed to graphic sex, gore and body fluids of all types.

The problem is the promise of the strong start just isn't followed through on. Despite all of the horrible things that have happened in the Hildreth House's long and storied history, Ed just doesn't make the house itself particularly chilling or sinister.

There are all sorts of fun, supernatural goings-on, but the back story of what these monsters are is explained to the reader too early. As a result you never ask yourself 'Oh my God! What is that thing?!'

Lee goes head first for the shocking scares here, but he should have focused more on the group dynamic. Showing the investigators developing a bunker mentality together and agonizing over breaking their contract and leaving versus risking their souls by continuing their investigations is one of the classic ingredients of all haunted house stories and it is sadly lacking here.

All the psychics just seem too blasé about the ‘hauntings’. Maybe he should have focused on the reporter and a couple of the other ‘normal’ people who are part of the group and kept the psychic's personalities at arms length. He tries to show the psychics as professionals who seem to understand what is going on, with talk of ‘revenants’, ‘discorporated beings’ and ‘Adiposians’. The problem with that approach is that since they aren't particularly freaked out, I'm not either.

And c'mon, all of the women staying at the house are, at one point or another, raped by ghosts and yet none of them seem to have a problem traipsing off again on their own. The non-psychic woman never even seems to entertain the notion of just leaving and the ones that are psychic don't seem to be especially effected by their 'invasions'. They repeatedly lock themselves off alone to perform their work. Don't these people learn? Wouldn't it have been wise to at least have the others monitor what was happening using the houses elaborately explained, built-in surveillance system?

I will read more Edward Lee. All authors stumble from time-to-time. But I can see that Flesh Gothic is not his high water mark. ( )
1 vote jseger9000 | Jun 22, 2009 |
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For Michael Slade, an utmost inspiration
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"You should've killed me," the girl said.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0843954124, Mass Market Paperback)

House of Passion

Hildreth House. On a moonlight night in early spring, twenty-seven people entered the mansion’s labyrinthine halls, to partake in an orgy of diabolical debauchery, the likes of which beggared description. And one by one, twenty-six of them were butchered in place. The twenty-seventh body was never recovered.

House of Sin

The screams have faded, and the blood has dried but the spectral house remains...waiting.

House of Hell

Welcome to the mansion made in Hell

Flesh Gothic

Where the temple of evil is your own body...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:48 -0400)

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