Friday, May 11, 2012

Are Giant Prey Mantises Part of Your World?


I'm not sure how comfortably Pierce Nace's Eat Them Alive fits into your world, but I can assure you it fits very well into mine.


I've written about this brilliant, audacious, and truly magnificent book twice before, and you can bet I'll be writing about it again. Being the stunning work of art that it is, it lies where it wants in my world, isn't required to work, and never incurs my wrath.


How could it? With a mug like this?


When Nace decided to out-Herbert James Herbert's The Rats (and associated vermin), and out-Smith Guy N. Smith's Night of the Crabs (and associated crustaceans), he/she (nobody knows Nace's true identity) didn't mess around. The book is a celebratory gore-fest of unrepentant violence and spirited insect rape, a poem to literary extremity. It is the sorry tale of a Man/Hero/Villain named Dyke whose penis is liberated by a nasty gang. Unable to forgive and forget the dismissal of his manhood, Dyke gathers an army of giant prey mantises to exact revenge on all who've done him wrong -- which is pretty much everybody, as you could imagine. If you're wondering where Dyke found mantises willing to assist him with his revenge campaign, I should mention that he happened to be close to an erupting volcano at the time, and, lucky for him, the eruption vomited up some sleepy giants of the mantis variety. Turns out dear old Dyke wasn't born under an unlucky star afterall. 


I Google "Eat Them Alive by Pierce Nace" quite often, hoping to scavenge another tidbit of its mysterious parentage. This morning over breakfast, I came across a youtube clip in which a young horror fan discusses his eight favorite horror books. One of them, it turns out, is Eat Them Alive. God bless this son of Britain! He also lavishes schoolboy praise on Barker's Weaveworld, King's It and Misery, and HG Wells's Island of Dr. Moreau

Check the fine lad out here: h**p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIk7n3EcSTw   (replace *'s, of course)

Eat Them Alive is set on an island called Malpelo, and what happens on Malpelo is something I'm sure old HG would have been quite excited about. Islands are rarely boring. I know that. HG knew it.


There is some speculation that Nace is a woman: Evelyn Pierce Nace, an American crime author. Being extremely familiar with the Nace novel (I've read it at least five times), I'd be surprised if it were written by a woman. The passages of salacious dismemberment feel like the emptying of a male brain. Then again, castration does play a significant role in matters. Few males fantasize about that.


If you haven't read it, why the hell not? You're denying yourself one of the world's greatest literary experiences. You're starving your brain of something extraordinary, the likes of which it has never reckoned with before.

Make Eat Them Alive part of your furniture, part of your world.


Live a little.

15 comments:

  1. It really is a remarkable book, and probably the pinnacle of the 70s-era "nasties." Incidentally, what exactly is that in the background of the second-to-last photo? I can make out a wine bottle and several doll's heads, placed in...something.

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  2. It really is a remarkable book, and very likely the pinnacle of the 70s-era "nasties." Incidentally, what is that in the background of the second-to-last photo? I can make out a wine bottle and several doll's heads, placed in...something.

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  3. I bought Baxter hardcover and Eat Them Alive because of you. Thank you.

    -mAQ

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  4. Adam -- "Remarkable" for so many reasons, which is why I have no qualms putting it in my, say, Top 20. Even in a crowded, field, it elevates itself not just via gore, but even Nace's bold choice to make Dyke the book's protagonist and antagonist. I always like stories where the hero is undone by his own actions, not that of a villain. The doll and heads are in bronze chalices. It's a kitchen shot.

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  5. mAQ -- You have a BAXTER hardcover? Was that as BAXTER, or HELLHOUND? I'm impressed. I hope you enjoyed EAT THEM ALIVE. Did you ever review it?

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  6. You know, EAT THEM ALIVE is the only film I'd love to make as animation in the WATERSHIP DOWN style.

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  7. "1 item added to Cart

    Eat Them Alive
    by Pierce Nace"


    Thanks once again, Phantom. \m/

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  8. I just bought it off amazon. The Baxter version. NOVEL OF INHUMAN TERROR. I have a feeling that I will love ETA. I reviewed Baxter , yes!

    -mAQ

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  9. http://latino-review.com/2012/05/16/john-woo-direct-remake-nikkatsus-day-beast/

    I believe this will be of interest to you, Mr. Savage

    -mAQ

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  10. A gift of personal appreciation - straight through your monitor.
    http://i.imgur.com/TVWgi.jpg

    Eat Them Alive - Holy shit. Fucking, revenge porn. Just, anger channeled through excessive prose. I'd swear chapters were designed to highlight a single suffering. I loved it. I adored the clever mixture of brilliance and immaturity. Dyke surely was of a human condition, his thoughts were so splintered that I connected with the unsure and indecisive psychopathy of Dyke, while impromptu trash novel critics spread slander of a novel that is, well, about a castrated self-obsessed messianic (in thought) who commands a small group of giant Praying Mantises to disembark only to dismantle those who wronged him.

    Baxter - Read the first 2 chapters. This. is. written. exquisitely. Holy. Shit. My hair is standing on end.

    Love, Soiled Sinema

    -mAQ

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  11. Soiled -- your message has made my day!!! I've been singing the praises of this masterwork (yes, masterwork!!!) for decades, and very few have listened. Well, you have clearly listened and checked it out for yourself. I love your comments.

    As for BAXTER:. It's an amazing book, and Greenhall is one hell of an underrated writer. He also wrote the amazing ELIZABETH. Has also been published as Jessica Hamilton in the UK. ELIZABETH and BAXTER have done more to convey the essence of evil than almost any other. Why there isn't a lovecraft-like cult around Greenhall is beyond me. His prose is immaculate.

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  12. and isn't that hardcover just GORGEOUS? I love the dog food can image.

    -mAQ

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  13. http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/5765/eatthemalive.jpg

    Thanks to you.

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  14. Soiled -- wonderful hardcover.

    ***

    Diary -- The book is in perfectly appropriate company.

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  15. Ha. So I let my brother read Eat Them Alive and he noticed something. Check page 84 and then page 90. Tell me if you notice something.

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