Thursday, July 1, 2010

Book Review: One Bloody Thing After Another by Joey Comeau

One Blood Thing After Another
Author: Joey Comeau
Released: May 1st, 2010
Pages: 160
Summary from NetGalley, also where I received my copy as an e-book

Jackie has a map of the city on the wall of her bedroom, with a green pin for each of her trees. She has a first-kiss tree and a broken-arm tree. She has a car-accident tree. There is a tree at the hospital where Jackie’s mother passed away into the long good night. When one of them gets cut down, Jackie doesn't know what to do but she doesn't let that stop her. She picks up the biggest rock she can carry and puts it through the window of a car. Smash. She intends to leave before the police arrive, but they're early.

Ann is Jackie’s best friend, but she’s got problems of her own. Her mother is chained up in the basement. How do you bring that up in casual conversation? "Oh, sorry I've been so distant, Jackie. My mother has more teeth than she’s supposed to, and she won't eat anything that’s already dead." Ann and her sister Margaret don't have much of a choice here. Their mother needs to be fed. It isn't easy but this is family. It’s not supposed to be easy. It'll be okay as long as Margaret and Ann still have each other.

Add in a cantankerous old man, his powerfully stupid dog, a headless ghost, a lesbian crush and a few unsettling visits from Jackie’s own dead mother, and you'll find that One Bloody Thing After Another is a different sort of horror novel from the ones you're used to. It’s as sad and funny as it is frightening, and it is as much about the way families rely on each other as it is about blood being drooled on the carpet. Though, to be honest, there is a lot of blood being drooled on the carpet.

My somewhat strange review:

If I could only say one word about this book it would be DISTURBING! I read this in just a few hours and I couldn't put it down (so that's something). When I finished it my first thought was "what an awful book." However, now days later I keep thinking about it and telling people they should read it. I know, confusing right? I'm still not sure I liked it but I can't really say I didn't like it anymore either. I think I want other people to read it so I will have someone to talk to about it. It is a very short novel and I found the chapters to be almost choppy feeling, but I think that is maybe what the author was going for. There was a whole section of the book where I just kept going "huh?" So with all of that being said, I have decided not to give this book a number rating at this time because like I said I still haven't decided if I liked it or not. I do know one thing, I will probably have to read this again somewhere down the line to see if I "get" anything different off of it. You know how sometimes when you watch a movie more than once and you "get" things the second time that you didn't the first? I'm thinking that will happen with me and this book. So if you too decide to read One Bloody Thing After Another please let me know what you thought, and I'd love to discuss this book with you.

Joey Comeau is the author of Lockpick Pornography, Overqualified, and Too Late to Say I'm Sorry, as well as the popular web comic A Softer World. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Disclaimer: I was sent a review copy of this book through NetGalley. I received no compensation to read or review it.


  1. I got this from Netgalley as well and I just couldn't finish it. I didn't mind the disturbing parts - I just felt like it was drifting to nowhere...maybe I should give it another go?? I was about halfway through when I gave up.

  2. This book sounds decidedly disturbing. Yet, some part inside of me is thinking that I should give it a bash. :-) I guess you could blame it on the experimental reader within. Who knows hey? If I do get around to it, I'll let you know what I thought of it :)

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