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The Consumer [Paperback]

Michael Gira , M. Gira
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Description

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This weird-press offering is both deliriously repulsive and very well-crafted. It's a collection of short pieces -- sort of like stories, but more like wild fantasies -- that take surrealistic organ distortions, drug-infused hallucinatory sexual nightmares and grotesque organic urban-machinery delusions, to whole new levels of "Whoa! Can't believe I'm actually eating lunch while reading this." Reminiscent of J. G. Ballard in his Crash/Atrocity Exhibition phase, or else J. K. Huysmans on an ether binge in Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Meat April 22 2004
I find this book really interesting. I don't think that it is a work of perversion. It is just written from a certain perspective. It is a really dark vision. Parts of it remind me of Beckett. You don't have to be a serial killer to read about serial killers. This is a book that I return again and again when all other books seem too pretentious or fake.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Giras troubled mind leaks onto paper... Nov. 10 2003
This disturbing collections of short stories, musings, and seemingly random thoughts actually hovers somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, but I give Mr. Gira the benefit of the doubt. The purity of the ugliness written almost poetically on these pages becomes almost beautiful in its sick, twisted, dark, painful, pain-filled, drug-induced dislocation of mind and self.
In other words, Michael Gira is one sick little puppy. There is harmony in his savage portrayals of empty submission to torture and honestly in his slipping away of self. Brutal self loathing and a vicious need of self-punishment dominate these unpleasant tales and musings, with the sharpened sting of drug enhanced delusions of mind and body slipping away into nothingness.
Only from the mind of a tortured, clinically depressed soul could tales such as these sprout; ugly and black with poisonous fangs, sickly perverse and bitterly cruel. This collection is not for the squeamish or light hearted, or even for those looking for the bloodbath type of horror musings; however it does contain more searching of the true illness of mind and body than the merely tediously disgusting works of Poppy Z. Brite or Cara Bruce.
Michael Gira was also the singer/songwriter for the band The Swans, a dark and moody goth/industrial type band from the 80s and has done a few Cds on his own. This stories are as tortured and depressing as his music.
My major complaint was after reading about three quarters of the way through the stories, they kind of began to blend into each other. Though the descriptions were almost poetic in their brutality, they became repetitive after awhile, different wordings of the same internal and external tortures.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not thrilling Oct. 10 2002
I was very disappointed in this book. Most of the reviews said it was sick and twisted, which I happen to like, but it was boring. Very wordy. Too much like "literature" to be sick and twisted.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for reader reaction Dec 11 2001
I have to give the consumer 5 stars just for the reaction it drew from me. This book is twisted and sick - both resons why I was intrigued to read it in the first place. There were times I felt I couldn't take another word of it and wanted to hurl this book across the room into the fire. The power behind "The Consumer" is that instead of discarding it in disgust, it forces you to suffer through reading the entire book. I've also been a longtime fan of the Swans - Gira's music group - and reccommend them to fans of this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Way Out In Left Field Nov. 17 2001
If you are into raping children, animal cruelty, incest and deriving sexual pleasure from gross imagery then this is your book. I, myself, am not into that sort of thing. I prefer my horror supernatural, unexplained, freaky and/or occultish. So as far as the Horror factor, I give it a 2, the Disgusting factor a 10, and the Way Out In Left Field factor a 100. Gira is quite obsessed with description as well. Sometimes your imagination can run away with you and that can get scary. But not in this book. It is quite detailed. Too detailed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars More Disgusting than Horror Nov. 16 2001
By A Customer
If you are into raping children, animal cruelty, incest and sexual satisfaction from disgusting imagery, then this is the book for you. I personally don't care for these kinds of things so this book was just not the kind of reading I like. So, I give it a horror factor of 2, a disgust factor of 10 and a way out in left field factor of 100.
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4.0 out of 5 stars the best Aug. 15 2001
By A Customer
At first Gira's similes seem strained but then become utterly captivating. They hit you with force. He has a completely new vision of the urban landscape - he makes us see things in new ways. Its a seamless melding of dream imagery with the everyday. A few of the writings tend to rants but most are well crafted stories, as they say. Even when they don't go anywhere, the message comes through.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cold, clinical, beautiful and horrifying... Jan. 29 2001
The Consumer is not for everyone. I feel that it's a beautiful work and a very pure vision . . . full of horrifying, clinically written and presented "fairy tales" of human suffering and misery. This is a book of pain. There are some truly disturbing images in this collection. I was reading works by Peter Sotos (Index) and Irvin Welsh (Filth) during the same period as this one, and it fit in quite nicely. If you don't like to wince or have the wind knocked out of you by words, then don't even pick this up.
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