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The Consumer Paperback – Dec 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 233 pages
  • Publisher: 2 13 61 (December 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880985268
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880985267
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #893,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on Jan. 28 2000
Format: Paperback
As literature overall, this book is not really worth more than2 stars. But I give it 5 because it is immensely impacting and willremain with you forever once you've read it. I've never seen anythingelse quite like it. The cold, unrelenting, calculated villiany of these stories is amazing, and you will be consistently receiving powerful details that you did not want and never would've expected to get. Gira's music (the now disbanded Swans) is dark but not usually downright grotesque -- in his fiction, he seems dedicated to pulling up the most abominable arrangement of imagery and content that anyone could hope to imagine. He succeeds in his goal admirably.
As writing, this really is ridiculously wordy and articulate, much like Nick Cave's work. It is fancy prose for the sake of being fancy and intelligent-seeming. Some stories are toss outs and few of them have any particular point, other than to disturb you. But they *do* disturb you, to the core, and that is what is remarkable about them. It's hard to be genuinely horrifying, and it's tricky to write stories that make you physically nauseous. Gira's success in doing these things causes me to admire this book. It is vivid, important, and unforgettable. Too showy and one-track to be taken especially seriously as a work of literature, but too impacting and original to be ignored. A freak of a book, which is undoubtedly what Gira wants and expects it to be, which evokes a twisted, horrifying, and taboo world. The most perverse literature I've ever seen, and that includes De Sade.
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Format: Paperback
The consumer, like most of M gira's work is duplicitly lush, beautifull,serene and yet horrific on a quantum metaphysical level. I found this to be THE most repulsive,disturbing, writing I have ever come across and yet,I found myself drawn into the irresistable deep beaty that evocates out of the pages. The author has a spoken word CD called "the somniloquist" wich I also reccomend. It gave me some of the most unusual nightmares I can remember.Gira's unique writing style is hallucinogenic and sedative, yet seething with the power that can be found in his seminal, equally genius band "SWANS" and "the angels of light" (check them both out) @ swanspair.com Order this book if not simply for the fact that there is NOTHING really similar. even if you dont "like" it you will not be uneffected.
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By A Customer on Dec 9 1998
Format: Paperback
Mike Gira has been raping the minds of millions for years now as the instigator/lead terrorist for the bloodthirsty underground band Swans. Pick up FILTH or GREED and feel the skin peel off in sheets. Then pick up THE CONSUMER, which does the same thing in words. Absolutely no corner of the mind, no matter how remote or horrible, is left untouched, and that's the main reason for its beauty. It's better than real: it's hyper-real; it forces you to come back to your world with newly-opened eyes. If you're squeamish or easily offended, put this down and walk away -- you'll be diving into a bottomless tub of hell. Trust me. Really.
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By A Customer on Nov. 23 1998
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most spirtitually decimating, emotionally deprived pieces of work that I have ever had the (pleasure?) to read. It is an arduous journey through the depths of dillusion, betrayal, sexual manipulation, and hatred, all masterfully depicted by ex-Swan Michael Gira. His style of writing will wrench you out of your life and into his as he plummets toward some unseen all-consuming finale. In the end, you won't want to cry, scream, or breathe a sigh of relief. You will want to go to sleep, wake up the next day, and try to forget the imagery that was smashed into your head with the force of a supernova.
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