Silk Paperback – Nov 5 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Despite its title, there's nothing smooth or sexy about this skin-crawling debut from Kiernan, an author with one helluvan imagination and a startling lack of inhibition. At the center of this modern gothic horror story is Spyder Baxter, a deeply troubled young woman haunted by terrifying memories of childhood and her insane, abusive father. But his transgressions were so heinous that the demons aren't just in her head anymore; they've taken on a life of their own and are taking over Spyder's house, crawling out of the basement and into everything and everyone she cares about. Caught in Spyder's web of bad karma are a motley crew of disenfranchised Gen Xers all living on the edge and trying to heal various psychic wounds of their own. They've each got plenty of reasons to be hallucinating, and the author does a good job of blurring the lines between their bad acid trips and spectral sightings. But reading Kiernan is rather like deciphering entrails, filled with the violence of raw, edgy words: "The angry screech of denied retribution, raging shadows and nightshade teeth." Her rambling metaphors ("Dull smack of her shoulder against the wall, again and again, meat-thud tattoo") hint at inexperience, but her naked energy will appeal to grungers weaned on The Hunger.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
"A remarkable novel; a powerful and disturbing story. Deeply, wonderfully, magnificently nasty." -- Neil Gaiman --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Kiernan has proven herself a far better writer than this novel indicates. Here, her work falls into a pit of Goth subculture cliches. By page 15, all are present--the strange obsession with hair and hair dye descriptions (each character can be told from the rest by his or her hair color and quality), Tom Waits, The Cure, Nosferatu, boring drug use, and a character named Byron. All of which would be fine had Kiernan raised even one of her characters out of the blandness and made him/her real. Unfortunately, the next two hundred pages are just more of the same. When the story does actually begin, the reader is too sick of the characters to care.
Silk - a novel about hair dye, Tom Waits, and spooky posturing; a sophomoric mix of embarassingly overwrought and brilliantly poetic prose; a heartless, shapeless story crammed into a black lace costume; a story Poppy Brite would have written better; a misguided attempt by a writer who is capable of so much more.
If you are new to Kiernan, read her short story collections. Their praise, I'm sure, is far more deserved than that of this book.
Alas, I'm coming away from this even more unsatisfied than I was after finishing Lost Souls. It's not that it's not well written - for the most part it is. While a bit choppy in spots I found Kiernan's style much more appealing than her buddy Brite's. She mixes her pop culture references in naturally instead of intrusively. She has a strong sense of place with her Birmingham setting, and characterization is obviously a strong point for her. The fact that the first 3/4 of the book are devoted to character development and nothing really happens until, oh, page 265 or so, doesn't bother me in and of itself - it's hardly the first book to do that (hell, if you want to get technical, Anne Rice spent two whole novels doing character development before getting the actual plot started in Queen of the Damned). What bothers me is that I find the characters so enormously unappealing. They're all self-absorbed 20somethings proudly and defiantly wrapped up in their own pain and dysfunction. I couldn't find any sympathy in me, much less empathy, for any of them, not even Spyder, who was horribly abused as a child. Every time Daria lost her temper over her junky boyfriend I wanted to slap her.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
What an unfortunate train wreck this turned out to be.
I wanted to knife every single character in this silly novel and just kept wondering why even they themselves... Read more
Every cliche possible is dusted off for this lame story. Based on the reviews I was expecting something really intriguing, but this was just silly, trite, and tedious.Published on July 1 2004
This book is wonderful. I've read it a few times now and I still find myself attached to many of the characters, wondering what will become of them (lucky we will be able to find... Read morePublished on March 25 2004 by Samm
I really don't understand what all the fuss is about. While there were definitely some well written passages in the book, but I found the oddball literary style and freakish... Read morePublished on March 2 2004
Kiernan surpasses Brite in bringing her characters to life! All were well fleshed out, and they felt like 'real' people in an unreal situation. Read morePublished on Feb. 5 2004 by varnya
This book is the most poetic horror novel I've read in a long time ... maybe ever. Poppy Z. Brite compared it to a gothic cathedral on fire, and that's really an accurate... Read morePublished on Dec 5 2003 by Alexander Gitlits
Atfer having gone through Anne Rice books, Tolkien books, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and so on, all these books have a very definite style of writing. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2003
Mysterious monsters harass Goth kids in this first novel from the prominent New Horror writer.
For me, the shiny sentence-level writing is the strongest point of this book. Read more
Traditional horror readers might be disappointed by Silk. The poetic descriptions are subtle, unwrapping too slowly to create enough thrill or tension. Read morePublished on Oct. 4 2003 by Lisa