A hospital security guard meets a maternity doctor with a deadness to her gaze, both of them soon discovering each other’s unusual appetites. Instead of rejection, they celebrate being different the only way they know how, by giving in to their abhorrent and gruesome urges, yet this time they’re not alone. Companionship may have been unexpected, but not totally unwelcome.
(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thank Death’s Head Press for giving me the opportunity.
With quite a reputation in the community, Dead Inside was just about impossible to pass up, so when the opportunity arose I swiftly shoved it to the top of my list – I’m always in search of books that’ll push boundaries. And well, where to start? As expected, it was disgusting, with a protagonist that made it his life’s mission to set himself apart from the herd and indulge in extracurricular activities that involved dead women, with graphic scenes of said activities. Things got progressively more out-there when he met someone just as disturbed, and so events escalated from there in a weird romance-but-not-romance kind of way. It questioned social norms and attempted commentary on individuality, but I didn’t really reach a deeper meaning other than “ew”. I’ll echo other reviewers in outright stating it was the sickest book I’ve ever read, and I guess that in itself means something, however I’d put my opinions firmly in middle field. On one hand, it was entertaining enough that I kept listening, but on the other I thought it to be excessive, and even though that was obviously the point, it didn’t entirely work for me. I just became desensitised pretty early on, so that the remainder of the book was more or less the same, with an extremely predictable outcome. I also didn’t see the point of a few things, most notably the consenting “rape” victim that was shoehorned in just to tick that sexual assault box.
I’ll give credit where it’s due, though. There were moments I chuckled at the dark humour and at how overdone the entire thing was. Morrison really excelled at bringing the character to life, in all of his unhinged glory, the writing only complemented by the narrator, Daniel Caravetta, who was fantastic in tone of voice – it really felt like he was the actual character. Not sure how he kept a straight face when reading certain parts aloud, but that’s surely a testament to his ability.
In conclusion: I generally really like extreme horror, but Dead Inside was just okay, with aspects I enjoyed and others I didn’t. Morrison went wild and didn’t waste any time in forcing the reader to become intimate with the protagonist; a sexual deviant that had very little to like about him, yet his general outlook tended to be comical. Unfortunately, I felt I became overexposed to the graphic content early, especially when the most horrific scene took place at around halfway through, therefore it diluted the unsurprising finale. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone even remotely bothered by gross sexual depictions. Seriously.
Oh, and my significant other judged me terribly for listening to this book, so that’s funny.
We are who we are, just as anyone else is. How we got that way isn’t anyone’s business, least of all our own.
© Red Lace 2021