Saturday, February 13, 2010
Cannonball Read Entry #15: Brutal: Uncut - Aiden Shaw
Valentine's Day is here again (or at least, was here, depending on when you're reading this) and if you're sick to death of the faux-sentimentality and heart-warming bullshit, then sweet holy fuck do I have the book for you. Brutal: Uncut is a 280 page sadgasm, an emotional throat-punch while you're parents tell you that they're getting a divorce and it is entirely your fault.
And I loved it and I wouldn't have it any other way. Happy Valentine's Day!
Brutal: Uncircumcised tells the story of Paul, a drug-addicted, sex-addicted, HIV-positive prostitute who takes self-destruction to a whole new-depressing level. The guy isn't so much suicidal as he is about five seconds away from riding an atomic bomb Dr. Strangelove style; he's so completely oblivious as to his own impact that he becomes a threat to himself and others.
Considering how many prodigal son stories there are out there where everything is handled with politically correct kid gloves and things like drugs and sex are only used as a means of reinforcing societal taboos, it's nice to see that Brutal: Foreskin handles the subject of the adult industry with honesty. To balance this out, Paul's sessions with his therapist Sky as well as his own personal reflections work well as a means to introduce both character growth and as a respite from the near constant hatefuck of the overall story.
That being said, anyone who reads this book will notice the book's sole glaring flaw. And oddly enough, it's not the authour's fault: The book has what can only be described as the worst editing job I've ever seen. I'm sorry if that comes across as harsh, but it's true; it's really just...well, bad.
I don't want to come across as petty, but here's the thing: at first, it was just a misplaced apostrophe or quotation mark here and there, and I was fine with it. Then, the word "he" was spelled as "hr". But the story was good, so I ignored it again, figuring it was just a fluke. Then at one point, the spacing between words fucked up, and a four word sentence was somehow stretched across an entire page. But whatever, maybe it was just an accident. I moved forward. And then, for absolutely no apparent reason, there was an S floating around, just smack dab in the middle of the page. There was no sign of it being part of a word, or of it having any purpose in the story. Just a big random S floating on the page.
I'm not going to blame Aiden Shaw for this because yes, writers make spelling mistakes. God knows what I write is usually littered with typos. Who I will blame for this is Don Weise, the guy credited with editing Brutal: Prepuce. To use a food metaphor here, it doesn't matter how good the dish is, because if you don't know how to plate it no one is going to want to eat it. And quite frankly, I just think that a story this well-written and honest deserved much more than what little effort Weise put into editing it.
If I could describe Brutal: I'm Running This Joke Into The Ground in one sentence, it would probably be something like "A fantastically dark and incredible story that's ultimately killed by poor editing." The sad thing is, I actually loved the book. I really did. I just hated the editing.