“This here’s story about Billy Joe and Bobbi Sue…”
I was going to give this a run-of-the-mill review on Amazon, but there is too much to cover with Andersen Prunty’s Sociopaths in Love, that I had to blog about it. It’s mean and, if it could have emotion, just sad.
And that’s a good thing!
In a nutshell, two sociopathic serial killers hit the fuckin’ road, shack up in beautiful Dayton, Ohio and get down to business. Don’t expect a “based on Fugate and Starkweather” revue just because they are a terror couple. Their gender and relationship are the only factors comparable.
This book is really the examination of getting everything you want and still becoming a suburbanoid blob. You will get into a routine, you will get fat, and you will get lazy. You will still need to get drunk because your awesome, new reality still doesn’t cut the mustard. It doesn’t matter if you are immune to society, law, economy, morals – you still will develop an idful value system.
This book will be compared to American Psycho. But please, readers… don’t. Just don’t.
Oh, shit, here I go anyway…
Patrick Bateman is a psychopath. Totally different animal. In Ellis’ novel, it is my firm belief that this character didn’t harm a fly. A psychopath has a rich, overly-fulfilling fantasy life that sometimes seeps into our prime material reality. Like sociopaths, they don’t have to be deadly, but the headspace is a much different place for their ilk.
I’d elect to compare this work with Alissa Nutting’s Tampa. Both Prunty and Nutting render the internal views of sociopaths. Many reviewers decry Nutting’s character of Celeste as one-dimensional. Well, she’s supposed to be. Unlike a psychopath, a sociopath (usually) doesn’t have much going on in the heart department, so don’t expect much more than repetitive obsessions. You know – hot cars, dope shoes and fucking people’s skulls. I’m not saying these folk are stupid, not by any means, but dimensionality in character would be slow and sparse, if existent at all.
In Sociopaths in Love, skulls are indeed fucked and pounds of human flesh are devoured. Yet, Prunty manages to (mostly) avoid the explicit sex and graphic gore, and I like this. Such stuff usually happens “off camera” and the stomach turns with his descriptions of the very liquid aftermaths. Erica Haha is illustrated with a deeper diligence than Nutting’s Celeste, but still, he crafts sociopathy to a “T.”
I give it five inverted pentagrams. Prunty’s rendition of Erica and Walt Haha is well nailed for these personality types and it’s a drama that will stick with you for a long time after you have hit the final page. Just buy it.
Oh, and for your listening pleasure: