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This Morbid Life


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Entertaining and interesting bite-sized stories with interesting themes.

   This Morbid Life is a collection of mostly bite sized essays that take a  sometimes  uncomfortable, sometimes sexually raw and graphic look at the darker side of life- death as you would expect given the title but also things that just make us uncomfortable or that we think of as improper to speak about. Sometimes cringe-worthy in its depictions, it is a collection of essays told in perfectly proportioned chapters that show the- if not morbid- raw, startlingly real, and uncomfortable side of life and the things people do, think, and feel. This ability reflects the author’s success in the world of zines as she is the founder of Automatism Press and has published books and zines since 1994.

       Many of the stories, if not most, are not morbid in the way most people think of morbid- pertaining to death. I looked up the various definitions of the word and also similar words and though many of the stories in this book have something to do with death some are quite undeathly-maybe even life affirming as in Nuclear Life that is a little sad but not centered on death. Even The Ritual for the Black Sun about Halloween- the Day of The Dead- is colorful. Morbid even has its funny moments such as, “Mom resigned herself to finding Dad dead in a field someday.” (The Zipper Heart Club)

       If there is a recurring theme to the book, it is the depiction of how the author deals with the withering away of her friend during the AIDS crises. The ongoing story of that time in her life is sprinkled throughout the book in essays that are very well written and tell of her struggle with watching this person, who seems to have become a friend due to circumstance, wither away.

       Personally, I really enjoyed this book and the stories were a lot more entertaining and real, also less graphic than I thought they’d be. It brought back the hay days of zines and my work on one. I’ll be keeping an eye out for what this author does next and has done in the past.

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True-Life Romance

About the author

Loren Rhoads is the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. She was the editor of Morbid Curiosity magazine and its follow-up book Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues, published by Scribner. view profile

Published on August 22, 2021

60000 words

Contains graphic explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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