(Review excerpt from Cyber-Psychos AOD #6.)
by John Bergin (Kitchen Sink Press: 320 Riverside Dr. Northampton, MA 01060, 320 pps, full colour, smyth-sewn, softcover, signed & #d ltd ed 2000, $24.95 retail.)
Very beautiful collection of the full From Inside story. *Sigh* I wonder why it is that I'm so into being miserable with the various forms of arts. I suppose most of it stems from the catharsis of being able to feel through these perspectives rather than harping on the misery in your own soul (I share that through my fiction & song lyrics). I spent the early hours of this morning (blowing off sleeping) mesmerized by this book: the incredible range of feeling & drama portrayed by the art, the incredibly intense story-line. This is truly miserable, morbid, & beautiful. The basic gist is the tale of a woman (nameless) who rides a train full of devastated (& sometimes mutating, always dying) people after the world ends due to nuclear explosions. A pack of engineers lead everyone through desolation, searching for anything, witnessing only horrors, travelling across an ocean of blood which is clogged with debris & floating corpses. The woman has her own room due to her pregnancy but sees the ruin & misery of the world & knows that she doesn't wish for her baby to be born in hell. She wants to keep it inside. The imagery is very surreal, a guardian angel (presumably her dead & melting husband) who tries to protect her & feed her with chunks of his own body. Constant death & misery. A plague of bizarre recurrent nightmares. On a superficial level, it's impossible to tell if any of the story is really happening, or if she died after the explosions & went off on a traumatized after-life fantasy before accepting her fate... or if she dies during the story, or lives through to the end. Whichever way, this is about as bleak as you can get. Highly recommended for anyone who, like me, would rather be affected instead of coddled when it comes down to the emotional affects of art & literature. -Jasmine Sailing
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