A dreary, noisy novel that recounts with visceral overenthusiasm
the adventures of a gang of British skinheads in conflict with a
sex-starved woman doctor, a London "art star," and one another, as
they explore the vicissitudes of "Art and Resistance" in a
foulmouthed frontal assault on the avant-garde art scene. Its
contempt for bourgeois values produces some agreeable inventions
("Neoism," "the Semiotic Liberation Front," and "the Journal of
Immaterial Art" constitute decent throwaway gags at least), but its
blood- and sperm-soaked narrative and its characters' continual
entreaties for oral sex are muted, though scarcely redeemed, by
what might in another context be called elegant variation ("liquid
genetics," indeed). This is the kind of book that gives mindless
violence and sexual degradation a bad name. (Kirkus Reviews)
A gang of socially ambitious skinheads runs riot through the London art world, plotting the rebirth and violent demise of an elusive avant-garde art movement. Taking genre fiction for a ride, Slow Death uses obscenity, black humor, and repetition for the sake of ironic deconstruction. The steamy sex is always graphic and all traditional notions of literary taste and death are ditched in favor of a transgressive aesthetic inspired by writers as diverse as Homer, de Sade, Klaus Theweleit, and '70s cult writer Richard Allen.
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