"Acetone Enema" Book Review
Written by Nicholas Alan Tillemans
2012, 89 pages, Fiction
Released in 2012
When it comes to writing an honest and specific preface, author Nicholas Alan Tillemans nailed it. Here's the first paragraph of the preface for Acetone Enema:
"This collection of short stories and poetry is intended only for mature audiences. The stories herein are often concerned with unnatural sex acts, sexual violence and erotic dismemberment and destruction."
The collection kicks off with "Acetone Enema", a story that quickly shows Tillemans delivers what his preface promises. When a man falls in love with a headless woman, his life changes drastically. As time passes, the couple starts to explore anal sex and the man couldn't be happier. Then, things take a dark turn. While Suzy doesn't have a mouth, she somehow finds a way to devour those around her. Despite the gruesome discovery, there's something this relationship that makes the man push on.
Things keep rolling with "The Mechanics of Perversion", a tale about a man who ends up overpowered by a phallic object that manages to become a substitute for his penis (and which he carries in a satchel). Told in the first person, this narrative packs as much sex and horror as the other four, but the psychological aspect takes center stage and the dark trip becomes more interesting because of it.
The third tale, "Baby Hunter", is the highlight of the collection and, given the fact that there are only five stories in the book, it's the last one I'll discuss.
"Baby Hunter" is a story/rant/monologue hybrid told from a first person narrator who thinks babies are parasites and need to be killed immediately. The man sees himself as a hunter who's doing the right thing despite knowing his views are very unpopular. The narrative goes from wonderfully disturbing accounts of what the hunter did with the dead babies' bodies to a strange tale of something the man witnessed, to a critique of the way society treats pregnant women.
The poems included in the book more or less follow the same themes touched in the short fiction pieces. However, since they are much shorter, they lack the same power. That being said, they do work well as short morsels that offer a change of pace between stories.
Acetone Enema is short but, given the subject matter being dealt with and the predominant first person narration, just under 100 pages is the perfect length to offer a taste of what Tillemans does without making the collection feel repetitive. If the title piqued your interest, then this book's definitely for you.
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