Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wolfing out with Matt Bell on a Sunday

Matt Bell is a dirty boy who wrote a dirty little book, or novelette, or micro novel—it’s very short is what I’m getting at, and can be read in an hour or so—called Wolf Parts.

Published by the fine people of Keyhole Press, the book had a very limited run, so limited, in fact, that it quickly went out of print. I was lucky enough to win a copy from the equally fine people of PANK (thanks, Roxane!).

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Wolf Parts, and I’m kind of glad I walked into it with that unknowing, because incest is always better when you don’t know it’s coming.

Wolf Parts takes the tale of Little Red Riding Hood and twists it into an exploration of sexual power, or the struggle for sexual power, as Red and her Grandmother and The Wolf devour and gnaw on each other, kill each other, digest each other, and ultimately become each other.

The passages of Wolf Parts come in powerful, concise bursts, detailing the duplicitous nature and oft disturbing fantasy that exists within all relationships, be they familial or otherwise. Fathers long to bed down their daughters, daughters yearn to be raped, and, likewise, yearn to do some raping of their own.

Wolf Parts portrays human sex and sexuality for what it is: violent, primal and animalistic. And no one gets a free pass. Sure, there’s a bit of an undercurrent of female empowerment that exists here, but the women are just as culpable and despicable as the men. This isn’t necessary a bad thing, simply an honest thing, a thing that is true to the human condition. We all hunger and lust and scratch and bite—for love.

My only gripe with Wolf Parts is that it’s too damn short. The writing is strong and original, but Bell cautiously keeps the wolf on a leash, perhaps too much.

I can only imagine what Matt Bell will do with Hansel and Gretel. But I’ll be sure to be there, reading.

*Vist Matt HERE.

*Visit Keyhole Press HERE.

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