City of Saints and Madmen
Some books are scary because they are about zombies or contagions or terrorists or things that go bump in the night. There are books that terrify because they are gruesome or gory or horrifying. Then there are books like City of Saints and Madmen, which treat the bizarre as the mundane, where something that seems touching turns into the grotesque and where the squick factor grows and builds until turning the page becomes not an act of faith – because faith has no place here – but an act of courage. No, that’s not right, either.
As creepy crawly as it is, it’s still quite compelling. Maybe that’s it. It’s just so out there, and not in a pleasant, easy way. But the writing is so lush, so gorgeous, so brutal, that you have to keep reading despite your senses screaming that something is definitely not right. And since this book is not one contiguous story, you let your guard down just to have it ramped back up again. But in the most civilized, chilling, cold blooded way.
I realize I’m not giving much away. I can’t. It’s too freaky weird scary strange. And marvelous.