Read The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich Steve Erickson Online


It's the '90s Pacific Northwest refracted through a dark mirror, where meth and madness hash it out in the woods. . . . A band of hobo vampire junkies roam the blighted landscape—trashing supermarket breakrooms, praying to the altar of Poison Idea and GG Allin at basement rock shows, crashing senior center pancake breakfasts—locked in the thrall of Robitussin trips and theIt's the '90s Pacific Northwest refracted through a dark mirror, where meth and madness hash it out in the woods. . . . A band of hobo vampire junkies roam the blighted landscape—trashing supermarket breakrooms, praying to the altar of Poison Idea and GG Allin at basement rock shows, crashing senior center pancake breakfasts—locked in the thrall of Robitussin trips and their own wild dreams.A girl with drug-induced ESP and an eerie connection to Patty Reed (a young member of the Donner Party who credited her survival to her relationship with a hidden wooden doll), searches for her disappeared foster sister along "The Highway That Eats People," stalked by a conflation of Twin Peaks' "Bob" and the Green River Killer, known as Dactyl.With a scathing voice and penetrating delivery, Grace Krilanovich's The Orange Eats Creeps is one of the most ferocious debut novels in memory....

Title : The Orange Eats Creeps
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780982015186
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 172 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Orange Eats Creeps Reviews

  • Brian
    2018-09-23 18:11

    Envision the largest stained glass scene from the church of your choosing, shattered into pieces no larger than a Kennedy half-dollar and given to you on soiled butcher paper with the instructions to recreate the image with a Slipknot album cover as a guide. That is the equivalent of this masterful, mindfuck of a novel.This book isn’t for everyone, and I won’t argue with the Goodreads community that pitched it after fifty pages. I experienced long sections of 20-30 pages that I had to reread to keep up with Grace Krilanovich’s frenetic sentences that lay on the page like tattered standards of a defeated army. But the yield for this particular reader was more than worth the investment. It saddens me, the inevitability; this wheel must turn, return. There is no end, only endless endings surrounding us all opines our slutty teenage hobo vampire junky. She haunts the environs of greater Portland, reeling from loss and gain in equal measure.If heroin-addled William S. Burroughs attempted to write Twilight it might feel something like this book.I like reading fiction that makes me think this gum I’m chewing is tinfoil. I’ll also say that The Believer was really onto something when they shortlisted this book and Dutton’s S P R A W L as two of the three Best Books of 2010. Ideally, these two novels should be read within a short span of the other – they exist as the other’s antipode in a fractured mirror sense; Dutton’s world creates a sense of agoraphobia in its limitless external nothingness while Krilanovich’s teens kick against the goads of their birth town that encases them in “miniature graves” and yields an endless desperation of feckless depravity.

  • Greg
    2018-10-05 18:09

    Once upon a time in the Pacific Northwest a slightly fucked up girl escaped her unsatisfying life by starting to run with some vampires. By paring down some of The Orange Eats Creeps backstory you could almost make the sort of basic premise of this novel sound like a delinquent version of Twilight. The vampires (if they really are vampires and not just a teenage affectation, or the construction of the narrators very disturbed mind) aren't beautiful, nor cultured. They most likely smell really bad, like most crusty punks do, they drink too much cough syrup and are tweakers who jump trains and wander around Oregon wrecking havoc at 7-11s and fucking in the break rooms of Safeways. Except for the vampire thing and the setting this isn't a best-selling vampire romance, but one could almost picture poor little Bella as one of the middle-class girls out slumming with the punks who is now passed out on a trailer floor while being molested by some amoral hobo-punk. The book is the rambling stream of consciousness of the narrator, a seventeen year old girl who has run away from a foster home to find her 'sister', another foster kid who had also lived in the foster home with her. The narrator along with a small group of hobo boys jumps trains, turns tricks in public restrooms, drinks copious amounts of robotussin and stays tweaked out on meth while traveling through the world of 3rd shift 24 hour supermarkets and convenience stores and attending basement punk shows here and there, all while looking for signs of her 'sister' who had run off with another group of hobo boys. The book takes place sometime in the 90's and on a couple of occasions it appears that GG Allin makes cameos as a performer, but it could just as easily be Poison Idea or some other wannabe GG chaos punx. Some of the references seem to be too late in the 90's for GG to be still alive, but my knowledge of the Northwest scene is mostly second hand. The author does a great job though capturing the different factions of the punk world and the feelings that the West Coast had towards their 'meat-head' Eastern counterparts. In the less swirling and insane bits of the novel I felt like the book was being populated with some of the kids from Oregon and Washington I knew when I was very briefly in Berkeley in the mid-90's. The world portrayed here was more outlandish than reality and nothing like anything I'd ever been a part of but at its heart it still reminded me of quite a few people I'd been friends with over the years and the types of people who I 'knew' just because we'd converge at the same shows week after week. The first third of the novel or so is fairly coherent. It's non-linear but it has signposts anchored to reality and allows the reader to stay pretty orientated. Then it all breaks down. The 'punk-ness' drops off along with the cast of characters, they return every now and then but the novel explodes in a claustrophobic interiority. What had felt like the stream of consciousness of a very fucked up kid who feels like they can never be destroyed turns while she goes about a nihilistic spree of living turns into impressions from the mind of someone who has lost almost all touch with reality. It's easy after reading fifty pages of this to wonder what the point is, where is the author going? There is still an underlying sense of a narrative but the narrators so mentally unreliable that you can't be sure of anything. Is it the robo-mething taking it's toll? Is the narrator just fucking insane? Is anything in the book really happening? Is it just all just a journey through the dark side of the Northwest with it's junkie-suicide rockstars, Green River killers and a landscape that could contain the creepiness of "Twin Peaks"? Is the narrator traveling anywhere, is there even a sister? Was she even a foster child? Everything unravels in the book and continues to unravel and become more and more disjointed and fragmented as the reader turns page after page. Most of the reviews I skimmed over seem to find the book off-putting. I have to agree. It's 'difficult' but in a way that doesn't hold out the promise of getting something out of the book, or being enriched in someway by it. It's an unsettling book and I think what is most disappointing about the book is that even at the points where the book is at it's most disorienting I kept feeling like the book would pull back from the edge and deliver something more traditionally narrative, or that it would just jump off the edge and fall into the total madness of nonsensical and usually unreadable 'avant-garde' literature. instead there is always something inviting in the book, the book never feels 'difficult' but it also doesn't deliver what it seems to be promising you, maybe sort of like what the kids who populate this book would be like in real life, they aren't really all that deep and weird when you get down to it, but they aren't going to meet your expectations either. Stephen Erickson wrote the introduction to this book, and he says, "if a new literature is at hand then it might as well begin here". And maybe that is part of the discomfort of this novel, it eschews the 'theoretical' that most serious 'difficult' literature is grounded in, and it's written in a manner that makes the reader feel like it should be coherent but instead it goes off on it's own. At times the novel reminded me of Erickson's The Sea Came in at Midnight, but it is only superficially related there. I should probably rate this book higher. I never felt overly frustrated or hated reading it but I didn't know what to think of it. I think something interesting and exciting might be going on here but I just couldn't find the key to unlock the text and fully appreciate what was happening.

  • Charles
    2018-10-07 15:07

    This book was all voice and far too little of plot, coherent incident or arrangement, narrative development, character, or even imaginative backdrop. Reading it felt like taking a cross-country drive with a junkie who talks the whole way in desperate monotone, never hushing, commenting on each thing his eye lights on, and as it's a cross-country drive, endless things pop up in no apparent succession, with little connection, and no ultimate design.I have quite a high tolerance for style over plot, yet I found my patience being taxed only thirty or so pages in. I finished solely because I didn't want to break a vow I made decades ago in college to complete every book I begin.It's not that the author lacks talent or ability, or even that the voice of the book is bad. The problem is that there is nothing underpinning or overarching that voice, which, by the way, is nowhere near as "pervy, unhinged", "new", or otherwise other as the blurbs on the book suggest. This is the work of one more twenty-something trying to epater le bourgeois via the seamy underside of modern life, and baby, that's as old-fashioned as the Victorians now.I don't think that even the publisher of the book understood it since the description on the cover flaps is about 50% untrue, taking two very minor incidents in the book and acting as though they are leitmotifs and plot elements throughout (viz. the flaps' mention of the Donner Party child's doll and Dactyl [I was about to say "the character Dactyl", but really, Dactyl never appears in any real way and is only adverted to incidentally a couple of times]).

  • David Katzman
    2018-10-08 15:59

    I almost saw G. G. Allin perform. Running late for his gig, I was rolling up to the entrance of Stache’s, the small indie-rock/punk club on High Street in Columbus, when a burst of people stumbled out the door. “What’s going on?” I asked someone who was running by me. “G.G. is naked on stage with the mic cord wrapped around his dick, and he’s throwing bottles and shit at the audience.” I’m pretty sure he meant actual shit.O-kay. Maybe not so much.G. G. makes a brief cameo in The Orange Eats Creeps, which is fitting because this is a book of decadence, degradation, abuse, and horror.The nearest relative to this work is Kathy Acker, who was herself influenced by William S. Burroughs. I found The Orange Eats Creeps to be more closely related to a poem than a novel although there is certainly no exact comparison to either. It has almost no narrative through-line. Chronology and location are generally dispensed with. Disjointed is not the right word because the main character’s thoughts seem to flow from present to past to fantasy and from place to place rather than leaping abruptly. Objects have strange lives and the distinction between metaphor and reality is blurred.Nominally, this story is about a teenage runaway/foster kid who becomes a “vampire” and spends part of the book hanging with a small group of runaway vampire druggie hoodlum squatters running wild in the Northwest in the Nineties.(Note: They might not really be vampires, and this is nothing like a pop vampire book. Not. Even. Slightly.) Eventually, she ditches them or is ditched by them and wanders on her own spending a lot of time sleeping in forests, in storage rooms, in abandoned buildings or sheds and waking up in the homes of random men who pick her up off the street. She’s seems to be obsessed with her foster sister who may have also become a vampire and be wandering around the Northwest, or her sister may have been kidnapped and murdered. The vampirism might be a metaphor or it might not. The girl’s thoughts are so hallucinatory that much of what goes on is abstracted. She might have E.S.P. Or perhaps, schizophrenia. Characters are met briefly and then disappear. Some of them speak in prose rather than dialogue. It’s unclear if they are even “real” whatever that means in the context of a book that refuses to acknowledge the difference between real and fiction. This isn’t postmodern in the sense of acknowledging the author. The Orange Eats Creeps creates a world where it’s impossible to distinguish whether the character’s thoughts represent reality (within the context of the story), insanity, or metaphor. As metaphor, it becomes more like a novel-length poem than a story although story-like things happen occasionally. After all, Paradise Lost is considered a poem even though “shit happens.”We are sustained in this morass of despair and violence by the poetic voice and a consistency of tone. Krilanovich’s use of language is rather breathtaking and always surprising. It’s consistently shocking, as well. Without ever specifically mentioning it directly, this books seems to reflect the political sickness of our age. The empty relationships between the main character and everyone she encounters spoke to me of the brutal, heartless nature of Capitalism and how it engenders alienation and the dismemberment of the family. We’re all so busy trying to survive there isn’t any time for real community. The communities shown in this book don’t seem to embody any affection, they are mostly survival oriented—cold, grungy squats filled with sick kids and small, violent gangs that ravage 7-11s for snacks. The main character, at least, doesn’t find any comprehensible emotional connections, possibly due to the inherent patriarchy in the male gaze or possibly just because the world is so owned by Capitalism that trying to subsist around the periphery of it is produces a brutal, pitiless existence. After all, the only food that’s free is in dumpsters.The narrator does seem to “love” her sister but quite possibly only after her sister is dead. Certainly only after she disappeared. And is it love or just obsession and insanity? Either way, there is a terrifying recognition of the suffering that can be found in the human condition. Truly original. Rather difficult. Powerfully written. Don’t go into it expecting a story, and you might be enthralled.

  • Sarah Etter
    2018-09-26 18:57

    here's a book you have to adjust your brain for. here's a book you have to say yes to and then follow through with that yes.i understand why it's so hotly contested here - based on all the reviews here, it's clear you either go along with krilanovich or you don't. i did. but it still took time - i kept having to come up for air from this book. it was harrowing and jangling, like music with a very erratic rhythm. but once my ears and eyes got used to it, it got into my heart. nothing is easy here - the plot, the language, the visuals, the texture. krilanovich makes you work for whatever you mine from this cavern - and the reward can only be a terrible sense of foreboding, a looming sense of doom or the unshakable feeling of constant loss. to turn away from those things is to ignore life. to want a book that's tied up nicely and handed over like a christmas gift is to want everything in life to be easy, when hardly one thing is. the orange eats creeps is a hard thing. i am still digesting it. it is a rock in my chest and i don't mean that in a bad way. it is easier to say this writer or this book is awful than it is to face what's being undone and what's being created and what that means. writing this off is pretending everything is sunshine. and that is a lie.

  • Jack Haringa
    2018-10-13 15:10

    Apparently I'm going to need to add a shelf to my list: books I couldn't finish. I guess I'm not cool enough/ punk enough/ young enough to "get" this novel, but it didn't pass my 50-page rule. After some friends and reviews spoke highly of The Orange Eats Creep, I thought it would be something I could enjoy. It isn't. I'm all for non-linear and achronological novels, even angry, wild, fragmentary, or hallucinatory novels, but (big but, here) there has to be some clarity of purpose or sense of motion at least thematically for my to hold on for the ride.Krilanovich's narrator works from a limited vocabulary and a love of redundant lists, and the prose becomes tiresome rather than hypnotic. The repetition of events, the variations of "slutty hobo vampires" as a phrase (which other reviewers noted), the unimaginative use of profanity all conspire to suggest that this was an idea conceived without a purpose composed by an author a bit too in love with her own voice and perceived cleverness. Blurbs from Steve Erickson, whom I often enjoy, and Brian Evenson, whom I consider an extraordinary writer, suggest an entirely different book than the one I experienced. I couldn't in good conscience recommend this book to anyone.

  • Nate D
    2018-09-29 15:11

    Scrappy and wild, but with an overriding post-postmodern intelligence. You could almost jump in and out of this book at any point and have a similar experience of reading: scenes and people move but the iconography and sensation of the work remain deeply, monolithically unchanged. The deep obsidian core of the novel resists any ordinary approach or attempt to penetrate. Despite this, it's easy to get caught up in the exhilaration of the incidental narrative moments, and nothing ever feels unnecessary or repetitious. Everything is cohesive, all points join at the center. It's like a Kathy Acker narrative transmuted into a page turner without giving up any of its purpose or force.

  • Adam
    2018-09-22 18:58

    The Orange eats Creeps is pretty impressive debut. A dream vision of 90’s Pacific Northwest filled with wild, possibly vampiric, teen delinquents, strange and visionary homeless and runaways, serial killers, and stranger figures that echoes with the fervent music of basement hardcore, stoner metal and riot girl. Despite its declaration of itself as novel this is more of a prose poem, though I guess you can’t market those anymore. This is too bad since along with the novella it is one of my favorite forms, combining narrative urgency of prose with the attention to language of poetry. Steve Erickson’s intro traces Krilanovich’s influences, which are fin-de siecle decadence, Burroughs and the outer regions of beat poetry, punk poetry, the darker regions of French Literature(Huysmans, Baudelaire, and Celine), but he never mentions the book this most resembles, Comte de Lautréamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror. This book could be considered a strong successor to that triumph of beautiful and evil language. The key to this is language and Krilanovich mostly keeps it strong, relentless, profane and hilarious, and filled with freaky imagery for the most part though I thought the last 30 pages lost a little of this energy. I’m excited for what’s next from this author.

  • Melanie Page
    2018-10-03 22:10

    I give up.I understand that Krilanovich is challenging what literature means, what I think of a book. I can only say that a book and a story are not the same thing; TOEC is a book. Honestly, if this work were a short story, I would have more positive things to say (and I would have finished it), and Kirlanovich would have accomplished the same goals, I believe. Instead, by going for 208 pages, she throws challenges at the readers that most of us are not willing to accept without reward. I was reading on a Nook Color, so I couldn't see how many pages were left, but I should have a sense of where things are winding down. It just keeps going.UPDATE:Okay, I feel like a quitter, so I'm going to read some more.UPDATE:There. I finished the book and moved it up to 2 stars. The ending finally reaches some interesting material, where Krilanovich's tone and style mixed with some sense of logical material, especially when the narrator meets the "warlock." I maintain that this should have been a short story, no more than 50 pages. Also, I wondered if it would have made an interesting hypertext (not the WHOLE work, though). I told my husband that it is very easy to get someone to want to read this book. There is so much quotable material! It's just that none of it goes together or makes and sense in the context of the rest of the book. No wonder all the quotes posted got us all amped.UPDATE:I looked back at this post, still thinking about this book over a month later. My peers--intelligent, published individuals who have earned the right to be magazine editors and other publication work--and they all love it. Looking into an interview with G. Krilanovich conducted by G. Blackwell (, I see that she worked entirely with cut-ups, which is fine, but the question did some of it need to be deleted came up, and I couldn't help but think how much more I would have enjoyed this book if it were significantly shorter. Just because it's experimental or an exercise in words, perception, and/or imagery doesn't necessarily mean that people will appreciate it more. This idea has been done before; did she add anything new to a literary conversation? I'm still not convinced, but I still feel my opinion flopping all over the place due to the immense need to conform!

  • Jessica
    2018-10-01 14:13

    Uhh...I apparently did not get the memo on this book. First noticing it appear on NPR's Best Books of 2010 and then seeing rave reviews pop up on Goodreads and elsewhere made me super excited to read this novel. Plus, it was billed as being about hobo junkie "vampires" running around and causing could it not be good, right? So disappointing. Yes, the writing was interesting, descriptive and oddly beautiful, but there was NO STORY. At least none that I could find in the weird ramblings. Had I not read the book jacket, I probably would have had absolutely no idea what was even going on. It was virtually impossible to tell the difference between current time and flashbacks, dreams and reality, and whether things were actually happening to her, someone else, or if it was just completely imagined. I understand that the story is told from the point of view of a drug addict, but apparently the reader must also be hopped up on cold medicine to have any chance of understanding what is going on. That, or my small brain just can't comprehend fiction that is so cool and cutting-edge.

  • Brent Hayward
    2018-10-01 15:06

    Could have been three or four pages long: a stark and hallucinatory piece, a kick to the head. As it was-- though the scene of homeless teens drinking cough syrup and either going to rock shows or trashing convenience stores at night was deftly written-- I became numb and lost interest. The same scene repeated over and over. Forty years ago, this strategy might have been considered groundbreaking; today, not so much. Nonetheless, I plowed ahead, hoping to see why the book ended up on many 2010 best-of lists, hoping that something to marvel at might emerge. No such luck.

  • Shawn Towner
    2018-10-11 18:20

    Easily one of the worst books I've ever read. The author seems to think that by repeating various iterations of Hobo Vampire Junkie Sluts that the words will somehow gain meaning. There is no plot, the characters are given names and repeatedly called hobo vampire junkie sluts, but they are all entirely interchangeable. A complete and thorough waste of my time.

  • Lori
    2018-10-20 22:02

    review copy from publisherIt's a christmas miracle! For a moment there, I thought for sure that I would never finish this novel. December has been an awful month for me when it comes to reading. I barely had any time to sit down and just get lost in a novel, and when I did find time, this one wasn't really sucking me in - I wasn't "feeling it", and found myself rereading paragraph after paragraph trying to make sense of it all.Grace Krilanovich is a first time novelist who creates her own form of storytelling in the feverish and incredibly trippy The Orange Eats Creeps. In it, Grace introduces us to a self proclaimed slutty teenage hobo vampire junkie who begins the search for her missing foster sister/lover Kim - driven on by drug induced ESP, random clues at local convenience stores and back alleys, and nightmare dreams involving cat-rat-snakes things. (I think).She appears to be a loner, bouncing from one group of similar day-sleepers to another, bedding down with strange men in gas station bathrooms, mini-mart storage rooms, abandoned houses, and rail cars along the way. She had a steady boyfriend named Seth at one point, but loses him and his friends somewhere within the story. (I think). There seemed to be an excessive amount of sex - consensual at times, other times taken by force, with one person at times, other times with many...As she wallows in memories of her House Mom and the evil things she was put through while residing under her roof, her inability to locate Kim, and the senseless acts she puts her body through, she is also pillaging pharmacies for cough medicine on which she gets high. (I think).To be honest, I am not entirely convinced she is a vampire at all. At least, not in the traditional sense of the word. She eats and drinks, though she seems to mostly throw it all back up, but that could just be due to her completely horrid choice of products to ingest - days old containers of coffee, packets of sugar, and similar other non-substantial goodies. Though there is a fairly decent amount of blood sucking - or, at least, some obvious fetish with blood - I never truly believed that our doped up, strung out narrator was an actual vampire.A girl hovering somewhere between life and death - yes. An honest to goodness vampire - not so much. For me, it read more like a teenage runaway trying to live the life of a vampire, masquerading around town like a child masquerades around her room in a princess gown pretending to be Snow White or Cinderella.This book thoroughly confused the heck out of me. Reading like the collected thoughts of someone suffering from an extremely high and delusional fever, most of the story was pure gibberish. If read individually, the sentences themselves were gorgeous and painful and stunning But when laid out next to each other, they meant nothing and made no sense at all.I felt a bit like Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole. There were moments, little snippets of clarity and lucidity, but mostly the story just left me scratching my head.Despite my struggle to understand the point behind The Orange Eats Creeps, it's author and publisher (Two Dollar Radio) have made quite the impact on book lists and awards for 2010. Krilanovich was recognized by The National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35", and a finalist for the Starcherone Prize. Reviewers everywhere are praising the hell out of it.So while it might not have been the perfect book for me, and had me temporarily questioning my ability to read, digest, and differentiate between a good book and a bad book, I suggest you check out some other reviews before siding with me.However, if you DO happen to read it, and find it as jarring and fragmented as I did, please comment below and share your thoughts. I feel like I need someone to talk to about this one.I want to thank Two Dollar Radio for making this book available to me for review> Although I did not love the book, I ADORE Two Dollar Radio and their previously review novels (Termite Parade and The People Who Watched Her Pass By). I am very much looking forward to starting their novel The Visiting Suit - up next!

  • Anita Dalton
    2018-10-19 14:55

    The plot, such that there is, follows a small gang of young men and the narrator, our fucked-up heroine, as they wander about aimlessly and purposelessly. The heroine wants to find her sister Kim. They were in a foster home together and Kim took off and joined her own gang of “vampires.” The search for her takes place mainly in the heroine’s mind, but Kim occupies a lot of her thoughts. There is a passage in the book that can lead the reader to believe that there is no Kim, or that the narrator is Kim. If either is the case, then this really is a book without a plot, and simply an examination of a seriously fragmented mind. That is not a condemnation because these sorts of mental examinations can be very interesting.But the heroine’s thoughts, her filtering of events in this book, are ultimately what made this book intolerable to me. I don’t know if I would have felt this way had I bought this book knowing what it really is. But I can say that even if I had known what I was in for, I still would have found the narrative bereft of meaning. Perhaps that was the point, and if it is, then clearly this was not going to be my cup of tea. It’s just one event after another, sometimes events within events, the past bleeding into the present with no clear delineation between the two, with no linear continuity, spewed forth from the mind of the heroine. This narrative is what I imagine my brain would be like if I were punched over and over in the face, unable to respond before the next punch landed. Read my entire discussion here.

  • Matt Leibel
    2018-10-09 21:56

    Oh man, I think I was supposed to love this one--Steve Erickson who intros it in (typically) hyperbolic style is probably my favorite living American novelist, and it got hyped on various litblogs that I also enjoy. Plus I like a hallucinatory style in general, and am intrigued by the kind of "European novel" that one of the blurbs compares this too. But the whole teenage vampire slut thing--the vampire metaphor was a little too forcedly metaphorical (they're really just runaway teens), and the sex stuff just got numbing and repetitive, as sex stuff in novels tends to do. The whole thing got repetitive, actually--wanted a sense of progression or a more compelling justification for its lack thereof. Sometimes repetitive to an extent is good, strategically used it can make the writing more lyrical, musical, interesting. Javier Marias's recent trilogy was a masterful example of that, I think. But I thought it fell kind of flat here, despite some good stretches of surreal prose.

  • James
    2018-10-16 14:06

    four unbelievably grotesque stars for the writing alone... unsure exactly what transpired in this phantasmagoria of sensory overload... vampires? um, in a way... leeches would be more apt, or remoras... symbiotic drawing off of other beings for sustenance and survival... this was a heady read, full of gore and semen and blood and flesh and dirt and rotting matter and junk food and mysterious animals... plenty of questionable behavior: rampant sex (of any and sundry types), rape, beatings, murder, feasting, drug use, theft, dreaming, lots of sleeping and wandering and wondering and who knows what... crazytown, but not in a wasteful way... brutal, but not gratuitous... daring, but thoughtful and introspective... hard to follow at times, equally hard to stop reading... leaves you confounded, but smirking...

  • Craig Vermeer
    2018-09-28 15:58

    Sometimes you read a book and you want to approach the author and, inconspicuously, draw them off to the side. You'll look them earnestly in the eye and, maybe look around to make sure you're not drawing undue attention, and say to them "Dude. Are you... okay?"

  • Sheba
    2018-10-23 21:14

    I picked up this book truly hoping that someone, particularly a woman, had cracked open what has become the often vapid vampire novel market with an experimental, high-art take. It wasn't until after I began reading it and was looking for perhaps some missed insight that I read the reviews. Lots of comparisons are bandied about between Krilanovich and "the experimentalists" (Burroughs, Acker, etc). Perhaps that's appropriate, as it takes a certain kind of reader to appreciate those kinds of writers. What "The Orange Eats Creeps" will read like to non-fans of the experimentalists is a collection of metaphors assembled, albeit lovingly by Krilanovich, into a kind of disjointed madness travelogue. Not being a fan of those aforementioned experimentalists, I found the book contrived and more reminiscent of goth-minded folks in writing workshops who compose thinly veiled and annoyingly affected diary-like fantasies of their basest or derivative thoughts. It was also reminiscent of those moments when I as a reader had the negative voyeurism effect that often comes when reading the experimentalists. That is to say, unlike Nabokov, who was such a master of his craft that he could make a pedophile organically complicated and incongruously, nauseatingly, charming, it's difficult to care what happens to the narrator in "The Orange Eats Creeps." This seems to be a dilemma of many modernist and post-modernist experimentalists like Selby, Thompson, Burroughs, Acker, Wright, Joyce, etc. I found no desire to attach myself to the main character's journey, no reason to follow the maddeningly indulgent narrative outside of an intellectual exercise. Something is missing, and it cannot be fixed by inserting in a neat little problem by name only, as Krilanovich does with the missing sister and the foster care system experience of both girls. I very much wanted to care about these aspects, but these elements didn't feel real so much as they felt constructed to justify a character's flaws, ala Reality T.V. If I can't feel for the narrator, all of his or her problems are just added to the pile of nonsense. I don't have to like the narrator, I don't have to fully understand their behavior, but I should feel something other than negative voyeurism. I also got the sense in "The Orange Eats Creeps," as I did with many of those other experimentalists, that the author was more interested in telling a story in an interesting way than in a story being heard or communicating a story. It's a subtle difference that has a massive effect on the reader. Does the author care if I get off or is the author more interested in masturbating in front of me? It wasn't a residual of the non-linear stylization that made me feel this, so much as it felt as though the writer wasn't fully allowing me as a reader into the story without her consistent presence. I could feel the writer writing it more than I could hear the story. I made it 50 pages in before I became exasperated with the overadornment of pretty, but ultimately vacuous use of metaphors, the heavy-handed forced disrupted narrative, and maudlin pandering of the affected narrator.

  • Richard
    2018-09-28 19:11

    Dear lord, I finally made it through this book. First moral of this story is don't believe the hype. I think I picked up on this book through a couple of short articles on it saying how it was a new take on the vampire genre and comparing it W.S. Burroughs. But having waded my way through this garbage, I feel like the book should have been titled 'The author throws up words on a page', and also any reviewer that compares with Burroughs is either doing Burroughs a huge disservice or has really never read any. It is rare that I can't find anything redeeming to say about a book, but with this one I honestly can't. You know that oft used statistical analogy of 100 monkeys in a rooms with typewriters and at some point one of them has to come up with the manuscript for Hamlet, well this feels like the random discarded pages of the other 99 monkeys on any given day in that experiment. Can I have my money back.

  • M
    2018-09-28 14:56

    Grace Krilanovich pens her junkie vampire tale with an emphasis on Dadaist literature and psychopomp pacing. Initially setting the stage as a search for a missing foster sibling, Krilanovich's teenaged vampire protagonist explains her affectations for railways, meth, and attention. The addition of a subplot involving a serial killer and an unresolved quest blend into a stream of consciousness so verbose that the author (and protagonist) lose sight of their intentions. While a verbal tour de force that serves up surreal imagery, this might have been better off as poetry rather than a so-called novel.

  • Jim
    2018-10-13 19:57

    Interesting Read. Makes me want to try more of Two Dollar Radio Books. (have 4 in my Never Ending Book Queue)

  • Bradley Skaught
    2018-10-11 18:11

    A really extraordinary and captivating novel. The richness of the language alone would have been enough to satisfy me, but there was also a profound emotional resonance that made it powerful and genuinely moving. For a book as experimental in nature (and as devoid of traditional plot) as this to also be so touching and emotionally engaged is truly a triumph. It reminded me of David Lynch's movie Inland Empire -- similar in that a swirl of images and experiences surround the very personal journey of one vulnerable (but strong) woman. In this case the woman is a lost teenage girl wandering a failed, haunted and drug-laden Pacific Northwest -- punk rock, broken social systems, lost souls of every subculture, adrift in wild nature and hollow suburbia. It's full of hallucinations, abstractions, dreams and non-linear ruminations. Some passages are simply long, dazzling explosions of poetry, while the "plot elements" of vampires (truly? maybe), ESP, punk rock shows, 7/11s, Safeways, fellow lost children and more come and go like touchstones of reality suggesting a true shape and experience that can't be trusted but can be felt. Like Inland Empire, it is mostly a world of men's desires and manipulations that act as both barriers and tools which the lost girl uses to navigate her experiences. Here, though, is also the nature of her surroundings -- burnt out towns, rail yards, wild forests and beaches, trees, bugs, animals. How much is real, dream, hallucination or even free association is irrelevant ultimately as the rhythm and powerful imagery of Krillanovich's language carries us through the narrator's experiences. Underlying all of it is a profound and heartbreaking longing: for a lost sister, mother, lover, home, companion, city -- all maybe projections of a deeper, more singular longing, or maybe all very real losses adding up to a broken, desperate, truly lost young woman. The things that follow her and catch up to her are abandoned or devoured, the things desired are lost or decay over and over in her hands. I cried at the end, but I couldn't tell you one thing I know for sure about what "happened" in the novel, merely that the heart of the novel really is _heart_ and I'm in a bit in awe of a book like this being so powerful. I'll be thinking about this one for a long, long time.(less)

  • Blake Fraina
    2018-10-20 14:01

    Wow. Did you know that Kathy Acker and William Burroughs had a love-child? Her name is Grace Krilanovich and this is her debut. The Orange Eats Creeps reads like an extended tone poem written by someone on an LSD trip who has just woken up from a fever dream. It shares quite a bit of DNA with Acker's surreal Don Quixote - weirdly disjointed, albeit evocative, prose written from constantly shifting perspectives and describing the palpable horrors of a vagabond, junkie teenaged girl roaming the streets of the Pacific Northwest in search of her missing (dead?) step-sister (lover?). The rhythmic, repetitive writing is artfully composed and designed to conjure a very specific mood... Dreadful, grey and disturbing. There are [oblique] references to the Donner Party, shock rocker GG Allin (who often punctuated his performances by flinging his own feces into the audience) and the Green River serial killer. Although, truth be told, I might have missed these without having read the overleaf first. Which is partly why I've opted to only give the book three stars. While I appreciate a challenging novel, I'll admit that my mind tended to wander during the longer, more metaphysical, passages and I found that the actual storyline tends to get buried, making the action (such as it is) a bit hard to follow. Oh, and if your idea of a book about teenage vampires in the Pacific Northwest is the Twilight series, stay away from this one. Frankly, I was rather surprised to learn that this won a Speculative Fiction literary award, since I saw the vampire/fantasy element as being strictly metaphorical. This reminded me more of Lee Williams underappreciated novel, After Nirvana (if Williams had been on acid when he wrote it) or a surrealistic version of the gripping 1984 documentary film about Seattle's teenaged runaways, "Streetwise" or even Harmony Korine's creepy little indie film "Kids." My verdict? Read if you're looking to be shocked and challenged. Avoid if you're seeking emotional engagement or facile entertainment.

  • Allyson
    2018-09-30 16:20

    I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. But I couldn't even finish it, even though I picked it up and put it down several times hoping I could acclimate to the unusual rhythm and approach. Because I can appreciate experimental fiction. And I found a lot of dark, fucked up beauty in the language of this book. But ultimately, there was nothing to keep me turning the pages. I couldn't find even the thinnest thread of a plot. I kept getting confused about details. And I couldn't manage to care about the protagonist, or anyone else in this novel. Bottom line: Mastery and subversion of language makes a poet, not a great novelist.Another reviewer managed to put into words my exact feelings about this book so I will borrow from him (courtesy of Charles Rhoads:<<I have quite a high tolerance for style over plot, yet I found my patience being taxed only thirty or so pages in.It's not that the author lacks talent or ability, or even that the voice of the book is bad. The problem is that there is nothing underpinning or overarching that voice, which, by the way, is nowhere near as "pervy, unhinged", "new", or otherwise other as the blurbs on the book suggest. This is the work of one more twenty-something trying to epater le bourgeois via the seamy underside of modern life, and baby, that's as old-fashioned as the Victorians now.>>>

  • Sanam
    2018-09-25 21:19

    One of the weirdest books I've read. It was all tone, mood. Get ready for things not to make a lot of sense. Felt more like a long poem than a novel. It's 172 pages, but should have been about half that long--the 1st half was stronger, in part because the whole thing was so repetitive. She likes the word 'fissure.' I'd probably like to flip through this again. Made me think of Kathy Acker.My favorite passage:The night is brown browntime, the day is orange orangetime, then pink pinktime. Traveling on hijacked rail cars, or real cars, causes a lot of friction--among passengers--and a strong breeze smelling of fecund air conditioning and freshly burst bags of chips is almost medicinal. Convenience stores convey a conduct for the use of their services and stations. Convenience people understand these things, the conduct that is carried forth on a wave of pink then brown air, door-chimes echoing into eternity whenever the steps of the initiated cross a threshold from one transaction to the next. Convenience people require fast, cheap service, as well as access to the penny tray, if necessary. Their vocations require whoring of the body in the browntimes and whoring of the mind in the pinktimes. Both require fuel and this is where the blood comes in. Blood transfusions from neck to teeth and then throat are linked in spirit with the transfusion of essence from boner to mouth-seal and then throat. They need both to survive, the convenience factor of each becoming such only after passage out of the transfusion scene, and complete and utter mobility is maintained in perpetuity...

  • Julia
    2018-10-16 17:10

    This is a stunning book, loaned to me. The story is grotesque, gorgeous, disturbing, and unsettling in a way that made me doubt myself as a reader. I felt unnerved and unsure at every turn, never fully confident in what I understood or felt. I spent forever -- months -- slowly reading this book, took it everywhere, and still often felt like it was leaving me out, that I was left behind from some dark institutional secrets of it/of the genre/of everyone else who loved it/whatever.The prose is powerful. Gross, honest, dream-like, funny af, and kind of breaks all the rules. It's one of those books where I wasn't always sure what was real, what was hallucination, what was just the insaneness of this world, but I still wrote down all of the best/most bananas lines.But I'll only copy over the first thing I marked, because I think there's something significant about the first line in a book that gets beneath your skin. And it's not even bonkers at all, just really beautiful:"She seemed to underperform everyone around her in just about everything, smarts, crafts, she couldn't fight, she only cooked Hot Pockets...Why her then? There was just a lot of longing, and a lot of curiosity surrounding her I guess you could say. And I could never grasp it; she fell through my fingers. She was more dead than the rest of us, the deadest. Her hair fell in shafts of light through my fingers. In the reflection of her eyes I could see my heart, bursting. I grew up next to her body, came of age in a series of heartbeats when she said the syllables of my name. I found my hand caught in the fold between her ribcage and hip."

  • CallMeIshmael
    2018-10-10 18:09

    I hate for my first review on this site to be negative, and I would hate to give the impression that i "hate" this book. The sad fact is that hate is a word that connotes strong feelings, and there wasn't enough going on here to stir anything as profound as hate up. It's one long tone poem, which sounds great, but the themes are so bluntly hammered again and again that the sometimes-beautiful sentences get lost in the, I dunno, just obviousness (what a gross word) of the work. I couldn't finish it, so maybe it coheres after a point into the refracted, dissonant brilliance that it so hopes to be, but it seems just impossible. I was sad when I realized that it was never going to get past its own introduction, b/c those same themes that are reiterated OVER and OVER and OVER again are good themes, there is as I said some good writing here, but there's nothing to hold it together. It feels like a wildly self-indulgent undergrad who got mad at whatever friend of hers did her editing for her so she just went on a 130+ pg. tear. There are some books that do what she's trying so damn well. To the lighthouse, Omensetter's Luck, etc. etc. This just didn't have the momentum for me. I know you're sad, I know you have a sister/lover who you miss, I know these guys you run with are terrible people as you are a terrible/lost/damaged person, say something else. I don't need a plot per-se if you're doing something as obviously experimental as this, but I do definitely need something, some ideas, expressed in a manner that justify the protracted format. KBYE!

  • Nicholas Karpuk
    2018-10-15 19:04

    I gave up on this audiobook only a few chapters from the end. I felt not so much that I surrendered as that I had filled up on prose to the point where it threatened to spill over. Also, by that point I was rolling my eyes so much they threatened to pop out of my skull.Krilanovich captures the essence of an angry, outsider teenager so well that I actually had to look her up on Wikipedia. Writing something like this in the late 20's is either a sign of impressive empathy or a severe arrested development. There are glimmers of an interesting plot, but they get buried in a wave of posturing slam poetry and repetitive stream of consciousness digressions. So much of what the protagonist says seems like she's trying to impress herself with how edgy and transgressive she's capable of sounding. As stated before, I'm not saying it's not accurate to a certain personality type, it's just annoying to read.Every stupid impulse needs to be elevated to some divine moment, every bit of convenience store mischief needs the poetic waxing of a damn sonnet. It's the self-absorption of a thoughtful person with crap attitude and a lack of context. So, you know, a teenager.So I end up begrudgingly impressed and simultaneously too annoyed to finish. It's an accurate representation of someone I don't want to listen to. I think it earns 3 stars for that.Also, she's a vampire, but somehow that barely seems to matter. Is it metaphorical and I'm just dumb?

  • Mason Jones
    2018-09-29 19:13

    Grace Krilanovich will be an author to watch, but her debut doesn't quite deliver on its promise. Discarding ordinary structure and character, this book is primarily first-person chiaroscuro, all impressionistic scenes and description of surreal surroundings and vague events. Blurbs making comparisons to Burroughs and Charles Burns have a point, but what's lacking is real drive and movement -- the book is pretty much the same from beginning to end. It's a series of scenes and observations which, while well-crafted and often very interesting, don't add up to a story. I enjoyed it enough to see it through, because the scenes are often impressive and intriguing, but only in the last 5-10 pages is there real activity that almost but doesn't quite bring things to a close. On the whole, it's a fun surreal read through the eyes of a girl wandering as part of some sort of young vampire-like gang, but the book's unwillingness to commit means that it's hard to get much of anyone's character, and thus hard to care a lot. Worthwhile for those of us who enjoy abstract modernism, but I'll really be looking forward to what Krilanovich does next.

  • Jason Martinucci
    2018-10-10 16:12

    It was weird reading this book, I finished it pretty quick and plan to reread it. Some of the locales she wrote about I once lived by. I lived in Eugene back in 1999-2001 during the Seattle WTO riots. Our apartment was in the Whiteaker neighborhood at the end of Route 105. Meth heads were common on my street, heroin was cheaper than pot. Junkies hung out under the underpass by my aptartment. There was a riot down the block I walked to and watched burn outs scream at cops in riot gear. Seven of us lived in a house consuming drugs and living a messed up lives. But that was pretty common around there.To me she captured that lifestyle pretty dead on, there are a lot of transients making there way through the Northwest. Its seedy and people did look like vampires. I enjoyed how she wrote about the landscape, the line comparing a sunset to a closing eye was great. There isn't a cohesive plot but that didn't bother me. While reading the book it had a similar feel as when I read Georges Bataille "Story of the Eye". I gave it five stars partly for the memories it brought up, but I look forward to her future work.