Little Lugosi: A Love Story by Douglas Ford
From the author of Ape in the Ring and The Reattachment comes a tale of transgressive love and unnatural birth. When Madeline senses something missing from her life with Trevor, she tries to fill the gulf between them by ordering a leech from a medical supply company. Troubled by this new pet and the special feedings it requires, Trevor must also deal with his co-worker’s Ahab-like obsession with killing a monstrous pig, a creature of myth known as “The Minister.” Finding this creature brings Trevor to a reckoning with the truth behind the arcane beliefs and practices of a lost cult, as well as the meaning behind problems much closer to home. With undertones of folk horror, Little Lugosi: A Love Story, is a bizarro odyssey of blood and other bodily fluids.
Douglas Ford has given us something special with Little Lugosi. I could talk about the writing, which is tight and evocative. I could talk about the characters, which are relatable and complex. I could even talk about the title character, a fast-growing and seemingly anthropomorphic leech. You read that right. This is a story about a pet leech who becomes more than a pet. It's about Trevor, a maintenance worker at a university who is married to Madeline who comes home one day with a pet leech. This is is where things get bizarre. But that isn't what I want to talk about here. I want to talk about THAT scene. There is a scene where Trevor is in bed recovering from a sickness. There's confusion as he comes in and out of consciousness and isn't sure if the strange things he's experiencing are real or not. The way Ford writes this is just masterful. I was physically ill. I'm saying I genuinely thought I was going to throw up. I had to put the book down and go outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air. Was it the way it was written, the confusion of Trevor bleeding onto the page and contaminating my fingers? Was it the truly disgusting scenes regarding blood just before and during that event? I honestly don't know. I typically have an iron stomach, but something about all of this melting together into a nausea-inducing scene just has me in awe. I'm also a writer of horrific and disgusting things. Reading this has freed something in me, to just write what I want to write no matter how weird or gross others may think it is. To just have fun with it. You know it's a good book when it inspires other writers. So... proceed with caution. This book will disgust you. It will enthrall you, it will inspire you, and it just might make you sick.
Unique, fast-paced. and bananas in the best way
In his latest release, Douglas Ford returns with a creature feature centered around the most unusual of monsters: leeches and wild pigs. On the surface, the two life forms seem wildly incongruous, but Ford expertly weaves a yarn of Trevor, a university maintenance worker, his wife Madeline, a herd of aggressive swine oppressing a college campus, and a new pet that (literally) grows to become something much more in Little Lugosi, and it comes together so well, you’ll be loath to put the novella down before sailing through the story in one sitting. When Trevor’s wife receives a package in the mail marked “For Medical Use Only,” Trevor thinks it strange, but when Madeline opens the box to reveal its contents, he is even more flabbergasted. When he first encounters the leech she ordered, he is hesitant to jump on board with the responsibilities required when owning a blood-sucking pet. “Trevor left the bubbling water and approached close enough to regard the black thing inside the container. It didn’t seem to move at first, but then he realized it was flexing itself, almost pulsing on the side of the plastic. Madeline held out the container as if she expected him to take it. ‘What do you mean by feedings?’ he asked. ‘You know what a leech eats, don’t you?’ [she said.] Trevor did. He just didn’t want to answer out loud and so let his silence say it for him. She said, ‘I have a name picked out already. Little Lugosi. I want to take him out of the container. You think it’s too soon?’ Trevor assumed she meant too soon to take him out of the container. Should it ever come out of its watery home?” Soon, Lugosi becomes a pervasive presence in their marriage, both in and outside of their bed. Madeline repurposes a bookshelf in their living room as a kind of shrine to the miniature vampire, “his plastic container a constant fixture between the two candles she kept lit, replacing them when they burned down too low. Trevor assumed she did this because leeches liked light, or something along those lines, but Madeline drew his attention to how the flickering illumination played upon the surface of the plastic, creating an ever-present aura around the leech. ‘A sacred effect for a sacred creature,’ she said.” It is soon after this that the story really shifts into high gear, barreling headlong into transgressive horror and sailing around hairpin turns of bizarro fiction in the most disturbing ways imaginable. Some of the more unsettling—and difficult to put down—scenes include the immediate aftermath of a hunting expedition for a white whale of a wild pig and a series of nightmares experienced by the protagonist that feature prominently a former patient of Madeline’s with a strange connection to Trevor, his wife, and their parasitic ward. The climax of the story opens with a scene of bedridden paranoia on par with Paul Sheldon’s imprisonment under the care of Annie Wilkes. “Soberly, she regarded the bloodstains on the sheets that Trevor pointed out. She said, ‘Looks to me like you’ve been coughing up blood.’ ‘Not me,’ said Trevor, his voice hoarse. ‘I’ll clean this up later. I’ll be here for a while. For you both.’ Then that half-smile again, so much like Madeline’s. ‘Stop smiling,’ Trevor said. ‘That’s not your smile.’ ‘Rest,’ she said, smiling.” The creepiness grows to an unimaginable level as Trevor sinks into an agitated fever dream of helplessness and confusion, and Ford gathers all of the breadcrumbs he’s left along the way to serve up a banquet of satisfying conclusion. Appearing in much of Douglas Ford’s recent fiction, Vissaria County has become the Castle Rock of Florida: like King, Ford has constructed a world in which Everyman could live and every creature imaginable might lurk. Little Lugosi has a little bit of everything for the horror literature aficionado: body horror, sticky gore, cult insidiousness, quick pacing, and blood…lots and lots of blood. Those with delicate stomachs, take heed: the largest of terrors can hide in the smallest of companions.
Straddles the fence of reality and dark delusion
Horror Bookworm Reviews https://horrorbookwormreviews.com/ A loving couple discuss owning a well needed pet, maybe a dog, perhaps a cat? Before you know it, a package has arrived on their front doorstep from a medical supply company. The more eager in the relationship has admitted to ordering a cute little segmented parasitic leech which happens to be appropriately named…Little Lugosi. From a predatory organism to a terrifying legend known as The Minister to an eccentric church congregation, there are many bizarre layers that lay hidden within Douglas Ford’s novella entitled Little Lugosi. The development of historical monsters and supernatural legends are cleverly woven together with a sinister thread of “a fondness for human flesh.” Suspense and tension build as vengeance is fueled with an unusual obsession toward a renowned adversary. Strange images of ritualistic fiction prompts Little Lugosi to straddle the fence of reality and dark delusion. These unnerving inventive formulas catered by the author result into a page turning hallucinatory horror. Keep all hands and feet inside this Douglas Ford rollercoaster and strap in to ensure your safety, it’s gonna be bumpy ride. A leech is the perfect pet, no shedding, no veterinary bills and no high expense supplies. Leeches increase blood circulation, break up blood clots and only an occasional feeding is required from a used tampon. A highly recommended five star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ sacramental baptism from the Horror Bookworm.
A Story To Balance Your Humors
There’s something about the books that Douglas Ford writes. There’s always a sense of the world not being completely right that adds an unsettling vibe to the already nerve wracking story based around leeches. Life takes an unexpected turn when Madeline orders a pet leech through the mail in order to enrich her and Trevor’s lives. What starts as a heathy amount of affection turns into obsession when the feedings become a constant thing, leading Madeline to have an unending period and boosting the couples libido tenfold. While this unfolds, the legend of The Minister comes to light; a larger than life wild pig that is said to live deep in the woods surrounding Trevor’s workplace. It and the other pigs in the area continuously destroy the grounds of the campus, causing Trevor’s coworker to become obsessed with it’s demise. Little Lugosi is a love story that is unique in its delivery and shows the trials one will go through in the name of love. Little Lugosi defies subgenre, mixing cults, the paranormal, body horror, folk horror, bizarro, and creature features together in order to deliver a story that could not be told as well by any other author.