Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca
Sadomasochism. Obsession. Death.
A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s--a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires.
What have you done today to deserve your eyes?
“A startling affair...I’ll be cleaning up particles of darkness in my office for weeks.” - Josh Malerman (Bird Box, Inspection)
"When broken people do broken things - especially in the name of love - we all get broken, too. What starts as sweetly genteel swiftly descends into everything that's brutalizingly ugly about the abusive master/slave dynamic. A hauntingly elegant, masterfully written, and ultimately devastating indictment of cruel manipulation and even crueler submission. This is one deeply fucked-up heartbreaker. You have been warned." - John Skipp (The Light at the End)
"Part Dennis Cooper's The Sluts, part David Cronenberg's The Brood...Eric LaRocca's Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke is a masterpiece of epistolary body horror." - Max Booth III (We Need to Do Something)
"Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke is a tight, merciless epistolary, each piece of correspondence coiling the reader around its finger and never letting go. LaRocca skillfully weaves a grotesque, unforgettable page-turner of manipulation and depravity." - Hailey Piper (The Worm and His Kings)
"With darkly poetic prose and chilling stories that peel back layers of skin to reveal a beating, bloody heart, Eric LaRocca is the clear literary heir of Clive Barker." - Tyler Jones (Criterium, The Dark Side of the Room)
“Eric LaRocca is a fierce talent that knows no limit, masterful and utterly unmissable!” - Ross Jeffery (Juniper, Tome)
I enjoyed this while I was reading it, but thinking back, it didn't make a lot of sense. It went off the rails real fast. We didn't know the characters enough to get their motivation to do the insane things that they did. What did kind of bother me throughout reading is that the characters had identical voices. Telling the story in IMs and emails was cool, but it didn't make a lot of sense that these conversations never went off-line. Maybe that's just me. I did thoroughly enjoy reading this story, but I can't give it more than three stars because of needing to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy it. If I'd allowed myself to think more about these issues while reading (except the identical voices; that I could not help but noticing), I would not have become immersed in the story.
This was crazy. Literally. I loved it in the way you love a strange creature- with curiosity and tentativeness, a little excited as it unfolds, but with a nervousness. It had elements that no other story I've read had, and I liked it for it's newness. Really great read.