changing the scenery and a book review!

Hey, this looks different! Yes, I've finally caved and started using Jekyll for formatting my site, and it's so easy to use, that I'm kicking myself for not using it sooner. Anyways, here's a review for Eric Larocca's You've Lost a Lot of Blood

eric larocca's you've lost a lot of blood

My second book from this author, the first one being Things Have Gotten Worse Since We've Last Spoke. I actually liked this one better, although they are mostly different.

I mean, both have an epistolary nature, and graphic and heavy imagery. But the reason I loved this one so much is because it left me with a lot of questions.

Without spoiling too much: the book is about two lovers who have gone missing, and it's said to have been compiled by an editor to show the inner machinations of one of the two characters. The foreword specifically tells us that we are reading that character's writing, but the rug is sort of pulled from under us at the end.

This got me thinking about the "editor", and it shone a light on the rest of the book, which is comprised of poems written by one of the lovers, transcriptions of recordings he made with his phone (which recorded over with his inner thoughts, like he was planning to make those recordings into a book), and a full novella said to been written by the character. This novella is also called You've Lost a Lot of Blood, and there's a computer game inside this novella with the same name.

There's a connection between the stories, especially when we learn the pseudo twist at the ending. There's an overarching theme of identity. The conflicts between who we think we are, who we actually are, and who we want to be; no one is really real in this book, in several meanings of the word. There's a sense of doom looming over everything, from the poems to the transcriptions to the novella-inside-the-book. If we look at it from the meta standpoint, the editor which compiled this book is also not real, having been invented by the author as a literary device.

Once I got into this book, I started to think that maybe the novella within the book would work best as a standalone story. It's super interesting and well written. But the last chapter feels off, and I have a theory that is linked to the twist at the ending. I really don't want to spoil it, so if you read this book and want to talk about it after, hit me up. Anyways, based on the last chapter, I changed my mind, and the novella actually serves a giant purpose in revealing the themes of identity and, especially, of creation and imagination (also talent and craftsmanship).

This book is amazing, and this author is also amazing. Go follow then on twitter and read their books, you won't regret it.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars.

Written on March 27, 2022