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on 23 May 2016
Edward Lee is very hit and miss to my tastes in book.I found this book was glued my hand! Several special other worldly talented people and a writer get hired to find out what happened in the house on the night a mass murder happened. Strange things start happening and clues on what happened and why keeps appearing.the one question I found I was dying to find out is what happens when a temple on the spiritual realm connects to our world by just opening a door? Did you get the hints of the theme. Yes my review seems jumbled up but if I tell you everything you won't get the enjoyment of not knowing what to come
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VINE VOICEon 4 March 2006
I liked the idea for this one. A reporter and a bunch of psychics are sent to investigate a series of terrible murders in a massive 5-storied gothic mansion, committed by a tycoon madman who was mixed up in the worst aspects of the porn industry and a bizarre Satanic cult. For some reason this blurb reminded me of the descriptions of Emeric Belasco's past excesses in Richard Matheson's "Hell House", and I thought it would make a pretty effective bit of horror, a refreshingly new slant on the haunted house story. Edward Lee can certainly write, no question whatsoever about that, and he creates strong characters. So where did it fall down for me?
Well partly I personally can well do without professional psychics in a story, and in this story we get no less than 4 of them! I just can't get away from the feeling that it's cheating somewhat to have characters who can do out-of-body experiences, or who can solve mysteries just by touching things, and in "Flesh Gothic" we get rather a lot of all this. And it does get deeply tedious. The scale of the sex and violence in this book is quite Sadean at times. He doesn't flinch away from his subject matter, and yet at the same time we get a bizarre attitude, whereby rape, beheadings, torture etc are all endlessly recorded (in a quite mind-numbing nihilistic way), and yet then he'll get all prissy, like an old woman, about the sort of sexual practice that your average suburban Swingers would probably regard as quite tame! It's hard to see how we're seriously meant to be shocked by that, after reading page after page of truly grotesque excesses! And the scene where Vanni wanders into the S&M playroom, and it takes her AN ABSOLUTE AGE to realise it's not actually a gymnasium, does make you wonder if she should be allowed out on her own!
What really inspired me to give this book only 3 stars though is the final 40 or 50 pages of it. The scene where Our Very Human Hero (actually he's the best part about the whole book, a world-weary but sympathetic man) finally confronts the villain of the piece is one big letdown. No self-respecting horror story should have the hero saying to the villain, in a sort of Frank Spencer-ish way: "you are an evil person". (You blinkin' little fiend you!). I did mistakenly think that Lee might spring a few surprises on us as we headed towards the end, but no it's just more of the same schlocky old nonsense we've seen a hundred times before. I do think he could do better than this.
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on 12 August 2005
14 people entered into a mansion called Hildreth House, but after orgies and bizarre sexual acts, only 1 of those people came out alive...now a specially selected few are chosen to enter this house and try and solve it's mysteries.
It's the basic haunted-house theme, but of course Edward Lee would never stick to convention when writing his own version.
In previous books such as award winning City Infernal, we see Lee showing off his talents for describing some of the most original and shocking (but also fun and sometimes comic-like) scenes he can conjure up. Flesh gothic is a step up, it's clever and fast paced, always keeping you interested, while Lee has fun setting the scene of the gothic mansion and building the images of the butchery at the same time (and sexual images to a large extent, but you'll know why if you read the end). Of course there's hints of satanism and occult things, but he keeps his feet on the ground, so it's realistic, if intense.
I wouldn't want to spoil the story as there's so many surprises with this book it'll keep you hooked. It took me just a few days to read. I thought I should be the first to say.....BUY IT!!
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on 15 July 2010
Good old fashioned evil in a house picks off characters one by one. Not the most original tale, but well executed. All in all a fun holiday read
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on 31 March 2014
This is a horror !! Not in the scary, tense, nerve jangling sense but rather a complete horror to read. This book read's like a 'Carry On' film does Hellraiser .. it is pathetically un-scary & so 'not' shockingly sexy that i thought a pre-war clergyman's housewife had written it. All the good stuff happen's 'off camera' and the horror, as it were, is so old fashioned it's laughable.
Terrible & dated .. in fact some of the die-hard Lee fan's gushing review's are far more 'shocking' & 'scary' .. read them instead .. for a laugh.
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on 14 July 2014
Flesh Gothic is one of those stories that stays embedded in the reader's mind for a long time after the last page is turned. It's fantastic and is full of very well-developed characters, gruesome gore galore, black humour and it's so good you'll want to read it more than once.

As a huge fan of Edward Lee, I cannot recommend this book highly enough if you're a fan of his work and of extreme horror.

Top marks from me! Mr Lee's writing ability and imagination is spectacular, knows no bounds and will surpass your expectations. The book cover image is wonderful too and conveys creepiness, terror and fuels your anticipation, making you eager to delve into a world of horror-filled excellence.
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on 19 September 2013
Decent story with some great characters in it, I personally enjoyed the book and as someone who hasn't read many of Edward Lee books this one will definitely make me want to read more works by this author
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on 20 August 2006
A first time read of mr Lee's work, for those who like a quanity of sex, violence and mysticism not a bad read. formulaic plot but a nice rework.I will read more
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