Book review: ’The Slob’ by Aron Beauregard

TW: for sexual assault, torture, abortion, extreme violence, homophobia, murder, misogyny and pretty much everything-fucking-else, if I’m honest. CONTAINS SPOILERS.

If I can say one thing clearly: Don’t read this book. Don’t be curious, don’t try to measure your own exposure to graphic horror against this writing. Your life will be better without wasting the time. Go look at internet cats instead.

I was so shocked and disgusted by this book that I knew I had to review it (to warn people off), but it’s not fair to the author to do that without reading the whole work. For this reason and none other, I dragged myself through it and tried to suspend belief, hold in my stomach contents, and resist the urge to set fire to the book. There’s no proof of age required to download or read this book, and there fucking should be

This review will likely be unpopular, and I can give Beauregard his due. With seemingly thousands of people looking for the most extreme in extreme horror, he is a people pleaser. The reviews on his listing read like snuff site comments: “Heck, this is as disturbing as it gets”; “At times I was shocked at what I was reading and didn’t think anyone would ever go this far in a book”; “Degradation, humiliation, endless violence and revulsion on a grand scale, all the way to the bitter sweet ending.” That said, I imagine that there are some extreme horror novels that are well written – and this is anything but.  

It is clear that the author writes only for the personal pleasure of extreme, revolting horror. Everything else is an afterthought, with so little effort put into the surrounding plot, language or story elements that it reads like two different authors. But then again, there isn’t much outside of the extreme horror scenes. His protagonist is a female vacuum saleswoman who throughout only seems to care only about her attractiveness to her husband (after being horrifically violated she returns to her partner only to reveal her biggest concern just a few weeks later – her intimacy issues: “Ever since I was repeatedly raped and assaulted by The Slob, I could never find my mood again.” I wonder why the fuck not.)

The entire plot is her entering the house of The Slob, and then being tortured, brutalised, humiliated, and sexually assaulted in the most horrific ways. Her child is aborted in a way that I can’t even describe here. At first we experience her own destruction, and then he moves onto her ‘roommate’ who is similarly subjected. They try to escape, and find even more corpses of women in a barn, each with their own ‘imaginative injuries’. Both women have their own dedicated rape scenes, and objectification is taken to the extreme with one woman’s “oral lips being sewn to her lady lips.” The amount of effort and time that is spent during these scenes describing everything in intimate detail – from The Slob’s genitals to the woman’s injuries – shows an obsessive approach to this violence. Everything else in the book is simply filler from one torture scene to the next.

This isn’t like Chuck Palahniuk’s smartly written and graphic ‘Guts’ – a short story that caused people to faint from the horror at book readings. It’s not an experiment of the form, it’s not to achieve a single reaction (revulsion), it’s not clever. ‘The Slob’ is not extreme horror, it’s extreme violence. Exclusively against women – apart from a scene at the end when a group of gay men are beheaded. A typecast not to be ignored, when clearly the author seeks to obliterate any ‘feminine’ qualities. 

If you want disgusting, depraved murder fantasies, then I can’t argue that this is the book for you. But perhaps seeing a psychiatrist is also a good idea. 

If you want good writing, and you’re a woman who doesn’t want to feel the author’s hatred for your sex radiating off the page for you as you read – give this a wide berth.

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