I have been reading Edward Lee’s works for a long time and have always found my reactions mixed. I enjoy many of his works but I am not a big fan of his hardcore horror although I find it intriguing. I had a book of Lee’s hardcore works, “Bullet Through Your Face,” and decided to go ahead and give it a read.
“Bullet Through Your Face” collects three of Lee’s hardcore works in one place for readers who may have missed these hard to find stories. “Ever Nat” is the story of one man reaping the wages of his sin as he must endure new horror and degradation every night. “The Salt-Diviner” is the story of a couple who keep a man who can see the future as a prisoner to further their own quest for wealth. “The Refrigerator Full of Sperm” tells the story of a cop trying to figure out the appearances of mysterious people running around without clothes and a growing number of comatose men who are found also without clothes.
Now, those summaries of the novellas is definitely lacking in detail but this is due to necessity. There really is no way to explain the stories without getting into some fairly explicit detail that are not appropriate for this forum. It is safe to say that this is definitely not the book for you if you are easily offended. Or even if it is hard to offend you. In fact, if you get offended at all, this really is not the book for you. This is hardcore, intentionally gross and explicit storytelling at its best (or worst, depending on your perspective). I really did not care for “Ever Nat,” found “The Salt-Diviner” to be a bit better, and I would even say that I guiltily enjoyed “The Refrigerator Full of Sperm.” The reason for this is quite simple in my mind: my enjoyment of the stories was directly related to the humor that I found in the story.
In short, I thought that there were some good things in this book but I do not know that I would ever read any of the stories again. Edward Lee is a talented author so those that do not like this type of writing should definitely not be turned off to him altogether as his more mainstream works are very strong works of horror. Lee chooses to write a fair amount of hardcore as well and he has a legion of fans due to this. If Lee resorted to the gross out and graphic in order to cover for a shortcoming in talent, I would be much harsher on this book. Knowing that this is a choice that he has made as he writes in a couple of different styles, I know that he has plenty of talent to tell these stories in a different manner (well, not “Ever Nat,” but that story could not be told any other way). If you like the graphic and extreme in your horror, give this book a read. If not, look for one of Lee’s non-hardcore works and you will not be disappointed.