Negative Space: Book Review

Happy Monday and here’s a reminder that you can now commission art from me! Here are a couple of the pieces I’ve finished recently:

You too can be a proud owner of a piece of custom PLM art, just click here to commission one! You can find more samples of my work on my Instagram, as well.

The Author

B.R. Yeager has written three novels: Pearl Death, Negative Space, and Amygdalatropolis, as well as a limited-edition deck of cards that functions as a non-linear novelette. Besides writing, this New Englander also has a lot of experience playing in bands. Besides that, I really couldn’t find much about this author!

The Book

Four teens in a New Hampshire mill town abuse a bizarre hallucinogen called WHORL in order to cope with a devastating suicide epidemic.

Goodreads

Negative Space is a bleak and gritty novel told from three points of view: Lu/Lou, Ahmir, and Jill. These three teenagers live in suicide-haunted Kinsfield, New Hampshire. This novel is a cosmic-horror coming-of-age, rife with ennui, despair, suicide ideation, drug abuse, abusive relationships, and helplessness that is sure to leave any reader feeling haunted and not a little disturbed.

Needless to say, this book is not for the faint of heart.

“Ever wonder where teenage children go at night? Perhaps it’s best not knowing the answer. There’s something amiss in Kinsfield, a drab, boring city much like your own, except for the teenage suicide epidemic, stagnant, ineffectual parents, cultish behavior that borders on psychosis, and strings, strings everywhere. B.R. Yeager’s Negative Space is a hypnotic collage of message boards, memes, and ruined bodies twisting at the end of a rope. Most modern novels have lost all concept of magic. B.R. Yeager’s Negative Space is a stunning refutation of the quotidian.”

James Nulick, author of Haunted Girlfriend & Valencia

Told through choppy segments, the three characters dive into a dark world that seems to revolve around their friend: Tyler. Though “friend” is a strong word, considering. Their small town, besides seeing an abnormal amount of teen suicides, is also invaded by WHORL, a strange plant-based drug that has otherworldly side effects.

I feel like I can’t say anymore without ruining the plot so I’ll have to leave it at that.

The Review

“Like smoke off a collision between Dennis Cooper’s George Miles Cycle and Beyond The Black Rainbow, absorbing the energy of mind control, reincarnation, parallel universes, altered states, school shootings, obsession, suicidal ideation, and so much else, B.R. Yeager’s multi-valent voicing of drugged up, occult youth reveals fresh tunnels into the gray space between the body and the spirit, the living and the dead, providing a well-aimed shot in the arm for the world of conceptual contemporary horror.”

Blake Butler, author of Three Hundred Million

This was a bizarre ride for me, unlike any horror novel I’ve read in a long while. This strange, rollercoaster of a book gave me House of Leaves vibes but a whole lot bleaker. I was swept away by it and read the whole novel in just two days, staying up way too late.

The three characters whose POVs drive the novel are flawed creatures, ready to break your heart with their journeys. The town of Kinsfield is claustrophobic and twisted, like a jail of nettles keeping its residents trapped and blind.

Through Yeager’s writing, I felt myself getting twisted up in the darkness that was strangling the characters. It was such a powerful and melancholic story. Is this book for everyone? I wouldn’t say so. It’s brimming with dark, violent themes that might really disturb a reader who isn’t prepared for it. However, I do think this is a one-of-a-kind horror novel and I’m glad I read it.

8/10

x P.L. McMillan

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