Christian, M. “Finger’s Breadth”, Zumaya Boundless, 2011.
A Descent into Horror
I have long been a fan of M. Christian. His erotic writings are what I called literary erotica and he is one of the founders of that genre. His horror writings also are in a class of literary horror and when he tells you a story, you simply cannot stop reading. When he combines horror and erotica, you are in for a special treat and that is exactly what he does in his new book, “Finger’s Breadth”. The idea for this book is clever and terrifying, probably because something like this could really happen and when you have a story that could be real, you actually shudder twice as much.
The story is set in San Francisco of the near future and something very strange is going on. Someone is haunting the city, drugging the gay men and then cutting off the tip of their little finger. But that is not all. The ensuing terror causes a transformation of the men of the city and the very idea that something like this can happen causes everyone to cower in fear. People begin to suspect each other and no one seems safe.
The story begins with a prelude that sets tone of what is to follow and from the very first line, we feel a sense of gloom as an uneasy atmosphere takes over.
“Session No.: 10977642-2
Case Ref: AS-D-341945491
Date: May 7 —
Location: 1: McAllister Detention Center, RM 146
Subject Name: Kenneth Allen Wertz
Subject ID: N946671291
Interrogating Officer: Eric Knorr
Officer ID: CSS-7992309
Attorney Present: No
Officer: Okay, right, so you said you didn’t see anything?
Subject: Yeah, I didn’t see anything.
Officer: You just woke up like that, huh?
Subject: Yeah. On Muni. In the morning, I mean.
Officer: Someone cut your fucking finger off and you
didn’t see anything?
Subject: Yeah, I guess so.
Officer: Tell it to me again”
And we are off on an adventure into the unknown where things become stranger and stranger as the novel moves forward. I Feel I may have already said a great deal about the plot and I do not want to give too much away and spoil the reading experience. Suffice it to say that I was on the edge of my seat as I read. If I am to give you my opinion, let me first say that what makes this novel really unique is that it is not propelled by characters nor plot but by the story that Christian has managed to write in a way that the language and the style that pulls the reader in. For me that has always been the author’s trademark and why I was so free to use the word Literary as I described his erotica and horror stories. It is not that hard to come up with an idea that can be turned into a horror story and that is why horror has been part of the folklore of America and why these stories are so popular on camp-outs as we sit around a campfire. To successfully do this, we need a combination of characters and plot but more important than all else is a novel way to relate the story. For me that is the definition of M. Christian. This book is unlike anything I have read before and I suspect that it will stay with me for quite a while.