cover image The Necrophiliac

The Necrophiliac

Gabrielle Wittkop, trans. from the French by Don Bapst, ECW (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (92p) ISBN 978-1-55022-943-1

A Parisian antique dealer with a lust for corpses indulges his macabre fetish in this faux shocking novella by the late Wittkop (1920–2002). It's written in a diary format that plainly records the thoughts and actions of Lucien, a middle-aged man of some means who suffers a terrible loneliness that can only be assuaged by having vigorous sex with putrid corpses. Sometimes Lucien attains heights of feverish passion, such as for Suzanne, a woman he exhumes from the Montparnasse Cemetery and keeps packed in ice in his flat, delirious with a happiness edged by decay. Lucien later travels to Naples and descends into the catacombs for more gnarly adventures before spiriting off the bodies of two Swedish adolescent siblings who have recently drowned. While the material is inarguably gruesome, it's not especially smart or alarming, though it may hold some appeal to the young and disaffected who haven't yet been turned on to the marquis de Sade. (May)