cover image Mr. Suicide

Mr. Suicide

Nicole Cushing. Word Horde (, $14.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-939905-11-6

Cushing’s debut, a work of brutal and extreme horror, follows an unnamed protagonist as he grows from a bullied, isolated teen to a vicious and uncontrollable outsider. Readers, tied to the protagonist through the second-person perspective, watch as his violent tendencies first develop and are then pointed inward, primarily through the influence of a voice called Mr. Suicide. As he grows up, the protagonist brutalizes himself and others, most notably his mother and other women. His brother introduces him to Perfect Monsters, an explicit magazine of the taboo and grotesque, and soon Perfect Monsters has its own voice in the protagonist’s head. Pulling the strings is a deity called the Great Dark Mouth, who can give his chosen one the gift of being unmade. The perspective creates more antipathy than empathy, and the protagonist’s actions become increasingly inscrutable once he turns 18 and leaves home. While the story is told with creative attention to detail, its disturbingly graphic content, paired with slowly building momentum, will limit its audience. (July)