cover image Bottled


Chris Gooch. Top Shelf, $19.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-60309-420-7

Friendship is a weapon in this tense exploration of resentment. Jane and Natalie were close once. Then Natalie became a successful model and Jane languished behind, trapped in a tangle of family crack-up and romantic rot. When Natalie returns home with an explosive secret, the tables turn. This is a murky story in every sense: corridors are shadowy, morals are twisted, and turmoil bubbles beneath the surface. The book’s refusal to be explicit about much of anything makes it more unsettling than most outright horror stories. Gooch lingers over camera lenses, the arc of a knife through space, the pause before someone makes a fateful decision, and other liminal moments in a life hurtling towards destruction. Jane and Natalie are, separately and together, uneasy exemplars of millennial alienation, and this book is their devastating duet. (Oct.)