Assisted Living

The Marquis de Sade is alive and well and living in Sweden--or perhaps author Nikanor Teratologen is the devil himself, sending the English-speaking world a Scandinavian squib to remind readers that such reassuring figures as vampires and serial killers are no more frightening than pixies or unicorns in light of the depravity contained in one quiet suburb. Reading like a deranged hybrid of Deliverance, Naked Lunch, and Tuesdays with Morrie, and rivaling The 120 Days of Sodom in its challenge to our assumptions as to what is acceptable (or not) in literature, Assisted Living presents us with a series of queasy anecdotes concerning an eleven-year-old boy and his grandfather, a monster for whom murder, violence, incest, drunkenness, and philosophy all pass as equally valid ways to spend one's time. Whether it's a study in excess, a parody of provincial proto-fascism, a clear-eyed look at evil,...

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