Will Christopher Baer was born in 1966 in Mississippi and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He has won fiction prizes from and has published work in and . He lives in California.
Will Christopher Baer was born in 1966 in Mississippi and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He has won fiction prizes from Story Magazine and has published work in Bomb and Nerve. He lives in California.
Where Kiss Me, Judas and Hell’s Half Acre are jumping off three stars, reaching higher, Penny Dreadful is a two star shoulder shrug of what it should have been—a mild side note to a much longer novel or a different novel that didn’t involve Phineas Poe. The events that take place in Penny Dreadful seem more set apart, disconnected from the bookend novels. The minor Kiss Me, Judas characters could have been involved, made it a fun side-by-side comparison of the universe Will Christopher Baer has created, but the force of the love/hate relationship between Jude and Phineas Poe is diluted by what should have been a small plotline. Though the trilogy is graphic in violence and sexual abuse (including gang rape), Baer also displays scenes of incredible tenderness in this twisted mess, perhaps more tender because of coldness of the surrounding text. Flashback scenes to Poe’s terminally diseased wife are some of the trilogy’s finest. Despite the flaws of Penny Dreadful and what can be viewed as too many loose ends come the end of Hell’s Half Acre, Baer has crafted a sleek, quick-read trilogy for fans of the darker side of fiction. Three stars.
Perhaps one of the strongest voices currently out there in the world of neo-noir, Will Christopher Baer weaves a disorienting, compelling, and layered story through the three books in his Phineas Poe trilogy: Kiss Me, Judas, Penny Dreadful, and Hell’s Half Acre. Poe is an unreliable narrator from the moment we start Kiss Me, Judas. Baer uses many different devices, themes, and techniques to show us the shadow worlds that Poe inhabits, but the main executions involve Poe’s love/hate relationship with Jude, his questionable sanity based on events in his past, the extensive use of drugs and alcohol, the game of tongues in Penny Dreadful, and the use of a script and snuff film in Hell’s Half Acre.
|Title: Kiss Me, Judas|
Author(s): Will Christopher Baer
Publisher: MP Publishing Limited
Availability: Amazon Amazon UK Amazon CA