Queer Horror

Face Without a Heart, A

book      fiction

  • Face Without a Heart, A
  • Author: Rick R. Reed
  • Publisher: Design Image Group Inc.
  • Year: 2000
  • Country: US
  • 211 pages

corruption of minors, graphic sex

book cover

A Modern-day Version of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Amidst a gritty background of millennial urban nihilism, a young man bargains his soul away, while his painfully beautiful holographic portrait mirrors his each and every sin, each nightmarish step deeper into depravity...even cold blooded murder. This is a trip that explores of the darkest sides of greed, lust, addiction and violence.

Qvamp says:

This is a direct modern retelling of The Picture of Doran Gray. As such, its plot is a direct parallel to the original.

One of the main characters is a drag queen, another is a male artist who is deeply in love with Gary Adrion. Gary himself does sleep with boys occasionally, as they are another vice to explore.

This item won a 2000 Queer Horror award.

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From Wilde Redux by Catey Sullivan

When a relative traveled to Costa Rica last year for a face lift, (apparently there


From Hellnotes Book Review by Hank Wagner

The subtitle, 'A Modern-day Version of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray' really says it all. In Rick Reed's version, Dorian Gray is Gary Adrion and artist Basil Howard is Liam Howard. Lord Henry Wotton, the Oscar Wilde analog from Dorian Gray, becomes drag queen Lady Henrietta Wotton (I don't know enough about Reed's proclivities to judge whether there is any other message). Here, Gary's visage is recreated holographically, resulting in an image so exquisite that he jokingly offers his soul in return for a promise to look like that forever. Of course Gary gets his wish, and soon after the hologram begins to
display the ravages of his excessive lifestyle while he remains unscathed. Like Gray, Adrion finds and loses love, but the object of his affection is an
exotic dancer rather than an actress. Gary's unjustified rejection of the dancer launches him into a life of reckless depravity, one filled with meaningless sex, copious drug use, and even murder. Much like that of his predecessor, the utter emptiness of that life eats at the fabric of his soul, causing him to loathe his existence, and eventually, to destroy the source of his eternal youth. Reed does
himself, and his excellent source material proud, masterfully juggling multiple viewpoint characters for maximum effect. Each has a distinctive voice, providing a different, but illuminating perspective on the events described. Like Wilde's story, Reed's is at heart a commentary on contemporary life, a mirror held
up to catch the images cast by the dark side of modern existence. Like the best books, Reed's goes beyond its narrow subject matter to invite reflection on deeper patterns of human behavior, in this instance, the self-destructive impulses we all must grapple with and master if we wish to stay sane. As such, it constitutes a penetrating morality tale, a trip into the very heart of darkness.


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