Torturo, Violence and the Power of Honesty

A week or so ago I mentioned a bad review of a story of mine here, regarding a story that was published in McSweeney’s. The author of the blog it seems decided that he wouldn’t mind checking out more of my work and posted this review of The Translation of Father Torturo.

It is somewhat more positive but still complains about the violence. Yes, this book has violence. It does. The title hints at that. He uses the phrase “torture porn,” but that seems a little harsh. Still, violence is a bad thing. Too bad so much of my stuff has it and then some.

He makes some comparisons with a couple of films: Seven and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. I did write the book before seeing Seven and the other film I have never seen.

Also, he mentions having attended St. Anthony’s grammar school but being unfamiliar with the story of the tongue. For the record: There are two St. Anthonys. One is that described by St. Athanasius, and the other is St. Anthony of Padua (also called St. Anthony of Lisbon, since that is where he was born). I assume that the grammar school was named after the former. The character I mention in the book is the latter however.


12 Responses to Torturo, Violence and the Power of Honesty

  1. Paul says:

    Actually, I agree that torture porn is a bit harsh. At the very least I should have used it in quotes, what with it being a trendy term these days. Knowing now that you hadn’t seen Seven makes a world of difference. (And, I highly recommend The Cook, The Thief…., it’s a great film, and enjoys its own sense of violent revenge). I also don’t want to come across as a prudish reader. In fact, I think that I handle graphic violence better than many readers (I enjoyed American Psycho after all). So, I don’t want to make it sound like I’m saying you shouldn’t write it (I wouldn’t want to make anyone prejudge their work) there was just such a gleam in the narrator’s eye that it was, shall we say, unsettlling. Which, I suspect means it was quite effective.

    I’m also sorry that the review just seemed somewhat more positive, as I meant it to be overall quite positive. As I said, the story was really riveting, and I enjoyed the end very much.

  2. brendanconnell says:

    No, I appreciated the review. It was more positive to be sure. Also, you are right about the violence. In truth, this was a book I wrote in 3 months, in the vague hope of making some money on it. That is not to say that it is a bad book, just that I was writing what I thought would sell.

    By the way, if you send me a physical address (my email is huysmans67 at hotmail dot com) I’ll send you something that you could almost even share with your children. Almost.

    Anyhow, thanks for the review.



  3. benpeek says:

    i like that he went to read it, though.

  4. brendanconnell says:

    Yes. It is a shame that both things were so full of horrible things though. Actually, I have had a number of people say the stuff is too gruesome. It is ironic, because I myself don’t much like that sort of thing. I like comedy.

  5. Jason D says:

    Well, I didn’t find them overly gruesome. I look forward to more gruesomeness from you in the future.

  6. Paul says:

    I’ll be taking a break from the gruesome for a short time, but would love to see some comedy in the future. I sensed that there’s some wicked humor in the books, which I really like too.

  7. brendanconnell says:

    Ok. Well, a book I just finished is even more gruesome than Torturo. And comedy is and will be a goal of mine.

  8. […] Paul, the author of the review of The Translation of Father Torturo I talked about here has officially retracted the part about torture porn on his […]

  9. Rachel says:

    I don’t agree it was torture porn at all. There was just enough detail at the beginning to provide the reader with a visceral reaction. That is typical of horror and dark fantasy. Torture porn goes way above and beyond that. And in some cases the violence occurred off stage. This was more horrorific if anything else, though not a typical horror story.

    It’s a hard line to draw sometimes to figure out how much to detail to your readers and how much to leave to their imagination. But I think you did it well.

  10. brendanconnell says:

    Thanks Rachel. I actually had never heard the term Torture Porn until Paul brought it to my attention. Pornography I have always thoought was supposed to be something that was meant to ‘turn people on’ though. This is pretty much the last thing in the world I want to do through my writing. And I would be somewhat amazed if anyone were turned on by anything in this novel anyhow!

  11. Rachel says:

    LOL! Yeah. To me Torture Porn is more for movies like Saw.

  12. brendanconnell says:

    I haven’t seen that. But it doesn’t sounds like I should!

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