Book Review: Virgins in Reverse & The Intrusion by Gabriel Hart

Posted: September 26, 2020 in Uncategorized

Gabriel Hart‘s debut book “VIRGINS IN REVERSE & THE INTRUSION” contains two novellas united by main characters and a general theme of dissolution and debauchery, a slow dive into altered perceptions driven by drink and loss and lack of purpose.

The narration is raw and unforgiving and that in itself could be off putting to some, but it is one of the strengths of the narration that Hart keeps the lens of the action centered on Caleb. In a lot of ways it reads as an ode to Generation X cynicism, and wouldn’t be out of place next to Bret Easton Ellis’ “LESS THAN ZERO” or Douglas Coupland’s “GENERATION X” even as it comes a few decades later than both. It’s a book where the narrator lets the actions of others drive him, or he lets himself be driven by his own addictions. This isn’t a love letter to alcohol, but nor is it truly a warning, as there are echoes of Kerouac in Caleb’s listless drifting, and yeah, a bit of Bukowski as well.

The second half especially reads as a meditation on the connection between alcoholism and spiritual possession, and what does it mean when someone gets black out drunk. Are they truly no longer in control of their actions? Have they let some other entity inside having abdicated all control? Or are they just letting their inner asshole out? Anyway, this isn’t escapism fiction, but rather a look at everyday grime and grind of life when you’re down and out.

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