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Publisher's Summary

From the author of Lost Souls, Drawing Blood, and Wormwood comes a thrilling and chilling novel that best-selling author Peter Straub says serves as a “guidebook to hell”.

To serial slayer Andrew Compton, murder is an art, the most intimate art. After feigning his own death to escape from prison, Compton makes his way to the United States with the sole ambition of bringing his “art” to new heights. Tortured by his own perverse desires, and drawn to possess and destroy young boys, Compton inadvertently joins forces with Jay Byrne, a dissolute playboy who has pushed his “art” to limits even Compton hadn’t previously imagined. Together, Compton and Byrne set their sights on an exquisite young Vietnamese-American runaway, Tran, whom they deem to be the perfect victim.

Swiftly moving from the grimy streets of London’s Piccadilly Circus to the decadence of the New Orleans French Quarter, Poppy Z. Brite dissects the landscape of torture and invites us into the mind of a killer. Exquisite Corpse confirms Brite as a writer who defies categorization. It is a novel for those who dare trespass where the sacred and profane become one.

©1996 Billy Martin (P)2020 David N. Wilson

What listeners say about Exquisite Corpse

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Twisted AF and fun too

what a deliciously different type of book to hear from one of my favorite narrators it is raunchy, it is foul, it has erotic bits, it has comedy bits, it has that wonderful soothing dulcet tones of Joshua Saxon and most of all, it is a well thought out intelligent little read of just about 8 hours of listening pleasure!

the story of two serial killers during the AIDS crisis is quite unique in its lovely twist and turns of words and verbiage.

i highly recommend this listen to it alone so you can laugh out loud at the naughty bits and the guilty pleasure that you receive from empathizing with the serial killer as so deliciously played and portrayed by the wonderful calming tones of Joshua Saxon!

3 people found this helpful

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my new favorite book

this book is grotesque but beautifully written. this is a book that with occupy your mind for a long time

2 people found this helpful

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A gory gay love story

if you like horror and gay fiction this is the book for you. I enjoyed the description of one of my favorites city New Orleans.

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Don’t listen to this book in the car with the windows down!

This is the first book I was embarrassed to be listening to. The descriptions of both body horror and homosexuality were very intense… I couldn’t bare the have anyone overhear me listening to this! That said, the descriptions alone made this book amazing! The plot is somewhat predictable, but did take a few surprise turns. Narrator was great! I usually listen on 1.5 speed and this worked fine for this narrator.

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Delicately disgusting, sickening yet seductive

I'm a huge fan of the show 'Hannibal', have been since I first watched the film 'Red Dragon' (and subsequently gorged myself on all things Hannibal Lecter). I gotta say: this book is like an AU fanfic of that show.

I won't rehash the plot, but I will say, the book poses a fascinating character study. What would happen if two gay hedonist serial killers met up in a bar? The story builds to this inevitable encounter, paced perfectly with backstory and snippets of characters' lives before and after.

Mixed in with our dark characters are those of morally grey status, and one who might almost be considered 'innocent', if we ignore the fact he's a drug dealer. Surprisingly this couple is as compelling as the killers, almost acting as an opposing moral compass (though they, too, are twisted in other ways).

This is my first Poppy Z. Brite novel, and the first listening to Joshua Saxon. It's a match made in heaven (or hell, depending on perspective). When Saxon switched from an upper crust British accent to one more American, I thought another narrator had stepped in. The man has a way with words, regardless of who he's giving voice to, and he portrays every character superbly.

The book doesn't pull any punches. Gory, erotic, both at once; all sinful characters are portrayed as they are, without any moral condemnation one might expect. They're presented without justification or the usual baggage. What certainly was scoffed at in the mid-90s I find immensely refreshing in 2022.

Agree or disagree with the characters' actions all you wish, but one truth remains: you'll want to keep listening. I tend to listen to audiobooks on my nightly walks home from work and I've found myself slowing my step just to listen longer. I'm addicted to this story, and must hear how it all ends! Little over 2 hours left in the tale and I can honestly say I can't predict how it'll end.

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  • 04-30-22

Wow.

I’m still haunted by what I learned from this book. A new kind of fright. Written in a truly masterful and often poetic way that mixes such a sensuality with the unsettling terror. The Narrator is awesome. You chilled me and charmed me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Buckle up

Weird, gruesome and fantastic! It's a gay Hannibal Lecture! Blood and guts! No detail left behind!

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Blunt, Bold and Horrific

Fantastic narrator. Book is intense and keep you needing to know what happens next. Does not shy away from anything. And I mean anything. Not for the faint of heart. In your face horror that is horribly delightful.

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Extreme Horror Classic

Poppy Z. Brite was writing extreme horror before extreme horror was a thing. I read this great over fifteen years ago and thanks to Crossroad Press for producing this as an audiobook I was able to revisit this classic read during my work commute. The narration by Joshua Saxon is perfect for this book, fantastic all the way around.

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Surprisingly warm for a book about dead things

There's a lot going on here. I loved the social commentary on the wide range of issues facing the gay male community. The characters were well written and I was easily attached to many of them. The narrator did an excellent job, bouncing from voice to voice and his voice fit the tones of the wordage so well. In case anyone is wondering if this book gets hot and steamy at all, it does. There's wasn't anything in the novel wet and wild enough to get me going, but I could see this book doing the trick for other readers. My only complaint boils down to personal taste: I could have gone for a bit more cannibalism. If you want a story about a jazzy Jeffrey Dahmer, this might just be the book for you!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jack
  • 04-07-21

Brilliant

I've read this book at least 6 times over the last 20 years and was delighted that an audio version was finally available. The writing is beautiful, grotesque, and like nothing else you'll ever hear - savour it just like Andrew savours his sandwich...

A must for horror fans, and especially LGBTQ+ horror fans.

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  • mentally unbalanced
  • 03-20-21

Don't go into this book blind!

This book bounces from passion to cold exacting cruelty. The descriptions in the book will shock those unprepared. It is graphic, brutal, soul destroying and glorious

1 person found this helpful

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  • Avid Game Player
  • 04-06-22

Not as gory as some of the reviews made out

Story is ok, some of the scenes are graphic and brutal but for horror fans it’s nothing special at all. It’s more like a gay porn horror than anything else

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  • Kat Storm
  • 08-13-21

An absolute artist!

The author is a poet. I don't know of any other human who can so completely spellbind and mezmerise using only words like this.
if you're looking at this book, you hopefully know what you are in for. If not - take a chance!

Also, the narrating is SUPERB! No annoying breathing, the voices are Perfect, everything is flawless.

All in all, I have no complaints, save that it didn't go on for longer. I'm on my third listen now, and still as enraptured.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-21

Exquisite

This was very dark and gory, but beautifuly written and even gut punching emotional at some points.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-01-21

mot for the faint hearted

I adore poppy's working but be warned it is graphic! but this doesn't take away from the story.

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  • Christina
  • 01-19-21

Extremely graphic

Be warned, the descriptions are very graphic and for someone who reads lots of books about true crime, it was too much for me. Storyline is also a bit thin

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  • Naedrax17
  • 02-01-21

Twisted AF

A disturbing, violent, sick & twisted horror story of homosexuality, cannibalism, HIV & love in a twisted way. The only likeable character is Tran. But Jay, Andrew & Luke are intriguing & the interconnecting relationship that weaves them all together. The author has created a horrific beautiful story that will sicken you while keeping you on edge. Not for the faint of heart.

The narrator did an amazing job of bringing this story to life.

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  • Simon
  • 04-11-22

Lives up to the hype

Outside of Blood Meridian, this is one of the best narrated audio books that I have listened to. The way the narrator switches between the accents of characters was brilliant, and his annunciation and command of the English language is exceptional.
The above compliments Poppy Z. White’s story which is a wild ride to say the least. I read a lot of splatter punk and extreme horror pretty much exclusively, and given the age of this book, it really must have packed a punch back in the day when it came out. The descriptive writing is some of the best that I have come across: you can taste the blood, smell the open bodies and feel the knife plunge deep into the flesh as yours roam over the outstanding prose. I will definitely be looking out for more by Poppy as Exquisite Corpse firmly solidifies itself in my top ten nasties of all time.

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  • Katie J.
  • 04-05-22

Wow, what a ride this one is!

I have always loved Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z Brite and I’ve read it more than once. This is the first time I have ever listened to the audio book. And I was sceptical at first, how can this book get any better? My god! Joshua Saxton really did this book justice and I was very impressed. Never boring, always beautiful and deeply disturbing. Read this book at your own risk as it will stay with you for life!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-27-21

Love this book

I’ve loved this book for years. It was beautiful to revisit it after all these years. Wonderful narration. Thoroughly enjoyed

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-20-21

the horror, the horror

this nihilistic monster of a book will haunt you until you dieing days.... .

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  • Nicki Robinson
  • 03-21-21

Amazing book, even better narration!

Loved this book. It kept me hooked. I gagged, gasped and even cried. So beautifully descriptive.
Also, I couldn’t believe one narrator performed the entire book. His accents were seamless!