Mother Horror is going to tell you a little story about a book called Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke (THGWSWLS), written by Eric LaRocca. This novella’s ratings on Goodreads are at 20.8K+ with written reviews at 6.6K. These numbers for a book published by a small press like Weird Punk are unheard of. I’ve never seen anything like it.
That book has since been picked up by TITAN and will see a re-release soon. In the meantime, Eric wanted something out there for his fans to read. Both of his newest releases are out of print.
On March 11th he surprised everyone by releasing You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood. Just like with THGWSWLS, the cover is another striking piece by Kim Jakobsson. When my copy arrived, I was surprised by how thick it was. A hefty two hundred and thirty-six pages! Quite a bit more than the previous novella which was just a hair over one hundred. I also thought the synopsis was tantalizingly cryptic:
Each precious thing I show you in this book is a holy relic from the night we both perished-the night when I combed you from my hair and watered the moon with your blood.
You’ve lost a lot of blood . . .
I had no clue what to expect. Zero expectations apart from expecting the unexpected. LaRocca can be counted on to shock and amaze. There is so much going on inside this book. It’s like running across someone’s diary where they have journaled all of their secrets and dark thoughts, but the diary is also full of poems, snippets of ephemera, texts, and transcripts. There is enough information to piece together a linear story, but the events are so dreadful and there are so many things shared alluding to violence and tragedy, it’s scary to keep reading.
There’s also a story-within-a-story just to keep readers on their toes.
In fact, to speak on the format a bit more, I’ll confess that this book felt longer due to the abrupt stops and starts. That magical immersion I experienced with THGWSWLS didn’t happen here and I did miss it. Again, the reading experience for me is more akin to being a fly on the wall observing rather than being sucked into a story. Not a cinematic experience but maybe more of an experimental art exhibit. I enjoyed it; there were aspects I enjoyed more than others, and my overall feeling is that LaRocca is building a brand. A cult following. I’m here for it. Everything he does feels fresh and new and I like it.