Monday 6 May 2019

BODY OF CHRIST by Mark Matthews

Body of Christ
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay. That was weird!

What can I say about this novella? Well, I suppose I can start by saying that it's TOTALLY messed up. And add that reading this felt like being stuck in a really gross, bad dream I couln't wake up from. 😵

So, this story is about two kids suffering through their separate traumas. Traumas that are so serious and so dark, their confused minds twist faith, loss and grief into grotesque monsters slowly consuming them.

It's also a study about the effect strong and pushy religious beliefs can have on young, impressionable minds. How, when kids are forced to listen to the crazy shit their fanatic parents spew, the insanity of it all is capable of warping their minds. To the point of affecting their mental health.

Faith watches her mother wither away on a hospital bed after an accident and is there when the machines are turned off. That's when she starts hearing voices, and when she decides she's not going to let anything else die.

After remembering a ridiculous line her mother told her about menstruation. One that affects her way too deeply.

Keagan watches his injured father wither away and is there when he decides to give up on life. That's when he resorts to spending even more time hidden in his dark closet, and when he decides to use the 'Body of Christ' for a deeper purpose.

After never forgetting he promised his father he wouldn't take the holy communion. A promise that leads to a morbid occurrence a year later.

Yeah, this is quite a disturbing little novella that ventures into some pretty bleak and very surreal territory. It's ghastly and awful, like a raw patch of flesh that's gross because it's infected, and stings like hell.

It's also very well written, moves at a good pace, and deals with some pretty heavy issues. Child abuse, to begin with. I mean, what Keagan's mother says and does to this boy is awful. And Faith's father surrendering to his own grief to the point of pretending his daughter isn't even there is terrible.

And all of this, before I even get to the blasphemous nature of this horrific tale.

I mean, that's what some might consider it to be. Not me, though. I was born a Catholic but am not even remotely religious. I despise the hypocrisy of organised religion and have often found the most devoted fanatics to be the least moral people. So, I personally enjoyed this aspect of the story.

Whatever your belief system, this is quite the disturbing trip. And I reckon it's worth taking.

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