“To say this book is disturbing is an understatement…”
~SALERO THE CELEBRATED CIRCUS CLOWN, THE TOAST OF EUROPE, HAS COME TO AMERICA. DRESSED TO KILL~
“Like nothing you’ve read before”
Salero was born into a family of circus performers. They were all acrobats but Salero decided to go against the family’s wishes and become a clown. Salero worked hard and he won the respect of his family and several awards for being a clown. He joined a traveling circus that’s on a tour of America and he is the star of the show, but he doesn’t fit in with the rest of the performers.
Salero is the only one in the circus that travels with his own Italian sports car along with having half a train car as his living quarters. Salero is clown royalty and he is also a serial killer. Not just any serial killer either, he targets young women who have a fear of clowns and he likes to sexually torture them before finishing them off. He makes kids laugh by day and women scream by night and as he travels from town to town he makes sure he covers his tracks. His killing spree may be coming to an end though as two detectives from New Orleans are on the case and closing in.
Laugh To Death by Charie D. La Marr is like no book I’ve read. After spending 9 years as a clown, Charie has started her own genre called Circus Punk and Laugh To Death is as dark as Circus Punk can get. To say this book is disturbing is an understatement. I’ve never read sexual torture scenes that went on for so long. The Sex scenes are so descriptive and so unbelievable that even the most hard-core S and M fan may start squirming. Salero also psychologically tortures his victims as he rapes them which makes this book even more shocking.
When I read a horror novel I usually don’t like it when it’s obvious that the author is going out of his or her way to shock me. In Laugh To Death it’s pretty clear that Charie D. La Marr is pushing the reader to the breaking point and trying to see how much the reader can handle. Though for me unlike other books I’ve read where the point is to shock, I wanted to keep reading this one even though I found myself feeling sick to my stomach. I can’t even describe the most disturbing scenes because I would be embarrassed to write about it, but the writing is so good in this book that I kept on reading.
The story may be pretty thin in Laugh To Death but the complex characters kept me wanting more. Salero may be a sadistic killer but there are some great scenes where the author makes him seem compassionate. It was also interesting finding out what his victims’ feelings are and how they question their own feelings. The two detectives in the story have a lot of great conversations with each other that made this book better.
Despite its flaws, Laugh To Death is a book that has its moments. In particular it gives a detailed glimpse at what a serial killer might be thinking and what the victims might be feeling. Beware though, this book is 436 pages and I would say 70 percent of it is describing brutal torture scenes. I think this book could have been better with a little less description and if it was a 100 pages shorter. That being said I would love to read more books by Charie D. La Marr in the future.
“He didn’t bother to undress—merely unzipping his pants and shrugging them down before dropping on top of her and entering her fiercely. His grunts as he thrust hard into her were loud and vulgar. She struggled and writhed violently beneath him.
“No! You will not move. You say I am a fucking clown, and so I will be. And I will fuck you until I can fuck you no more. And when I am done, perhaps I will take you down to the cattle car and watch while the other clowns fuck you one by one until you are so full that their juices run down your thighs. You will learn to show respect for me. For my art and my craft.”
Pinning her hands to the bed, he entered her quickly and roughly. She screamed and spit in his face. He slapped her again and left her ear ringing as he wiped the spittle from her face and continued to pound her hard and fast.
“You hate clowns? Well you have a clown inside of you right now. How does that feel? A fucking clown is raping you and he’ll continue to do it until it pleases him to stop.”
But the first time he stepped into a ring with his charmingly bashful persona, reminiscent of his idol Charlie Chaplain, all of Carlton’s worries were erased. Salero was worth every penny. Children sat at the end of their seats, delighted and entranced by this strange and unthreatening creature. Adults chuckled at his antics. America had been taken by storm by this combination of Chaplain, Marceau and Grock. He danced, sang, played the violin, juggled and clowned his way into their hearts. And at the end of every show, when the last of the cotton candy and popcorn had been consumed and the entire company stood across all three rings with their hands linked for a final bow, they cheered the loudest when Salero jumped from his car and ran across the floor, breaking through the center of the line and falling to one knee in the triumphant pose of a matador.
Behind the scenes, Salero wasn’t quite as beloved. In fact, in a world that is known for its freaks and where everyone is accepted as family, the word was that some of the show people were talking about Salero in some very unkind terms. The other clowns didn’t like him. Never before had a clown actually been a headliner in the show. He didn’t perform with them during their three or four brief appearances in the show. He worked alone, and his stage time was at least five times what theirs was. He didn’t make up and dress in Clown Alley with the rest of them. A special curtained dressing room was always set up for him wherever they performed and the wardrobe department assigned him a dresser for his personal use. A dresser for someone who wore the same baggy suit ten times a week! It was ridiculous. Why did he need a dresser? Didn’t he put his pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of them? Some of the other clowns began to wonder.
The acrobats and flyers didn’t like that his acts encompassed both acrobatics and trapeze work. They considered it undignified that a clown was performing such skills. In the hierarchy of the circus, such things were unheard of. The tightrope walker who walked the inclined wire to get to his platform high over the rings was insulted that a clown was now performing the same skill as a part of his clowning routines. Never before had anyone but the ringmaster sung, and yet Salero had a musical number in the show where he sang and played three instruments.
And worst of all, he spoke to no one.
…… End of Excerpt.
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