Many of you know the story of how I got into the Goth subculture, so I won't repeat it here. To me, it's more than wearing all black and wandering through graveyards (although I do those things!). It's a state of mind, an aesthetic of Life that many people want to ignore or just pretend that it doesn't exist. Or, some will claim that being Goth equates with being Satanic or evil. Not true.
In my college years in the 90s, I was a full on black Goth, complete with dyed hair, black or deep red lipstick, and the jaunts to the various Goth/Industrial clubs in Washington DC. I danced with my fellow brothers and sisters of the night to the music of Sisters of Mercy, Rosetta Stone, Switchblade Symphony, Sunshine Blind, and many others. When I discovered Industrial music and stomped my way through the dance floor, the Goth side still lingered inside of me and refused to go away. Even to this day, I have a full Goth playlist on my phone titled CLOVES (cheesy, I know), and I will still pick up issues of Gothic Beauty while thinking of Propaganda, Ghastly, Carpe Noctem, and Dark Realms. I still treasure my Johnny the Homicidal Maniac shirt.
In short, I am a Goth. Get over it.
Now, with that being said, this brings me to my review of a book that wonderfully reminded me of my younger days in the Goth scene. Bloody October, a novel by my friend Kurt Amacker, is simply brilliant because it not only tells a fantastic story regarding vampires, but it also provides a grand backdrop of the 90s Goth scene in New Orleans. Jason Castaing is a journalist who is all about the booze, writing the occasional article to scrape him along, and frequenting the various clubs and bars that host the denizens of the night. However, after rescuing a man from a car accident, his world gets completely transformed into the shape of a vampire who is the real deal. John, a loner in New Orleans, seeks a friend who will help him with the outside world, and Jason is just that man. Unfortunately, not all is well, for secrets will be revealed, ritual murder will dare to show its ugly face, and blood will rule supreme in the Crescent City. Welcome to Bloody October.
Amacker does an excellent job in giving the readers enough of a taste of New Orleans to bring the city to life within the pages, regardless if you have ever visited the city or not. While reading the book, I felt as though Jason were the Goth Hunter S. Thompson, always on the move, always seeking that next drink, always wondering about John, and always trying to stay afloat. Jason is that kind of character that you hope will make the right choices and will forgive when he disappoints because somehow, you think that it was all for the best. John fit my description of a true vampire – scared, alone, and yet still dangerous. When Amacker reveals the “source” of John's vampirism, it made a lot of sense in this crazy world.
If you are looking for an excellent murder mystery set in New Orleans that just HAPPENS to have vampires in it, I highly recommend Bloody October. Since Amacker's great writing reminded me of my younger Goth days, I figured I would end this review with some of my favourite songs back in the day that I still enjoy. Thanks again, Kurt, and see you soon!
(Rosetta Stone - The Witch)
(Siouxsie and the Banshees - Cities in Dust)
(Concrete Blonde - The Vampire Song. LOVED dancing to this song!)