"A rowdy menagerie of the unexpected, this book will delight and disturb even the bravest of readers; all preconceptions of what to trust and what to fear are masterfully upended." --Alissa Nutting, author of Tampa
"Seidlinger takes the slasher-horror movie, snuff film, found footage, webcam porn, and serial killer docudrama, cuts them all to pieces, pulls out their internal organs, reorganizes them in an 'aesthetically pleasing arrangement, ' and shows us a story that is at once hilarious, pathetically sad, and a brilliant social critique. This is one where you'll want to eat the offal." --Jamie Iredell, author of The Book of Freaks
Dexter meets Secretary in Michael J. Seidlinger's provocative, disturbing literary thriller that reinvents the serial killer genre, exploring the psychology of desire.
Claire studies forensic science, Victor is the Gentleman Killer. Subverting expectations, Clair seduces Victor and keeps him in her apartment as her pet, her darkest secret. Beautifully written, provocative to read, Seidlinger delves into Claire's motivations and impetus to present a compelling psychosexual portrait of a woman obsessed with performance, with power, with sex, and with gore.
Michael J. Seidlinger is an Asian American author of a number of novels including Falter Kingdom and The Strangest. He is director of publicity at Dzanc Books, book reviews editor at Electric Literature, and publisher in chief of Civil Coping Mechanisms, an indie press specializing in innovative fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. He lives in Brooklyn, where he never sleeps and is forever searching for the next best cup of coffee. michaeljseidlinger.com - @mjseidlinger
About the Author
Michael J. Seidlinger is an Asian American author of a number of novels including Falter Kingdom, The Fun We've Had, and The Strangest. He serves as director of publicity at Dzanc Books, book reviews editor at Electric Literature, and publisher in chief of Civil Coping Mechanisms, an indie press specializing in innovative fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he never sleeps and is forever searching for the next best cup of coffee. You can find him online at michaeljseidlinger.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter (@mjseidlinger).
"In Michael J Seidlinger's My Pet Serial Killer, the pleasure of the gaze and violence of the gaze and repulsion of the gaze and necessity of the gaze perform acrobatics, leaving the reader breathlessly disturbed. In this world, the cameras are always rolling. Violence is both real and performed, with viewers and actors who overlap and ripple, layer after layer. We are transfixed, we are afraid. We follow Claire and her pet, though we, too, might be her pet in this dark world. What are our expectations? What are we desperate to see? Seidlinger deftly offers space for us to answer those questions for ourselves, and it's uncomfortable. Perfectly so. My Pet Serial Killer functions as a cultural critique that is both disturbing and enjoyable, both real and surreal, and ultimately hard to put down." --Tessa Fontaine, author of The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts "Michael J. Seidlinger's My Pet Serial Killer is wickedly subversive and, at times, just plain wicked. Seidlinger's use of the grotesque is masterful and his novel deserves to be on the shelf next to Poppy Z. Brite's Exquisite Corpse and Cormac McCarthy's Child of God, and, baby, once it gets its claws into you, this dark masterpiece will keep you reading long into the night." --Nick White, author of Sweet and Low "It's rare to be able to say so, but, in this case, it's hard to say otherwise: Seidlinger's book is unlike anything I've read before. Strange and alarming, unique and capacious, this novel will surprise you." --R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries "When there's a serial killer living next door, the end is predictable." With that self-fulfilling prophecy, Seidlinger (Standard Loneliness Package, 2018, etc.) turns in a centrifugal contribution to a favorite pop-culture trope. Blame it on Dexter and Silence of the Lambs: serial killers are now swoonworthy leading men. In Seidlinger's confection, Claire Wilkinson is a budding Clarice Starling, a 26-year-old student in forensic science whose in-class studies are enhanced by having a practicing murderer at her beck and call. "He would be mine and I would keep him to his craft," she says. "I'm going to help him increase that number." The him in question is a fine lad whom she calls "Gentleman Killer," and the number is--well, you know. The ever bossier Claire takes her pet killer through his paces, grooming him for success and raising the body count, eventually moving away from the role of dominatrix, cinematographer, and snoop and joining in on some downright gruesome fun ("Her blood, I suck it in and keep it in my mouth"). Given that Claire is altogether too smart and the killer altogether too dumb for their own good, you just know that the relationship isn't going to end well. Seidlinger fills his pages with interior monologue that tends to aspirational cheerleading ("Do as I say and the world will remember you." "I will show him; I know I will. He's mine and he knows it") as well as a lot of gore ("He's rolling the Demon onto his stomach, severed penis removed and sliced to pieces") that more than verges on violence porn. In either instance, sensitive readers will find that there's much too much of it, while those who dig the transgressive and strange will find it jet fuel, a kind of Fifty Shades of Grey with cataracts of blood. A stab at satire that's certainly not for all tastes. Kirkus Review "My Pet Serial Killer is about as twisted as they come. Sexy, horrifying, and hypnotizing. After you finish reading this, you'll want to go out and find your own pet serial killer. This book is a one-of-a-kind treasure. Savor every page." -- Max Booth III, Dark Moon Digest