Traci L. Slatton
If your taste runs to 14th Century children's brothels where the kids are forced into unnatural acts, mentally and physically abused, knifed, have their fingers chopped off, are flayed alive, slashed, whipped, and beaten to death --- all done graphically before your very eyes: if you tastes run in that direction, then Immortal is your meat.

If you enjoy fiction where the child prostitutes who defy their masters have their ligaments slashed, and, once crippled, are cast out on the filthy streets where (being cripples) they commit suicide, Immortal is the one for you.

And if you enjoy fiction where street urchins regularly run into and discuss the aesthetics of art and philosophy with the likes of Giotto, Boccaccio, Petrarch (with such lines as "That which dies not and that which can die are nothing but the splendor of the Idea which our Sire, in Loving, begets") --- then Immortal will be your fave.

Along with all these alarums and diversions, Slatton seems, as well, to have something about the Mother Church. A Roman Catholic cardinal demands a little girl, Ingrid, to be delivered to him so he can kill her. Simonetta, another tenant of the house, explains,

    He takes his time, makes it slow and thorough, so it will be holy. He uses fire and blades, The girl must be young and innocent in order to be a proper offering for atonement. He has requested a virgin.

The notes tell us that Slatton "is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, and she also attended the Barbara Brennan School of Healing." Healing what? I recall that several decades ago some jokey New York writer types got together to create a very bad book. The book was to be called Naked Came the Stranger. Each writer --- I think there were sixteen in all --- contributed a chapter. Some chapters were returned for rewrite because they were "too good."

Praise be to the gods that Slatton wasn't yet practicing her craft back then. She could have written the book, the whole tasteless splurge.

--- Andrea Ball
Send us e-mail


Go Home

Go to the most recent RALPH