Throat Sprockets (Tim Lucas) pdf, epub, doc

Throat Sprockets ePub and PDF Available
There are two books by author/poet/film critic Tim Lucas that I have long wanted to read. The first is his monumentally in-depth study of Italian horror director Mario Bava, entitled "Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark," which was released in 2007. However, this volume not only runs to 1,128 pages and weighs in at a full 12 pounds (!), but also boasts a whopping suggested retail price of $315. Infinitely more doable for this reader, both in terms of price and portability, is Lucas' first piece of fiction, "Throat Sprockets: A Novel of Erotic Obsession," which was first published in 1994, after several of its chapters had been given the "graphic novel" treatment. I first read about "Throat Sprockets" while perusing the excellent overview volume "Horror: Another 100 Best Books," in which author Tananarive Due sings the novel's praises; the book "utterly captivated me with its intelligence and originality," she tells us. And cinemaphiles who have been reading Lucas' reviews in his "Video Watchdog" magazine for the past 23 years will not be surprised to learn what a love for film this book evinces, and how well its first-time author tells his tale.

In the book, our narrator—whose name, for some strange reason (one bit of strangeness amongst many), is never revealed—tells the story of how a film called "Throat Sprockets" forever changed his life. A 30-ish adman in the town of Friendship, Ohio, of all places (Cincinnati-born Lucas may very well have visited this real-life burg), he had gone to see the film at the local porno theater during his lunch break. But to his surprise, this was no X-rated skin flick, but rather a European art film that clearly revealed a throat fetish on the part of its uncredited director. Before long, our narrator develops a throat fetish of his own, and his desire to sink his teeth into the necks of young women and drink their blood leads to the dissolution of his happy marriage. True to the novel's subtitle, he becomes absolutely obsessed with both the film (his efforts to track down and obtain imported VHS copies leads to some fairly strange encounters) and with necks, throats and napes in general, even going so far as to begin taping necklace commercials off of the "TeleMall Network"! And even more bizarrely, the film in question is shown to eventually start a very strange fad amongst the general public, giving a whole new meaning when a couple is said to be "necking"....

Erotic, perverse, at times horrific and always unpredictable, Lucas' novel is quite the experience indeed. Lucas' descriptions of the book's central life-changing film make the reader truly believe that such a picture exists, and the interview segments with one of the filmmakers near the novel's end also add an air of convincing verisimilitude. The tyro author clearly has not only a great love for film, but also for language, and indeed, some sections of the book may be justly accused of being generously overwritten (such as when he writes "...the walls around me seemed to absorb a venal darkness, besmattered with pernicious excrescences, atavistic graffiti and portent," and "...her throat looked rutted and rubbery, like a stalk of celery that's gone soft in a Bloody Mary"). Lucas bends the English language to suit his needs (such as when he uses "cancer" as a verb) and charms the reader with some terribly clever, newly coined words of his own (for example, the faddist bloodsuckers are called both "napists" and "hemos" by the right-wing organization STOKER—the Society To Obliterate Kinky Erotic Recreation!). For the most part, Lucas' writing is a delight, even when the subject matter is perverse, although he does slip on occasion (shouldn't that "besmattered" word be "bespattered" in the previous quote?) and also allows some plot threads to (deliberately?) peter out, such as the ones revolving around our narrator's coworker Myla Monteith and his similarly neck-obsessed girlfriend Emma Mitsouko. Still, it is an utterly unique and, as mentioned, highly intelligent piece of work, told to the reader with style to spare; as Due writes, "With grim humor, sharp intellect, and no lack of literary calisthenics, 'Throat Sprockets' is a lot of evil fun."

There is yet another reason why I happen to have a lot of admiration—if not precisely love—for Lucas' work here. As an avid film buff myself, who goes to several of NYC's revival houses with some frequency and who has been asked on more than one occasion about how I can watch several beloved films over and over, there is one passage in Lucas' book that I honestly DO love, and would like to memorize, as a response to that perpetual query. As Lucas tells us: "Most films are made to be seen and known entirely at first glance; they also tend to evaporate from our minds on the first pass. Any film worth knowing deserves to be known well, to be seen more than once, but the very best films tend to seduce us with a virtual reality that begs to be escaped into, perhaps once per year, for the rest of our lives. Favorite films should be cherished, their towns revisited, their characters met and loved and lost all over again, their stories replayed to the point of assimilation—like a favorite record, a pet trauma, or a good stretch of road." For that paragraph alone, I applaud Tim Lucas and his truly unsettling, borderline brilliant first novel. And now, if you'll excuse me, I think I will go watch "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" for the 37th time....

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