Big Machine by Victor LaValle

Big Machine

Victor LaValle

Prostitutes, drug users and murderers are the main characters in a somewhat surreal book which contains elements of black humour, science fiction and horror. In the end though it was the human spirit and its ability to survive against the odds which kept me reading.

Extract

I've described the color, but there's still the stench to explain. Imagine a dying mule vomiting a soiled diaper all over your sweaty feet. The pipe smelled worse than that. Plus rancid milk was in there somewhere. What a bouquet. Our sniffled breathing made us both sound panicked as our legs sloshed through this pancake batter.
The Grey Lady hesitated, stopped moving actually, and I took the opportunity to get as close to her as I could. Rudely, I popped the flashlight right in her face. She squinted and curled her lips and showed her uneven teeth. The little razor bumps on her neck looked like a bad rash.

Parallels
  • Pym by Mat Johnson
  • A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
  • Lightborn by Tricia Sullivan