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Where The Hell Is Charles Bronson?
A Female Reader Critique’s When You’re Food
© 2013 James LaFond
DEC/2/13
Akira, a government employee among our readership, does not wish to be traced to this site, so writes under an assumed name, and e-mails me her comments. My comments are [in brackets].
When You’re Food is like Death Wish [the 1970s Charles Bronson vengeance movie] for the 21st Century. I read The Logic of Steel, and that was nasty, but When You’re Food is downright disturbing. Every other sentence is like O.M.G.! Every chapter brought more dread. I could not read it straight through even though it was gripping, because, you know, it gets dark at night and I live alone!
When I moved up to Baltimore from Virginia I said ‘hello’, to people, and they would just glare at me like, ‘What the hell is your problem!’ I learned quickly that the black people in Baltimore are not like me, or anybody else from The South. In reading Food I kept thinking, ‘James LaFond is one crazy MF’er.'
The time when he was on the bus and all of those hoodlums were rocking the bus and singing him that Rambo song—he was enjoying it—but those poor normal people on the bus must have been terrified. My heart went out to many of the victims and bystanders in this crazy book. It seems like he would egg these stupid people on, but they didn’t realize they were the joke. He should know better than to mess with people, especially young stupid black males. They always seem like they have to prove something, which usually turns out to be how dumb they are. I guess I shouldn’t classify this as black & white, but as a stupid shitty race of people & the dumb/unfortunate people that get involved with these idiots.
As bad as all of the stories were, and how nasty the black males of Baltimore are, James LaFond was even more disturbing. I actually got upset with him at his suicidal behavior. Right in the beginning of the book he is out on a cold street being hunted down by thugs in the middle of the night—'his poor wife!' I kept thinking, ‘He was married, and going into these nasty situations.’ I could not imagine how stressful it would be for a woman to be involved with a man who had that little regard for his life. Then, you stop getting angry at him, and begin to get creeped out, as more and more he seems to be walking on the edge of sanity, carrying a big bowie knife around, making a spear in a city park! W.T.F.!
I have always been an observer of my surroundings. But now I’m hypersensitive. Thanks for letting me know I’m on a menu! When I read things like When You’re Food, I just wish an ‘erase’ bomb could be dropped in an area like Baltimore, and a reset button is pushed. Maybe future generations will be lucky to have this option. [We already have it Akira: it’s called a Neutron bomb.]
Stay safe & off the menu!
PS: When is another installment of Hurt Stoker coming out? Do you realize you have been torturing that poor Whiff Gleason character for almost a year now?
[Akira, thank you for the response. I am sorry the book scared you. Understand that I was either scared at those times, or, years later, when assembling my notes and rereading my journal entrees, I would become horrified at the kind of feral survivor I had become. My next fiction installment will be a Hurt Stoker bookmark, and should be out later this week. I’m trudging through proofing a novel right now.]
PIG
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