TITLE: Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke
AUTHOR: Eric LaRocca
AGE RANGE: Adult
Sadomasochism. Obsession. Death.
A whirlpool of darkness churns at the heart of a macabre ballet between two lonely young women in an internet chat room in the early 2000s—a darkness that threatens to forever transform them once they finally succumb to their most horrific desires.
What have you done today to deserve your eyes?
I read this in one sitting last night and can’t stop thinking about it, almost 24 hours later. This is one of those stories that, despite its brevity, is going to stick with me for a long time to come. This was one of the most unsettling, disturbing things I have ever read, and I could not put it down.
Things Have Gotten Worse is a story told through instant messages and emails, and I’d like to start by saying this storytelling mechanism works brilliantly for this story. We only get to see the bits of each character that they allow each other to see, and because of this, I found myself curious about each woman’s motives, or wondering how they would react to a scenario. As we get further into the story, many of the emails are being told after certain events have already happened, and the entire dynamic builds so wonderfully on the impending sense of dread that begins on the very first page.
There’s so little I can say about this story without spoiling anything, and this is absolutely the type of book that I recommend going into without having been spoiled if you can. If you need to check the content warnings, I’ve added them below, hidden in spoiler tags and split between the non-spoilery and the spoilery ones. THGW is a very graphic and disturbing read, which is certainly not a bad thing in my eyes, only something that I believe readers should be aware of beforehand: this is a story you’ll want to steel yourself for.
Things Have Gotten Worse is my second read from Eric, and while I immensely enjoyed Starving Ghosts in Every Thread last year, this was even better. I love the way Eric’s mind works and the characters and scenarios they create, and I will be eagerly awaiting all of their future releases, because I have no doubt they’re going to continue blowing my mind at every turn.
homophobia, disowning by a parent, poverty/fear of homelessness, memories of childhood trauma and abuse, descriptions of child abuse/torture/murder (not involving characters in the book, told as an aside story that can be skimmed past without missing plot details if needed)
animal abuse/murder, body horror, insects/parasites, implied extreme self-harm, toxic/abusive dom/sub relationship
Agnes and Zoe are both lesbians
— destiny ♥
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