Slum

Adult
Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews
Everything is covered by what I can only describe as stifling mundanity. Nothing stands out: the chipping paint on the buildings, their masonry, the pocked and cracked cement, the steaming pipes, even the odor and the din. Nothing matters ... to the point that it becomes overpowering, the omnibanality decaying to consummate, undeniable, pervasive and perfect evil. There's no escaping it, ever. More

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About Shawn Michel de Montaigne

I'm a writer, illustrator, and fractalist. A wonderer, wanderer, and an unapologetic introvert. I'm a romantic; I'm inspired by the epic, the authentic, the numinous, and the luminous. Most of all, I'm blessed.

I'm very deeply involved with an extraordinary, beautiful woman who has been with me now for a decade. We have forged, through awful times and amazing ones, a life that I feel every morning is worth waking up to and contributing to.

I'm interested in connecting with folks who enjoy my art and would like to be part of whichever world or worlds I've discovered and shared. I'm deeply political, philosophical, and opinionated; and I have no patience with manipulators, salespersons, stalkers, bullshit artists, and the psychotic and insane. For that reason, I'm not everyone's cup o' tea. I'm good with that.

Most of all, as I said at the beginning, I'm blessed. If you would know anything about me or my attitude as I go through my days, that's the truest and most relevant one.

Learn more about Shawn Michel de Montaigne

Reviews

KJH Cardinalis reviewed on on Oct. 18, 2014

The Feel-Good Story of the Year!

In high-school, it was a sort of mark of honour to read Dante’s Inferno. There is something in the human psyche that takes a perverse pleasure in being disgusted. This book makes Dante’s Inferno look like amateur hour Hell. It’s arguably the most pornographic thing I’ve ever read—and I don’t mean that in the usual way.

This is a stroll through a modern Hell, an industrial Hell—the kind that Dante could never have imagined. The industrial revolution gave us meat factories, death camps, chemical warfare, radiation poisoning and a whole slew of other atrocities undreamt of in earlier epochs of human history. It also gave us a laundry-list of other evils that take on a more familiar, banal form: a 9-5 world where people are utterly replaceable, cogs in corporate machines, where abandonment, built-in obsolescence, and a general malaise of indifferent malevolence rule all. And most of all … denial. We hide it behind perfectly manicured lawns, fake smiles, and cheerful advertising jingles.

If the damage caused by humanity’s insatiable lust for power served as the mortar for a city, you would have Slum. The collective psychic soul-damage of the 20th and 21st centuries, on loop, forever.

A little under a decade ago, I discovered the absolutely terrifying auditory landscapes created by Industrial music pioneers Throbbing Gristle back in the 1970s—in particular their 1978 masterpiece of awfulness, Dead on Arrival. TG used found-sounds—everyday snatches of conversation and background noise from day to day life, and repurposed it into the most frightening music you will ever hear.

What TG did for music, Shawn Montaigne has done for literature. This is everyday life, repurposed into something utterly nightmarish. After you read this book, I guarantee that nothing will feel safe. I literally can’t walk into an Italian restaurant again without feeling nauseous. A black car with tinted windows makes me shiver. A mother talking about changing a baby’s diapers sounds sinister. A landlord giving an apartment tour makes me cringe. A metro ride makes me sick. Sex is disgusting. Random sights, sounds, smells, that before were total banal are now stomach-turning. The light falls a certain way on the pavement and I want to curl in a ball and hide.

You won’t sleep for a week. And the worst of it is, you’ll almost enjoy it. This isn’t the urge to jump. This is the urge to fall. You’ll feel disgusted with yourself for turning the pages. And still, you’ll keep on turning them, and wonder if that means that you too carry this horror inside your soul. You’ll only have to read it once, because the words will be scarred onto your psyche. Then you'll put it away, and tell yourself you'll never read it again. But now and again, when you think nobody's looking--including your own conscience--you'll pull it out and flip to a random page and read something awful, because you just can't stop yourself.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
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