Cult Of Loretta
Last month, I had the privilege of reading at Kevin Maloney’s book release party for Cult Of Loretta (Lazy Fascist Press) here in Portland. Having heard Maloney read before, I knew I wanted, nay, needed a copy of his first book. So I picked one up at the party.
Cult Of Loretta is super fucking good. It haunts you. Anytime I had to put this book down, I would find myself itching to pick it up, wanting to know what happens to Loretta and the doomed men that keep falling in love with her. An otherwise ordinary girl who had the power to ruin even the best of friendships. A girl who makes Helen of Troy seem like a fucking amateur.
Maloney writes some damn good characters — broken people who accept that the world is awful and either embrace the path of slow self-destruction or stew in a growing bitterness.
“I saw who she actually was — an extremely angry woman in her mid-to-late 40s in a pantsuit from Nordstrom trying to control the chaos she saw everywhere in the world, mostly inside herself. I saw that she’d never be happy and that no one loved her and that no one would ever love her because she’d been broken a long time ago and that whatever was left of her just wanted to break the spirits of children making obscene gestures involving giant imaginary penises.”
The pain in the pages is real. Love is the worst drug there is (although screw sounds pretty damn awful, too). When you get hooked so bad you can’t think straight. When you do stupid shit over and over again or put up with repeated cases of bullshit because you think you found “the one.” But when you’ve been kicked down enough times and start to grow desensitized to the pain, shame, and lost sense of worth, it gets to a point where all you can do is laugh. Cult Of Loretta is a perfect example of a tragicomedy.
“Another night, we got so high I broke into our next door neighbor’s house and stole their television so we could watch The Simpsons. I asked Loretta where I should put it. She said on top of the TV, which is how we discovered that we already had a TV.”
This book blew me away. I hadn’t been this moved by a book since Juliet Escoria’s Black Cloud (Civil Coping Mechanisms). Maloney is a brand new force in the Indie Lit scene. Can’t wait to read more by him.
Keep on writing, and I'll keep on reading.