The Venus Complex

The Venus Complex

by Barbie Wilde


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A man rises out of an abyss of frustration and rage and creates works of art out of destruction, goddesses out of mere dental hygienists and beauty out of death. It's also about the sickness and obsession that is LOVE.

"After purposefully killing his wife in a car accident, art professor Michael Friday finds his perspective on things has become a little...warped. Via his personal journal, we're allowed into his mind to slowly watch the disintegration of it, bearing witness to his unnerving sexual cravings and ideas about killing: intertwined with the paintings he loves so much. As Michael writes, he's 'turning into something dead'; but at the same time he wants to be somebody, not a nobody.

Using his diary to rant against the world in general - including everything from banks to popular culture, from national holidays like Christmas to politics - he reveals more about the big, gaping hole in his own life. But as the novel goes on the first person narrative tensely builds up, displaying his dark dreams and innermost thoughts; his way of filling that void and presenting his grisly 'works of art' to the world. As intelligent and cultured as Hannibal, easily as disturbing as American Psycho and infinitely less reassuring than Dexter, this is a sexually-charged real life horror story that will definitely stay with you."

-Paul Kane, award-winning horror and fantasy writer

Enter into Michael's world through the pages of his personal journal, where every diseased thought, disturbing dream, politically incorrect rant and sexually explicit murder highlights his journey from zero to psycho.


" one of the finest purveyors of erotically charged horror around."-Fangoria Magazine #320

"This is one hell of a novel, Barbie Wilde, has written one of the most tense and powerful stories I have read in a long long time. This is not a book for the feint of heart, there are passages in here that will truly shock you...I don't know from which dark recess of Barbie's mind she dragged this story from, but she is really beginning to scare me. It is as though some dark primal rage takes control of her mind when she writes stories like this." --Ginger Nuts of Horror

"...If you are a fan of both the crime and horror genres and want something special to read this Christmas, go for The Venus Complex." --Fear Magazine

"The Venus Complex is a clever, grisly, art-infused, sexually-charged narrative that will keep you turning pages. I apologize, but I simply have to say this: Barbie Wilde's work definitely has some sights to show you."--HorrorTalk

"The Venus Complex is the work of someone who loves and understands the inner workings of truly effective horror, can write with exceptional talent, and combines both of these things into one of the best depictions of steadily mounting evil this side of Poe. Or Clive Barker, for that matter."--Drunk Monkeys

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936964444
Publisher: Comet Press
Publication date: 10/05/2012
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.53(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Venus Complex

By Barbie Wilde

Comet Press

Copyright © 2012 Barbie Wilde
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-936964-44-4


By Paul Kane

I first met Barbie Wilde back in December 2006. I was having a launch for my book The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy at a British Fantasy Society Open Night at Ye Olde Cock Tavern in London. I'd invited as many people associated with the mythos as possible, in particular the four Cenobites themselves: Doug "Pinhead" Bradley, Nick "Chatterer" Vince, Simon "Butterball" Bamford (who couldn't make it that time, but who I met later on) and, of course, Female Cenobite from Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Barbie, who brought her partner Georg along too. All thoroughly nice people and about as far from demonic sadomasochists as you can get.

I remember it being a fantastic event, a bit of a dream come true for this Hellraiser fan actually. And, during the course of the evening, as the drink flowed, I got chatting to Barbie. Of course I knew her as an accomplished actress, TV presenter and dancer (she was one of the founder members of SHOCK), but what I didn't know was that, like Nick Vince, she also wrote fiction.

Not long after that, Barbie sent me some samples of her work, which I happily read and was bowled over by. It led directly to myself and my wife Marie using her for the Hellraiser-inspired anthology from Simon & Schuster, Hellbound Hearts (for which she delivered one of the most popular and controversial entries, "Sister Cilice") and, more recently, The Mammoth Book of Body Horror from Constable & Robinson (her tale "Polyp" is a perfect example of the sub-genre, described by one reviewer as "a wonderfully disgusting story that's a brilliant twist on the creature feature genre"; Clive Barker would be very proud, I think). She has also gone on to appear in other anthologies, such as Phobophobia and Mutation Nation, steadily building a name for herself in the writing world.

I'm proud to say I was one of the first people to get a preview of this, her debut novel: The Venus Complex. Proud and very lucky ... Because, when I sat down to read what had popped into my inbox, I had no idea what ride it would take me on. Like so many other examples these days — Mo Hayder springs to mind — Barbie blurs the genre lines between crime and horror, but also delivers a serial killer thriller that stands out from the crowd. She does what the best exponents of this field also do, she gets inside the head of the killer ... and "encourages" us to enter it as well.

His fixations and the way he selects his victims are — without giving too much away — unique. Delivered in first person, all his intimate moments are recorded in journal form. And the most frightening thing about him is what surely disturbs us about the serial killer in general: he hides in plain sight. He could be your neighbour, your friend, your lover ... Like Thomas Harris' Lecter — before his capture, obviously — Professor Michael Friday might even be teaching your kids at University. Yet, like Jeff Lindsay's creation, Dexter, he has his own dark side. Perhaps the darkest of them all; one that compels him to act out his warped fantasies. At the same time, Michael just wants to be someone, not a "nobody". He's the perfect dichotomy, in fact. Trying to find his place in the world, experiencing conflicting emotions. At one point he agonisingly comments: "It's a miracle that I am as sane as I am," then asks us: "I am sane, aren't I?" It's the kind of thing an actor might do as an aside in a Shakespearean tragedy ...

Barbie effortlessly puts herself in Michael's position, so effortlessly that within the first few pages — the first few paragraphs — you forget that you're reading fiction at all. This could happen, this could be real. And isn't that at the heart of good horror and crime writing? That's not to say the writing isn't top notch; quite the opposite, actually. It's incredibly skilled. Barbie manages to pull off something that's very rare in fiction; she delivers poetic and lyrical lines, deep hidden meanings, that we appreciate even more fully on repeated readings, without once throwing us out of the narrative. On the contrary, we're compelled to read more, to find out what Michael's up to next.

Like Bret Easton Ellis in American Psycho, Barbie also offers up a commentary on contemporary life, which touches on everything from MTV attention spans to apathy about sexual partners. There's also black humour to be found here, as evidenced when Michael's watching a report about a serial killer who got caught: "My advice to him would have been: don't take up a new profession unless you decide that you're going to do it properly ... What a jerk."

But I'll say no more about the book you hold in your hands and are probably now desperate to read. As desperate as I was when Barbie originally sent it to me ... and I wasn't disappointed. I'll just end by saying, like Lecter, Bateman, Dexter, I feel certain that Michael Friday will soon be added to the list of famous fictional serial killers we all seem to be simultaneous terrified of and fascinated by, perhaps because it's the "safe" way of touching that darkness I was talking about earlier.

And I'm also sure that we'll be seeing many more terrific novels from Barbie Wilde in the future.

Enjoy the ride.

Paul Kane

Derbyshire, May 2012


Excerpted from The Venus Complex by Barbie Wilde. Copyright © 2012 Barbie Wilde. Excerpted by permission of Comet Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Venus Complex 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
JJQ_224 More than 1 year ago
Wow ! Just, wow ! Barbie Wilde played the Female Cenobite in Hellbound: Hellraiser II - and if you thought she was great in that, you'll love her as an author. What can be said about The Venus Complex that hasn't already been said? It has been compared to American Psycho - maybe, but I found Bret Easton Ellis' writing to be long, drawn-out and wishing the book would end so I wouldn't have to choke down another endless stream of babbling consciousness that added nothing to the story. This isn't true of Wilde's writing. I found myself eagerly devouring each page and at no time found myself bored. Also, Michael (the main character) is much more methodical and human than Patrick (the main character in American Psycho). It has been compared to Dexter - well, I am unfortunately unfamiliar with that show so I cannot confirm, nor deny, the comparison. What I can say is it is more than worth the read. Showing Michael's mental breakdown in diary form is fantastic - it stops being a narrative and actually becomes a story. That's rare in today's age. And it is done brilliantly. This is one of the best novels I have read in a long time - I hope she decides to put pen to paper and write another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the deepest books i have ever read. It explored places in the confined mind of a psycopath that i have never seen before. It realy makes you wonder just what will happen next in this twisted series of journal entries. The Venus Complex is noe my favorite book, Barbie realy out did herself with this masterpiece, ten out of ten stars!