Review: Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca

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Rating: 8.5/10

Synopsis

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?

Review

This is going to be a pretty short and succinct review being that this is a 102 page novella, mostly revolving around text chat and emails – an epistolary novella in better terms.

What have you done today to deserve your eyes?

I’d seen tons of people in the horror community either purchasing copies of this book or talking about how much they loved it, so I figured I would give it a shot. LaRocca, outside of being a mutual on socials, is relatively unknown author to me (hence my hesitancy to believe the hype) but friends whom I trust with book recommendations RARELY leave me disappointed.

What starts out as a seemingly normal email thread for the purchase of an antique apple peeler becomes a shared obsession that borders on possession. It is a tale of loneliness and the feeling of being wanted and loved, to the point where you are willing to risk everything for it. Throughout the back and forth between the two characters, LaRocca gives the reader glimpses behind the screen as to who these women are – though again, we ASSUME based on the synopsis that these are women, but it is the internet (and if it is on the internet, it must be true right?).

Sometimes, you never know if you are in the right audience for a read and this was one of those times. Sadomasochism ain’t really my thing, neither is body horror (thanks a ton, The Troop by Nick Cutter), but there was something about this one that I literally could not set it down. In saying that, if you do chance upon this little story, it is a 1-sitting type read. No way you can set it aside and come back to it. It is one where the pace and intensity continues to ramp up until the very end.

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke is a dark, heavy-hitting novella that is a borderline masterwork in epistolary horror.

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