Book Review – The Jaws of Adana

May 27, 2011

Arts & Literature, Reviews

The Jaws Of Adana

By Sheri

The Jaws of Adana is a very short, too short, collection of stories by m.j. euringer.  There are only three stories in this self-published book, but they pack a punch and stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.

In the title story, Jonas is a man at the end of his rope.  No job, no family, no life, and no balls quite yet to kill himself.  He is approached by a beautiful woman who offers him an intriguing offer – “Your life for your death.”  A couple days later, she and another woman, the witness/notary, arrive at Jonas’s home with a contract; once he signs there is no backing out.  He will sign over all of his assets to them in exchange for some time with Adana.

Adana is not exactly a vampire, but she does have a blood lust that must be satisfied.  Wretched and ancient, scarred and broken, confined to a wheelchair, Adana is the epitome of tragedy.  The women hand him a toolbox, and Jonas realizes he is to inflict more pain on Adana.  Horrified, he attempts to refuse the contract to no avail.

But after he inflicts his first wound and realizes Adana is getting off on it, he is consumed with his own bloodlust and proceeds to torture her until he is spent.  Then Adana feeds.

“Lily” is a battered wife, ruthlessly ruled by her fanatically-religious husband, Elias.  He has to approve books and magazines; she must always account for her time whenever she’s away from him. He beats and rapes her for the least transgressions, filling Lily with rage until she can no longer take it; she must protect herself and her son, Jeremy.  Jeremy witnesses his father’s murder and helps Lily bury Elias in the back yard.  Later that night, while lying in bed, he can hear his father’s cries from the garden.

The last story, “A Sense of One’s Dying,” is the story of a man who rapes and kills women for fun.  After dumping his latest victim in the woods as if she were no more than garbage, Derek meets Kahnika, who it turns out is just as depraved as he is.  They chase each other through the woods, savagely tearing, biting, stabbing each other until they are bloody, beaten and raw.  Who will remain standing?

Both “The Jaws of Adana” and “A Sense of One’s Dying” are excellent stories that completely fuck with your mind.  m.j. euringer holds nothing back – sex, torture – the author puts you right in the middle of it and doesn’t let you look away.  euringer gets off on making you look.  He likes fucking with your mind, and it shows.

“Lily” is just as good as the other stories, but it’s a little tamer.  Religious fundamentalists would probably be offended, but who cares?  People like that are nuts anyway.  “Lily” is a true story in the sense that there are women out there who are battered and bruised every day.  Sure, most don’t kill their husbands or even leave them, but I’ll bet they think about killing their tormenters every day.

But if I’m to be honest, I think I liked euringer’s afterword the best.  It’s more raw, more honest than any of the stories in the book.  I’ve met the author several times – he doesn’t hide behind his writing; he will tell you what he thinks and if you don’t like it, too bad.  But he’s also one of the funniest, nicest people I’ve met.

The Jaws of Adana is available through Amazon.  Pick it up and prepared to be horrified, offended and amazed.

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