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I call the acting porno-grade, but I have to apologize, because that's an insult to porn stars. His delivery is either completely flat, like he is reading off cue cards, or whiny like a bitch. And as we all know, Phineas Poe ain't no bitch. Betty the Jude character , is played by We'll never hear from her again. She has the superficial trappings of Jude-- eye tattoo, red dress, teardrop necklace-- but none of her deadly charisma. There should be demented, co-dependent fireworks between these two characters, but Betty and Val have zero chemistry.

Then there's the Eve character. In Kiss Me Judas , Eve is an 18 year-old goth princess, experienced beyond her years. In Fractured , her character is named Mora, and is played by someone twice that age who has obviously had work done, squeezed into too-tight latex. And you know what? That would be fine, if they were changing the character to an overtly sexual cougar trying to extend her youth, but no, the filmmakers have the audacity to present Mora as 18! It just doesn't sell. Her performance is that of someone trying to remember what an 18 year-old acts like, but instead of being cool and detached like Eve is supposed to be, she just comes off as an obnoxious twat.

The misinterpretation of Baer's characters is indicative of the overall lack of experience of everyone involved. But in the interest of being fair and balanced, I suppose I have to mention any redeeming qualities this mess of a film might have. I will say this: The animated Orpheus and Eurydice sequence was pretty interesting.

On its own, it's easily the most professional-looking part of the film. Of course, it doesn't really fit the tone of the film as a whole. Have Morgan Freeman narrate the thing and release it as a short and you might have something. Here is where Danuta makes the biggest deviation from the source material. It's like she thought, as long as I change the end no one will noticed I plagiarized everything else. I'm sure Baer fans will hate it, but it's the only example of creative thought in the entire script. Before they get to the hacienda of Luscious Gore I forget what the they call him in the movie , Val freaks out on Betty, she tells him she never actually removed his kidney, and he shoots her in the head.

In the context of Fractured , this was so cathartic I cheered. He then continues on to Gore's, and decides to donate his kidney to the man's dying son. Unfortunately, it's not enough to make up for the preceding 90 minutes of torture. Basically, Danuta Klosowski butchered Kiss Me Judas like Isabel butchered that male prostitute trying to extract his kidney.

She had no understanding of the tone of the book; she just cut and pasted. Any attempts at "making it her own" completely miss the mark. I'm looking at you, horrible drug sequence set to playful woodwinds that includes a what-the-fuck banana sharing moment with Rose. Her punishment should be to let people see the film in all its execrable glory. I wouldn't want her to profit from it, but the exhibition of this embarrassment would be analogous to a public shaming.

Put her in the town square for all to laugh at. I doubt anyone would give her money to make another movie after that. As if there was any question after all this , Kiss Me Judas dominates the competition like Mike Tyson in his prime with a little of the ear-biting, face-tattooing Tyson thrown in for good measure. There is no reason outside of morbid curiosity to see this film.

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If you are some sort of glutton for punishment and absolutely MUST see Fractured , LitReactor is not responsible for any headaches, blurry vision, hysterical blindness, or rectal bleeding. We are also not responsible if Will Christopher Baer shows up at your house and punches you in the face. You have been warned. He has also written for the popular film site Screen Anarchy and for ChuckPalahniuk.

He is the author of 'Kanye West—Reanimator. More info at joshuachaplinsky. To leave a comment Login with Facebook or create a free account. I loved the Phineas Poe books. I have no intention of watching the movie, but this article was good for a larf. Baer is my idol. He's one of the main reasons I'm writing. I actually wrote an annotation on his trilogy for my MFA program. He's a true genius, and I hope he gets Godspeed out some day.

Baer got me to Clevenger which got me to Stephen Graham Jones. It's definitely one of my top ten books ever. I still get angry thinking about this plagiarism. It borders on irony, when you consider the kind of people who enjoy Chris Baer's special blend of literary illness: There's probably also some tenuous analogy to be drawn between the projects, about organ thievery for sale, etc. Oh, and The Velvet appear to be no more you'd think I'd know, being an admin over there, but I'm as in-the-dark as anyone ; apologies.

I loved Kiss Me, Judas, and hearing about the movie that some bloke made, almost gives me a headache. I haven't been able to get my hands on Penny Dreadful, and it's pissing me off because Kiss Me, Judas just totally left me wanting more. Skip to Main Content Area. Hello, if this is your first time here, login with Facebook or create a free account to get started. Otherwise, Click here to log in. Kiss Me Judas vs. So, like I said, a certain amount of fading has happened yet how I felt while reading is still pretty strong and I really have only good things to say in that area.

The first chapter sucked me in, aroused my interest. The idea o So I finished this book days ago and certain scenes have begun to fade. The idea of waking up in a bathtub of ice after having a kideny stolen is one of those scenarios that have always interested me, whether or not it is just an urban myth or has in fact happened to people.

I would not be surprised either way. Organ thieves are just cool. I probably sound like a total nutt job but this is fiction, not real life, so I tend to gravitate towards disturbed stories. Above all else, and why I loved this book so much, is that Baer managed to include some of my favorite story traits which I am currently very keen to explore. First, he includes an unreliable narrator. As a reader, I love being unsure as to what exactly is happening, whether or not what I just read was in the character's head.

It takes personal perspective and twists it further than is normal. Throw in some seriously depressing memories, maybe a personality disorder, and some drug use and you have what I consider excellent potential, something that is likely to keep me on my toes. Second, throw in a love story. But this is not storybook romance. This is bloody noir love, love that only the people involved in the relationship seem to comprehend. To the rest of the world, it just looks like some messed up alternate love universe.

I'm ok with that, since I was not thinking of it while reading. If I had, then I'd be slightly annoyed but the book is unique.


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I must point out that my noir experience is lacking. I love the settings and characters for the most part but I have found certain author voices to be bland. Not in this case. I loved reading Baer. His writing was smooth and at times surreal, turning into depressing and violent prose. He is an author who pairs words oddly but beautifully and I am a fan of his minimalist style. There were some deeply disturning scenes, a plus in my opinion as I hate being bored. I was surprised, lots of little shocks here and there. The first half was also quite funny at times, in a dark humor kind of way.

My initital rating was 5 stars but I've lowered it slightly due to the ending. The entire book was rather along the lines of POW and the ending was more of a mini 'pow'. Everything peetered but I have high hopes for book 2. View all 5 comments. Will Christopher Baer is a more respectable version of Chuck Palahniuk. Plus Palahniuk bled one narrator into many, but for sure his initial four novels; Baer just accepted his love for that voice and made a trilogy. The Phineas Poe trilogy— Kis Four stars.


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In Kiss Me, Judas , Poe wakes up in a bathtub full of ice, missing a kidney. Though the novel is a dark neo-noir, it is also sophomoric. Usually adding the term sophomoric to any review since authors are supposed to be the deft and mature minds of the world is a slight, but it works in Kiss Me, Judas. The problem is Penny Dreadful. Most fans of the series are split on this middle book. The events that take place in Penny Dreadful seem more set apart, disconnected from the bookend novels. Though the trilogy is graphic in violence and sexual abuse including gang rape , Baer also displays scenes of incredible tenderness in this twisted mess, perhaps more tender because of coldness of the surrounding text.

Jun 30, Annie rated it it was amazing Shelves: While it's never confusing, it's often confounding and Baer gives the reader just enough information to keep up with the wild pace. Kiss Me Judas is dark, gritty, endearing, and confusing -- it is the essence of neo-noir. The novel starts with a cliched urban legend -- the protagonist, Phineas Poe, wakes up in a bathtub full of ice with his kidney missing and revenge on his mind. He falls in love with the woman who stole his kidney, becomes a drug addict, and travels across the country in search of his missing organ. The story has enough twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes, but doesn't lack in the character department.

By the end of the book, I found myself rooting for Phineas and his friends as well as other characters I started off hating. Baer has produced a stellar novel. If you want to know what neo-noir is, this is the book to do it. Baer is not only an idol of mine, but an inspiration.

This is what got it started. Dark, rich, sexy, powerful, captivating, and visceral. Recommended to Brandon by: Dragging himself from a hospital bed, Phineas discovers he wants to be with Jude like a hunger and he wants to find her and kill her. Recommended to me both by fellow staff member, Matty as well as the good folks over at The Cult, I had high hopes for the first of Baer's "Poe" trilogy.

Written in the style of a good Quentin Tarintino film, Baer jumps around from past to present so fluidly that it forces you to constantly pay attention. His knack for tying the events that shaped the current state of the books protagonist, Phineaus Poe, to his current mindset is impeccable. You really believed that he was slowly unraveling at the seams. Of course, as in a Tarintino film, the dialogue and the violence are all very stylistic - leads to excellent and addictive narration.

Baer's female lead, the reason for Poe's current situation, Jude, is one of the stronger female leads I've had the pleasure of reading. His descriptions of her really play into why Poe is head over heels for this woman - despite her actions. The majority of the supporting characters are integral to the books progression; you really get the feeling that Baer eliminated any and all filler.

The novel is tightly structured and you never get the impression that Baer is out to create an epic for the sake of creating an epic. I'm very excited for the second and third books in the trilogy - be sure to check back over the summer for subsequent reviews as they've been added them to my summer stack of reading.

Jan 22, Abdulmajeed rated it really liked it.


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Baer is excellent at drawing captivating atmospheres with short, descriptive sentences. The imagery of places that Baer draws with short, concise sentences are so immersive. The suicidal thoughts, the cancer patient, the grey snow of a dark winter are all so alluring. What I really disliked is the main character, Phineas Poe. He is a s Dark, gloomy, kinky. So much for willpower. If you are a looking for a strong male lead, then this is not for you at ALL. However, the main female character is quite strong.

As a matter of fact, most of the female characters in the book are stronger than the males, not only mentally, but physically, too, so much that it left me wondering sometimes what kind of house did Baer grow in?! Why do I keep reading books from a genre I don't like? I really struggled with this book. First of all, I hated the way it was written. At times there was no way of way of knowing who was doing the talking or if the text was meant to be a dialogue or a thought.

It was too damn confusing. Just 'cause you want to portray a mess of a character it doesn't mean you have to be messy in your writing. Most of the time you didn't know what was going on and, yes, I get it, the main character is mostly hig Why do I keep reading books from a genre I don't like? Most of the time you didn't know what was going on and, yes, I get it, the main character is mostly high on drugs, having nightmares or hallucinating The whole time I was dreading the idea that it might all turn out to be a dream or some silly thing like that.

I hated Phineas Poe, I didn't get his motives. The rest of the characters were all over the place, the plot didn't make sense to me. And damn that abrupt ending. Aug 25, Megha Chakraborty rated it it was amazing. The story is very cliche, Poe, an ex-cop, with a dead wife and a missing kidney.

This "neo-noir" novel is definitely from a writer that's wholly his own, marching to the beat of his own drummer and all that. It goes through a dark labyrinth of twists and turns and sensations and sicknesses. And I was left surprised by the character's choices, thought processes, and the way things unfolded.

The narration is edgy and bold with a very linear storyline and in-betweens hallucinations of a different version of the same story, sometimes its dreamy and bizarre at the same time. Ill strongly recommend this book. It's worth a read. Mar 24, J. This work is an atrocious piece of trash that should be avoided at all cost. I will list a couple of the issues that I have with this book in order to help dissuade possible interested readers from having to deal with the literary torture.

It is obvious that the Author has never been to Denver. Locations are wrong there is no description of the city, or even of the mountain backdrops. He misses out on all the possible seeding dealings that could be used like the city of Englewood, and Colfax a This work is an atrocious piece of trash that should be avoided at all cost.

He misses out on all the possible seeding dealings that could be used like the city of Englewood, and Colfax ave and puts crappy motels on the plot of land that currently houses the Hilton. The Dreams are Dreams within dreams. I realize that this novel was written before Inception but the plot revolves around what the Narrator thinks is a dream. I get it he is constantly on drugs and suffering from the loss of his kidney but there needs to be a clear set of events without all the wishy-washy noir artsy crap.

It is hard to figure out what is going on and by about half way through I no longer wanted too. Is it really so hard to indent a paragraph. The Character is either the worst man in bed or Will Baer is the worst writer of sexual escapades, I will demonstrate a common sexual encounter here. And then I passed out. Sep 13, Mark rated it it was amazing Shelves: This one is as most anyone who's read it seems to concur "hard to describe. It's a hard novel to put down, and while the plot is nothing new pretty standard noir tropes crossed with one of the most mem This one is as most anyone who's read it seems to concur "hard to describe.

It's a hard novel to put down, and while the plot is nothing new pretty standard noir tropes crossed with one of the most memorable of urban legends--the stolen kidney story the delivery is often stunning. View all 6 comments. Dec 05, Marina Furmanov rated it did not like it. I don't know if he really lost a kidney, or this book was so so so so so bad. I don't know if he really lost a kidney, or if he was in the psych ward the whole time dreaming up of this story that I was reluctantly reading. I am one of those people that will not leave a started book..

Aug 27, Suz Jay rated it really liked it. If you cut off its tail it grows another one. The protagonist, Phineas Poe, is a man on a downward spiral. His every decision drags his life further toward the drain. Phineas is the ultimate unreliable narrator, making the story a cypher to solve. I look forward to locking myself in tight and experiencing his next roller coaster of an adventure. Jan 29, Katherine rated it really liked it Shelves: Phineas Poe is an ex-cop, just released from a psychiatric ward after a six month stay for a nervous break down.

This beautiful woman in red sits down next to Poe and the two begin to converse.

Nerds That Geek Book Review: 'Kiss Me, Judas' - Nerds That Geek

Poe remembers nothing after taking her back to his hotel room. He wakes up smack dab in the middle of an urban legend. Shivering in a cold Phineas Poe is an ex-cop, just released from a psychiatric ward after a six month stay for a nervous break down. Jude has made off with his organ, and neatly stapled him back together.

Kiss Me, Judas: 1a Novel

She left him a note: Furious with himself and with being betrayed by Jude, Poe skips medical treatment and heads out to find Jude to get his kidney back. Being an ex-cop, Poe realizes his kidney may be heading toward the black market. He hits up his former informants for any information about Jude or his kidney, knowing that time is of the essence. With no serious leads, Poe is only getting angrier. Unfortunately, the only real thing he can do for Poe is give him Morphine for the pain, and the only real thing he can tell Poe is that his kidney has been replaced maybe with a baggie of heroin.

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Oh, and if it leaks, he dies. Poe exercises every contact and every method he can to track down Jude, continuously finding himself in near-miss crossings. Poe wants to kill Jude, and he certainly can explain why. Jude is quite cryptic as to what they are running from, but all Poe knows is everyone they meet somehow ends up brutally murdered. Somewhere along the line, the anti-couple realizes they are falling in love, but whether or not they will live to explore these feelings is rather up in the air.

Understanding that Poe is recovering from a nervous breakdown through out this book is key to following his logic and thoughts in the narration. There are beautifully tragic passages by Poe that really take the readers breath away. While this novel lagged in places and felt like it went in circles at times, it was still enough to keep reading. The cat and mouse game between Jude and Poe got somewhat annoying after awhile, but I guess one can say is was a plot necessity.

Character wise, Baer has quite the colorful cast. He creates detailed imagery, making sure the reader knows exactly who each person is. I enjoyed this book, but recall being slightly upset with it as well. I was turned on to Baer by fellow Palahniuk fans, and perhaps it was only because I was so used to the polished dark literature of Palahniuk that I held Baer to such a high standard. On a scale of stars, this book is a 4. Its writing is poetic, but not out of context, and the detail put into characters is great. Feb 28, Daniel rated it really liked it.

A story about a man whose kidney is stolen by a prostitute. Can that urban legend be anything but the stale center of an overtired premise? Apparantly, it CAN be something more. Will Christopher Baer's writing is edgy, visceral, and almost nauseating in its effectiveness. Nauseating in the same way that leaping off a cliff can be nauseating. Phineas Poe, the central character of the novel, starts the novel kidney-less and on the verge of death, and for the rest of the story he eat Kiss Me, Judas.

Kiss me Judas

Phineas Poe, the central character of the novel, starts the novel kidney-less and on the verge of death, and for the rest of the story he eats very little, sleeps only when he is knocked out, and takes a whole boquet of random and usually nameless drugs that leave him teetering on the knife-edge between antsy bliss and crippling withdrawl. Baer's prose more than once left me feeling deep sympathy pains for the protagonist, and everytime I closed the book, I felt distinctly disoriented. It would be difficult to find someone not drawn head-first into this well-crafted world of present tense paranoias and pains.

There is not much to be found in the way of relief, however, and even the conclusion of the novel -- a powerful, poignant, and almost penultimate moment of touching sweetness and deep spiritual candor -- seems to end before it can really provide the kind of blessed closure the book seems to ache for. Because, Phineas is not just suffering in a body that has been cut and battered and poisoned, but he is also aching under the strain of a heavy and shattered heart that thinks it may, once again, be in love -- this time with the woman who cut out his kidney.

As implausible as that seems in a summary, the book manages to navigate with well-honed instincts around the more treacherous areas of that premise into a deep, calm bay of believability. I wouldn't love the woman Jude is her name, a somewhat overt Biblical reference with more symbolism attached than it first suggests , but I can certainly see with unquestionable clarity why Poe loves her, and as a result, I don't doubt much of what he does or why he does it, even if I shake my head when I read about it.

However, the book certainly gives you a lot to doubt. The story is plagued by liars and deceivers, and the final resting place of Poe's kidney is never clarified. Most of the elements of the tale are given some kind of resolution, but Baer teasingly suggests that every one of those resolutions could very well be false. In the end -- and this is a definite certainty -- very very very little about the novel's events can be understood with any certainty.

What are anybody's true motives and goals? Baer seems to suggest some plausible explanations for all of these things, but in the same moment, with a wink and a dark smirk, he also lets you know that those explanations aren't necessarily valid. Because, in the end, whether or not any of the characters has told the truth, whether or not Jude really shares Poe's love or is simply using him, well, these things are all beside the point, because what the novel is about is Poe's shattered soul, and what it takes to repair it, to redeem it, to save it outside of the dark, twisted realm of lies and pain in which it is so deeply immersed.