book cover of The Orchid Eater

The Orchid Eater

(1994)
A novel by

 
 
Publisher's Weekly
With unusual insights into the cruel extremism and vulnerability of adolescence, this suspenseful thriller of psychosis and serial killing follows the parallel stories of a young murderer and the boy he might have been in the quiet Southern California town of Bohemia Bay. After several years of street life and wandering, Lupe Diaz arrives in Bohemia to settle a score with his older brother Sal. Lupe blames Sal for his brutal castration (cauterized by blowtorch) at the hands of a gang. As might be expected, Lupe's psychological scars are far worse than his physical ones and he finds comfort in collecting a ghostly gang of victims. The drug-peddling Sal has a gang of his own, a group of gay runaways he shelters in his Bohemia Bay house. Elsewhere in town, Mike James, a bright, artistic high school student, finds an outlet for his thirst for action in a group of semi-delinquents from the local alternative school, led by an ex-con, ex-biker turned Bible-thumping Peter Pan. When some gay-bashing pranks bring Mike into contact with Sal and the dangerous Lupe, the three gangs collide with murderous results. Laidlaw ( Kalifornia ) peoples Bohemia Bay with colorful multidimensional characters, both teenaged and adult, and tells their grisly story with evocative prose in a penetrating, convincing voice. Clever plotting and a lively pace fortify an imaginative, offbeat and often unnerving tale.

Library Journal
The Southern California turf of two gangs becomes a nightmare area for teenaged Mike, whose parents purchase a home in an affluent community. One group, misfits collected by the religion-spouting Hawk, pits itself against the young gays headed by the drug-dealing Sal. Rivalry turns to terror and violence upon the arrival of Sal's younger brother, a physically and psychologically damaged murderer who steals the key to Mike's new home. The author of Kalifornia ( LJ 12/92; Word of Mouth, p. 216) misses his target here in an uneasy blend of suspense and the rite-of-passage genre. Despite his novel's surface characterization and lack of tension, Laidlaw is an interesting writer whose style somewhat redeems this cautionary tale. For comprehensive modern fiction collections.-- Eric W. Johnson, Teikyo Post Univ. Lib., Waterbury, Ct.

Genre: Horror

Used availability for Marc Laidlaw's The Orchid Eater

Hardback Editions

March 1994 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Orchid Eater
Author(s): Marc Laidlaw
ISBN: 0-312-10515-0 / 978-0-312-10515-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

June 2016 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Orchid Eater
Author(s): Marc Laidlaw
Publisher: Freestyle Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU