Cover Price: $14.95
Release Date: November 1, 2012
Trade Paperback: 232 pages
Also available in ebook and print at these retailers and many others.
The Venus Complex
Cover painting by Daniele Serra
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.”
—review by 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.
FANGORIA feature by Chris Alexander: "Damaged people, ultraviolence, murder and explicit sex -- what's not to love about her [Wilde's] work?"
Read the interview here
Starburst Magazine—December 2012
by Jon Towlson
"…The Venus Complex is also blackly comic and offers in its character’s disenchantment with the world around him some witty and acerbic social commentary. Wilde is definitely one to watch."
Ginger Nuts of Horror —November 2012
by Jim Mcleod
“ 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. Michael Friday is an angry man, he rants at everything from celebrity culture, politic and national holidays. 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."
"From reading her short stories I knew Barbie Wilde had a talent for writing. With The Venus Complex, Barbie's talent has been given a much larger canvas to play with. And Barbie has filled every square inch of the canvas with a stunningly brilliant work of fiction.
Read the full review at Ginger Nuts of Horror.
Horror Talk —December 2012
by Gabino Iglesias
"While Wilde's smart-yet-unhinged character is definitely one of the main elements making The Venus Complex a must-read, it's really the author's writing chops that help this tome stand out ... 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."
Read the full review at Horror Talk.
More Praise for The Venus Complex
"Wilde...is one of the finest purveyors of erotically charged horror around."
—Fangoria Magazine #320
"The Venus Complex is a delicious collision of noir thriller and visceral horror. Whip-smart devious and jolting!"
—Jonathan Maberry, Multiple Bram Stoker Award Winner and New York Times best-selling author of Code Zero and V-War
"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
"Wilde's most recent offering is the wryly comic but no less grotesque thriller The Venus Complex (Comet Press), the sordid tale of mentally unbalanced art history professor Michael Friday, who moonlights as a sexual killer. The book has been garnering great reviews, firmly confirming the literary course that is now defining Wilde's life. Damaged people, ultraviolence, murder and explicit sex—what's not to love about her work?...She has developed a remarkable flair for the perverse and the poetic that echoes her mentor Clive Barker, but offers tales of inner hell and body terror told from a ferociously feminine point of view."
—Chris Alexander, Editor-in-Chief Fangoria Magazine, Issue #321
"The Venus Complex is an epistolary portrait of psychopathy as razor sharp as Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me or Hubert Selby Jr.'s The Demon. Disturbing, erotic and powerful."
—Jovanka Vuckovic, Filmmaker (The Captured Bird, The Guest, Jacqueline Ess)
"A novel by a female Cenobite that gives the world a smart, artistic, cynical, cultured serial killer who could give Hannibal Lecter a run for his money. On top of that, this is a poignant, funny, sexually-charged, hardcore critique of popular culture and a deconstruction of relationships, academia, and art."
—Gabino Iglesias, HorrorTalk
"Wilde expertly charts Michael's diabolical descent into voyeurism, stalking and murder in a transgressive tale that would make Patrick Bateman blush."
—Alan Kelly, Hell's Shelves, Rue Morgue Online
"Written in journal entry format, The Venus Complex is a quick, dirty little high-speed read, tense and shamefully exciting and almost impossible to put down. Imagine the hottest, horniest fuckbook in the Black Lace library spliced in with a Quantico serial killer profile report and you've got The Venus Complex. Read it and try NOT to squirm, either in ecstasy or horror. It simply cannot be done."
—Annie Riordan, Brutal As Hell
"I love dark crime, and this is by far the darkest story I've ever read. I felt guilty for enjoying it so much. The Venus Complex is tense and fast-paced, dizzying in its bold perversion. But like a serial killer obsessed with his next victim, I could not turn away...Barbie Wilde follows the tradition of Ellis's American Psycho and Oates's Zombie yet breaks new ground in the field of sadistic crime fiction. If you like the lurid and shocking, you'll love The Venus Complex. It's Dexter, without a moral code."
—Lee Howard, Midwest Book Review
"The Venus Complex is a deftly plotted and calculated work of terror. Like the painted masterworks Michael Friday draws from to inspire his blood-fest, each verbal brushstroke falls on the page at the precise spot Barbie Wilde wants it."
—Blood E. Bastard, Horror News Network
"The Venus Complex, as the title suggests, is an erotically charged novel, and there are some passages that give the likes of Anais Nin and Alina Reyes a run for their money...Hitchcockian in its portrayal of murderous obsession."
—Jon Towlson, Starburst Magazine
"This is not a novel for the faint of heart and definitely NSFPT (Not Safe For Public Transport), but the skill with which it is written means that some of the darker imagery will haunt the reader long after they turn the final page."
—British Fantasy Society
"Welcome to the world of Michael Friday, an art historian turned serial killer who lays out the dark recesses of his soul for all to see in Barbie Wilde's deliciously dark erotic crime novel The Venus Complex. Those are some pretty major demons Michael is harbouring as we join him in his downward spiral via the musings of his private journal. Michael is not your every day killer though, which gives The Venus Complex a delightful and refreshing edge. The culture of Hannibal Lecter, the forward planning of Dexter, and the wry wit of Holden Caulfield, Michael is all of this and more."
—The Gore-Splattered Corner
"Wilde's great triumph here is that she goes all the way with her man Friday, allowing his nasty flights of fancy full reign...But I think what I like most about this news story is that she kicked my ass so hard with her first novel. Turns out Barbie Wilde is even scarier than we thought. And that is a terrible, beautiful thing."
—John Skipp (New York Times best-selling author for Fangoria Online)
"Shocking and explicit, Barbie Wilde's The Venus Complex is an intimate tour of Michael Friday's mind as he morphs from a misogynistic, hyper-intelligent university professor into a sexually-charged, calculating serial killer. Written in journal form, Friday reveals his most gory necrophilic fantasies, and then makes them a reality. Not for sensitive readers; after finishing this book you might never feel clean again."
—Jessa Sobczuk, The Grim Reader, Rue Morgue Magazine
"The Venus Complex is a compelling read and Barbie Wilde's confidence in the material shines—there are no first novel nerves here. Through her expertly controlled pacing, Michael's journey from nobody to serial killer is both believable and frightening. By allowing us to see aspects of ourselves in Michael, Barbie also shows us that his extreme fantasies may only be a couple of steps removed from our own, and that's the most frightening thing of all."
—Tom Elliot, Scream Magazine
"Entry by entry, Wilde guides the reader into Friday's world as he evolves not just into a stone cold killer, but one who is highly charged, sexually. The scenes of eroticism begin as fantasies, but quickly sink into depraved vignettes that ignite the character and charge him further in his mission. What could easily be considered gratuitous is saved by Wilde's keen eye for detail of what excites the human libido and darker mote hidden in our vision...As Michael travels from victim to victim, seeking his transformation and his freedom from both society's constraints and his own, the reader will find him or herself eagerly following, in a voyeuristic journey into a world of darkness that might just make one smirk in delight as he or she can almost feel him whisper his journals in an ear...A definitely different book but one which will undoubtedly find a big audience for those who are ready to cut open the ordinary and dig deeper...Recommended for adult readers of serial killer narratives, explicit violence, and erotic horror."
—The Monster Librarian
What Readers Are Saying
Extracts from Goodreads Reviews:
"A taut, gripping work. Oozing with sinister brilliance."
"Shameless. Sexy. Frightful. Gorgeous."
"Barbie Wilde has broken new ground in the field of dark crime fiction."
Extracts from Amazon Reviews:
"...thrilling, erotic and intelligent."
"A wondrous and twisted tale through a psychopathic delusional mind. Barbie Wilde has created a world worthy of the great masters of horror."
"The whole thing is so graphically visual, Ms Wilde should have film-makers knocking on her door any day now."
"...thought-provoking and sexy piece of work."
"Gruesomely graphic and sexually explicit, The Venus Complex is the very definition of a page-turner."
"Smolders with sex and crackles with eerie imagery and terrifying action. The Venus Complex remains with me, and I fear it always will."