A few days ago, I finished reading a couple of books: Project Cain for young adults, and its counterpart: Cain’s Blood for adults both published by Simon & Schuster in 2013. I’m a rather prolific book reviewer, and these were sent to me by the author Geoffrey Girard for review. The two books were written in tandem, same story, different points of view, and although the YA book was cleansed of the most egregiously gory scenes, it’s still pretty graphic.
Here is part of what I wrote in the review:
“Jeff Jacobson’s father sat down on the bed with him one day, and told him that the people whom Jeff had thought were his parents for the past sixteen years weren’t his parents at all. Instead, Jeff had been cloned eight years before from the DNA of serial killer Jeffery Dahmer to be developed in a vat of liquid as an eight-year-old boy. Then “Dad” left an envelope of money on the bed, walked out the door, and Jeff never saw him again.
“What follows is the most horrific, awful, gut-wrenching piece of gory fiction that I have ever read. I didn’t like it. It was painful to read. Nevertheless, I gave it a 4-star rating because author Geoffrey Girard is a good writer who, in my opinion, accomplishes his agenda of exposing the monstrous experiments that the United States government has either carried out itself or has sanctioned over the past century. Much of the actual information that the author refers to while the fictional story moves along, and his killer clones reek havoc on themselves and others, can be checked on the Internet.
If you like this story, you’re “sick.” If you want the information that Girard imparts, read it anyway.”
While I was reading these books and writing the Goodreads.com reviews of them, I couldn’t stop the many thoughts that went through my mind. Here are some of them in no particular order:
1. I am old enough to remember when serial killers David Berkowitz, Ed Gein, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and Dennis Rader, were caught and occupied the news for weeks and months. The memories of reading about these monsters and their victims in real time still haunt me. Ed Gein lived only a couple of hours from my home town in Wisconsin. John Wayne Gacy tortured and killed teenage boys when I was a mom raising teenagers. The young boy who tried and failed to get two policemen to help him escape from Jeffrey Dahmer was evidence to me that even the police couldn’t always be convinced of horror happening right before their eyes. Dennis Rader was an active and respected member of a church as was I at that time. I view these situations very much from my own personal perspective, and they frighten me, even now.
2. Geoffry Girard in his Cain books focuses on the crimes, the killers, and the system that created them. There is little empathy demonstrated in the narrative for those who fall victim to the killer clones. For the most part the victims are simply bodies, alive or dead, used to show how horrible that slicing, dicing, stabbing, beheading, crushing, burning, and other murderous means can look, smell, and sound. But those fictional ordinary teens that were enticed by a Facebook invitation to a private home for a party were somebody’s children who were loved and cherished. Should this have been given such short shrift?
3. The agenda in this over-the-top violent story is clearly to alert readers to the way the U.S. Defense Department of the United States government has misused its citizens by allowing experiments to be performed upon them without their knowledge or consent: Injecting them with infectious diseases, for example, just to see what happens. See the article at http://www.nbcnews.com/id/41811750/ns/health-health_care/#.UtxbTRDnaCgAuthor.
Other government experiments deal with creating weapons to destroy our enemies. Never mind the collateral damage of killing and maiming innocent people.
Girard states in Chapter two:
“It all probably sounds a little far-fetched. Stupid, even. Believe me, I know. But what if I told you an Air Force research lab in Ohio recently admitted to secretly working on bombs filled with synthetic pheromones/aphrodisiacs to make enemy troops “turn gay,” and also on methods to create giant swarms of bees? Or that the Navy spent twenty million dollars teaching bats to carry explosives? Or that over the past forty years, the United States military has publicly admitted to working on everything from invisibility and time travel to ghosts, weather control, mind control, LSD bombs, talking dolphins, sound weapons, and telekinesis. And that’s just what they’ve admitted to. Now imagine what they haven’t.”
You can Google each of these. I did.
4. Do I, or anybody else for that matter, need to be exposed to this incredible fictional gore to get the message that there is evil in the world and that some of it is perpetrated by our own government? I don’t. I am personally aware of it as are most of you, and also of the psychopathic serial killers that are out there. As a writer, I’ve been reading a lot about psychopaths (sociopaths), and have learned that the vast majority do not become murderers. First of all, there are far more of them among us than we have previously thought, and although they lack conscience, their predominant traits run more along the lines of seeking control, seeking constant stimulation for their ever-present boredom, impulsive risk-taking, and charismatic charm. Woe to the parents who give birth to such a child and love a child who cannot love them back, but whose youngster will learn all the manipulation needed to get what is wanted.
5. Geoffrey Girard’s companion books Project Cain and Cain’s Blood will undoubtedly stir controversy, and rightfully so. Sometimes that is what is needed to begin a dialogue that will have some impact on the issue being confronted, in this case, our government’s cavalier attitude toward “them-n-us.” Our enemies are not people, so therefore find creative ways to kill them. Drones anyone? How about some research on a better way to bring peace among nations? Among people? How about some research on ways to maintain peace over the long haul? Maybe even forever? –So that we as human beings can deal with more important issues like earthquakes, tsunamis, climate change, energy needs, population balance, and on and on and on!
I know one thing that reading these books did for me. I’m DONE watching stupid formula tv shows, no matter how exciting, that exploit mayhem and gore.
I LOVE good stories, and love to read them on paper and in ebooks. I love good stories on tv and in the movies, but for me, they have to be original and well-thought out. I want to learn something new, to gain new insight if I am spending my time on someone’s creation.
Having said that, it raises the bar for my own writing. I’m not a great writer; I’m still learning and experimenting. I didn’t graduate from an MFA program although I’d love to do so even at this advanced age. Yes, there is an agenda in my writings too, but it may be less obvious than that in Geoffrey Girard’s novels. I’ll let you figure it out for yourself as you read my books over time.
Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.