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Harvey Click's The Bad Box: Carnography at its lurid and horrible best! I hate it! I love it! #keangarooview by carolkean

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· @carolkean ·
$14.98
Harvey Click's The Bad Box: Carnography at its lurid and horrible best! I hate it! I love it! #keangarooview
# #Carnography - lurid, compelling, awful, 
brilliantly written carnal horror! I hate it! I love it!

---
<center>![](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmarKqCjkujaF75f1NmGJRkqvBNr9o4Y1LtufR4bXcS2Ps/image.png)</center>
# <center> [The Bad Box: A novel by Harvey Click](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18586375-the-bad-box)</center>

### "Carnography"
 is a word coined in 1972 by Jack Scow in his Time review of David Morrell's "First Blood." Let me tell you, anything you read or saw Rambo do is child's play compared to the carnography of Harvey Click.

I don't even like the horror genre. I only read this stuff if it's so brilliant, I can't NOT read it. Harvey Click, stop tempting me with these lurid, dark, disturbing tales. ["Demon Frenzy"](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25380073-demon-frenzy) was wicked enough, and it was nowhere near this level of lurid carnography. 

### You hear me, Harvey? STOP!
***
https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1472862397p5/7302160.jpg 
### [Harvey Click](https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7302160.Harvey_Click)
 is a college lit professor who earned an M.A. in English from Ohio State University, using his first novel as a master's thesis. He has written five novels, four of them in the horror genre, and numerous short stories. He has taught both English and creative writing for Ohio University, Ohio State University, the James Thurber House, and OSU's Creative Arts Program.
***
QUICK SYNOPSIS: Sarah Temple leaves her abusive boyfriend and moves into an apartment complex in the worst part of town, where her neighbors include a tough little one-hundred-year-old woman who packs a pistol, a quiet ghost of a man, and a mysterious woman of the evening who hasn't quite mastered high heels on stairs. Men come to visit the sexy blonde upstairs, but like the roaches in that pesticide commercial, they don't always check out. When Sarah finds out why, she has to move again. Not only her ex-boyfriend but now a sick, sick, sick serial killer are out to get her. Worse, a mysterious Solitary One controls both stalkers. He's "a living darkness, a man and yet not a man, something that's alive and yet not alive, something that wants to appall the world."

The One knows why children have been buried alive in a "bad box," and only The One can restore life (if you can call it living) to his favorite little victim of child abuse (found, oops, dead in the box). He fails to anticipate another child's psychological defense mechanism, dissociative identity (multiple personality) disorder, but I can't tell you more. It's plausible, it's sadly believable, and it's simply brilliant.

I surely would not have peeked under this cover but other readers dared me with comments like these:

"Several horror cliches present themselves, but are handled in unexpected fashion. One thing I like about Harvey Click's stories is he is able to write about characters far different from his own point of view. So many authors have characters that seem to have the same opinions and persona as their creator. Click's character's are always fascinating,and often not someone you'd care to be stuck in an elevator with." -Amazon reviewer

Ha. I don't even want to catch myself holding these characters metaphorically in a book in my hands, much less meet them in an elevator.

The list of great lines is too long to excerpt, but I'll start by noting that Sarah's little brother is described in pitch-perfect detail. When she meets Darnell, " ... his eyes reminded her of the cool waters of the creek where she and Johnny used to play." Beautiful. So is her recollection of Johnny: "I came into this world with an attitude, and I've been on the warpath ever since. But not Johnny. He was like the sun."

Sometimes Sarah perceives (imagines?) that his presence lives on. Darnell raises the psychological explanation of wish fulfillment, but Sarah can't buy that: "... a thousand times I wanted him to be there but couldn't conjure him up. He comes when he comes."

Darnell has also lost someone, but he confesses something sinister to Sarah: "The spirit that haunts you is made of sunshine. What if it were made of something not so friendly? Darkness . . . dreadful sounds . . . things that groan in the night?"

I wanted to see Johnny show up in the novel when he's most needed, but like the centenarian neighbor and her gun, the best of minor characters all too often make cameo appearances only.

One of the minors does get a fair amount of stage time, which pleases me greatly. Howard, the gay friend, has so many great lines. A fully realized character, he deserves his own novel, and more chances to come up with "clinical" terms like "assholelopithecus."

Even the villains get great lines: "Eyes are just peepholes. So are ears. The brain's a wonderful device, but mostly it just processes information from the peepholes. Materialists imagine that without our bodies, there'd be no sounds or sights or thoughts. But we ... " (sorry, you need to read the rest of it firsthand!)

The One notes, poignantly, that "one didn't age gradually, but rather in fits and starts. Suddenly one was aware of being much older than the last time one had noticed." Anyone over age fifty who happens across photos from college might suffer the same shock.

Some great lines about guns, especially from anti-gun lobbyists when forced to use one:

> "This baby holds five rounds of .357 Magnum."

> "Jeez," Sarah said. "Isn't that some kind of Dirty Harry small nuclear device?"
***
Soon, she feels the lure of being armed and dangerous: "In a few minutes she would be as powerful as any man" and "Tonight she would sleep with the gun beside her bed, knowing it would be more than a match for whatever might crawl through the window."

Or not.

You'll laugh, but not for long:

> "I'm armed. I have a big gun, a .352 Magnum."

> He had gotten the number wrong, he realized. What did they call those things?

> "It's loaded," he said, his voice a kind of wail in the damnable hush.

Horror novels and thrillers rarely interest me, but once again, Harvey Click kept me spellbound. His characters are not boring, predictable, stupid and therefore disposable (a trope of the genre, in my experience). They're erudite. They're funny. After theorizing about the unthinkable events, someone says "a theory like that wouldn't get you published in Headshrinker Quarterly."

Then, the really poignant observations: 
#### "... mental illness is probably the ugliest damn trick God ever pulled on mankind," he said. "You're much better off with cancer."

The prose also gets poetic and metaphysical: "... shadows always remained the same. These were the same shadows that Solomon had gazed on; these were the shadows that had danced on the walls of caves while hunters huddled beside their fires. The truths in these shadows were the same ones that the ancients had glimpsed, truths that the earliest men had seen, their restless brains piercing the deep riddles with apelike eyes before glittering toys had blinded them."

I love this: "Her perceptions were turned up so high that any little thing could thrill her, maybe a clump of goldenrod or a cloud in front of the moon. But there's a downside to that-things most people would find a little irritating she found downright painful. There's no way to describe her, really. There's no one else like her."

Fans of magic and fantasy will also find something to love here. The villain sounds like Deepak Chopra, thinking "how closely linked the fabric of the universe was to the human brain that watched it. Science was plodding ever closer to the truths of magic, but only a handful of scientists had the imagination to recognize how close they were."

A minute later, the villain, annoyed by a woman's look of horror on seeing him in public, casually "planted a deep pain in her stomach that might soon turn to cancer."

Some scenes in this novel are even more lurid, graphic, horrible and impossible to unsee as the ones I complained about in ["Demon Frenzy"](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25380073-demon-frenzy). So (Indie Authors being more accessible in this era of social media platform), I messaged Harvey. He replied: "People do some unbelievable things while under the influence of angel's dust and some other heavy drugs, so under the influence of a sorcerer's spell who knows what they could do? In the late 60s there was a group of drug-addled idiots who used power saws to cut large holes through their skulls to give their brains some `breathing space.' They lived, for better or worse."

Now you'll have to read the novel just to get to the part about a certain someone's naked, pulsating brain. Harvey emailed: "That's the part that even I can barely stand to read. I had to write it with my eyes closed." 

Bwa ha ha! He sounds like me--reading his books with my eyes closed.

I can't believe I'm praising a novel so dark, so lurid and depraved, but dissociative identity disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder) is thought to be an effect of severe trauma during early childhood, usually extreme, repetitive physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. You should read more about this. I feel as if everyone on the planet should read Harvey Click novels just to glimpse the depravity that human souls might sink to if they suffer child abuse.

I mean, NOBODY should read novels like this because novels like this should never be written, because things like this should never happen in real life.

Sadly, though, they do. And I read carnography because it's not just fiction. Sad, sad, sad. Okay! Time for a romance, a comedy, a happy ending!! (I'll settle for a cute cat video.)

A goodreads reviewr (also a brilliant Indie Author) slayed me with this:
![](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmXaZyfkXTHb5kstPZiaRnaDM9f5jan2PU2kTKeJLy2NzW/image.png)

### In real life, he seems to be a very nice man,
from what I can tell of his Facebook posts. 

A very nice, dog-friendly college lit professor.

I've read everything he's published so far. And loved it all. And hated it. HATED IT, I say!

No. NO! No. No. 
I will not be re-reading this one anytime soon (***but you should!):
![](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmYXB3r911GdkSVm49rYwUX2Lbr6TVY1BhvrnioTMt5vww/image.png)
### [Realms of Night: More Tales of Terror](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36280483-realms-of-night)
by Harvey Click (Goodreads Author)
**Lace up your boots before delving into a Harvey Click tale - he'll knock your socks off, steal your breath!**
By Carol Kean  VINE VOICE on January 26, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I'll only mention one of the stories here: "Froggy Went a Courtin' " is like a fairy tale, but the icky, froggy human man is not going to morph into a handsome prince. Not in a horror story. This is not a spoiler, ok? No happy endings here, folks. BUT - but, but, but- the awful heroine does have an eye-opener, making a character arc that could knock your socks off. Lace up your boots before delving into a Harvey Click tale.

Froggy. Oh, man, that guy will steal your heart!

Harvey Click will stomp on your heart. Let him at your own risk. *Can't say I didn't warn you.*
👍  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and 244 others
👎  ,
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vote details (310)
@carlgnash ·
Woah this really sounds intense!  I had never heard of "carnography" but the name is really descriptive.  That is cool that you messaged with the author and included his feedback on particular passages.  I... am not sure I want to read this... but I am kinda curious now... what have you done?!?  LOL  
@tipu curate
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@tipu ·
<a href="https://tipu.online/curator?carlgnash" target="_blank">Upvoted &#128076;</a> (Mana: 15/35)
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@c-squared ·
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<div class="pull-left">https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmVHt1f2jqCViLk6dX2SZsajYRWBpmdQA7sQDEbuQBxFB3/c2100.png</div><br>This post was shared in the <a href="https://discord.gg/B8JFmJ4">Curation Collective Discord community</a> for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.<br/>@c-squared runs a <a href="https://steemit.com/witness/@c-cubed/announcing-the-launch-of-the-new-c-squared-witness">community witness</a>. Please consider using one of your witness votes on us <a href ="https://steemconnect.com/sign/account-witness-vote?witness=c-squared&approve=true">here</a>
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@tts ·
To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.
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Brought to you by [@tts](https://steemit.com/tts/@tts/introduction). If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.
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@wwwiebe ·
I usually steer well clear of horror as well, but you're drawing me into this one! I wonder if I can find the time to want to scare myself witless. Hrm.
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@carolkean ·
I should have mentioned: Harvey can out-write Stephen King any time.
He is brilliant.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
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@creativecrypto ·
Hello @carolkean, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. [The Creative Crypto](https://thecreativecrypto.com/) is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!
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@carolkean ·
Thank you!
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