Goodreads: Boy Parts
Publisher: Influx Press
Buy the Book from Influx and support an Indie Press
Synopsis: Irina obsessively takes explicit photographs of the average-looking men she persuades to model for her, scouted from the streets of Newcastle.
Placed on sabbatical from her dead-end bar job, she is offered an exhibition at a fashionable London gallery, promising to revive her career in the art world and offering an escape from her rut of drugs, alcohol, and extreme cinema. The news triggers a self-destructive tailspin, centred around Irina’s relationship with her obsessive best friend, and a shy young man from her local supermarket who has attracted her attention…
Review: Trigger warnings: Violence, drug abuse, sexual assault, and Alcohol abuse
This book definitely isn’t my usual shtick but it caught my eye on twitter, and it came with an adorable tote that definitely doesn’t reflect the tone of the book, but I had to have it! It has been a while since a contemporary has affected me quite so deeply, so I felt I just had to review it on the blog.
Boy Parts is a three hundred page hallucinogenic trip filled to the brim with dark humour. It’s unflinching in the way it tackles female rage and I’ve honestly never read anything like it so of course, I absolutely devoured every word.
Irina is an anti-heroine at her best. She’s capricious, manipulative, and honestly feels like a sociopath, at no point does Clark attempt to redeem her, and anytime you start to feel sorry for Irina she escalates the situation. You follow her as she prepares for an important exhibition, and as she explores her past and present relationships with those she photographs. Boy Parts is dissociative, hallucinogenic, and has to be one of the best uses of an unreliable narrator I’ve ever read. It’s a gripping read, and the fact that the I was simultaneously repulsed and infatuated Irina was an intense feeling.
Clark pulls no punches in this book, confronting modern society through sexuality and violence. Irina wields her sexuality like a weapon, using it to disarm the men she photographs and push them beyond their limits. It explores the darkest corners of society, and the narrative is as grotesque as it is beautiful and sucks you in like a black hole.
Boy Parts is twisted and impossible to put down and has honestly reignited a long-forgotten love of dark literary fiction.
Recommend: This book is incredible, but definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s a challenging read, but it really made me feel.