DISREMEMBERING EDDIE
Anne Morgellyn

 


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BeWrite Books, 2003
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood

Louise isn't in good shape. Her parole officer, watching out for her after she is busted for possession of drugs, got her a job in a morgue helping out with post mortems. That's why she is there when her ex-lover, Eddie Kronenberg, Minister of Parliament and the cause of the drugs, is wheeled in as a corpse. She isn't sure why she steals his heart, but now there it sits in its jar, messing with her head.

Louise had laid the memory of Eddie to rest while he was alive, but now that he is dead, he is haunting her everywhere. By a weird chain of possession, Eddie's body is being saved for a massive protest event. The protest targets the indignities that a body can go through before being laid to rest.

This hits especially close to home to Louise, because at the morgue she sees body parts being removed for study or as souvenirs all the time. It is doubly close to home because the organizer of the protest is August Stockton, spoiled, troublemaking son of a rich man, with whom Louise has an unpleasant history. Maybe she can be saved by her long-haired, Harley-riding boss Dr. Androssoff, but he has lots of reasons not to save her.

In a book as gruesome as this, it's not surprising Louise falls apart. It isn't just Eddie popping up everywhere, it's the blunt details of things that dead bodies and the people around them can do to each other. It's also the post mortem of Louise's past, especially her relationship with Eddie. It's the revenge that Eddie's widow decides to take on him.

Apparently author Anne Morgellyn sympathizes with a protest movement against post mortems, funeral home body treatments, saving organs for research, and some transplants. It is hard to really tell, because I didn't get any sense of "sympathy" anywhere in DISREMEMBERING EDDIE. Her subculture characters hold a fine line between grossing out mainstream readers and actual horror. Mostly, they are at odds with English life in general and themselves in particular.

I would recommend DISREMEMBERING EDDIE for counterculture readers in their twenties. I did find the plot interesting, but could not identify at any time with Louise or most of the social issues. Choose carefully about DISREMEMBERING EDDIE; it is very attitude- and culture-specific.

Oct 2007

 

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