Review: We Disappear by Scott HeimScott Heim
Published by Harper Perennial
Reviewed by Shaun Frisky
Original photos by Kurt
Have you seen the film MYSTERIOUS SKIN? Watching hot young actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt whoring himself out to men was reason enough to get me to the cinema. But the film also happens to be one of the most emotionally moving, thought-provoking, edgy and stylistically beautiful queer movies of this century. The film was based on Scott Heim’s first novel. This year Heim released a new novel called WE DISAPPEAR and it’s every bit as startling and diabolically sexy as that first book.
In WE DISAPPEAR narrator Scott is a frequent drug-user who is uncertain with the direction of his life. He returns to his native Kansas to care for his mother Donna who is suffering from a terminal illness. While reading the book you’ll no doubt be feverishly wondering what’s based on the author’s real life given that there are many obvious parallels. However, Heim saves you having to conduct a series of Google searches because there’s an interview with the author at the back of the book which will answer many of the “What’s real? What’s fiction?” questions.
Rather than taking it easy and emotionally reconnecting with her son, Donna becomes obsessed with researching missing children - not seeking to recover them, but understand the mechanism of their disappearances. She frantically tries to connect this with her belief that she herself was kidnapped as a child. She even goes so far as to develop a dangerously close rapport with a young man who wants to disappear. The abducted becomes the abductor. That’s when Scott discovers the near-naked boy chained in the basement. And that’s when the story and the narrator’s psyche takes on the feeling of a run away train.
Labels: Shaun Frisky Review