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Red The Fiend was written by Gilbert Sorrentino and it was published in 1995 by Fromm. The book is 213 pages long.

Red The Fiend is a story about Red, a 12 year old boy who lives with his grandparents and his mother. Red is abused both physically and psychologically by his grandmother while all the other adults in his life idly stand by.

To me the story chronicles how an abuser is made. It is obvious from the story that the grandmother learned her abusive ways from her mother. Eventually, Red’s mother breaks and joins in the abuse, thus ensuring that the disease from which the grandmother suffers is passed down one generation. We see how Red develops a masochistic personality step by step.

The writing style of this novel is a bit odd. It seemed to me that whenever Red was not himself narrating the story, the story was told to us as a blow by blow commentary from a sport news show. If you can stand the writing style and the non-ending description of abuse this story is not bad. Can I say it was enjoyable? I may and then you will think I am a sick bastard. I will just say that it wasn’t a story that bored me. Mr. Sorrentino has written a number of other novels. I may pick another one up just to see if this is the style he writes in all the time or if the writing style was unique to this story.

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