Entertainment » Books

Homo Superiors

by Christopher Verleger
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Jun 13, 2016
Homo Superiors

Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.

Noah and Ray, the two main characters in the twisted, intriguing novel, "Homo Superiors," by L.A. Fields, aren't exactly scale model friends. They don't really trust or even like each other that much, yet they depend on each other, desperately.

Noah knows he's different from day one, has no desire to fit in and is really only concerned about himself. Ray, meanwhile, manages to win everybody over with his charm and good looks. Yet these two young men are immediately drawn to each other, not because they're the youngest at their school, but because they're intellectual equals, with a combined intelligence that can only be described as deadly.

In this clever, modern day retelling of Leopold and Loeb, Noah and Ray are polar opposites who are seemingly destined to make each other's acquaintance. Both are from the same Chicago neighborhood but manage to avoid each other until their paths cross at a college party, and as soon as they realize what they have in common, including a desire to wreak havoc upon those not as adept and capable as they are - which is almost everyone - the ensuing carnage is horrifying.

But what's more disturbing is how shamefully and unapologetically they use each other. Noah is especially ambitious and knows he will one day be a successful lawyer, whereas the self-destructive Ray, who has an affinity for gambling and stalking complete strangers, persuades his friend to follow him from the University of Chicago to the University of Michigan.

When Ray disowns Noah for his fraternity brothers, Noah returns to Chicago and attempts to disavow Ray, until the two establish a rapport where they exchange criminal acts for sexual favors. Ray is well aware of the power his physical presence has over Noah and he outwardly uses it to his advantage.

Neither character is remotely likeable and their story is deeply unsettling - and at its core, very sad, because these are two smart boys with immeasurable potential - yet "Homo Superiors" is a compelling, powerful read. The fresh, witty albeit perverse dialogue between Noah and Ray keeps the pages turning, and while it's easy to sense their story will undoubtedly end badly, you can't help but wonder what deplorable act they'll come up with next.

"Homo Superiors"
L.A. Fields
Lethe Press
$15.00

Chris Verleger is an avid reader, aspiring novelist and self-professed theater geek from Providence. Email cwverleger1971@yahoo.com.


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