Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour We Are Monsters by Brian Kirk.
Brian Kirk is an author of dark thrillers and psychological suspense. His debut novel, We Are Monsters, was released in July 2015 and was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a First Novel.
His short fiction has been published in many notable magazines and anthologies. Most recently, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories and Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders, where his work appears alongside multiple New York Times bestselling authors,and received an honorable mention in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year compilation.
During the day, Brian works as afreelance marketing and creative consultant. His experience working on large, integrated advertising campaigns for international companies has helped him build an effective author platform, and makes him astrong marketing ally for his publishing partners. In addition, Brian has an eye for emerging mediatrends and an ability to integrate storytelling into new technologies and platforms.
When a troubled psychiatrist loses funding to perform clinical trials on an experimental cure for schizophrenia, he begins testing it on his asylum’s criminally insane, triggering aseries of side effects that opens the mind of his hospital’s most dangerous patient, setting his inner demons free.
The story is set in an alternative treatment facility with a main character who isn’t exactly likeable. There isn’t really a lot that distinguishes Dr Alex Drexler from other doctors or scientists who have tortured and played with human life in the name of medicine and science. In the name of discovering a cure for humanity. To do that others have to become a victim to research.
‘Without trust patients resist treatment’
Ain’t that the truth. But how can you trust someone who wants to ride the wave of your fears, your deepest memories and pain to then dress themselves in accolades when they ‘heal’ you. Hear the cynicism? Well it certainly flows freely in this story.
It’s an interesting premise, but if you want to move the boundaries, push and speculate – then do it with complete abandonment. Don’t go halfway and then serve up sanctimonious kindness and love cures all mantras. If you’re going to hit a ride on the crazy train and pull the plug on sanity – do it.
It’s speculative fiction with a tinge of horror. It’s an invitation to fly over the cuckoo’s nest. To explore insanity as a construct, perhaps even a parallel consciousness, as opposed to something to cure and to be freed from.
Just as psychopathy might be accepted as a trait in the future, perhaps mental health disorders will fall into the same category one day. The norm is determined by society, as is the abnormal, perhaps those categories will expand and change as we evolve.
Kirk has some interesting ideas, which could do with a little more clarity at times, but then I think that’s not in keeping with his go with the flow and where the process takes you kind of style.