Killing Williamsburg by Bradley Spinelli

May 5, 2014 Contemporary Fiction, Plague 12

G’Day Bookworms,

It’s been well established that I love a good plague story. I saw a review of Killing Williamsburg by Bradley Spinelli a while ago on Life Between Books. I commented that it sounded right up my alley, when lo and behold, I was contacted by the people behind Killing Williamsburg with an offer to read and review the book. It’s about a suicide plague that take takes hold in Brooklyn. That said, I should issue a trigger warning: if suicide is a sensitive issue for you, it would probably be a good idea to avoid this book. *I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

killing williamsburgKilling Williamsburg takes place in Brooklyn in 1999. Benson and his girlfriend Olive are a young couple living in the Williamsburg neighborhood. They put in time at their day jobs to fund their recreational partying, drug use, and scandalous sexual escapades. (To be completely honest, my inner prude was a bit uncomfortable with a few of these scenes. It wasn’t a huge deal, certainly not enough to keep me from enjoying the book, but it’s worth mentioning.) In the midst of this glorious summer of debauchery, a wave of weird, unexplained suicides begins plaguing the neighborhood.

Sirens become constant background noise as death after death is reported. People begin throwing themselves in front of trains and offing themselves in the middle of crowded bars. (I’ve got to say, Spinelli came up with a plethora of creative ways to off oneself.) The news isn’t reporting on what’s been happening, but people are starting to flee.

Those who stick around are subjected to watching their friends and neighbors drop like flies. The “bug” is catching, and those infected absolutely cannot be stopped in their quest toward self destruction. Anybody who attempts to get in the way gets taken down as well. Trippy, right?

They cause of the epidemic is never explained, but THANK GOODNESS it wasn’t the plants rebelling. (Cough cough, The Happening, cough cough, terrible movie. Cough.) If you like darkly comedic books (dare I say comedic? Yes. I think I dare) in the vein of Jean Teulé’s The Suicide Shop, you should definitely give Killing Williamsburg a whirl!

Tell me, Bookworms, do you enjoy dark comedy? How dark is too dark for you?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission.*


12 Responses to “Killing Williamsburg by Bradley Spinelli”

    • Words For Worms

      It reminded me so much of The Suicide Shop! If you liked that, I think this could be a winner for you! 🙂 (I totally read The Suicide Shop on your recommendation, BTW. You never steer me wrong!)

  1. Darlene @ Lost in Literature 108

    Ha ha, “glorious summer of debauchery”, I love it.:)
    How dark is too dark? I don’t know. I think you’re right when you consider that people are sensitive about different things. I can handle a lot more now that my children are older, but when they were younger I couldn’t handle books where parents died or children were neglected. I just couldn’t.

    • Words For Worms

      Everybody’s got a different issue that they can’t handle. I’ve got a friend who simply cannot stomach animal abuse in any fashion. I get weird about, like, when I perceive someone as being insensitive to an obese person, but I can handle suicide plagues. Weird, but true.

  2. Wendy @ Wensend

    I definitely have a macabre sense of humor (maybe a bit too much, according to some people). I added this (and The Suicide Shop, which I haven’t read) to my TBR immediately!

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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