University Review

University (1995)

Written by: Bentley Little

One of my favorite authors, without a doubt, is Bentley Little.

This is a man who definitely deserves the Bram Stoker award and has won it as well. Now that I'm getting more time to read, I have a few more of his novels I need to make my way through. This was the most recent.

Originally written as "The Night School" in 1994, in University violent crimes are on the rise at U.C. Brea, a once respectable Southern California school. Rapes, murders and hate crimes are becoming all too common and only a few students seem to have taken notice.

I wish I'd have gotten back into reading much sooner than later, that's a lesson for all the kids out there. Knowing there were great novels out there like this one would have made high school that much more interesting.

I found University to have a very good plot. The story arc alone creates so much tension as different groups of friends -- students and professors alike -- begin to notice strange happenings around the campus. Jim and Howie working at the Sentinel, the school news paper, and are best buds. There is a great emotional aspect to the story as Jim worries for Howie a lot as his condition deteriorates from muscular dystrophy. There is also a bit of a romance, if you will, between Jim and Faith throughout the novel, though it's almost overshadowed by a series of fucked up happenings, such as in this (explicit) excerpt:

The piss was soaking not only him but the bed, and now he could see it and it was red, bloody. Was she having her period?
"Untie me!" he ordered.
The flow stopped. "I thought this was what you wanted."
"It's what I wanted."
"Untie me right now!"
She crawled backward, sat on his knees, grabbed his penis. One long fingernail scraped against the underside of his now soft organ, and a line of red welled forth.
"Jesus," he said. "Jesus..."
She reached down, picked her panties up off the floor, used them to wipe the bloody urine off his stomach. She shoved the panties into his mouth, stuffing them all the way in.
He threw up instantly, but his mouth was filled and there was no place for the vomit to go and it backed up in his throat. He tried to cough, tried to breath, tried to suck in air, but his air passage was blocked, and he knew that instant that he was going to die.
She squeezed his testicles tightly, dug in with her fingernails.
He felt his left testicle pop.
"Fun time's just starting," she said.
If he could have, he would have screamed.
 This passage comes before the 100 page mark in the book. There are a 415 pages. This book, like many things Bentley Little, is not exactly for the weak.

The passage above also sets the bar for the general atmosphere of the book. So many things just end up getting worse and worse as it progresses that you can't help but expect with each page, something more violent or perverse is waiting to shock you.

Have fun, readers.




Special Effects

Overall Rating: Going For The Jugular

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