EL本棚紹介(9)Black Hole, by Charles Burns

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Black Hole takes place in the 1970s United States, where free love and drugs lead to horrific results—like body mutation. Clearly a metaphor for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), characters who have sex with infected people grow extra mouths or tails, or their face and skin simply start rotting off like zombies.

The real strength of this book is what happens to those people. Who can hide their mutation and “pass” as “normal”? Who must flee society and live in the woods with the other mutants? Black Hole may appear to be about STDs, but it is really about stigma, isolation, prejudice, and a whole lot of other things.

Note: Black Hole is one long story broken up into chapters. Some chapters retell the same events from a different character’s point of view, so it can be a little confusing. I recommend just reading the first chapter, which is like a horror short story. Then decide if you want to continue.

My two cents: Sometimes metaphors don’t need to be subtle. Black Hole is really weird, and that’s okay.