The name of this book drew me in immediately. Anyone who loves words like me will automatically know what the title of this book means: Arachnophile.
If not, it’s easy to dig in. Ever heard of arachnophobia? That’s fear of spiders. What about a bibliophile? That’s a book lover. Put those two together, and you get arachnophile, a lover of spiders.
But this is a bizarro book, which means there’s more to the name than meets the eye.
Hatred and desire collide when the girl next door is a giant spider.
Alex’s arachnophobia may be old fashioned, but he’s able to live a life of relative peace despite it. That all changes when a spider moves in next door. His girlfriend is sick of his attitude and begs him to give the new neighbor a chance. He overcomes his fear, but finds a twisted sexuality in its place. His attraction to the spider affects all areas of his life, and changes everything he thought he knew.
This book is NOT for the faint of heart.
As soon as I read the description of this book, I wanted to know more. This is just the kind of strange story I love to gobble up, because it’s so different from most things I see being published.
I mean, what’s more genius than a phobia turning into sexual attraction? And what kind of world does Alex live in that his next door neighbor is a giant spider?
Alex wasn’t a likable character, but he was one I understood. Being from a small town in the American South, I know so-called phobias. I know homophobia, xenophobia, and pure, unadulterated bigotry. So I saw who Alex was: small-minded, confused, and afraid of things he didn’t understand. He wasn’t necessarily a terrible guy, but one who simply couldn’t understand sharing the world with creatures he deemed inferior to him.
Why? They grossed him out.
His girlfriend, on the other hand, was a nag and kind of a bore. She wanted him to accept the spiders as equals, but… not really. You see it in the way she talks about the laws regarding spider webbing. She’s kind of like the white people who were tolerant of integration, but still didn’t see why using the N-word was inappropriate. Still small-minded, just in a different way.
The spider was my favorite character, though she never was named. She has a depth of personality you wouldn’t expect from a character who never speaks. I rooted for her much more than I did for the humans, and I think that was part of Rocksteady’s plan for the book.
I give this amazingly bizarro book four of five stars for being different and highly entertaining. It could have used a little better editing, but the story was more than sound. I recommend it to anyone who loves a good bizarro tale or a love that crosses all boundaries.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.