High school reunions can be hell. But when you throw in racial and sexual tensions, extramarital affairs, and cannibalistic, undead vegetarians, it's hell times infinity.
Brash, clever, and monstrously funny, Venous Hum charts the lives of Lai Fun Kugelheim and Stefanja Dumanowski, best friends who, upon hearing the news of an old high school acquaintance's death, are gripped by an insatiable nostalgia and organize a twenty-year reunion. What initially seemed like a simple task becomes increasingly complicated for Lai Fun, but the past is nothing compared to her messy present: her marriage to a successful businesswoman is crumbling, she's having an affair with a man (who happens to be Stefanja's husband), and her oddly supernatural mother?an immigrant vegetarian with an unusual appetite?only wants her daughter to be happy. But in the wake of such chaos, the only constant is the hum of the blood coursing through her veins.
A satire on race, gender, sexual preference, and vegetarianism, this is a magic-realist novel that will throw your assumptions of the world and the people who inhabit it out the window. It's the exclamation mark at the end of the sentence that announces the end of CanLit as we know it, and the beginning of something entirely new.
Suzette Mayr's third novel, Venous Hum (Arsenal Press) ratchets up the already nailbiting drama of a high-school reunion with racial and sexual tensions, extramatrial affairs, and cannibalistic, undead vegetarians.
Venous Hum, an almost unpronouncable title by Suzette Mayr, is an exciting experience from beginning to end. One of the funniest, most entertaining works of fiction on the 2004 list, this is a bold and often outrageous work about girls going wild.
?University of Toronto Quarterly
Mayr sutures the plot veolicty of a genre book together with literary language and politics, creating a Frankenstein's monster of a novel, one with more elegance and brains than you'd expect.
And if you're tired of the same old, same old, and looking for a novel that takes on vegetarianism, race and gender issues and the dreaded high school reunion with a bit of supernatural tossed in, then Venous Hum by Suzette Mayr is definitely the book-of-the-month for you. Mayr's contempoary referneces are acute, her characters lifelike and their personal dramas fiercely comical.
...Venous Hum never fails to impress. Brash, macabre and irreverent, it's the kind of story you want to hear from a later day Scherazade: So intoxicating you crave more.
Mayr is half-German, half-Afro-Caribbean, a lesbian, all-Canadian, and a brilliant author.
?The Chronicle Herald
...Suzette Mayr's latest novel weaves an outrageously comical yet surreal tale of broken hearts, burning hearts, and hearts for dinner.
?Quill & Quire
Never fails to impress. Brash, macabre and irreverent. . . .
In Venous Hum, Alberta author Suzette Mayr tuns the horror of high school reunions into genuine comic horror. Mayr is a very funny satirist...
... a funny, insightful, sexy, intelligent horror novel with memorable characters that never takes itself too seriously. And it's written by an Albertan. Now that's spooky.
?Globe and Mail
...Venous Hum rises above the crowd for the potency of the trauma and the sheer mania of the horror.
But Venous Hum is far from hackneyed genre fiction- these are characters I would have happily stayed with for another 1000 pages, the dialogue sparkles like Salinger....