Read This!: His Pain

His Pain
By Wrath James White

I shouldn’t like Wrath James White’s work.  I’m not a fan of gore, and nobody writes with more of the red stuff than Wrath.  I’ve never felt my stomach turn as sharply as when I read White’s fiction.  Strangely enough, though, Wrath has become one of my favorite writers.  His characters are some of the most vivid and engaging you’ll find on stands.  His ideas can mesmerize even as they take away any semblance of appetite you might have.  White’s writing is the literary equivalent of a bloodsport.  You know you shouldn’t watch, but it’s far too interesting to ignore.

His Pain is a new novella available from Delirium Books. It tells the story of Jason, a teenager who suffers from a rare nervous system disorder that causes him to perceive every sensation, no matter how benign or pleasant, as pain.  Not just pain, but complete agony.  When a spiritual healer teaches Jason to convert his pain into pleasure, he decides to share his experiences with the world.  This, of course, is when the fun really begins.

The bulk of His Pain is spent getting to know Jason and his well-meaning parents.  In fact, the story belongs to the parents more than it belongs their child.  White really allows us to understand the emotional turmoil of this couple who have to decide whether keeping a child who can only feel pain alive is cruel or kind.  In many ways, their lives have been ruined by their love for this child.  Will their attempts to save their child save themselves?

Much of Wrath’s signature blood and guts is absent from the first three quarters of His Pain, but when it arrives, it arrives with a horrible flourish.  It will take a very strong stomach to stand much of His Pain’s climax, but those who can soldier through will be rewarded with a gripping story.

Recommendation: Strong-to-Very Strong. Read it if you dare.  It’s worth the unsettling scenes.  Pick a copy up at Shocklines.