Down On Your Knees, Slave

Submitting to the sadistic novels of Bruce Wagner

But the spiritual texts Wagner stitches into his seamy books--Jewish in Force Majeure, New Age-y in I'm Losing You, and Buddhist in Still Holding--are pretty, purple-prose jokes. There is no fount of compassion, no white light emerging from the top chakra in Wagner's L.A., only bodies grieving, diseased, and dead. Maybe if Wagner turned his sensibility to new subject matter, his punitive style would have some real force. But, like most of my friends, I don't think I will pick up another Wagner novel. His mausoleum has grown too starved for daylight.

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