The following is from The Province, Friday Apr. 19, 1991: I consider this a good example o

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The following is from The Province, Friday Apr. 19, 1991: I consider this a good example of "reversal," but it is definitely not for the squeamish. Or the anxious. :-) [begin quote] Disgusting stuff but . . . Serial killer hangs her victims out to dry -- literally by Lyn Cockburn Fleecing the Flock, the best-selling British thriller by Gillian La Farge, is unlikely to make it onto Canadian bookshelves--the novel did not make it through customs. "It's censorship pure and simple," said LaFarge in a telephone interview from her home in Wapping Wall, just outside London. Fleecing the Flock, one or two copies of which have been smuggled into Canada, is a spine-tingling gripper that delves into the mind of Sandra Chalmers, a serial killer. Chalmers, mousey librarian by day and chilling psychopath by night, lures men to her bed-sitter with promises of kinky sex. To the crashing sounds of the William Tell Overture, she playfully undresses each victim and ties him to the bed with velvet ribbons. Then she reaches inside her lacy, black see-through bra and takes out a tape measure. It would seem that most of them are found wanting as Chalmers reaches under the bed, grabs an already-bloody meat cleaver and swiftly separates victim after victim from his genitals. And she watches as they die agonizing and bloody deaths. While they expire, their screams drowned out by the music, they get to look on in horror as Chalmers prepares their economy-size members for drying. By Page 52, Chalmers has 148 penises and 295 testicles hanging from a clothesline strung up in her kitchen. In one excessively graphic scene, Chalmers frenziedly hacks and slashes at an American tourist, who has only one testicle. Chalmers doesn't just dismember her victims, she eats them. She is a cannibal. In numerous unappetizing scenes, LaFarge has Chalmers cooking up a sailor stew, a leg of logger, a breast of barrister and rack of bus driver. She also carves up and freezes rump roasts, ribs, tongue ... She makes sweetbreads. The controversy over Fleecing the Flock has kept it on the British best-seller list for 11 weeks, caused endless arguments about freedom of speech, pushed the book into 14 foreign-language translations, got it banned outright in all Muslim countries and made LaFarge the toast of the talk shows. And rich. "It never occurred to me there would be so much fuss," said LaFarge from Wapping Wall, warning this would be a short interview as her bank was about to close. "I intended to make a social comment about how women are beginning to respond to male violence. I'm no misandrist." LaFarge said she's received hundreds of threatening calls from men who scream, "Ball-busting dyke bitch" into the phone and, "You're going to die, you lesbian whore." I personally found the book so disgusting and badly written that I was barely able to finish it. However, I certainly do not think it should be censored, banned or edited. Freedom is speech is not something to be carved up willy nilly. [end quote]


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