The Captors - John Farris when i first read this book in my early 20s, it was the cover that drew me in and not the name of the author. the cover illustrated just the sort of oh-so-cutting edge scenario that interested me most during that part of my life, and the author was known to me only as a writer of genre horror, and to my snobby postmodern self, genre writers were only to be mocked. how wrong i was! although Captors is far from ground-breaking, it broke the hard crust i had developed in college that had moved me away from the enjoyment of genre fiction. thank you, Captors, for putting me in check. it was a quick spray of Snob-Be-Gone.

it turned out not to be the presumed object of amusement and conversation that i hoped to display ironically on my bookshelf, nor was it to be a frequently re-read bedside stand-by. there are surely no sexy situations to be savored. instead, it is a surprisingly well-written tale of uncomfortable suspense, full of complex and ambiguous characterization, perplexing and upsetting twists and turns, all centering on an at times disturbingly blank victim and her often appalling, often very human captors. it is a thin novel as well, and farris went on to write far more rich and substantial works of horrible wonder. but this book is special to me because of the reminder that genre fiction can be just as artful and just as sophisticated as literary fiction.