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August 15, 2014

Book Notes - Laura Ellen Joyce "The Luminol Reels"

The Luminol Reels

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

With short chapters that acutely leverage the power of flash fiction and prose poetry, Laura Ellen Joyce's novella The Luminol Reels is one of the year's most powerful books, one that imprints itself on your consciousness.

Brian Evenson wrote of the book:

"A fierce and deadly little fantasia that bites its way deep into your brain."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Laura Ellen Joyce's Book Notes music playlist for her novella The Luminol Reels:


Sonny Sharrock: "Portrait of Linda in Three Colors, All Black

If breathing ceases or aneurysm bursts, add filters to the screaming—beige, mustard, or celeriac tones can be used on the synesthesiac.

Fuck Buttons: "Brainfreeze"

Bad moon songs rise all night and you will burst grand mal through the sparkle, flat-lining before dawn.

Wolf Eyes: "Cellar"

There is a suitcase beside the bed, limbs neatly packed inside. A red rope hangs above you, made of fingernails and hair, the knife swinging close. Your thorax is closed, puckered with scars from your blood weddings.

Runhild Gammelsæter: "Collapse - Lifting the Veil"

Her fall is heavily accented with extra-diegetic sounds: a breach birth, a violin concerto written by a fascist, mouth fucking and dilated pupils are recorded in layers.

Sunn 0))): "DECAY2 [NIHILS' MAW]"

The effect is of a hostile sun; a bloody light looms from inside.

Demdike Stare: "Forest of Evil"

The last scene is cut, the girl is pulled down from the piñon tree, her silver shoes falling through the air.

Broadcast: "Found Scalded, Found Drowned"

His eyes were blue from the acid. It scalded the jelly down to nothing, exposed the now faulty veins and nerves.

Tanya Tagaq: "Hunger"

You slash her open and taste her. When she is in pieces, you hang her to cure. When she is nothing but bone and pearl, you set her on flat paddles in the oven. The parcels of smoked meat are the best you’ve ever tasted.

Lou Reed: "Metal Machine Music, Part II"

This reel is a compilation of all the gassings. The oven is wiped clean, silver. Stop motion poisons leak from it.

Basic House: "Nurse"

This can be applied to imprisoned, hospitalized, or housebound women. This reel is on a soft loop—each time it will fade until coma is achieved.

Bikini Kill: "Sugar"

As she put her tiny hand in his, red diesel stained his palm. He brought her a candy floss, it frothed around her face, sugar crystals caught between milk teeth as he put his hands around her neck.

Carla Bozulich: "Pissing"

He will want you to stop. His legs shake when he smells you coming close. His sweat smells of vinegar. You will let him be daddy, guiding him gently at first, then, whoring him down in your black furze.

Hole: "Pretty On The Inside"

We went to the swimming hole. We made a daisy chain that stretched around the body of the blue virgin three times. We machined the flowers into a holy reel.

PJ Harvey: "Rid of Me" (4-Track Demo Version)

When he comes to meet you, he crawls through the tunnel, his knees smeared with fishguts.

My Bloody Valentine: "Soft As Snow (But Warm Inside)"

Your dresses will breathe into your ears, their wrinkles hushed like velvet.

Pharmakon: "Sour Sap" (Bonus Track)

Now she is trapped in glass and dances in the projector. There is a shrine for her in the virgin’s grotto. Pinecones spray-painted silver are left beside it to make the nights festive.

Diamanda Galas: "The Litanies of Satan"

The bloody transparencies they pull from their abdomens will cushion her great fall, her shattering delayed.

Oxbow: "The Stabbing Hand" (Feat. Kathy Acker)

If you experiment sexually with knife play, be careful to use rubbing alcohol on the wounds to prevent interstitial pregnancies.


Laura Ellen Joyce and The Luminol Reels links:

video trailer for the book
excerpt from the book
excerpt from the book
excerpt from the book
excerpt from the book

VICE review

Collagist interview in excerpts with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists


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