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Book Review: The Lie by Chad Kultgen

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The Lie by Chad Kultgen is a novel told from the first person perspective of the three main characters in alternating chapters. Kyle is “the good kid” – serious about his studies, plans on becoming a doctor, looking for the right woman to settle down with. His best friend, Brett, comes from one of the wealthiest families in Texas.

The two have been friends since childhood, largely because Kyle is the only person Brett has ever met who didn’t care about his money. The total opposite of his friend, Brett is a misogynist of the highest order, with his main goal in life to fuck as many women as possible, in the most degrading ways he can. Heather is a vapid, materialistic sorority girl whose big plans in life include marrying well and never having to work a day in her life.

Kyle meets Heather at the beginning of their freshman year in college. He falls head over heels in love with her; she falls head over heels in love with his friendship with Brett. She starts dating Kyle in the hopes that, after hanging around Brett, she can transition to him and eventually marry him. Along the way, she finds herself falling for Kyle – mainly because he is a good lay. Brett, of course, finds his friend’s blind devotion disgusting. His disgust is well founded when, during a frat party, Brett witness Heather giving a blow job to a random frat guy.

Kyle and Heather break up. Kyle is devastated; Heather moves on to her next potential husband. A Roofie-fueled gang-bang makes Heather see how good she had it with Kyle. Kyle, still desperately in love, breaks up with his better-than-perfect girlfriend to go back to Heather. The two get very serious, and by the end of junior year, Kyle proposes to Heather.

That’s when it all goes to shit. Kyle, unable to scrape up the $10,000 for the ring of Heather’s dreams, buys her an exact duplicate for $90 – made of cubic zirconia. When Heather has the ring appraised with her sorority sisters and discovers the fake, she is livid, and her true materialism is revealed.

The entire book is leading up to the shit-hitting-the-fan-ending that is alluded to throughout. That ending was one of the driving forces for me to zip through the book – and I was not disappointed. It was totally worth it – the kind of thing that is so outlandish it could never really happen, but then you start to realize that there are people out there demented enough to pull some of these stunts.

With his second novel, Kultgen feels like the new Brett Easton Ellis. His writing is snappy, his characters are the kind you love to hate (though Heather’s “like, whatever, you know” Valley Girl speak gets tiresome – way too realistic), and the situations are vile.

Sex is imaginatively graphic, such as Brett making one girl eat peanut butter out of a girl’s vagina, and jelly out of her ass. The situations are twisted, and Kultgen isn’t afraid to take it to the next level – it is not enough that Heather gets date-raped; she is double teamed by her boyfriend and his skeezy best friend).

The Lie is a quick, entertaining, imaginative read, but not for the easily offended, faint of heart, or people terrified by deviant sex.

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