Picture that trite analogy of a car wreck from which you can’t look away. Okay, now amplify it and evolve it into a delightfully visceral set of absurdist tales. Tales that are somehow just as hilarious as they are morbid. Have you combined all of that yet? Good. You now have this month’s pairing.

Amelia Gray’s short story collection Gutshot is stamped with the author’s typical level of expertise in the bizarre. Just like when people throw extreme statements in the middle of their monologues to ensure everyone’s still paying attention, Gray drops playful lines throughout her prose. It’s just when she does it, hers are a little more cohesive. “Fifty Ways to Eat Your Lover” is just one exemplary story in this gem of a collection.

Richard Linklater’s movie/partial documentary Bernie is based on a true story of a funeral director’s alleged gold-digging, homicidal tendencies. Linklater incorporates interviews with real residents of the small Texas town where the incident occurred, seamlessly blending reality with fiction.

Both collection and movie take on ambitiously uncharted projects, revealing the bloodthirsty and comedy-hungry cannibals in us all.

Here’s what you can expect with this pairing:

  • A compelling mixture of the ordinary and the mythological, the grotesque and the romantic, the dubious and the delightful
  • Fascinating perversions that are filled with surprising tenderness
  • A storytelling laboratory that celebrates dissection in all its forms
  • The interaction of generosity and consumption
  • Outrageously entertaining plots peppered with intriguing characters that only build your sick fascination
  • Case studies appropriate for your abnormal psychology textbook
  • The simultaneous restoration of faith in human nature and the utter decimation of that faith, showing how they are not mutually exclusive but work together in an irresistibly mangled way

If this pairing had a spirit animal, it would most definitely be a taxidermied bird in full plumage displayed in a grandmother’s wallpapered living room.

Ultimately, the movie and collection reveal something rather wicked about you: you really need to know all of the gory details.