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Red X

Written by: David Demchuk
Narrated by: Salvatore Antonio,David Demchuk
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Publisher's Summary

A hunted community. A haunted author. A horror that spans centuries.

Men are disappearing from Toronto's gay village. They're the marginalized, the vulnerable. One by one, stalked and vanished, they leave behind small circles of baffled, frightened friends. Against the shifting backdrop of homophobia throughout the decades, from the HIV/AIDS crisis and riots against raids to gentrification and police brutality, the survivors face inaction from the law and disinterest from society at large. But as the missing grow in number, those left behind begin to realize that whoever or whatever is taking these men has been doing so for longer than is humanly possible.

Woven into their stories is David Demchuk's own personal history, a life lived in fear and in thrall to horror, a passion that boils over into obsession. As he tries to make sense of the relationship between queerness and horror, what it means for gay men to disappear, and how the isolation of the LGBTQ+ community has left them profoundly exposed to monsters that move easily among them, fact and fiction collide and reality begins to unravel. 

A bold, terrifying new novel from the award-winning author of The Bone Mother.

©2021 David Demchuk (P)2021 Strange Light
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ2S+

What the critics say

“Demchuk’s unconventional approach to storytelling holds readers close, speaking directly to them and sharing in the terror.”
Quill & Quire

“Can a horror novel be too disturbing? David Demchuk’s Red X begs that question, not because of any excess of gore or violence but because of its singular and unflinching dark vision. That’s a good thing — too much contemporary horror fiction plays for easy shocks and even easier sentimental tears, and Demchuk is clearly after something deeper.” 
Toronto Star 

“[Red X is] a book full of heart and righteous fury, an urban nightmare with some retro-horror stylings that sidesteps that genre’s usual pitfalls of splatter and pessimism to deliver a story of emotional heft and guarded optimism. While it’s relentless and can be incredibly disturbing, there are also moments of beauty, hope, and a certain melancholy. It’s a complex, disturbing, challenging, and compulsively readable work that commands your attention, and indeed deserves it.”
Tor Nightfire

Featured Article: 18 Canadian Horror Stories That Will Keep You Up At Night

There is nothing like settling in with a good audiobook on cold and crisp fall evenings. The only thing better is settling in with a great horror story to set the spooky mood! Listening to a horror story is always a thrill, from chilling suspense to spine-tingling mysteries. We’ve curated a list of some of the best Canadian horror stories chosen for their hair-raising execution of the genre and the mesmerizing narrations that turn these horror stories into scarily vivid adventures. Dim the lights, press play, and get swept up in the 18 best Canadian horror audiobooks in our catalogue.

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  • Devan Worsham
  • 2022-05-21

Please, don’t waste your time or credits.

Currently, I have less than two hours left in this story, and the only reason I’m still here is because I’ve spent this much time already. Do yourself a favor and skip this story. This is a jumbled, incoherent mess of a book, so self aggrandizing and shallow, it’s a marvel anyone actually published it.

There are moments where the author speaks, bringing any story momentum to a grinding halt, as he speaks about his upbringing and past, while giving no relevance to the story he has written. The characters are all throwaways, as they’re so underwritten, you don’t care about any of them. What are supposed to be reveals or shocking character moments fall completely flat, because so little time is spent with anyone, you’ll find yourself wondering “who?” more times than you can count.

This is not a good story. It is not a good idea. And this author not a good author. I’ve not read any other works, though a high school creative writing course could craft a more compelling, thoughtful narrative.

And to make it worse, using this as some sort of work for the LGBTQ+ community feels like a slap in the face, and as someone in the community, I am fairly insulted at this. It feels almost pandering, while being fully self serving to the author who has not true voice or endgame in mind.

I’m going to finish this story, and I will not enjoy it. But I’ve wasted a credit, so here we are.

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  • Jason
  • 2021-09-15

Lush Horror Story

This delicious and sinister little novel was a delight. Loved reading about characters with whom I could identify, and was genuinely creeped out at times. I liked the narrator shift although I was skeptical at first. Found myself imagining optioning it for a movie adaptation…