So many characters in this book were totally messed up and/or depraved that it was kind of counterproductive. I mean, I just wasn't very interested or disturbed by any of it—not because I so quickly became inured to it, but more because there was little to contrast it against.
It was kind of like a stroll through a trash heap. Yeah, it's a bit icky, but only enough for me to think, "Why am I subjecting myself to this?" But if I were to sit down to breakfast on some nice white linens only to find maggots in the peaches on my cottage cheese, that would have a better shot at producing a visceral reaction.
I'm just sayin', there are ways to do dark material so it's disturbing and ways so it's titillating (even gleeful), and this was neither. Maybe that was the point: bad behavior is ultimately the most boring thing on earth. Or maybe Arvin was supposed to be the contrast, but he just wasn't central enough to pull it off. I don't know, I just had no measurable response to this book.