Review: The Bedwetter – Journal of a Budding Psychopath by Lee Allen Howard

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★½

Three First Names | 2019

Opening Hook: Electric piss fantasy.

Main Character: What in the actual fuck?

Plot Twisty-ness: Twisted, not twisty.


This book is homophobic, misogynistic and gross-out horror for the sake of shocking the reader and has zero literary value. Straight up. It’s garbage for the people who like garbage. So if you do, then please, jump onto the pee-soaked bed! It’s waiting for you!

Me, I’m using the rubber cover. I’m not prudish or easily offended or sensitive by any means, and I usually have no issue with a book that includes offensive themes with purpose… but this book has no purpose.

I am struggling to find the point to any of the fucked up things I just read. It feels like it exists only to have put demented thoughts onto paper. It exists just to be awful. There is no reason or moral or satisfaction to the ending. And I guess that’s just not my thing at all when it comes to stories. No judgement if it’s yours, but I can’t do it.

hate wendy GIF by Channel 7

The gist is this: Russell Pisarek (I mean, seriously with that last name,) is a 26-year-old weirdo and former junkie who still pees his bed. He lives with his sister and his young nephew and works at an animal testing lab where he occasionally kills a bunny for the hell of it. His mother is a nightmare and his father has just died, bringing up a lot of unresolved trauma Russell has in his past that basically comes down to “nobody loved me.”

Russell also has a “shave” fetish that increasingly dominates his thoughts. And when the new girl at work, Uma, agrees to go on a date with him, things get pretty crazy pretty quickly.

The idea behind this book is that we’re reading Russell’s journal, directly engaged with his thoughts and recollection of events as he spirals into killing human beings and getting revenge on his mother.

The writing alone was enough to drive me crazy. There was a lot of “LOLz” – really just so many LOLz – and chopped sentences and keyboard smiley faces and odd turns of phrase, like “spuke my guts.” It does not read like the diary of a 26-year-old, but instead something written by an older person trying to appear younger.

30 rock hello GIF

To Catch a Predator this is not. Russell’s tone was overly juvenile in an attempt to cultivate a strong character voice, but this actually created the opposite effect of what was intended – it felt forced and goofy instead of authentic.

What might have helped to make this story more genuine would have been a truer representation of what a psychopath actually is. Russell was completely too emotional in all the ways psychopaths typically are not. Psychopaths don’t feel empathy, remorse, or feelings of right and wrong. They are numb and it’s what allows them to commit heinous crimes without feeling bad about it. Or as a CEO, cut worker wages without a second thought.

Russell seemed to have some remorse (getting sick after a kill,) genuine feelings of love for his nephew, a desire to be more normal, feelings of self-loathing and a longing for a relationship with someone who would accept him in all of his fucked-upness. He had more of the characteristic of a social outcast who would shoot up a school because girls won’t fuck him, as opposed to a calculated, methodical killer. This would be better titled, Journal of a Budding Incel.

The author, in my opinion, also put too much emphasis on Russell’s rampant homophobia, which didn’t really serve the story. Nothing about Russell’s past would point towards hatred of gay people, so it just kind of existed without a tether. Maybe it was to make Russell more unlikable, but considering he was constantly misogynistic, cutting open rabbits and masturbating with his own urine, he didn’t need any help with that.

It’s not as if being homophobic is a typical trait of a psychopath, so really, what was the point besides the author maybe just wanting to say f****t a bunch of times? Again, I’m not being sensitive here, but it just doesn’t work for me. I have no issue with those kinds of traits in characters, or words used, when it serves a larger purpose to the plot, but this didn’t at all.

And the pee. Let’s talk about the pee.

True, a lot of psychos wet the bed late into life, but I don’t remember ever hearing of one that at once both hated himself for it and enjoyed it as part of a sexual fetish. I mean the book opens with Russell fantasizing about using his pee to electrocute his mother through her vag, and it basically gets worse as you go. He masturbates in it, he talks about it constantly, he describes it every time he uses the bathroom and he fantasizes about it… but then he’s also got this shave fetish. It’s just too much.

gross adventure time GIF

There’s also supposed to be some “Piss Fairy” in the book too, but it doesn’t really exist. There’s no mention of it until near the end and even then it’s not really explained what it is or in what capacity it’s influencing Russell.

I don’t know. This book was fucking weird man.

It was like a slasher movie, but without any of the things that make a slasher movie worth watching. No redeemable characters, no moments of levity, no fear from the victims’ perspective and no heroic survivor in the end. It was just all the bloody parts without reprieve, without balance.

All these fucked up and gross things happened. Russell was a disgusting human being. And then it’s just over without any kind of comeuppance or reason for it to have happened.

I guess if you’re into fucked up shit for the sake of fucked up shit then you’d probably like this.

It’s 100% not my thing. I like my dark & twisty with a side of human and victory or proper consequences. And this didn’t give me any of that.

My review reflects purely on the quality of the plot and writing and is not to be taken as some kind of opinion of violence or gore or mature content, because I have no problem with those things typically. It’s just… there’s something not right about this…

🔪🔪🔪


Armed with electric hair trimmers and a military fighting knife, Russell accepts his dark commission.

Russell Pisarek is twenty-six years old and still wets the bed. He grew up different from other young men because his vicious mother punished him for wetting by shaving his head. When he confided this to his girlfriend Tina, she betrayed him, advertising his problem to all their high school classmates, who turned on him mercilessly. He took out his frustration by skinning neighborhood cats.

Now Russell fantasizes about finding just the right woman—so he can shave her bald. He struggles to overcome his dark tendencies, but when his sister discovers he’s wetting again, she kicks him out of her house.

During this time of stress, the mythical Piss Fairy appears in his dreams, and Russell is driven to satisfy his twisted desires with his innocent coworker Uma, who also needs a new roommate.

When his plans go awry, the Piss Fairy commissions him for a much darker task that graduates him from shaving to scalping—and worse.

book source: Kelsey Butts of Book Publicity Services in exchange for a review.

6 thoughts on “Review: The Bedwetter – Journal of a Budding Psychopath by Lee Allen Howard

  1. I was asked to review this & I’m kind of glad I passed on it :(((( A lot of this sounds like a mess & I can never deal with the excessive use of homophobic slurs.

    ALSO, HI, your honesty makes me the happiest person alive.

    Like

  2. Oh wow. This sounds so ridiculously gross. I’m genuinely shocked and surprised that you were able to get through this because it sounds nasty, repulsive, not even okay in a dark and twisted way, and exactly everything you’ve called it above. And that cover creeped me out too 😂 This is definitely a pass for me. Your review though is epic!

    I hope your next read is much better 💚

    Liked by 1 person

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