Herzog's 'Body Parts'

By ILENE ROIZMAN  
The East Hampton Star


With each of the 14 stories focusing on a particular part of the human body, Arthur Herzog's "Body Parts" is an unusual collection described by the author as "somewhere between science fiction and horror." The manuscript has not yet been published in book form; at present, it is available as an e-book to download at www.arthurherzog.com. Mr. Herzog who lives in Wainscott, is the author of many works, both fiction and nonfiction. Among the most notable are “Swarm” and “Orca,” both made into feature films and “ IQ83,” which was purchased by Dreamworks S.K.G., and for which a script is “almost ready,” Mr. Herzog said. And in between writing novels, he "filled up the spaces” with the stories that make up “Body Parts.”

As arranged, the stories work their way down from the head to the feet and include somewhat macabre looks at several organs and systems along the way. A couple, reminiscent of Gogol’s "The Nose,” feature wholly independent parts severed from their owners. In “Loose Tongue,” a tongue dubbed Tip eats blood and licks its caretaker affectionately. In another story, a man’ s sexual organ detaches itself and hops away, much to its owner’s chagrin.

“Feet,” and to a lesser extent “Groins,” explores what could happen if the line between reality and computer games were erased. The protagonist in “Feet” finds herself within the digital world of her son’s game, where she must find her way through all the traps to the dark leader of the realm and defeat him to win her freedom.

The idea-generating process is a bit of a mystery for Mr. Herzog, who said, ” I try to open up my mind” and the ideas just come. He explained that when he was a eenager, he took an aptitude test. “They told me I’d topped the scale on ‘ideaphoria,” he said.

When he asked what he should do with his life, the testers told him, “Only one thing: advertising.” That didn’t appeal to him. “I thought I could become a writer, so I became one,” he said.

Sales of the e-book, at $5 apiece, have been a bit slow, but “one guy wants to write a movie about some of them,” he said. In addition to these 14, Mr. Herzog said he has, so far, four more stories to add to this collection. With so many more Body parts yet to be dissected by Mr. Herzog’ s imagination, he’s almost guaranteed to never run out of material.


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