Peter Sotos recounts the abduction and murder of 8-year-old Sarah Payne, a crime that stunned England and spawned an aftermath of reactionary outcry and violent protest. Through news bites and tabloid clippings reassembled in reverse chronology, Sotos examines the media apotheosis of Payne’s parents in the wake of her disappearance, scrutinizes the hidden motives of reporters and citizens driven to hysterical excess by grief, vengeance, and opportunism, and illumines the insatiable lusts that govern the actions of sexual predators. Punctuated by philosophical overtures and self-deprecating quips, Comfort and Critique is a brutal meditation on fantasy and desire set against a backdrop of media banter and illicit back room activity in bars and underground sex clubs. Supplemented by over 100 photos, this volume is possibly Sotos’ most revealing and multi-faceted work to date.
Originally released in clothbound limited edition in 2005, this Nine-Banded Books paperback is published by arrangement with Void Books and features a new cover design by Kevin I Slaughter.