Don’t Kiss Me

Lindsay Hunter. FSG Originals , $14 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-374-53385-4
The characters in this blazing, lurid collection of flash fiction are grotesqueries: beady-eyed and globular, Cheetos dust on their fingers, hearts either numb or mean. Many of them speak in a similar voice: flat, uneducated, talking in a breathless run-on about the stomach-turning, the tragic, the objectionable—without seeming very impressed by any of it. These pieces offer a brief, searing glimpse into a series of marginal, odd lives: a woman inexplicably in love with a snot-nosed nine-year-old (“My Boyfriend Del”); another who becomes a cat-hoarder after a romantic disappointment (“You and Your Cats”); a dystopian RV cult (“RV People”); a postapocalyptic family (“After”). These vignettes are wholly original and strange, though their number (over 20) makes them blend together in a blur of dysfunction and gross-out detail. There are standouts, though, like “Brenda’s Kid,” whose eponymous mother tries not to hate her worthless son; “A Girl,” offering a teenage boy’s jaded perspective on his missing classmate; and the family of “Like,” seen from each of their perspectives at a passive-aggressive picnic. Overall these stories land with a wet slap—messy and confrontational. They demand your horrified attention, and they reward it with exaggerated and irresistible humanity. Agent: Jim Rutman, Sterling Lord Literistic. (July 2)
Reviewed on: 05/13/2013
Release date: 07/02/2013
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-374-71011-8
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