Beautiful Blemish

Kevin Sampsell, Author . Word Riot $9 (96p) ISBN 978-0-9728200-8-0

Sampsell, editor of The Insomniac Reader and publisher of fringe fiction at "micro-press" Future Tense Books, concocts a diverse, convincing world of romantic perversion governed by impulses at turns whimsical, hilarious and cryptic in a slim collection of very short stories ranging from one to 11 pages. In the title story, an elderly couple engages in bizarre sexual congress involving Magic Markers and extreme dirty talk, only to end their romp on a note of piquant tenderness. In "Gloves," a man collects lost gloves from the street and vainly looks for ways to give them away. In "The Plant," a man casually mourns his "inept nurturing" of the plant in his care and his own frustrated self. Sampsell's prose ranges from taut to indifferent, bearing occasional whiffs of Charles Bukowski and Richard Brautigan, as well as Chris Ware and Dan Clowes, and his stories are full of horniness and wonder, morbid speculation and strange coincidence. For readers with tastes that range outside the mainstream, this is a gem of warmhearted idiosyncrasy and oddball observation. (Apr. 30)

Reviewed on: 03/28/2005
Release date: 02/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
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