Burnt Tongues: An Anthology of Transgressive Stories

Edited by Chuck Palahniuk, Richard Thomas, and Dennis Widmyer . Medallion, $14.95 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-60542-734-8
Twenty fictional vivisections shock, disgust, and unsettle in this hallucinatory anthology. The devastation of malicious gossip inspires attempted suicides and helplessness in Neil Krolicki's "Live This Down," featuring a miscarriage at a pool party. After a shower, readers will be thrown off balance by the paradoxical culpability and hope of an animal abuser's redemption in Chris Lewis Carter's "Charlie." Matt Egan's "A Vodka Kind of Girl" and Tony Liebhard's "Mating Calls" face the pain of relationships, while Jason M. Fylan's "Engines, O-Rings, and Astronauts" blurring lines between victim and victimizer amid the terror of school shootings. And flickering pumpkins leer at human frailty and (again) suicidal tendencies on Halloween in Terence James Eeles's "Lemming". Attacking morality, formula, and "political correctness," these acts of literary terrorism provoke, belittle, challenge, and confound, satisfying Palahniuk's demand for "[discovering] a way of saying something, but saying it wrong." Irritating and uncompromising, they force readers to "read close, maybe read twice," as they slaughter sacred cows left and right. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/2014
Release date: 08/01/2014
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-60542-573-3
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