Tell Me Like You Done Before

Scott Edelman. Lethe, $20 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-59021-544-9
The 16 pieces of metafiction in this enjoyable collection play with different famous writers and their works, reimagining them with a fantastic twist. What if, for example, the migrant farm workers in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men had to cope simultaneously with the Great Depression and an invasion of the walking dead? What if Raymond Carver’s characters had almost unlimited gadgets with which to pursue their neuroses? What if Romeo and Juliet were torn apart by the zombie apocalypse? The answers are sometimes gross and sometimes amusing as the stories force readers to reexamine what they thought they were seeing and realize how flexible an interpretation can be. At his best, Edelman is not just clever but genuinely thought-provoking about how fiction works—and what readers do. One standalone piece, “This Is Where the Title Goes,” is an almost perfect display of creative energy. Thoughtful readers of horror and SF will find Edelman’s ingenious work well worth digging into. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2018
Release date: 12/01/2018
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