I recently reviewed Blake Butler’s Sky Saw for The Collagist. A sample from the review is as follows:
Understand what you choose to understand but what Butler suggests is more important than what he’s trying to say: Plenty of books will outlive us; plenty of books already have. Books upon books conceal the personalities of the people that wrote them. These books become dangerous, spouting apocalyptic disgust and the acrid stench of death. Butler reveals the hidden depths of Sky Saw’s personality and makes it part of the book’s cadence. We see the book as entity, the dominant force in a world of people known less by name and more by number (e.g., Person 1180, 811, 2030).
For the full review, click here.
Or you could go ahead and buy the book.
I reviewed David S Atkinson’s debut short story collection, Bones Buried in the Dirt, over at InDigest Magazine. There aren’t very many books that set out to authentically capture the voice of a young narrator and far less that manage to succeed. Atkinson has achieved this and more. Here is an excerpt from the review:
I am baffled by what Atkinson has achieved with these stories. Most authors, upon treading into uncharted territory, will write from a 3rd person perspective. Not David. He has not only attempted to capture a voice befitting of the age but also managed to make it entirely his own. His sentences are pure and candid. And yet, I keep returning to the title and what David is trying to tell us. Perhaps he is telling us about how we treat our memories; perhaps he is showing us how we are quick to devalue memory. Ultimately, I ask myself the question, what do we bury in the dirt, the clutter of our adult lives but the memories of childhood?
Click here for the full review.
Click here to buy the book.
And what a review, damn. Here’s an excerpt from the review:
Some people raise cats and dogs. Claire, the protagonist of Michael Seidlinger’s My Pet Serial Killer, raises serial killers. Caged within the pages of the book is the ‘Gentlemen Killer,’ his gallery of helpless women, and a whole panoply of cultural idiosyncrasies that seem strangely alien when viewed through the cool detachment of Claire. Claire is an experienced collector who dissects social rituals with the vivifying apathy of a biologist. I’ve read a lot of serial killer books in the past two years, most trying to differentiate themselves by latching onto a more unusual gimmick. My Pet Serial Killer distinguishes itself with a unique foray into the world of mass murderers that’s best encapsulated by Claire’s proposition to the Gentlemen Killer: “I support you financially. I give you a place to hide. I make sure you are never under suspicion of being what you really are, a cold-blooded psychotic killer (so hot), and, in return, you clue me into your process. You become mine.”
For the full review, click here.
For the book, you know what to do.
And for Peter’s blog, clickety click.
Oh and here’s a random photo of a serial killer doing what serial killers do:
No, I take it back. Dexter is some kind of bullshit but it’s definitely not what serial killers do. I thought about putting up real photos of serial killer victims but, at the last minute, thought against it. Not everyone skimming this post will take kindly to some of those photos. Some of you might even like Dexter (really? What about it do you like? Do you think it’s “clever?”).
Anyway, yeah, it’s a great review. Thanks Peter for reading and really cutting into the corpse of the novel.