Read Super Flat Times by Matthew Derby Free Online
Book Title: Super Flat Times|
The author of the book: Matthew Derby
ISBN 13: 9780316738576
Edition: Back Bay Books
Date of issue: May 5th 2003
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 25.94 MB
City - Country: No data
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Reader ratings: 4.6
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An excellent, often bordering on five-solid-stars, collection of stories that are unified by a singular dystopian world. This is a world in which all that can go spectacularly wrong in a society has. We peer at it through the oft-demented and bleak perspectives of characters who struggle with situations both specific to this uniquely imagined version of the world and those which rumble with something of the universal: love, loss, family, meaning, and so on.
I rather quickly got a Ben Marcus vibe from the prose and discovered in the final pages that the author studied under him. Some of the style (which I've come to shorthand with the term "physicalist") is extremely reminiscent of the 2002 book (Derby's collection was published in 2003) by Marcus called Notable American Women . Thoughts and feelings and abstractions are rendered visceral, palpable. Objects are conjured with names like 'static bucket,' 'head vest,' 'speech bead,' 'data cauldron,' etc. Commonsense physical logic is often rewired, evoking pleasantly skewed sensations where air is churned, texts are massaged, one is taught how to eat with one's whole body, household objects store audio recordings of the past, clouds are unnaturally dense, memories are found in pockets of air inside concrete, erratic and irrational versions of physical causality are believed in and attempted to be brought to fruition.
Differentiating himself from early Marcus, the author grounds a lot of the disorienting and surrealistic intensity with a baseline of a more recognizable world, whereas sometimes Marcus leaves one adrift for longer stretches.
Matthew Derby has a wild and unhinged imagination intertwined with an incisive and biting style of socio-cultural criticism. I really look forward to seeing more work from him beyond this fine and truly harrowing debut.
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