Tieryas Reviews One by Blake Butler, Vanessa Place, and Christopher Higgs at Necessary Fiction

This has to have been one of the most difficult book reviews I’ve written. One by Blake Butler and Vanessa Place, then edited by Christopher Higgs, is one of the most challenging books I’ve ever read and a lot of it is because it’s so experimental and pushes the boundaries of what fiction is. How do you write a review about a book that provokes a very subjective response to it? It’s not something that can be easily categorized or placed within the confines of literary genres. Fortunately, Editor Michelle-Bailat Jones was fantastic to work with and this review is up at Necessary Fiction. A brief section from the review is below:

The thematic movements are directional arrows in a prose hurricane exploding with poetic violence. Nothing is sacred, sentences melt, words rebel against the page, and the narration is tumultuous. Words rhyme, then ring in dissonance, there’s two pages of laughter (literally ah ah ah ah ah ah for two pages), there’s a double, there’s blood, there’s shit and a protein tower “throttling the sky.” I found myself wondering how Higgs assembled the two disparate pieces into one, creating a completely different form in the process. Did the segmentation and the ensuing fusion reflect the original intent of Butler and Place, or was this a completely new construction, judgment in the form of selection? It’s hard to pinpoint in a review when every section defies categorization and causality is cast aside like a superfluous codex




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