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Altmann's Tongue by Brian Evenson

Altmann's Tongue (1994)

by Brian Evenson

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A collection of Evenson's early enigmatic, sparse and disturbing short stories plus a novella with an interesting take on the crime genre.

Linked through an exploration of violence, stripped of all moral cues & explanation, these stories confront, disturb and provoke in equal measure. In this, his first book, he successfully experiments with attitudes to violence and morality. It is not a comfortable read but it is powerful. The shorter ones have the most impact but my favourite is the deeply disturbing tale of a twisted father/daughter reunion, compelling even whilst being frustrating. Being his first book it is an uneven collection but nothing is bad, to be honest some are just too odd.

The novella sucessfuly twists the crime genre dealing with the conflicting statements surrounding the murder of a policeman and dragging the protaginst into uncertainty and conspiracy.

This book also has a fascinating afterward as Evenson eloquently describes not only the themes in this novel but also the impact of this book: on himself, his job, his family and his religion (Mormonism). Not only highlighting the issue of freedom of speech, but also how a good person should and can deal with evil.

All in all highly recommended. Since I am not the best reviewer here's a sample tale (not gratuitous but there is a murder) http://www.webdelsol.com/evenson/be-at.htm ( )
  clfisha | Sep 4, 2009 |
Evenson is a former Mormon who got into trouble with his faith when this book was published. To his credit he kept working the same vein with the same style. And that style is, without a doubt for me, the most macabre, cynical, perverse literature. ( )
  EdwardC | Apr 2, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0803267444, Paperback)

Brian Evenson has added an O. Henry Award–winning short story, "Two Brothers," to this controversial book and a new afterword, in which he describes the troubling aftermath of the book's publication in 1994.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:43 -0400)

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