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Partial List of People to Bleach

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  358 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
A stunning collection of new and rare stories by Gary Lutz, the celebrated author of Stories in the Worst Way and I Looked Alive.
Paperback, 56 pages
Published 2007 by Future Tense Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 931)
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Eugene
Jan 08, 2008 Eugene rated it it was amazing
unlike the poetry-prose amalgams of someone like renee gladman, who is arguably equally as painstaking with her sentences, lutz writes a kind of extreme non-poetic prose. while gladman can approach the sentence with habits associated with contemporary poetry--e.g. ashbery-like slippages between clauses, shifting subjectivity, broken signifiers--a lutz sentence is extremely parseable. and unlike a prose-writer like diane williams (whose stories are also made up of, at least grammatically, general ...more
Gabriel
Apr 30, 2008 Gabriel rated it really liked it
Lutz occasionally (as in a few of the stories here) makes you uncertain whether you have just read the most banal summation of a life, an inexact eulogy, or if you have simply missed what was being said. This collection is uneven, but its high points ("Pulls," "Tic Douloureux") are very high, and even its lowest points are more interesting than most stories out there. The language is not meant to be deciphered, but to be experienced. Lutz engages in a new kind of linguistic play, one in which ev ...more
Brent Legault
Mar 09, 2008 Brent Legault rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: cultists, lazy librarians
This book has stung me. This book is a scorpian in the shoe, a wasp in the potato salad. It is always that way with Lutz and me. With Lutz's words, I mean. (I've never met him but I'm certain I'd be saddened that his physique wouldn't match the iron tendons and kevlar flesh of his sentences.) I sound as if I'm his kin -- an ovine cousin or a trembling aunt -- what with my gush. But his work works me over. I am swelling. I am overripe. I'll need plenty of bed rest after this.
Michael Seidlinger
There is that part of a sentence right after the verb but long enough before its objective end where people like me reside, whispering each syllable, searching for the exact measure of cadence we're looking for, and it is there that we can hold on, a better place to end the night given what waits for us tomorrow. We know what to expect. After the period at the end of the sentence waits the rest of that dreary paragraph.

Then the paragraph is done; we look down and see that another paragraph beck
...more
Alan
Jul 25, 2014 Alan rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
bloody hell. This is an education, reading this, haven't finished yet, taking it slowly, sentence by sentence. And having to go back and re-read each. It's like hanging upside down sometimes. There's something heartless and odd here. I do like it though.

It’s just that I tend to get all devotionate when I sense sore spots and unaired ires in any shrewd mess densening suddenly in my ken.
A Tuesday, for undiscouraged instance: a vexable, vapory girl.


The man is obsessed with arms, pubic hair, snot
...more
Derek
Oct 15, 2007 Derek rated it really liked it
A Partial List of People to Bleach sunk it's teeth in and wouldn't let me do anything else. It wouldn't let me sit either, so I had to lay down on the couch. Eventually I ended up puddled on the floor, as I was overcome with vertigo, which I've never experienced before, especially whilst laying down, except maybe when reading Lutz' earlier books. I've always wondered where such euphemisms like "floored by," come from. Now I know.

These stories in particular deal prominently with beings that are o
...more
Jessica
Oct 06, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Lutz uses the most peculiar vocabulary, he is like an inventor of language. By the third or fourth page I was like, "Shit, I'm gonna need a dictionary". What an interesting array of stories using virtually no gender or age which is sort of hard to pull off, but he does it, making you say things aloud to yourself about dictionaries and whether or not you actually understand. You can't devour his words whole, you have to chew and swallow them slowly, letting every meaning soak in your bloodstream ...more
Kevin
So excited to be reissuing this collection with five new stories and the classic essay, The Sentence Is a Lonely Place. We just got our first copies and it's stunningly beautiful. More proof that Lutz is unlike any other writer and that his empathy for the dark emotional side of his characters is a wonder to behold.
Jonathan
Jan 02, 2015 Jonathan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought "Lord help me if I ever come to enjoy a book like this.." Or maybe that is the authors intention? Maybe I am a square. I am happy to be a square. This small book (and I do not mean that in the physical sense) is vulgr, a canker, and dreadfully dirtily boring.
Janaka
Jun 20, 2014 Janaka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read Lutz a number of years ago when a fiction-writing friend of mine shoved it into my hands and said, "Read this. It's prose for poets." Years later I remember being totally transfixed by that book (I LOOKED ALIVE), and reading PARTIAL LIST OF PEOPLE TO BLEACH I have no idea why it's taken me so long to return to him. But I think we find the books we're ready for, and maybe I was just finally ready for this book.

I say this book is amazing with the caveat that I read prose for the sente
...more
Robert Beveridge
Dec 10, 2009 Robert Beveridge rated it really liked it
Gary Lutz, Partial List of People to Bleach (Future Tense, 2007)

I picked up Lutz's chap Partial List of People to Bleach at, seemingly, exactly the right time; Stories in the Worst Way, his first collection (from all the way back in 1996), just got itself a paperback release from Calamari Press and has been getting mentions in every rag around the globe, it seems. People are rediscovering Gary Lutz, and paging through this slim volume, it's obvious why.

“Another night of roundabout apologizing, a
...more
Colin Moon
Jul 27, 2010 Colin Moon rated it it was amazing
Honest to God, this guy is making the rest of us look like tools; this is one of the most incredible things I've ever read, and I'm sad I can't write anything like him. The best six bucks I've ever spent, and I need to read everything he's ever written; the lyrical nature of his prose, the acrobatic turns of phrase, the strange honesty.
Joshua
Sep 01, 2011 Joshua rated it it was amazing
Anybody who considers him/herself a writer, stand back and gasp at Lutz's sentences. They are nimble and unpredictable and contain an immense amount of emotion. He's one of the best...
H Anthony
Jan 12, 2016 H Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of amazing, but also kind of too much of a good thing. I loved it, but it exhausted me. Might be a while before I delve into his other stuff.
Christy Stewart
Am I the only one who thought this was subpar?
Kevin
Some of the most startling and wonderful sentences I've ever read. A random sampling: "Men of my kind kept cramming themselves into marriages, violated hindquarters and all." "One evening, I caught sight of a man who had assumed himself anew in my slacks, my shirt, my jacket and shoes." "Aisler had spousy eyes, and arms exemplary in their plunges, and she brought her bares knees together until they were buttocky and practical." Lutz never seems at a loss for an inventive way to describe somethin ...more
Steve
Jul 03, 2007 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: stories
This review was written in 2007 for the now defunct literary journal Small Spiral Notebook. I think it was the first time I tried to review a more experimental book of fiction.

It’s easy enough to categorize Gary Lutz with that faint bit of praise “a writers’ writer,” but doing so takes the easy way out of engaging his unique, complex stories. And the easy route is something Lutz doesn’t allow himself, his fiction, or the language he uses. His work displays a rare unity in which each word and sen
...more
Brian
Mar 22, 2015 Brian marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
It seemed like I was seeing this book recommended to me all over the place. I was guaranteed to like it based on a slew of other books read.
These sentences just slid over me like so much scum. I couldn't grasp onto them. I wanted to be transported. I wanted to be told stories or something. But all I got were words and phrases.
Craig
Aug 01, 2014 Craig rated it really liked it
This was a good book to fold up in the back pocket of my jeans and read between sets at one of those Casbah gigs I don't even try to talk others into attending.
Jeffrey
Aug 18, 2015 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
"Let me remember him, at least, for being the one to teach me that there was only one polite way left to say "yes," and that was "I'm afraid so."
Carmen Lau
Apr 12, 2015 Carmen Lau rated it really liked it
Strange, poetically lucid fictions about solitude in spite of family and marriage. Another reader/reviewer on here described it as "odd" and "heartless," and to a large extent I agree, though I'd say it's more "heart-dulled," as in the voice is from someone who's been through the wringer of life and just can't squeeze out another drop of emotion and caring. There is something mechanical and subtly jarring about Lutz's style, and the effect is to make alien the familiar. It's a bit like listening ...more
Brooks
Jun 24, 2014 Brooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"A family? That was where you got crooked out of childhood."
monica
Dec 15, 2008 monica rated it really liked it
I reread this recently and I'm knocking it down a star because I had a discussion, via text message (?!), about this pretty, little thing. This discussion illustrated exactly why I felt extra-disjointed at this second go--it's just too much effort. What ease existed in Stories in the Worst Way, if you can call it ease, is lacking here. Reading it to be floored by sentences is one thing but what else, what else? Like looking at the proof of an exercise one must go through to figure things out. Or ...more
Blogbaas Van 'tVliegend Eiland
Mar 30, 2014 Blogbaas Van 'tVliegend Eiland rated it really liked it
6,5/10
Tom Buchanan
I dunno. There were great bits in here, but eventually I found that the whole "cult of the sentence" thing kind makes Lutz something like a short fiction Henny Youngman. And the essay at the end is very very, silly. This book does have a phenomenal title though.
Marc Nash
Mar 03, 2014 Marc Nash rated it really liked it
Not as good as his earlier outing but the edition I had has a wonderful essay on constructing percussive sentences which earned it the fourth star.
Tessara Dudley
I can't honestly say I particularly enjoyed this book; though some of the language was lovely, it took far too long to get into, and had trouble keeping my attention. I may reconsider upon a re-reading, or perhaps, as I found with another reluctant read, the quality improves when read aloud, but at present, the most enjoyable part of the book was the essay that closed it.
Candace
Dec 27, 2011 Candace rated it it was ok
I searched high and low for this book and was so anxious to read it. It was somewhat of a let down. Gary Lutz does write amazing sentences. However, his stories are so slow that I felt no real connection to the characters or anything that was going on. Pulls stood out to me as the most emotional story. I'd like to read a few of his other books...
Dennis James Sweeney
This book came highly recommended and I see why people are interested in what he's doing. The density of the language just seemed a little affected to me, not really in service of much but itself. I hate to give it a tough rating, but it was really difficult for me to even finish the book.
J.A.
Nov 06, 2013 J.A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Sentence Is a Lonely Place" will stay with me for a long, long time. I've already found myself, only days later, playing with its measures inside stories I'm reading, mulling its message as I draft. This essay may single-handedly overturn the compost of my future writing.
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Gary Lutz is an American writer of both poetry and fiction. His work has appeared in Sleepingfish, NOON, The Quarterly, Conjunctions, Unsaid, Fence, StoryQuarterly, The Believer, Cimarron Review, 3rd Bed, Slate Magazine, New York Tyrant, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, The Apocalypse Reader (Thunder's Mouth Press), PP/FF: An Anthology (Starcherone Books), The Random House Treasury o ...more
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