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The Deadheart Shelters

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  59 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Never fall in love, and never try to escape.

Born into a life of brutal slavery, Peter spends his days driven into the wild by vicious dog-masters, forced to pick delicate swamp berries from the skeletons of dead reptiles. His nights offer only the brief escape of hushed conversation and the strange magnolia perfume of fellow slave Lilly.

A moment's opportunity turns to viol

Paperback, 144 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Swallowdown Press
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238th out of 252 books — 199 voters

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Garrett Cook
Jun 12, 2011 Garrett Cook rated it it was amazing
Emotional power. Synesthetic word jazz. Weirdness, depth. Forrest Armstrong carves his name into your heart and into underground literature with this book. If you're a writer, this book will make you write the book you dreamt of writing, the book that changes the game. If you didn't have enough reason to do so before reading The Deadheart Shelters, you should afterwards. So beautiful it hurts. So painful it's gorgeous. Forrest Armstrong will be a name to watch out for and an author to admire, fo ...more
Dustin Reade
Jul 16, 2011 Dustin Reade rated it it was amazing
listen. Some books demand to be read. Some books peck at your neck for days, weeks,plopping off the shelf and buzz you while you try to catch up on your Scientific American Subscriptions. THey say "read me! I'm the one with the intriguing cover art! I'm the one with the blurb by the other author you like! Check me out! Don't let the fact that you haven't read the other work by this author deter you any longer! Read me!"
So, you do.
That is to say: I did.
I started reading this book because it wou
Jan 14, 2011 Alex rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Alex by: Garrett Cook
Shelves: weird
Sometimes I have dreams that seem to happen over the course of weeks or years, and the dreams are always beautiful, melancholy, strange and romantic. When I wake up I'm depressed and dazed like a loved one has died. Sometimes I lie in bed for hours wishing I could go back.

Forrest Armstrong has created a book which feels every bit like one of those dreams. This is a dream in book form, only if dreams were formed with perfect understanding of story structure and character development and stuff lik
S.T. Cartledge
Nov 29, 2012 S.T. Cartledge rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bizarro, reviewed
I had heard great things about this book prior to picking it up. I didn’t really know anything about it, but the people I spoke to about it, or the people that were talking about it had nothing but praise for this book. So basically this book is about a slave who escapes and becomes a coal miner. That’s the simple way of putting it. But really, it’s a bizarre smattering of stunning descriptions of a world that is both beautiful and terrifying. This is a story of love and loss, heartbreak and tra ...more
Feb 26, 2014 Hakim rated it really liked it
The Deadheart Shelters is a strange, sad and powerful tale that takes the Bizarro genre to new, glorious heights. Forrest Armstrong truly displays an impressive ability to craft a beautiful and emotionally-charged story with a particularly inspired setting, breathtaking imagery, gorgeous poetic prose and oddly realistic and refreshing characterization.
After what appears to be an eternity of slavery, the protagonist tastes freedom at last. He makes new acquaintances, learns how to be part of a st
Grant Wamack
Mar 17, 2011 Grant Wamack rated it really liked it
The Deadheart Shelters is Forrest Armstrong’s third book, an amazing novella with beautiful prose and breathtaking imagery. It’s about a slave,Clyde, who manages to run away and consequently finds freedom. He meets Dirt, a man born from a tree. Both of them, new to the world, begin to work as coal miners and integrate themselve into a commune of sorts. Eventually, Clyde realizes freedom isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be. Forrest Armstrong paints a beautiful, yet rough world and uncomfortably ...more
Sam McCanna
Totally scared me off at first by the poetic writing style.

I hate poetry.

But you know what? I found that even with a style I normally find pretentious, this work came off as very real, very touching, and quite sad.

Full of real emotion.

Loved it. Caught me completely by surprise.
Robert Beveridge
Mar 21, 2011 Robert Beveridge rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the entire world (except maybe the dogs)
Forrest Armstrong, The Deadheart Shelters (Swallowdown Press, 2010)

If you read book reviews for any length of time, you will come across novels where the language is described as 'poetic'. 99% of the time, said reviewers are talking absolute hogwash; they're using 'poetic' to describe a certain way the author has with descriptive passages rather than pointing at the language and saying 'this is like poetry'. After all, taking poetry and transforming it into prose seems like it would be about as
Aug 13, 2013 kcb rated it really liked it
I picked this one up without knowing much about it, other than I’d heard a few people say it was good. A blurb on the cover says it’s the literary equivalent of an Alejandro Jodorowsky film, and I like Jodorowsky, so this seemed like a promising book. Overall, it is pretty good, though I don’t know that I’d really compare it to Jodorowsky’s work, unless maybe I were contrasting the two.

The Deadheart Shelters is a bit like a fairy tale, in which the protagonist is caught in the conflict between s
Rodney Wilder
Aug 04, 2015 Rodney Wilder rated it did not like it
Too much a litany of freewheeling abstractions, too much oddity with nothing but the desire for oddity to justify it. A narrative so meandering and without motive it almost borders on stream-of-consciousness (albeit one delivered along the bizarro-fallbacks of grotesquery and insanity).

Either too smart or too artless for me.
M.P. Johnson
Jan 11, 2013 M.P. Johnson rated it liked it
Great Story Occasionally Lost In Language

At the heart of The Deadheart Shelters is a story of becoming what you hate. It's a strange journey, complete with little hippos and coal mining. There's substantial brutality along the way, as the main character yearns for an idealized version of the past while stumbling toward an unexpected future. While there is some stunning language, there's also excessive use of similes and metaphors, to the extent that they will occasionally knock you out of the st
David Agranoff
Nov 22, 2011 David Agranoff rated it it was amazing
have actually delayed writing this review twice because I didn't believe I could do this novel justice. If you do the right thing and get this novel you will understand. I found myself, reading sentences and feeling compelled to read them out loud. DHS is a surreal novel filled with poetic prose that is disturbing and beautiful all at once. This story of an escaped slave is like a journey on a spiral staircase into another world, Armstrong creates a surreal landscape that is vivid, and the prose ...more
Lil' Grogan
Jul 05, 2011 Lil' Grogan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: damn, hmmm, fantasy, 5s, bizarro
I fought with this book all the way through. Partially because I spent most of it wondering just how I was supposed to read. The other part was my frustration and recognition of the action/non-action of Pete (the trained silence, the impulse of conformity and individuality).

Found myself reading a sentence, and re-reading it slower...then re-reading it even slower to absorb it. The images hypnotized me. It's one of those books that remind me that reading isn't always passive. So, while the story
J.W. Wargo
Dec 19, 2013 J.W. Wargo rated it it was amazing
Bold visions from the soul of a musician. These here words are music to my eyes. "I hum my mind into a soundproof place, a gun-dark ocean with cardboard skies." is only the beginning. A great example of the side of the mind and mental landscape you'll be journeying through.

What starts out as a simple escape story turns into a reflection on modern life and the trials of beginning fresh with a new life, changed social status and all. I can't decide if I just read an ascension of the heart or a kam
Carlos Lavín
More like 3.5
Tyler Kazokas
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Apr 24, 2016
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Jan 16, 2016
S.M. Welch
S.M. Welch rated it it was amazing
Dec 22, 2015
Steven marked it as to-read
Dec 19, 2015
Justin Day
Justin Day marked it as to-read
Dec 08, 2015
Fernanda rated it really liked it
Dec 24, 2015
Garcy Lo
Garcy Lo marked it as to-read
Nov 14, 2015
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Zack Olson marked it as to-read
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Pawl Schwartz
Pawl Schwartz rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2015
Andy Burkholder
Andy Burkholder marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2015
Christine marked it as to-read
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Ricard Tesla Baron rated it liked it
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