Jazz's Reviews > The Flame Alphabet

The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 06, 2012

did not like it
Read in March, 2012 , read count: 1

Flame Alphabet has all the elements it needs to be a thrilling narrative that could go in new and exciting directions. Instead, it never really goes anywhere except in a circle. This book suffers from a confused narrator with delusions that everything will be okay once his family is back together.

The big let down of this book is it doesn't deliver on its promises. The exciting premise of Flame Alphabet is that the voices of children act as toxin to adults. Not long into the story we find out the toxin is only coming from Jewish children. BUT THEN. The voices of adults are infecting adults, and not only Jewish people are the carriers of the toxin. But maybe folklore will cure everyone? They need to find a new way to communicate, a new form of language but...(yeah, all of the plot points fade away like that). Ben Marcus starts a lot of paths he never has his characters follow.

What grates me the most is Marcus' audacity to name a character Esther only to have her mope around, infect her parents by speaking to them, and do nothing to forward the plot. The only people who move the plot forward are two incredibly boring men. Sam, the narrator, seems to be sleepwalking through his life and never makes the right decisions because he is too busy thinking bad things can't happen to him. Even when he finally gets a clue as to how he has been manipulated, his long-winded narrative never results in any changes (except one big one that benefits him and only him).

I hoped The Flame Alphabet would be a profound comment on communication and religion, but it turned out to be unrefined.
9 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Flame Alphabet.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

10/17/2016 marked as: read

No comments have been added yet.