Jim's Reviews > Don't Smell the Floss

Don't Smell the Floss by Matty Byloos
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's review
Jan 12, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: small-press, legion-of-vermin
Read in July, 2011

This is one of those books that sat on my shelf for months, but when I picked it up I just devoured it in a few sittings. Byloos's short, smart experimental fictions made my brain light up while reading them but often left me hard-pressed to describe them when I was done. Largely character-driven, unconventionally plotted, and deftly funny, these stories aren't packed with punch lines but the writing is. (That either makes sense to you or it doesn't.)

I have a soft spot for collections that aren't thematically linked and make bold choices with respect to their subject matter, i.e. are all over the map, because they're harder to talk about, difficult to "sell." I highlighted a dozen passages and scribbled random notes that had nothing to do with the stories per se, but they triggered powerful memories. These stories highjacked my imagination and took it for a joyride.

I'm not going to summarize the stories because in Byloos's case it would be an exercise in reduction and not really illuminate anything particular about the book. (Also, I suspect, it makes it sound a little McSweeney's-esque: zany stories full of humor and heart. Blech.) Byloos is a higher order of stylist. Reading "Don't Smell the Floss" is like flying a kite that has left the atmosphere, you can tug on the string but you're never really sure if its having an effect on the kite, drifting into a place between spheres.


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Reading Progress

07/21/2011 page 62
32.0% "Comparison of a bukkake session to throwing rice at newlyweds is hilariously brilliant."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Beverly (new)

Beverly again, I think I love your reviews more than I'll likely love the books. heh.

message 2: by Jim (last edited Aug 01, 2011 10:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Give it a shot! (Thanks, Beverly)

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