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Box Cutters

4.68  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  12 reviews
"The familiar-made-wonderfully-strange image of a ventriloquist’s dummy is just one of the many moments that has stayed with me from Sam Snoek-Brown’s Box Cutters. So too has the image of multicolored bruises, those of the body, ego, and heart. Bruises make us tender, make us hurt. Bruises simultaneously resist and seek out contact, just like the wounded and wandering spir ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published November 12th 2013 by sunnyoutside press
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Average rating 4.68  · 
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Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm amazed how much gets done in such a short space in these pieces. The speed at which the emotional tone is developed, how each single word works towards that, is really something to see. The pieces are haunting, and powerful. This is some absolutely beautiful writing.
Ryan Werner
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's weird reading these stories as a proper book, as many of them were passed back and forth between Sam and I for years before Box Cutters was even an idea. "How Long My Bruises Will Last" is still one of my favorite stories, one that opened my eyes to how an economy of language can work and succeed. In "Dream With Enough Conviction" a woman contemplates her love of the man who killed her husband, and if there's a complaint I have, it's that it's maybe a bit too economical. I feel like some sh ...more
John Williams
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
From within the simple Americana situations of Raymond Carver, Samuel Snoek-Brown is able to combine astute observation, Tom Waits-style lyricism and heartbreak, and a bit of poetry to reveal, in brief, tense bursts, human beings creating and then questioning their own estrangement from each other. He asks in the first of the six flash fiction pieces that compose Box Cutters “how long my bruises will last”. The answer is subtly woven throughout the collection. From a wife who has a mysterious at ...more
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I stole an hour this morning to read it. Warmly pressed between three cats and a dog, I dove in enticed by curiosity yet cautious because you only get one first reading. I wanted this little volume to be special, like a surprise encounter running into you at Badger Brothers.
Where would you take me? With a book like Hagridden under your belt,
what would you show me? Would it haunt me or become a casual fleeting companion for a dull moment in my life. You, my friend did not disappoint. These superb
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have a few metrics by which I think of books: 1) that I wish I'd written it 2) that after finishing it, I immediately want to re-read it. And it's by this 2nd metric that Sam Snoek-Brown's BOX CUTTERS wins the day for me. It's an ultra-short collection of piano-wire-taut very short fiction with moments sharpened down to razor-wire. And be them violent, lonesome, tormented, misguided, haunted, caged, or rejected -- we each become voyeurs in these snap-shot lives, and the surprising nature of th ...more
Nov 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm sitting at O'Hare International, having just finished reading Samuel Snoek-Brown's first short story collection. I've been meaning to do so for some time--the small, hand-bound pages patiently waiting for an attentive reader.

I'd encountered some of these shorts when they first appeared online. There were certain lines that stuck with me from those initial readings. Lines like, "Most people assumed she used the dummy like a weapon, just went batshit and chased them out of her car with that du
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Daaaang Sam Snoek-Brown is good. Real good. His writing is simple and it shines. Even something like "From behind, she was a fox. The heart of her ass rested firm on the barstool, her body thick where it matters. The ventriloquist dummy never turned them off." How great is that. These little stories made me laugh. They're funny and sad and sweet. I really really loved "Distance" but I loved them all. And the chapbook is so pretty. The print, the paper, the cover. Excellent work and my bookshelf ...more
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I did a great job of waiting patiently for this book to arrive in my mailbox. When it did, I was delighted. It is marvelously made. Shipped in a plain brown wrapper (actually something like a CD envelope), it is an appealing and small book. The cover is beautiful, the book is hand-sewn and I just love it. Books that are appealing as objects have a special place in my heart and on my bookshelves.

The stories--ah, the stories. I commend Sam Snoek-Brown for his marvelous, skilled writing. I love sho
Christina Butcher
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely collection of shorts by Snoek-Brown. I really, really enjoyed reading each story and was completely enthralled with one in particular, about a hand puppet and a woman at a bar. The author read the story at a September open-mic event in Tacoma and every one in the room was hooked. I highly recommend this book.
Patte Farkas-braker
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a critic, but I know what I like...."Box Cutters" is terrific! An easy read, with moments to relate to. It made me smile and reminded me of similar past events in my life. He shares some joyous, and not so joyous times in his life. Lots of very short blog-like notations.
Robert Vaughan
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a stunning collection of short fiction from Sam. I am excited to read his full collection of stories when it comes out!
530 Book Club
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written stories. A fast-moving carousel of open windows into the soft spots of its characters lives. The stunning cover also makes a great addition to the bookshelf.
Susan Tepper
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Dec 19, 2013
Samuel Snoek-Brown
Nov 13, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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Samuel Snoek-Brown is the author of the story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them (Blue Cactus Press, 2018) as well as the fiction chapbooks Where There Is Ruin (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016) and Box Cutters (sunnyoutside press, 2013), and the novel Hagridden (Columbus Press, 2014), for which he received a 2013 Oregon Literary Fellowship. When he's not teaching college or writing fiction, ...more

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