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3.4  ·  Rating details ·  242 Ratings  ·  81 Reviews
A lyrical, apocalyptic debut novel about addiction, friendship, and the struggle for survival

It started with a single child, and quickly spread: you could get high by drinking your own shadow. At night, lights were destroyed so that addicts could sip shadow in the pure light of the moon.

Gangs of shadow addicts chased down children on playgrounds, rounded up old ladies fr
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 29th 2017 by Soho Press
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Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it

Sometimes bad decisions keep lasting forever.

the most hardyesque statement i’ve ever encountered outside of wessex.

before we get into the review proper, i must confess that at first i was OUTRAGED when i saw this described as a “debut” novel on its back cover, because i thought carr was somehow disavowing penning the magnificent Motherfucking Sharks - one of the best shark books of all time. but APPARENTLY, that book (and all of his others, many of which i own but have yet to rea
Janie C.
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sip is a haunting and thought-provoking novel. It takes place in a future world of addiction, where people drink shadows to maintain a steady high. Any animated life-form's shadow can produce the desired effect, provided that the light source is the natural sun. What is a shadow? Is it simply the absence of light? Can a shadow be stolen? The nature of absence is a key point in this story. Some people live sheltered from the effects of sunlight in domes, avoiding the influence of shadow. The rest ...more
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Seemingly impossible to define, SIP is a novel that refuses to let you pin it down. It’s dark, yes, pitch-black really, and yet, there’s enough humor to lure you in and let your guard down. It’s violent, sure, and harrowing too, but there are characters in here with hearts and desires that ring true, louder than the gory landscape they inhabit. It’s WEIRD, the weirdest thing I’ve read all year, perhaps one of the weirdest thing I’ve read ever, but the dystopian world that Carr builds is easily a ...more
Book Riot Community
I was so excited to get this book, I literally dropped the book I was reading and immediately started this one. AND HOLY CATS. I am such a huge fan of Carr. He has many short story collections and novellas, most famously Motherfucking Sharks, but this is his debut novel, and it is so effed up and fantastic I can’t even. The story revolves around the fact that humans discover they can get high by ingesting shadows. I KNOW, RIGHT??! Carr’s brain is from another planet. The novel takes place 150 ye ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
In a world defined by shadow addiction, domers and outsiders live completely different realities. The first live isolated and protected. The latter roam and scavenge to survive. A few from each sect cross over by the hand of a rogue group whose purpose is to destroy the domed cities.
The ever-present question is whether there a way to cure those who have had their shadows completely sipped away? It is foretold that a comet due to arrive may be just that.

The short chapter format is punchy and ke
Like a whisper coming off their hearts...

Brian continues to bring the weirdness with his debut novel SIP. Though there are no motherfucking sharks to be found, or plagues of monsters at the end of the world, we are thrown headlong into a future where people are addicted to sipping shadows. Yes, you heard me. Like a hungry little vampires who suck up your blood, humankind discovers an awesome high when they suck up their own shadows.

I know. Sounds kind of harmless, right? Why should we care if s
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I blurbed it!

“It’s a post-apocalyptic wasteland and are you on team Dome, team Shadowless Army, team Doc, or team shadow-sipping junkies? I know which team I’m on. Brian Allen Carr’s Sip is funny, literate, crass, dark, violent, lyrical, oddly touching, and totally bat-shit crazy. I loved it.”
Feb 27, 2018 marked it as dnf
Shelves: 2018-read, audiobook
DNF 50%

This is a sharply literate piece of experimental fiction that is a real trip. While I can appreciate in theory what Carr is doing here, it's a bit too much down in the dirt and senselessly violent for my taste at the moment.
Benjamin DeVos
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you slice Sip open, you will find a heart. If you tear the heart open, you will find darkness. If you comb through the dark, you will find the most beautiful light you have ever seen. One of my favorite reads of 2018 so far.
Christoph Paul
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I never thought a book would make me look at shadows with suspicion. Brian Allen Carr is a bad man. Dude is the Aaron Rodgers of indie writers.

He's literary AF but his books move and pace as well as any pro genre fiction out there. His last two novellas have been unique, entertaining, artful, and probably some of the best books labeled Bizarro in this decade. He's killed it in the small press & novella scene but I always wondered can he bring the same magic to
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
I can't really place this book - at first I thought it was YA, but as I read on, I realized that it's much too gory, violent and sexual to be considered YA. And yet, the tone is definitely YA. New Adult maybe?

Regardless of what genre it is, it had a really good premise. It could deliver. But... it didn't. There were a lot of good story threads, but they were either dropped, or just loosely rounded up. There could have been so much more world building as well.

Thing is, when I finished reading, I
Jason Pettus
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
[This was also published at my website, the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography.]

Of all the kinds of bizarro novels that one can write, Brian Allen Carr's Sip is an example of my favorite kind, because it has an actual three-act plot that goes from a recognizable beginning to middle to end, unlike so many other bizarro books that are essentially written-out versions of cartoons, just one random outlandish vision strung after another with no narrative thread holding them together. That
Andrew Stone
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been anticipating this book more than any other for the past two years, and despite the amount of pressure that put on it, I was thoroughly impressed. Carr's first novel might even be his best book, which is saying a lot since Motherfucking Sharks is (or maybe, until now, was) my favorite book by any living author.

Sip has all the strangeness / oddities as Carr's other works, which is something I was a bit worried would be lost here because it's his first book with a mainstream publisher. Wi
Charles Dee Mitchell
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Sip arrives billed as Brian Allen Carr’s first novel. In addition to collections of his short stories, I actually thought I had read two novels already, The Last Horror Novel in the History of the World and Motherfucking Sharks. (Yes, that is the title.) They were short and published in individual volumes, but I suppose they are now officially novellas, giving Sip pride of place as debut novel.

Sip is longer than the previous works and more ambitiously conceived, but the elements do not always ge
J. Osborne
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book of the year so far.

The voice itself is worth the price of admission, but Carr does something else: whatever the fuck he wants. This is a book that uses genre (in this case, the post-apocalyptic one) like a tool rather than a blueprint. He borrows and steals and then casts it aside when he wants to do something else. It's so entertaining, and so freeing.

One of a handful of books that's made me pumped to be a reader again. It's been dark times, but this one is a nice little light
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was perfect for me and where I am in my life right now. As my attention span has shrunk over the years, I love books that I can feast on in little bits. Sip is highly compartmentalized, with a conceit that is clear and cutting. The world is dark, and so is this book, though there are hints of light throughout. Mira was a character that I related to as an outsider myself, and her story touched me. I will definitely be reading more Brian Allen Carr in the near future.
Kelly Spoer
Thanks to Netgalley for giving me this opportunity to read this book for an honest review.

I read this book in two days. It's not the type of book you'll want to put down. I can see this book having the same appeal to the fans of A Girl With All The Gifts, although there are no zombies.

I liked it, but it's not without its faults. It's very much first novel, where the prose feels a bit flat. There's a lot of action, but without much description of the area this all takes place. A desert near an o
Tyler Spragg
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a damn fine wasteland novel about people drinking shadows. The language is digestible. The chapters are short and precise. The concepts are daring and new, and the journey is a blast.

The biggest theme seems to be addiction, and the ups and downs of everything that spawns from it. In one chapter you can have this beautiful scene, a man flying a kite, where you practically hear a charming piano score playing in the background, another chapter anxiety inducing, a pitch black session of soli
Kelby Losack
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Carr is at the top of his game with this one. There's family drama, but it's the kind where a daughter must rob the shadows of woodland creatures to feed the darkness to her mother so she can sleep. There's a kind of broken hope and half-hearted optimism in Murk, a peg-legged shadow junkie with a tender soul behind black eyes. There's an exiled tower guard, childishly curious to find the truth about the broken world outside his sheltered, follow-the-rules-with-no-questions upbringing. And it all ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
“The sun was up, so the dark could start. All about the ground, all in the same direction, shadows sprawled. And this is what he was after.”

Oh how deliciously dark Sip is! A novel where we find ourselves 150 years in the future. A future where people can drink their shadows and change their bodies to float and distort in ways not possible before. But there is a heavy price. Once you drink, you must always drink. And if you drink too much, you are lost forever.

We follow two main characters, Murk,
David Agranoff
I reviewed Brian Allen Carr's surreal horror novel "The Last horror novel in History of the World" back in 2015. I enjoyed it as a short but totally surreal novella. At the time I said I laughed alot reading this novel which is some kinda of supernatural small town siege tale set against the interesting back drop of a small border town in Texas. Given the title I expected a satire, or a bizarro send up of horror novels but that wasn't the case. This is more like experimental horror that based on ...more
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, adventure
See my full review and much more on my blog KissinBlueKaren

I just finished SIP. I don’t really know what I just read. It was written in such lyrical prose that I had a hard time following it. I did catch the gist of the story, but it was problematic for me.

This is the story of Mira, who has a shadow sipping friend named Murk. In the this dystopian story set in the future, the country is divided into those who sip shadows and those who don’t. It started with a boy who discovered he could get hi
David Bridges
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I avidly watched for the release of this book most of 2017, I am not going to lie. Brian Allen Carr is a contemporary writer I am always going to reach for when he has something new come out. I have read several of his previous novellas and short stories and consider myself a fan. Despite this being Carr’s big publisher release he remains the same Carr I’ve always enjoyed. Also, clocking in at around 300 pages this novel is much larger than anything I have read by the author.

The story paces like
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, read-and-own
Not flawless but the most fun I've had reading a book in a long, long while. This book is wildly dark but made me laugh out loud on the bus and got weird looks. Thanks!!!
Scott Firestone
Sep 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
What do you get when you mix a ridiculous premise, unsympathetic characters, too much bleak chaos that goes nowhere, and an annoying writing style? Sip. I haven't read a book this hilariously bad in a long time.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
It sounded like a great premise, but there were too many storylines and the characters never fully developed. In the end it was just violence and chaos with no purpose.
Steven Felicelli
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Mad Max fan-fiction with a splash of (labored) Magic Realism.
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Drakeryn by: karen
Shelves: 2018, apocalyptic
The premise for Sip reads like a particularly vivid fever dream--all the right kinds of fascinating and weird.

“Okay, so, I had this dream that you could drink your shadow. And your eyes turn black and you get super high. And also it lets you deform your body to slip through cracks and fly through the air like a balloon.”


“But it’s super addictive. Also you can steal and drink other people’s shadows, and if your whole shadow gets drunk then you can never sleep again, unless you drink som
George Billions
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brian Allen Carr is like the Cormac McCarthy of weird fiction. His prose is literary as hell, even when he’s writing about the most fantastic things you’ve ever heard of. It never reads as pretentious or flowery for the sake of flowery. This is a guy who wrote a book that’s basically Sharknado in the Old West, slapped the MF-word in the title, and it still comes off as real, honest-to-goodness literature. Sip is his first book from a major publisher. It’s every bit as fun and well-written as his ...more
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Brian Allen Carr lives in central Indiana.

His novel, Sip , is coming from SOHO Press.

More about Brian Allen Carr

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