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Beautiful Blemish

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Kevin Sampsell likes secrets. In the short story collection Beautiful Blemish, Sampsell dives deep into the human psyche to reveal the layers of secret desire, loneliness and hope buried in our hearts. The stories in Beautiful Blemish display an American voice that mixes humor, experimentation, and unflinching pathos to full effect.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Word Riot Press (first published 2005)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  101 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Meredith Alling
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. True, blue, and filthy.
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I liked this little book but I feel weird saying anything more about it because Mr. Sampsell just became my friend on goodreads this week and we've exchanged a couple friendly e-mails and I internet like him so while I don't have anything bad to say about it I feel weird being effusive or anything. But somebody sold this to my store so I read it and I liked the story about the old people boning, how there was a tender story about 3-dimensional old people boning and then not long after that a sto ...more
Oct 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Word Riot did a great job with this book. And hey--two years later, there are only a couple of stories I feel dorky about.
Oct 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
In the first story of Kevin Sampsell’s new collection Beautiful Blemish, a man collects lost or discarded gloves. He tries to find homes for the used gloves, either by finding its match, the rightful owner, or even by donating them to amputees. Even though this is one of the few stories told in 3rd person, this lost glove collector is Kevin Sampsell and this is what he does: He finds matches for the misfits and freaks of the world, and gives them accommodating places in his stories. He is a shep ...more
Sarah has reads so many books to me while driving to various places, I was happy to return the favor by reading this collection of stories to her while she did the driving for a change.
I feel our friendship has reached a new level now tat I've read to her aloud about:
-someone getting a blow job in a cemetary
-someone's ear fetish
-a man giving another man a hand job as he begins to realize he is not as committed to being gay as he had once thought himself to be.
-an elderly couple lavishly indulgi
Dec 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: The Bob's Big Boy icon's misfit doppelganger
Shelves: otherthanpoetry
Very much enjoyed this! Quirky, poignant, hilarious, offbeat, and elicitous of many inappropriate titters.

I was just finishing up the last story, sneakily reading it in my office--and read the phrase, "We have nicknames for some of the regulars like 'The Erotic Chubby' (an overweight man with a suave and confident attitude)"--and this weird little coughing/laughing sound blurted out my mouth--and my boss looked at me.

I couldn't help myself, because I love nicknames and because I visualized 'The
Ryan Werner
Sampsell puts it all on the line here, and while there's a bareness I can respect, the writing doesn't always add up for me. The structure of the oddness reminds me of Gary Lutz without the obsession on vocabulary. I like the ideas of these stories, but the nakedness of the feelings becomes the driving force too often.

The most successful stories in here end up finding a solid middle path between a story and an emotion. The results look a lot like the short fiction of the 80's, a sort of Wolff or
Fernando Pérez Pérez
If it hadn't been published by an independent press (respect!), I would have rated it with one star (1'5), given that it is too often gimmicky, the seams are blatant, and life is not as present as the crudeness of some of its topics could make it to be. Its writing seems underworked, and same goes for the stories.

Ben Bush
There's a great range of pieces in here from formal experimentation to slice of life. The title story is about senior citizens talking dirty during sex and is really funny and fun while, ahem, "affirming" their sexuality rather than mocking it.
Blake Nelson
Nov 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I dig the Sampsellian story form
Dec 13, 2007 marked it as to-read
Yipee! The book arrived from Powells yesterday! It's so petite!
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think Kevin Sampsell is brilliant. His writing is unique--funny, creepy, honest--highly recommended.
Jul 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, home-library
bought it new at pegasus books in downtown berekely, raced home and devoured it the same day.
Dena Guzman
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you read Sampsell, you best get your hands on this. It's like the roots to the tree. It's my favorite.
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I am the publisher of Future Tense Books in Portland, Oregon. I work at Powell's Books and also make collage art. I write reviews and articles for various papers and mags. I have a few books out. My memoir, A Common Pornography, was published by Harper Perennial and my novel, This Is Between Us, was published by Tin House Books. I also edited Portland Noir, a book of crime fiction published by Aka ...more