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My Goat Ate Its Own Legs: Tales for Adults

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"Burrett's imagination is as fertile as that of Jorge Luis Borges's, and he's more readable, and funnier." — The Independent on Sunday (London) A debut collection of tales that explores the weird what-ifs of evolution, devotion, and universal disaster In a voice so unfailingly chipper it's suspicious, Alex Burrett poses in fiction some disturbing yet certainly possible futures for the human race (and other ambitious, earthbound mammals). Always ready with an impeccable phrase or a sly wink, he shares tales of the most darkly ironic sort, including a field report from a human abattoir, a chronicle of dating Death, and, of course, the tale of the goat that ate its own legs. The thirty-one bizarre, insightful, and morbidly hilarious tales in My Goat Ate Its Own Legs: Tales for Adults will delight anyone who doesn't take life (or death) too seriously.

256 pages, Paperback

First published November 23, 2008

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About the author

Alex Burrett

15 books9 followers
My first collection of short fiction, ‘My Goat Ate Its Own Legs’, was published in the UK in 2008 by Beautiful Books. In 2009 it was published in the US and Canada by Harper Perennial. In 2015 it was published in translation in France by Aux Forges de Vulcain.

I write to reflect on what it means, for me, to be human. It is my hope that others will find my reflections entertaining and engaging… thought provoking, even. This is what I get from my favourite books and comics such as The Outsider / L'Étranger, Candide, The Wasp Factory, Animal Farm, anything by Kafka, Anna Karenina, Lucifer etc.

Poetry is very dear to me: reading it and writing it. In September 2021, I challenged myself to write a sonnet every day for a year: lovessonnets.com.

My writing explores the human condition:

The Titans, a novel that examines the relationship between truth and megalomania.

Axel is Free (sequel to The Titans), an existential supernatural novel with a psychopathic protagonist who possibly wants to change.

Outstared by a Bullfrog, a novel that challenges the fallacy of an omnipotent god.

A damaged boy, a second collection of short fiction covering multiple themes.

Fedw, a collection of poetry about being human that covers several poetic genres.

Gothic Reflections, a Gothic novella that reflects on the human treatment of animals.

The Year My Tears Failed, five short stories and five poems about human struggles.

Rewarding Behaviour, a non-fiction proposal for a more rewarding monetary system.

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5 stars
36 (27%)
4 stars
43 (33%)
3 stars
34 (26%)
2 stars
10 (7%)
1 star
7 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews
Profile Image for Weinz.
167 reviews153 followers
January 23, 2010
This week while I was in an elevator on my way to lunch after a really crappy morning at work when the phone started ringing. The elevator phone... God? is that you? Buddha? My ex? Mom? My mind raced with the possibilities. I was duty bound to answer it just to settle my own intense curiosity. Who calls an elevator?

M: Hello? (cautiously still expecting my mother to be on the other line scolding me for that fifth cup of tea and third pain killer I just had)

Lady: Is this Santa Barbara Media Pro?

M: This is an elevator.

Lady: ... ... ... How the hell did I call an elevator?!

M: I have no idea.

Followed by a brief exchange with me trying to explain that I couldn't verify the number she called, her still not quite understanding that she had just called an ELEVATOR emergency phone and that I really couldn't help her with her media needs.

It was absurdity in its simplest form and it put a smile on my face. My horrible morning faded away slightly with sound of that elevator ring.

This book is that. Absurdity with a twist of reality mixed with illogical plot lines and eclectic characters (Not unlike my life). The writing itself left a lot to be desired but for a little light reading it is perfect. and a story about dating death. Come on, we've all experienced THAT. It was Roald Dahl on ecstasy with a quarter of the writing skills.

Profile Image for Sofia Suarez.
4 reviews
February 1, 2016
Yes, it's a bizarre book.
It has lots of strange stories, some of them are not "original" at all, but had been written in an intrigue form that give them a new meaning.

I totally recommend this book, it's easy to read, it's funny and original, it even makes you think about all the metaphors from life-love-death-good-bad.
2 reviews
August 22, 2019
I stumbled across this collection of short stories in a second hand bookshop and it has illumined my day. What a creative, surreal, hilarious and satirical writer. Each story has transfixed me, made me laugh and gasp. Uncomfortable at times but very engaging.
Profile Image for Americanogig.
144 reviews1 follower
June 18, 2010
These short stories almost had me rolling on the floor. I was intrigued by the title and I won the ‘judge a book by its cover’ jackpot in this instance. Darkly humorous, this is confection for adults who are messed up. Really messed up. Adults like me; people who would find a story about a goat actually eating its own legs not only hilarious but oddly sweet, a book to soothe a wrecked and twisted psyche, or perhaps to indulge it. I recommend! Waiting for the author’s next offering is pretty close to torture.
Profile Image for Lea.
441 reviews78 followers
April 17, 2011
Well written, interesting, thought provoking. This is well worth a read, especially if you enjoy short stories that are a bit odd. The writing is definitely four star, but I just didn't love it. I'm not sure why, but it just didn't make it onto my favourites list. And three stars is definitely respectable.
Profile Image for Lauren.
2 reviews
January 30, 2011
Possibly, one of craziest collection of short stories I have ever read. A lot of these stories were quite ironic in either a laughable or depressing sense yet quite entertaining. It was fantastic. (Although, my edition still had plenty of typos).
Profile Image for Noelle.
2 reviews
May 20, 2011
wow. really just a great bunch of the randomest, funniest, heartfelt and most imaginative stories i've ever read. and somehow still mature
Profile Image for Leah.
81 reviews
January 18, 2012
Twisted, bizarre, hilarious, often gruesome collection of short stories. I picked it off the shelf for the title and weird shape - bite taken out of the corner edition.
7 reviews
August 24, 2014
Extremely surreal. X-Rated, definitely not for the faint of heart, but still quite good.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 reviews

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