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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Deeply Russian in its sense of life, bitter, very funny, and shattered in its love of beauty, Fences by Ben Brooks shows what happens when the art of poetry and the art of the novel get in a head-on collision. Told in flashes and fragments of compressed emotion, this novel tells its story through glimmers of an intense personal narration: about a Russian girl, a librarian ...more
Paperback, 82 pages
Published January 15th 2010 by Fugue State Press (first published 2010)
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  47 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Alejandro Saint-Barthélemy
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: xxi, poetry, england
This book feels like poetry to me (the line breaks help, but unlike Noah Cicero's use of them in "The Human War", here they make the book closer to poetry than to a novel). With that in mind, I think it's much better than almost anything (I like Sam Pink's and Tao Lin's poetry, but not much more) you can find in American Alt. Lit. poetry (not as trendy, though, since Ben Brooks here doesn't vomit silliness all around like "i want to buy a sofa/ i want to start a band with you/ we'll be a one-hit ...more
Carah Naseem
Aug 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am overjoyed that I got to read this book early.
I will be writing an in-depth review of it shortly, for some place or another.
It was painful, starkly lonely and more than a bit fucked-up. Ben Brooks' voice is that of you on one-too-little vicodins (y'know, that "barely aware" feeling), sitting on your mother's couch seemingly-comatose and wishing you still had a body to cling to. Instead you have THIS.
Hi, Ben Brooks. Nice to meet you.
Sam Pink
Sep 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
in this summer of shit this book gave me two hours of happiness
Nate D
Sep 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
"We are a wild misconstruction of thoughts and feelings."

And so is this book.

It's a depressive beautiful explosion 80 mph down siberian-desert highways.

It also repeats itself, refitting a jumble of words that seem selected for rawness, until they lose all meaning. But still, meaning shows in the cracks.

It might be trying too hard. It might be impossible to try hard enough to capture this.

Words repeat, scenes repeat. Slightly changed. More poetry than novel. Surrendering to the rhythms seems the
Joe Milazzo
Jun 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: s0115
I am glad this book exists.

I appreciate that this book has a strong emotional and / or philosophical appeal to a good many readers.

This book does not contain the kind of "experimental writing" which I find to be particularly experimental. Risky. In fact, its rather cozy, this book, its boy-girl-a-broken-heart-is-a-shattered-gone-mad-world discontentment.

This book feels very young, full of discoveries and the mingled ecstasy and loathing that comes from making contact with insights of a certai
Jun 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
While Fences could be called "prosetry", and even touched by the Beatnik ethic of madness, the Russian setting gives it a Dostoyevskian edge found especially in the way of expressing emotionally tortured peaks released by love; apparently - channeled through Ben Brooks - the end-product is fairly exalting and downright fun.

Thanks to Valerie for sending me a copy!
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This was my first heartbreak of 2015. Thanks, Ben.
Oct 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
dark. profane. filled with hopelessness and the end of the world. i like how brooks is able to move so effortlessly from fucked moment to fucked moment in a world where counting signifies dying.
Cesar Lopez
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is extremely amazing at the beginning of the story. This book is about a family who are living together and some of them fails while other try to succeed. Life weren't easy for some of them but they trying to make it possible to live. This story contains a lot of "Negros language" and also how people back in time didn't make it to the Major League of baseball because of racial people who were cursing on black and other on white people. At the end of the story the book got interesting, ...more
Jan 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
best read of 2009.
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