Hilary's Reviews > One Small Voice

One Small Voice by Clifford Meth
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's review
Apr 16, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: 2012, fiction, horror, own, religion, short-stories, to-burn
Read from April 16 to 17, 2012

I am slightly ashamed to have even read this book. When the front cover read that this was a "dangerous book" I did not understand that it meant "dangerous" as in "this will eat away at the gray matter within your skull dangerous." I didn't know that it meant I would be reading in depth about someone grabbing his wife whom he no longer loved off of the toilet while she was pooping in order to throw her on the bed and shag her. I didn't know it meant I would be learning what a vasectomy smelled like, or how not being well-endowed would lead you to eventually commit murder. No, I was expecting "Dangerous" in the way, say Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, Joe Hill, or even Cormac McCarthy is dangerous. All of the above have described similarly disgusting scenes and topics. All of the above have done so with style. Clifford Meth just wasn't my style.

His writing was a bit too harsh for me. In the past I've praised Robert Louis Stevenson and Joe Hill for the economy of their words. They seem to write in their stories, novels, and descriptions only the bare minimum of what they need to set a tone or invoke a proper scene. Clifford Meth seemed to be going for a similar style, but like Chuck Palahniuk this ended in all of his stories (and the title novella "One Small Voice") having the exact same tone. At some points I found myself having to flip back to get the characters straight in my head - aside from the size of their members there seemed to be little distinguishing one from the other.

All in all, there were perhaps two stories that I enjoyed out of the entire collection. The final story, "Pillow Talk," made me laugh out loud. Aside from that, the story about Anne I found strangely touching... though it suffered the exact same problems of tone that I mentioned earlier. That I enjoyed the stories again, is putting a bit too much praise there. If I was a teenage man? Maybe then I'd like the book more and I'd think it encapsulated my viewpoint. As a girl in her early 20s, however, nothing in the book squares up with the male friends I have, nor what they've chatted to me about.

I think Stephen King does a better job of balancing a man's attraction towards a woman versus the lust he feels towards anything with breasts.
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