Gerhard's Reviews > The Flame Alphabet

The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus
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's review
Jun 29, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2012, favorites

Just as Colson Whitehead's Zone One seemed neither fish, fowl nor zombie in the contemporary horror stakes, TFA is likely to confuse horror devotees even further. Is it, isn't? Well folks, sit back and let Mr Marcus massage your pain and pleasure centres with his prose, because this is a rip-roaring, blood-and-other-bodily-fluids drenched horror novel. The premise seems ridiculous: suddenly the language of children is found to kill adults. But Marcus takes this premise and runs with it. And runs. This is a harrowing, exceedingly dark book that ratchets up the tension and horror in a quite excruciating fasion. I suppose the closest comparisons are J.G. Ballard and David Cronenberg combined (there is a lot of very icky body horror in TFA). This also reminded me of China Mieville's Embassytown, and Cory Doctorow, weirdly enough. In short: if you like original, challenging, uncompromising fiction, then this is a must-read.

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