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    The Flame Alphabet (Hardback) By (author) Ben Marcus

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    DescriptionIn "The Flame Alphabet, " the most maniacally gifted writer of our generation delivers a work of heartbreak and horror, a novel about how far we will go, and the sorrows we will endure, in order to protect our families. A terrible epidemic has struck the country and the sound of children's speech has become lethal. Radio transmissions from strange sources indicate that people are going into hiding. All Sam and Claire need to do is look around the neighborhood: In the park, parents wither beneath the powerful screams of their children. At night, suburban side streets become routes of shameful escape for fathers trying to get outside the radius of affliction. With Claire nearing collapse, it seems their only means of survival is to flee from their daughter, Esther, who laughs at her parents' sickness, unaware that in just a few years she, too, will be susceptible to the language toxicity. But Sam and Claire find it isn't so easy to leave the daughter they still love, even as they waste away from her malevolent speech. On the eve of their departure, Claire mysteriously disappears, and Sam, determined to find a cure for this new toxic language, presses on alone into a world beyond recognition. " " "The Flame Alphabet" invites the question: What is left of civilization when we lose the ability to communicate with those we love? Both morally engaged and wickedly entertaining, a gripping page-turner as strange as it is moving, this intellectual horror story ensures Ben Marcus's position in the first rank of American novelists.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Flame Alphabet

    Title
    The Flame Alphabet
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Ben Marcus
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 289
    Width: 160 mm
    Height: 236 mm
    Thickness: 33 mm
    Weight: 499 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780307379375
    ISBN 10: 030737937X
    Classifications

    BIC E4L: GEN
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: F1.1
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    DC21: 813.54
    BIC subject category V2: FA
    B&T General Subject: 360
    B&T Book Type: FI
    DC22: FIC
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 11110
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    LC subject heading:
    Ingram Subject Code: FC
    Libri: I-FC
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 74
    DC22: 813/.54
    LC subject heading: ,
    B&T Approval Code: P26100000
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: FIC000000, FIC019000, FIC039000
    LC subject heading: ,
    LC classification: PS3563.A6375 F57 2012
    LC subject heading:
    Publisher
    Knopf Publishing Group
    Imprint name
    Knopf Publishing Group
    Publication date
    17 January 2012
    Publication City/Country
    New York, NY
    Author Information
    BEN MARCUS is the author of three books of fiction: "Notable American Women," "The Father Costume," and "The Age of Wire and String, " and he is the editor of "The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories." His stories have appeared in "Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, ""The Paris Review, ""McSweeney's, ""Tin House, "and "Conjunctions. "He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and awards from the Creative Capital Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in New York City and Maine. www.benmarcus.com
    Review quote
    "Marcus is a writer of prodigious talent . . . Formally inventive, dark and dryly comic . . . ["The Flame Alphabet"] reads like a dream." --J. Robert Lennon, "The New York Times Book Review" " " "To people who just want to read a good yarn and who think Ben Marcus is too weird for them, I'd say: Think again . . . The novel can operate on multiple registers: as metaphor, sociology, conventional thriller, and, at bottom, discourse on parenthood and family that is freakishly sad and incredibly good." --Fiona Maazel, "Book Forum " "There's something profound about Marcus's exploration of the power of language and the life-affirming nature of human breathing. He turns both these normally positive ideas on their heads, but that only makes the sound of a loved-one's voice, the feel of a child's breath against the skin, seem that much more precious." --Tyrone Beason, "The Seattle Times" " " "In the guise of a horror novel (albeit one written by a supremely intelligent literary novelist), Marcus has delivered a subtle meditation on the necessity as well as the drawbacks of human communication . . . in searing, sometimes hallucinatory prose." --Doug Childers, "Richmond Times-Dispatch" "An apocalyptic nightmare. Its vision is eerie, droll and heartbreaking, both lavishly written and haunting to behold. Language may be killing off the characters that Marcus invented, but his use of language could hardly be more vibrant." --Joan Silverman, "Portland Press Herald" "Incandescent . . . [The] apocalyptical plot serves as a vehicle for Marcus' blazing metaphysical insights inquiry into expression, meaning, self, love, and civilization." --Donna Seaman, "Booklist" (starred review) "Language kills in Marcus's audacious new work of fiction, a richly allusive look at a world transformed by a new form of illness . . . Biblical in its Old Testament sense of wrath, Marcus's novel twists America's quotidian existence into someth