"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 somethshow more