The Flame Alphabet

The Flame Alphabet

Book - 2012
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In 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.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307379375
Branch Call Number: MARCUS B
Characteristics: 289 pages ; 25 cm.


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May 30, 2013

Odd, I found it extremely easy to put down, almost as though Marcus' was making his point about the nausea of language metatextual. So if he set out to make it a grind to finish the book - success?

Fine premise, fine writing, excellent questions posed, but I didn't relish the experience.

Jul 07, 2012

I found The Flame Alphabet hard to get through, if only because Marcus poses some extremely tough questions. The book starts off cold and only gets colder; it's hard to continue sometimes just because the situations can be difficult to handle. Recommended nonetheless.

Apr 23, 2012

Impossible to put down. Poses the difficult question regarding relationships and their connection to communication.


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