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Headless (Little House on the Bowery) [Paperback]

Benjamin Weissman , Dennis Cooper

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Book Description

1 Mar 2004 Little House on the Bowery
The author of the acclaimed transgressive cult classic Dear Dead Person returns with this long-awaited second collection of brilliantly written, outrageously imaginative and comedic short stories. In Headless, Weissman turns his daredevil wit and fearless storytelling gifts on subjects ranging from Hitler's secret life as a skier to the philosophical musings of identical twin porn stars to the travails of the world's most sitcom defying family.

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Adolf Hitler was not known for his skiing ability. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bedtime Stories for the Disturbed 19 Oct 2004
By Ariel S. Winter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Adolf Hitler was not known for his skiing ability."

So opens Headless by Benjamin Weissman and it sets the tone perfectly. In this short story collection about skiing, excrement, sex, and maiming, Weissman surprises you into laughing at horrible things again and again. These short short stories (the longest story is thirteen pages, and most are no more than two) read like Russell Edson if he wrote short stories. They are a study in dark comedy. They would fit in nicely with McSweeney's Online Concern.

(...)

Weissman's prose is dry and wry. By maintaining a matter of fact tone about killing your mother ("Bloodthirsty Man"), flooding the toilet with a too large bowel movement ("The Fecality of it All"),(...)Weissman turns dark non sequitors into compelling-and damn funny-fictions. And no matter how outrageous the claim ("At first I was horrified when they drew swastikas on their foreheads, but then I remembered that all of their markers are water-based and non-toxic so there would be no side effects." "My Two Sons"), the tone is always one of calm distance, confidence in the ordinariness of the situation.

I laughed out loud when I started reading the book in the bookstore (and there I was standing with a book that had a bunny with a "circus-style organ between [his] legs" on the cover calling attention to myself), and I laughed at home as I sped through the book in almost one sitting. If you were disappointed that you finished Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans and have nothing left to brighten your day, than mope no longer, because Headless is for you (and the serial killer inside you, or the twelve-year old, or Aunt Marney's parrot, which she still suspects you of eating.)
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Return of the King 14 May 2004
By Kevin Killian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
One of the best readings I've been to took place in early March of this year at the venerable old City lights bookstore here in San Francisco, when Benjamin Weissman, who had not visited us for many years, took over the house and made it his own. He read two stories from his new book HEADLESS, each of them completely different but complementing the other with what one had felt to be the missing piece out of American fiction. Reading his new collection HEADLESS is like breathing pure oxygen at the top of some snowcrested mountain of madness. Every page is embedded with a jewel that will make you crazy. Perhaps this is what happened, without him knowing anything about it, to the earliest Amazon reviewer of this book. Weissman's best stories are as beautiful as the long poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, but it's a Rilke with a Chris Rock kind of postmodern irony and culture blasting. Try reading the opening lines of HEADLESS, you will already have discovered the seedbed of a classic act of love.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Running naked and wild outside of the box... 12 May 2004
By 1979 Semi-Finalist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is simply beautiful, ugly, and brilliant all rolled into one sublimely satisfying read that flat out gives new meaning to short story collections - "cult" or otherwise. This reading experience is what reading CAN be, but sadly so rarely is. Weissman's stories are definitely outside the box, sometimes FAR outside the box, but once you get there, they are some of the most beautifully constructed pieces of individual truth I've ever had the opportunity to read. Clearly not for the average, mainstream reader, or someone hoping for happy little Hollywood endings where the hero gets the girl, this collection of the bizarre and heartbreakingly beautiful has shot straight to the top of my list and I really don't see it being replaced anytime soon - if ever.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother 11 Jun 2011
By Moo Moo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm normally pretty open minded when it comes to way out literature and will be quite forgiving in exchange for finding something new and entertaining. I have a very dark sense of humour but this is just a pile of tosh. Really. Don't waste your money and, more importantly, your time.
3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Colossal Waste of Time 10 May 2004
By Michael H Cameron - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm not sure how this book wound up on my Recommendations list, but OUCH. I took a chance on it due to the low price and glowing editorial reviews. I read the first few stories and was surprised by the lack of substance and intelligence, but I pressed on, assuming there had to be a few gems further on. No dice. Usually in a book as profane and perverted as this, there are at least a few stories worth reading for their erotic value, but this collection was devoid of even that.
I suppose it might appeal to folks who fancy themselves extreme nonconformists -- the stories certainly don't deliver on the the typical reader expectations of plot, character, or interest. I've certainly learned a lesson regarding the editorial reviews on this site -- caveat emptor, and don't believe everything you read.
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