The Age of Wire and String Hardcover – 2 May 2013
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Near-genius ... This will become a collectors' edition: love it. --Monocle
Marcus's debut is a brain-rattling collection of experimental fictions... out of its mind on its own batshit surreality. Marcus found a way to make his words feel supremely weird in the reader's mouth, effecting a mental scrambling that is oddly rewarding and even occasionally funny. --Stuart Hammond's 'Book of the Month', Dazed and Confused
About the Author
Ben Marcus is the author of Notable American Women, The Father Costume, The Age of Wire and String and The Flame Alphabet. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Times, and McSweeney's. Marcus has received a Whiting Writers Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in fiction, and three Pushcart Prizes. Marcus is an associate professor in the School of the Arts at Columbia University.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is relentlessly downbeat, describing the travails of survival in an apparently hostile environment (although there is no indication that this is some post-apocalyptic dystopia). It is only in the very final paragraph that there is any glimmer of optimism.
The one thing it does remind me of is the stories that are told around the table during Jewish feast days, and the various rules for dress, behaviour and dining that fundamentalists of many religions repeat to themselves during prayer and remembrance. As a non-believer, the book makes no less sense than do the belief systems of established religions.
Don't be put off. It is easy to get through, even if it makes little sense to our world. A few felicitous phrasings made me chuckle. And the illustrations are entirely appropriate to the work, adding to the feeling of otherness.
And it did make me want to write this review, which I don't often do.