Wintersalen Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Interviews | October 28, 2014

    Jill Owens: IMG Miriam Toews: The Powells.com Interview



    Some people are compelled by a restlessness from within; others are shaped by the unwieldy forces around them. In Miriam Toews's poignant new novel... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$8.00
List price: $15.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
4 Partner Warehouse General- General

The Flame Alphabet (Vintage Contemporaries)

by

The Flame Alphabet (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover

ISBN13: 9780307739971
ISBN10: 030773997x
Condition: Student Owned
All Product Details

 

Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

“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

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

Review:

“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

Review:

“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

Review:

“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

Review:

“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)

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 something recognizable yet wholly alien to our experience.” Publishers Weekly (starred review and Pick of the Week)

Review:

The Flame Alphabet drags the contemporary novel — kicking, screaming, and foaming at the mouth — back towards the track it should be following. Ben Marcus makes language as toxic as it is seductive — a virus that comes from  much closer to home than we suspected.” Tom McCarthy

Review:

“Ben Marcus is the rarest kind of writer: a necessary one. It's become impossible to imagine the literary world — the world itself — without his daring, mind-bending and heartbreaking writing.” Jonathan Safran Foer

Review:

“Echoes of Ballard’s insanely sane narrators, echoes of Kafka’s terrible gift for metaphor, echoes of David Lynch, William Burroughs, Robert Walser, Bruno Schulz and Mary Shelley: a world of echoes and re-echoes — I mean our world — out of which the sanely insane genius of Ben Marcus somehow manages to wrest something new and unheard of. And yet as I read The Flame Alphabet, late into the night, feverishly turning the pages, I felt myself, increasingly, in the presence of the classic.” Michael Chabon

Review:

“I want the English language to do things it hasn't done before, and I want American fiction to do things it hasn't done before, and I want to be in a state of arrest at the moment of gazing upon a page of text, and Ben Marcus is one of those very few writers who can do that for me.” Rick Moody

Synopsis:

In The Flame Alphabet, the most maniacally gifted writer of our generation delivers a novel about how far we will go in order to protect our loved ones.

The sound of children's speech has become lethal. In the park, adults wither beneath the powerful screams of their offspring. For young parents Sam and Claire, it seems their only means of survival is to flee from their daughter, Esther. But they find it isn't so easy to leave someone you 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 foreign world to try to save his family.

About the Author

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

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

aninvisiblecity, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by aninvisiblecity)
Marcus' has slightly reigned in his writing style of previous works to offer up his best novel yet. The Flame Alphabet is the most creative, intelligent, and wicked novel of 2012.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307739971
Author:
Marcus, Ben
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Publication Date:
20121131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
7.9 x 5.1 x 0.59 in 0.5 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Children's Writer's Word Book Used Trade Paper $7.50
  2. Children's Writer's & Illustrator's... Used Trade Paper $5.95
  3. Children's Writer's Word Book Used Trade Paper $7.50
  4. The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning
    Sale Trade Paper $8.98

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Flame Alphabet (Vintage Contemporaries) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.00 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Vintage Books - English 9780307739971 Reviews:
"Review" by , “Marcus is a writer of prodigious talent....Formally inventive, dark and dryly comic...[The Flame Alphabet] reads like a dream.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , “Incandescent....[The] apocalyptical plot serves as a vehicle for Marcus’ blazing metaphysical insights inquiry into expression, meaning, self, love, and civilization.”
"Review" by , “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 something recognizable yet wholly alien to our experience.”
"Review" by , The Flame Alphabet drags the contemporary novel — kicking, screaming, and foaming at the mouth — back towards the track it should be following. Ben Marcus makes language as toxic as it is seductive — a virus that comes from  much closer to home than we suspected.”
"Review" by , “Ben Marcus is the rarest kind of writer: a necessary one. It's become impossible to imagine the literary world — the world itself — without his daring, mind-bending and heartbreaking writing.”
"Review" by , “Echoes of Ballard’s insanely sane narrators, echoes of Kafka’s terrible gift for metaphor, echoes of David Lynch, William Burroughs, Robert Walser, Bruno Schulz and Mary Shelley: a world of echoes and re-echoes — I mean our world — out of which the sanely insane genius of Ben Marcus somehow manages to wrest something new and unheard of. And yet as I read The Flame Alphabet, late into the night, feverishly turning the pages, I felt myself, increasingly, in the presence of the classic.”
"Review" by , “I want the English language to do things it hasn't done before, and I want American fiction to do things it hasn't done before, and I want to be in a state of arrest at the moment of gazing upon a page of text, and Ben Marcus is one of those very few writers who can do that for me.”
"Synopsis" by , In The Flame Alphabet, the most maniacally gifted writer of our generation delivers a novel about how far we will go in order to protect our loved ones.

The sound of children's speech has become lethal. In the park, adults wither beneath the powerful screams of their offspring. For young parents Sam and Claire, it seems their only means of survival is to flee from their daughter, Esther. But they find it isn't so easy to leave someone you 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 foreign world to try to save his family.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.