From Publishers Weekly
Taylor's superb debut short story collection is explorative and fresh with well-crafted empathic characters. In A House in Our Arms, a young hedge fund assistant reconnects with his first love, Leah, in New York yet is drawn to Richard, an older man. Whistle Through Your Teeth and Spit has proud regulars of a Lower East Side coffee house commenting on and criticizing the new bourgeois clientele as they watch the neighborhood change around them. In My Heart I Am Already Gone, gives narrator Kyle the unpleasant job of putting down his uncle's cat, Buckles, all the while feeling terror that he will never escape his hometown or his on again/off again girlfriend. Each story is spare and clean and speaks the truth in beautiful resonant prose. (Feb.)
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Over half the stories in this collection were published in Internet literary magazines or in an anthology edited by Dennis Cooper. Short story lovers will enjoy Taylor’s talent for flash fiction as well as his adept touch with the longer lengths that give him scope for a weird, ironic sense of humor and profound taste for the bizarre—one reads, laughs, and shudders simultaneously. Taylor examines relationships through the prism of tactile memory while using voice and point of view to create both ambiguity and suspense. The stylistically complex Jewels Flashing in the Night of Time successfully conflates a painfully unrequited love, visions of torture at Abu Ghraib, and the narrator’s job as the meat slicer in a busy deli. In the flash fiction Tetris, a couple’s fight over the video game turns apocalyptic. And Uncle Danny pays his nephew $25 to kill the family cat in In My Heart I Am Already Gone. These stories of Gen Y, told with panache, dark humor, and technical flash, will delight short-fiction fans of all ages. --Ellen Loughran