If I had to sum up what D.B. Tarpley brings to fiction in a single word, it would be "unapologetic".
In "Lick the Razor", Tarpley is given free reign over your mind, letting loose pulse-throbbing stories that shirk the conventions of the craft for something fresh, direct, and intense. He has no qualms delving into the darkness of humankind, often throwing his characters into terrifying situations and exposing their weaknesses like a nude in an overcoat. With sharp and witty prose, he scrapes nails across chalkboards, shackles us with the spiders in dank cells, drags us through the nightmare worlds of reality, and even has a bit of fun along the way. For better or worse, Tarpley's work will nest in your mind like a parasite, leaving you thinking long after you put the book down.
This is not for everyone. From the outset, Tarpley shows little concern for what might be expected in fiction. He does have a gift for stripping away the fail-safes of societal standards and expectations, revealing the bleeding pulp of a good story beneath, but this, and the graphic, unorthodox nature of the work, may not appeal to some. "Lick the Razor" is most certainly not your grandfather's fiction. He's not out to impress MFA graduates or make it into a professor's lecture with this collection; he's here to tell some stories in a way that only he can.
Overall, if you like brutally honest, dark fiction with an even darker sense of humor, then this is for you. If you're squeamish or easily offended, I highly advise that you keep browsing.