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Scorch Atlas Paperback


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Scorch Atlas + A Canticle for Leibowitz + The Road
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Featherproof Books; Reprint edition (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977199282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977199280
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 4.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Blake Butler’s Scorch Atlas is precisely that — a series of maps, or worlds, “tied... so tight they couldn’t crane their necks.” Everything is either destroyed, rotting or festering -- and not only the physical objects, but allegiances, hopes, covenants. Yet these worlds are not abstract exercises, he is speaking of life as it is, where there might be or may be, “glass over grave sites in display,” and where we will be forced to make or where we have “made facemasks out of old newspapers.” The sole glimmer of light comes in recollection, as in: “a bear the size of several men... There in the woods behind our house, when I was still a girl like you.” —Jesse Ball

Blake Butler engages in a struggle worth witnessing. Amid the loosely woven threads that constitute his story, shards of crystal poetry strand the reader in wonderment. There’s something so big about Blake’s writing. Big as men’s heads. Each inhale of Blake’s wheeze brings streamers of loose hair, the faces of lakes and oceans, whales washed up half-rotten. You can try putting on a facemask made out of old newspaper. You can breathe in smaller rhythms. But you won’t be able to keep this man out once you’ve opened his book. Open it! —Ken Sparling

I am always looking for new writers like Blake Butler and rarely finding them, but Scorch Atlas is one of those truly original books that will make you remember where you were when you first read it. Scorch Atlas is relentless in its apocalyptic accumulation, the baroque language stunning in its brutality, and the result is a massive obliteration. —Michael Kimball, author of Dear Everybody








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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
Blake Butler is such an amazing writer.
Santiago
Crisp prose and haunting emotion makes this book stand out among most other apocalyptic novels.
Grant Wamack
It looks destroyed, like a remnant from a dead world.
Nathan Tyree

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BJ on October 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A short form series of stories about the apocalypse you haven't been warned about.

This is pure bizarro apocalyptic fiction at it's best. There are no central characters in these stories, just Mom and Dad, my sister and my brother, the neighbors...

In the world of "Scorch Atlas", you may find that -

Felons are forced to wear plastic jumpsuits with bubble heads to prevent their breath from spreading their corrupt ideas

Dry flakes of charcoal as big as men's heads slather from some great overhead fire

Fathers may shoot free throws to prove their manhood

Butler's writing is good and isn't so far out there that only the enlightened ones can understand it. These aren't stories about the future, their tales about an alternate world where the following things rain down from the sky -

Ash
Gravel
Glass
Caterpillars
Static
Teeth (animal and human)
Ink
Manure
Flesh (gristle, cartilage, tissue, tendon, vein and bone)
Glitter
Manure
Light

If you've read "Scorch Atlas" and enjoy the bizzaro fiction genre, check out some other great books -
Morning Is Dead, Angel Dust Apocalypse and Sideshow PI: The Devil's Garden!

Enjoy~
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Santiago on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blake Butler is such an amazing writer. This books is a series of short stories about the end of the world. I think this kind of writting is getting popular because it is inspired on global warming. This book is different because it talks about the end of man kind always from a personal point of view. Butler has a very extent vocabulary and I constantly needed to check out dictionaries to understand some of the words. It is one of the darkest books you will ever find.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristine Ong Muslim on June 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this book in one sitting, and time must have moved forward like it always did. If the world ended during the time I was reading it, then I would have been the last to know. I read it onscreen, and I'm sure the paper version would have been far more traumatizing.

Scorch Atlas is stark, decadent, and beautiful. I inhaled the dank things in this tiny unnamed world, and they do not easily wash off. Blake Butler is reluctant to name his dysfunctional characters. Perhaps, he knows we already have an idea who they are. He writes: "...so many buildings everywhere gone tilted, smothered..." -- and I believe him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maurice Burford on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Blake Butler hails from another planet, a planet where fiction isn't just stale, old junk. Butler and writers like him are reviving my hope for fiction. Every line in Scorched Atlas is intensely rich and fluid, it washes against your skin and leaves you dusty. He takes real risks. And despite the complexity and linguistic richness of his sentences, there is still an accessibility that is hard to find in most "experimental" fiction and poetry, and there is an undeniable emotional core to his work, a real heart pumping dust and oil across the pages.

Every work I've read by Butler is unique in and of itself and never disappointing. This one is particularly exceptional. Watch out folks there's a new boss in town.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Keith Montesano on October 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Where do you start when you talk about the words within these pages? You can read the description above, but nothing will do this book justice until you immerse yourself in the words. SCORCH ATLAS is a group of interlocking stories that comprise a novel, and one of the many things that makes this collection so great--and one that I think can not often be said about short fiction collections--is that it does indeed work as a novel-in-stories, and yet you can read the first story, then the last story, then the middle story, and always find links between them. Whether you read this is a collection or you read the single stories in any order, there will always be something new to discover.

One may find the words "bleak" and "dark" to describe SCORCH ATLAS, and though that's easy, you can certainly find truth in that. But there's so much more to this book that unfolds with repeated readings. Most of the narrators are a part of a certain family--a mother, a daughter, a son. And though these families are different, along with their situations, there's an underlying familial bond in each that adds an element of radiance amidst the darkness. The characters seem destitute in the more narrative stories with initial reads, yet there's a deeply underlying tenderness that comes through with more readings: things that seem to subconsciously fuse together as the novel takes on new meaning as a whole, with the culmination of every story until the end.
Read more ›
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Tyree on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Post Apocalypse fiction is all the rage right now, what with The Road hitting so big and all. Blake Butler's Scorch Atlas isn't a copy of the flood of end of the world fiction out there. It is something new. The book is billed as a novel, but that isn't quite right. In truth it is a lyrical collection of loosely interwoven stories and vignettes about (different) destroyed worlds.

The book is more about language and image than character or plot. It excels beautifully at shocking and amazing with nearly every sentence. This is one of the best books to hit this year (and this has been a good year for difficult small press books).

A word on the design:

SA is one of the best designed books I've ever seen. It looks destroyed, like a remnant from a dead world. The book itself is an art object.
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