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By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends Paperback – December 6, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Swallowdown Press (December 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933929057
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933929057
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 8.4 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #725,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"BY THE TIME WE LEAVE HERE, WE'LL BE FRIENDS is a David Lynchian nightmare set in a Russian gulag, where its prisoners, guards, traitors, soldiers, lovers, and demons fight for survival and their own rapidly deteriorating humanity. Osborne's debut...is paranoid, cold, brutal, haunting, mystifying (in a good way), and totally unforgettable."--PAUL TREMBLAY, author of The Little Sleep and In the Mean Time

"[A]n opium-laced fever dream, swinging readily between the surreal and the horrifyingly, starkly real. Siberia is a place, metaphoric and literal: It's an inescapable, brutal state of mind. Give in to the voices and let this story deliver its kaleidoscopic nightmare, sly lines, and the truth of a bloody, damaged, beating, human heart." --MONICA DRAKE, author of Clown Girl

"The only thing crueler and weirder than life in Osborne's Stalinist gulag is the afterlife. Wringing an ergot-laced harvest of agony and absurdity from the bleak Siberian tundra, BY THE TIME WE LEAVE HERE, WE'LL BE FRIENDS manages the nigh-impossible feat of making Kafka's Penal Colony look like a Sweet Valley High romance." --CODY GOODFELLOW, author of Perfect Union, Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, and Radiant Dawn/Ravenous Dusk

"This lyrical spatter of inspired dementia... reminds me of Celine in serious nightmare mode, and yet its brutality is quiet--gentle even. To find yourself enjoying forensic black humor scenes of disgust and revulsion is a tribute to Osborne's writing...." --KRIS SAKNUSSEMM, author of Zanesville, Private Midnight and Enigmatic Pilot

"Like a rat in a bag of deer meat--this is BY THE TIME WE LEAVE talking--[it] scuttles around inside you as you read it, and you come to know that rat as your own heart. And it knows you back, has all along." --STEPHEN GRAHAM JONES, author of It Came from Del Rio

"4.5 out of 5. [E]ven better than expected...will make even the most jaded horror lover squirm. BY THE TIME WE LEAVE HERE, WE'LL BE FRIENDS is a bleary, opium-addled fever dream from a highly talented new author. Osborne is one to watch."--BLOODY-DISGUSTING.COM

More About the Author

J David Osborne lives in Norman, OK with his wife and dog. His work has appeared in WARMED AND BOUND, JOHN SKIPP'S DEMONS, and several other online and print publications. He is the winner of the 2010 Wonderland Award for Best Novel for BY THE TIME WE LEAVE HERE, WE'LL BE FRIENDS. His newest novel is the pitch black Oklahoma noir LOW DOWN DEATH RIGHT EASY.

jdavidosborne.com

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 37 customer reviews
The characters realistic and strange.
Dustin Reade
Hopefully somebody really really smart will review this in little words I can understand, then maybe it will all make sense.
Lea
I'm planning on picking up his second book, which probably says something since I hate reading so much.
kcb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rob Vollmar on January 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Impressive debut novel. It's a difficult feat to write something so economical in language and yet so rich in symbols. This book is not for the easily offended but Osborne uses this tapestry of the extremity of human misery and depravity to tell an important story about the things that really matter once human dignity and social niceties have been stripped violently away. I am convinced that I could read this book fifteen more times and find some new layer hidden within its many clever layers everytime.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By 2tonkitten on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book will get inside your head. I promise. JDO's synthesis of brutally concise prose, bizarre mystical imagery, and serpentine plot twists that somehow reverse expectations without feeling gimmicky shows a remarkable level of craft. Osborne's well-researched expositional details of day-to-day life in a Russian prison are juxtaposed against arcane metaphor and transcendental symbolism evoking a sense of unearthly anxiety in the reader. The first half of the book consists of 27 surreal vignettes that introduce you to the savage world inside the walls of the camp. Characters and crucial plot points are bluntly presented without giving away too much context too quickly. The second half of the book contains only two chapters. JDO slows the narrative down to a crawl and you quickly realize that your presumptions about the nature of the story and characters have been wide of the mark. This book begs for a second reading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jose Quintero on January 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
J. David Osbourne's BY THE TIME WE LEAVE HERE, WE'LL BE FRIENDS is one of those rare stories that follows you long after you've finished reading. A nightmare inducing tale set in one of the most surreal and chilling locations you'll ever find, it'll leave you wondering how you got there, what your next move will be, and, most importantly, how you'll ever manage to get the hell out. Opium fevers, black magic, strange customs and guards that piss on you while laughing, Osbourne has created a stunning debut that leaves you demanding more. Click BUY, grab your coat and get ready to have your balls shoved into your stomach. BY THE TIME WE LEAVE HERE, WE'LL BE FRIENDS is full of monsters just itching to get out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sarah A. Shaw on May 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'll start by saying that the Russian prison setting of this book is realistic and great. The prose is engaging and the characters, while not particularly likable, are intriguing. That said, most of this book is a dream and drug infused build up to a bizarre ending that sneaks up out of the blue. In short, I just didn't get it. Perhaps the author is too subtle or I'm too darn dense. Either way, by the time I left, I was disappointed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Eric Hatch on January 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Built on a creative premise, Osborne's book explores complex relationships from overarching economic systems all the way down to the intimate exchanges that pass for romance in a Siberian gulag. "By the Time We Leave Here, We'll be Friends" delves deeply into the meaning of external systems and institutions as a macro expression of the true nature of humanity and existence. Osborne has cut away the fat and uses only the sparsest exposition to juxtapose seemingly incongruous and bizarre situations and imagery. If you have an open mind and a strong stomach, you can definitely come away from this book with something.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Acid on March 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"A David Lynchian nightmare set in a Russian gulag...paranoid, cold, brutal, haunting, mystifying (in a good way) and totally unforgettable."

That one summarizes it perfectly. The book itself forces a second, third, fourth read to take everything in. I've read it through once and can't seem to think about reading anything else. Still questioning things I read the first time. Honestly I sort've feel like the core group of characters felt near the end of the book. Rage-fully hungry for more.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Atwell on January 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Prepare to have your mind blown. Set against the desolate Siberian landscape, a cast of desperate characters live an experience that challenges humankind to test the very limits of survival. Superlative descriptions overwhelm the senses as you familiarize yourself with a tenebrous situation sprinkled with demonic forces. JDO does a remarkable job of interweaving storylines into a masterful piece of literature that will leave you no doubt convinced that he is more than just the Stephen King of the new generation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dustin Reade on September 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Wow. This is a great book. The writing is solid. The plot original and gripping. The characters realistic and strange. The setting (Siberian Gulag) is so realistically portrayed I read the bulk of the book with a sweater on. It is odd, beautiful and violent. It is also well-informed.
The book deals with prisoners in a Russian Gulag during the reign of Stalin. The men have a cast system in place, where one's transgressions can be read on their skin in the form of tattoos. Body art plays a large part in this book, as nearly every character is decorated in some way with at least one (occasionally horrific) tattoo. This was something the prisoners of that time actually did. Tattoos played a huge part in their lives at the Gulags. There is a pretty cool documentary about it, but I forget what it is called.
Oh well.
For a first novel, this is amazing. Even for an established author this book would surely be counted among one of their best. It pulls no punches, yet never hits you directly. The power of this book lies in its subtly. The horror is surreal and haunting rather than visceral and direct. The whole thing reads like a fever dream. You get lost in it, searching for a way out, your fingertips freezing as you read. In the end, however, you will wish you hadn't finished so quickly. You will wish the rabbit hole had stayed open just a little bit longer.

That is the power of this book.
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