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30 Under 30: An Anthology of Innovative Fiction by Younger Writers Paperback – July 26, 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Blake Butler: Blake Butler has published the novella, Ever (Calamari Press), and the short story collection, Scorch Atlas (Featherproof Books), and has a novel and non-fiction book forthcoming from Harper Perennial. He edits the literary journal, Lamination Colony, and co-edits, No Colony. He also co-runs the independent publishing house, Year of the Liquidator.
Lily Hoang: Lily Hoang has published three novels: Changing (Fairy Tale Review Press, 2008), Parabola (Chiasmus, 2008), and The Evolutionary Revolution (Les Figues Press, 2010).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Starcherone Books (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984213333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984213337
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,966,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Meg Sumner TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
The title alone tells me that I may be too old for this by about a decade, but I jumped into it eagerly. And discovered I'm a lot dumber and decidedly less hip than I had hoped.

Edited by Blake Butler and Lily Hoang
The key is "innovative" and it really delivers on that end...the short stories that make up this collection bend all the rules, if not shattering them entirely. Metaphysical thought mixes with concrete metaphors, and the result feels inspired and youthful, even if it all doesn't make sense. Much of it went over my head, like hearing only the punch line of a joke and nodding amiably but cluelessly while everyone shrieks with laughter.

However, there is some dazzling writing here, and three I specifically want to mention, because they all lie outside the typical expectations about "good writing" may be. For one thing, the iconic story of Robin Hood and his Merry Men gets an experimental twist in "When Robin Hood Fell with An Arrow Through His Heart" by Todd Seabrook. The gang falls apart after Robin's death, not able to even kill themselves with their own arrows, despite trying. "The form starts to go when it hasn't been used," warns Seabrook. Having reached nearly the half-way point in the anthology, I couldn't help but think Seabrook was commenting on the very lack of variety and inventiveness in other forms of writing today, suggesting its "form" has already started to go from lack of innovation.

Joshua Cohen proves himself the master of killer lines in his part of the anthology, with seven short pieces all made visual and distinct with tight and compact wording. "On Location" delivers the line "It is a common problem in our cities today -- When you don't know you're in a movie that you're in.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Among the various disturbing, boring, or poorly written stories are a few gems. With 30 different stories, I though I would enjoy at least a few, but this was overall a very disappointing collection. I assume that I am "missing the point" on some of the stories, but they are overall a bit to avant-garde for my taste
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