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Cut Paperback – January 1, 2014
"Cut will stick you. It's like a movie, but much less boring. Reading it is part hot knives and part a hot knife to your throat. It's like a knife fight, except that as prose-wielding killers like Adam Cushman well know, there's no such thing as a knife fight." -- Sam Lipsyte, author of Home Land
"CUT is a wild ride of a novel. It'll have you on the seat of your pants anxiously anticipating the next crazy cut. Reading it feels dangerous, even slightly illegal. In two words--the book is a fucking blast."
"Cushman stabs and slashes his way through CUT at a dizzying pace, deftly staging a series of gripping scenarios and character revelations, until all but the exposed heart of the book remains on the blood-slick chopping block--or, rather, the living room floor. He has crafted a vicious and inventively gruesome tale that doesn't let emotions off the hook." -- Kenneth Calhoun, author of Black Moon
"Adam Cushman's CUT runs dark and deep. With prose as sharp as Palahniuk's and a heartbeat as loud as Nathaniel West's, this unforgettable novel goes straight for your jugular."
--Kristopher Jansma, author of The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards
"Adam Cushman is deranged in all the right ways. While some will describe his debut novel Cut as equal doses Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk, and Takashi Miike, the truth is that it is one hundred percent pure, grade-A, primo Cushman. Don't try it if you don't want to be hooked!" -- Jeff Parker, author of Ovenman
About the Author
Adam Cushman holds an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University. His short stories have appeared in The Ampersand Review, Trop, The St. Petersburg Review, El Portal and elsewhere. He teaches fiction writing at Writing Workshops Los Angeles and is the President of Red 14 Films. His novel CUT is published by Black Mountain Press.
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Top Customer Reviews
In the spirit of full disclosure: The author and I were in a fiction workshop at Columbia together. We also share the experience of being moved to tears by David Plante’s reading of a Chekov short story.
I have to say that I found this a thrilling read. Cushman's command of various vernaculars pumps gales of life into these characters despite their death wish. His images are stark and fresh. And the rhythm is unbeatable. William Burroughs meets Kafka meets hip hop. Add to this all the cinematic qualities, and you've got yourself a powerful read.
If you're tired of all the dross that sells out there, pick up Cut and give it a try. You won't regret it.
The novel follows a failed actor into the surprisingly brutal world of suburban knife fighting. The sub-culture Cushman develops over the course of the novel echoes some of the themes in Fight Club - people with nothing to lose finally figuring out how to live through violence.
The book is precarious in the best of ways - there are few books able to keep me uneasy and wondering which way things are going to fall for Gabriel, the main character. Whether he's on the run or gripping the sweaty handle of a knife in someone's living room, you're always waiting for the next slice to come and start the bleeding. I've never been in a knife fight, but based on the picture Cushman paints, this book is one giant allegory. An adrenaline rush that's plenty crazy and soaked in blood.
I have no idea of suburban knife fighting actually exists. I imagine it's not the type of thing you can check into on Foursquare. The thing I enjoyed most about this book is how, in a relatively compressed amount of pages (the book is on the same order as Drive short and direct), Cushman has fabricated an entire subculture with words alone. You can taste the blood, feel your heart race and can't help but wonder if your neighbor is hiding scars under his dress shirt.
- Pat Taylor
I was tempted to award 2 stars but the clever and funny chapter 17 changed my mind. The gruesome theme of a knife fighting club is gross. All of the characters are freaking losers who find justification for maiming and killing . I recommend that you don't snack while you read this book. I don't know what else to say.