22 Reviews

Henning KochHTMLGIANTSusan TepperBeach SlothChristopher Allen | Derek Osborne | Dennis Cooper | Alex M. Pruteanu | Yahia Lababidi | Kyle Muntz | Alana Angelina Thompson | Matthew J Robinson [1|2] | Timmy Reed | Darryl Price Susan Tepper | More Beach Sloth | Francesco Cirillo | P. Gaubert | Jezza | Pat Pujolas | Jason A.

Flickr The Squall 1944In his review “Fruitfulness in Action“, writer and translator Henning Koch says:

«Reminiscent both of old central Europe in his philosophical high-mindedness, and the twenty-first century in his instinctive grasp of form, timbre and content, Marcus Speh has a wonderful ability to stay on the friendly side of obscurity. He also has a healthy, if almost habitual interest in sex, which is never a bad thing.»

two giant beefeaters by ted hood with beachHTMLGIANT gives 8.9 of 10 points for “Thank You For Your Sperm” (August 9, 2013). Excerpt:

«Marcus Speh writes in a way that is refreshing unique, absurd, sad, and quite touching. ‘Thank You for Your Sperm’ is absurdity done gently from a point of view that’s revealing and surprisingly personal.»

tipping point man on wooden horseThe LitPub recommends TYFYS! — in her latest review at The LitPub, Brooklyn’s retro-chic online lit venue, Susan Tepper writes:

«Thank You For Your Sperm, a story collection of quirky and unusual title, examines both life and magic. Together. For what is life if not imbued with a certain balanced unbalance the author seems to suggest…»

Read all of “A Certain Balanced Unbalance” by Susan Tepper, author of The Merrill Diaries.

sloth and spehIconic Alt Lit writer Beach Sloth reviews and characterizes TYFYS as “surprisingly personal”. Excerpt:

«Marcus Speh explores the tender side of absurdity with ‘Thank You for Your Sperm’. Though this is flash fiction it lingers in the mind for much longer. Entire histories are suggested in these small pieces. Not a word is wasted either. From the title to the last line Marcus Speh uses language economically. Words playfully jump across the page opening entirely new histories within histories. Geography is a key part of these stories as geography too can suggest a mood with a simple word or two. Berlin specifically gets rather affectionate treatment. How all of this comes together is quite impressive.»

metazen review picThis review at Metazen* by writer and editor Christopher Allen includes the first classroom experiment involving TYFYS and reveals many connections between the life of the serious writer and his serious writing. Excerpt:

«There are elements of magical realism in many of the pieces, but there are also stories that remain within, or perhaps kick against, the constraints of realism […] Though many of Speh’s characters look up into the heavens for answers, these stories and essays—for lack of a better word—are journeys into the writer’s interior world, or better: journeys to that interface between the fictional and the real, to that place where art happens.»

**) Metazen.ca no longer exists. The link goes to a saved copy of the text instead.

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 22.45.18Derek Osborne was the first to review  “Thank You For Your Sperm — A review of Marcus Speh’s new collection” @ Gertrude’s Flat — Excerpt:

«In conclusion, I offer all the usual praise: no words wasted; no gratuitous action or shock for shock’s sake; nothing but excellent craft and imagination. But here (and well I know) comes my finest recommendation – whether writer, student, teacher or simply that gentle reader –  you will find yourself picking this book up again and again, flipping the pages, searching for a sentence or phrase where Speh said it so well, or that story you didn’t quite get, that character you want to revisit – how did he put it? – different for everyone, for somehow, it seems, he said it with you there in the room.»

Read the full review.

Timmy Reed 28 April

P Gaubert at Amazon

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Alana Angelina Thompson @Facebook

Matthew Robinson on Goodreads

Darryl Price on TYFYS Apr 27

Susan Tepper facebook 2013-06-29 at 19.05.45

Dennis Cooper

BeachSloth on TYFYS

francesco cirillo @ twitter

Jezza at Amazon

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5 thoughts on “22 Reviews

    • Yes, it is very perceptive, really managed to dig up some of my favorite treasures. I feel wholly understood. Great opening too regarding the art of flash fiction. I’m not sure I can stand to read any other review after this one…but that’s a nice problem to have…

  1. Art is the lie that tells the truth, said Picasso; an axiom that one is reminded of reading Speh’s hallucinatory-realism. Ordinary life is touched up just so, in these postcards from the edge, so that we might get under its skin. In these epic miniatures, the author attempts to etherize the human condition upon the page, His approach is often lyrical, sometimes darkly funny, violent, obscene or alternately tender, psychological, detached. Whatever mood-tool is needed to tackle the elusive problems at hand. Overall, a thoughtful, subtle book of almost-dreams that unstintingly gives pleasure for its abundance of close observations and felicitous phrasing.

    • Lovely overtones and undertones of poetry and psychology in this comment, thank you. “Postcards from the edge” is an apt expression for flash fiction, will remember it. I feel understood by you — “mood-tools” and “almost-dreams” are my preferred instruments of existential exploration. Glad and flattered that you enjoyed this!

  2. Pingback: Fierce Flashing |

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