Every time I turned a page while reading Every Shallow Cut, I felt fearful of slicing my fingers on the edges of the pages. The fear of a paper cut just compounded the tension and unease I felt while gnashing and slashing my way through this short novel.
An unknown writer narrator loses his house because his books don't sell, loses his wife to "a friend," and is forced to pawn all of his belongings besides his car and his dog to pay his debts. He also manages to get jumped while leaving the pawn shop. He naturally buys a gun with his meager funds and embarks on an emotionally grueling trek across the country to where his brother owns a home. To his brother who hates him. To his brother who hates his dog. This generic guy has name brand problems.
Along the way, our anonymous narrator revisits old lovers, old friends, old houses and old feelings of inadequacy and contempt. His one remaining old friend drugs our narrator because he's having a nervous breakdown after contemplating shooting the agent who never promotes his books.
If you are looking for light, summer beach reading, skip this book and find something else. If you are looking for 175 pages of a brilliant character study of a man being stripped of everything he loves, except his dog (thank goodness!), then I strongly recommend this downer of a book. Through the emotional carnage being spewed across the pages, the brutality actually breeds some humor after awhile. It was like laughing at a gore fest movie like The Evil Dead. After being pummeled page after page, the sting of the emotional slicing and dicing gets swathed in soft bandages and left to heal in a vague ending of HOPE?
Submitted by Dan@Central