RaveThe RumpusIt’s gripping. At just over three hundred pages, it only took me a night and a half to finish this love letter to the lesbian, Central Florida lifestyle ... I would’ve finished it sooner if sleep hadn’t taken me hostage for a time ... It’s labeled variously as literary fiction or lesbian literature, but With Teeth is more like a horror story to me ... as I read the last e-mail Sammie sends Samson, literal chills went up my spine ... You know you shouldn’t keep watching the train wreck that is Sammie’s life happening page after page, but much like each new article about Florida Man you see on your Twitter feed, you’re helpless to the pull ... sometimes Sammie comes up with golden nuggets about being queer that take your breath away ... almost three hundred pages from the point of view of a character whom I was trying to like, or at least to empathize with, and suddenly those last few pages hit. Once you read them, you’ll understand when I say Arnett has a gift for the Shyamalan-style twist.
Lincoln Michel and Nadxieli Nieto
RaveThe RumpusAt just over three hundred pages, this is an anthology that might at first seem intimidating, but each story is less than fifteen hundred words, and the forty-two stories fly by. Even if one doesn’t tickle your fancy, it’s over so quickly that you can move on to the next with no hesitation. The artwork at the “head” of each section is penned by Nieto herself, and the understated, black-and-white prints are stunning additions to the anthology. There is so much beautiful, fantastic prose in this anthology ... There are so many astonishing turns of phrases and details in these very small stories ... This anthology is also one of the most diverse I’ve seen in horror ... This is very clearly an anthology that was crafted with love of the genre. Nothing makes a horror writer seeing that happier—to know our genre is being treated with such attention and care. The words, the illustrations, even the cover—everything works together to make Tiny Nightmares a must-read[.]
Carmen Maria Machado
RaveThe RumpusI didn’t revel in Machado’s story of abuse. I found hope in it, an understanding, a hand held out, and a soft smile that said It’s okay, I know this pain, too. There was a rush of validation, a terror of being seen on every page ... Machado is good at wringing humor out of places it shouldn’t belong ... Something in the cleaving of Machado, the way she talks directly to the \'you\' of her past self, felt like the knife was digging right into me ... Our stories are not interchangeable, but Machado’s is one all queer people can find meaning and comfort from ... Machado is not just a beautiful writer, she’s a brilliant writer, and it’s easy to feel outmaneuvered as the pages slip through your fingers. Any time a bit of writing caught my breath, I dog-eared the page; I ended up with more pages with creased corners than not ... an act of bravery.