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Monday, Nov. 2, 2009

Uncage Me (Bleak House Books), edited by Jen Jordan

Book Review

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Uncage Me is billed by Wisconsin’s Bleak House publishers as an anthology of short stories delving into boundaries and limits in the legal, moral, aesthetic and sexual facets of the modern world. It wants to test new fictional realms, to expand literature beyond yesterday and today, and into the vast unknown of the future, with themes ranging from salvation to debauchery, and from holy to arcane. The authors are, by and large, unknown. The book is categorized into themes of “Love Me,” “Lie to Me,” “Get Back at Me,” “Fetishize Me” and “Destroy Me.” As with most anthologies, there is a hodgepodge of talent ranging from rank amateur to those who show great potential. Standout stories include Martyn Waites’ “Threat Management,” Stephen Blackmoore’s “Like that Japanese Chick What Broke Up Van Halen” and Christa Faust’s “The Footjob.” Many of the other stories are violence-laden shock-fiction that do not complement the art of literature, even in the pulps.