The Flame Alphabet

The Flame Alphabet is a novel by Ben Marcus, © Knopf 2012

Language/GPS Article Thing: Understanding Place & Space in a Digital Babel

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About Katie Willingham

I am a recently graduated English major and poet from Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN. I am an avid reader and have a lot to say about what I read.
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4 Responses to The Flame Alphabet

  1. kbergen says:

    Word crisis plus apocalypse? oh my! This book seems right up your alley in terms of thinking about the edges and limitations of language. Funnily enough, I just reread Ender’s Game, and was having similar thoughts about language and ways outside of it (because of the ending with the buggers). hahaa…

  2. Alex Thompson says:

    The cover of this book was enough to get my attention. It’s on my list for future reading, along with about a billion other books. But this review has bumped it up a few spots!

    I don’t know if you’ve read it or not, but China Mieville’s Embassytown takes a similar idea of a word-drug and puts it on a very strange alien planet. The natives have two mouths and and speak with both of them at the same time. The book does an amazing job at getting to the ideas of words and meaning and how concepts can be translated through language. It’s super well written, too.

    • I loved this cover too! Very clever. Like cut paper flames. The book itself is…weird. I’d be interested in your thoughts about how it plays out. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting and as I sort of mentioned with regards to Sam’s “limitations,” the characters get a little lost amidst all the weirdness. Of which there is plenty. And I’m still thinking about it!

      I’m not normally attracted to much sci-fi but the language bent might sell me; I put Embassytown on my wish list!

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