Praise for A History of Sarcasm
“A wonderful collection of decidedly weird short stories. Every single one of them is a gem. If you don't believe me, why not linger for a while and read the first one, a dysfunctional love story told in alphabetical order? I think you'll like it."
Scott Pack, Me and My Big Mouth.
“The writer William Burroughs once called language “a virus from outer space”, and there’s a sense of that in A History of Sarcasm, where Burton holds words up to the sun and lets the light shine through them.”
David Swann, author of The Last Days of Johnny North
"Frank's characters are startling, fragile, hilarious and chilling. If you haven't had a chance to delve into Frank's world yet, and you're not afraid your visit might turn into a long-term, straight-jacketed order of commitment, I highly recommend it. Every time I think he can't outdo himself again, he ups the ante and takes it one stupendous step further."
Deb Hoag, author of Crashin' The Real
"...these stories are intriguing and erupt into the reader’s experience in a much larger way than the few thousand words of a short story might suggest ... clever and affecting ... the author’s voice and style are so strong and individual ..."
Jane Prior, Dundee University Review of the Arts
‘Frank Burton is a new lobster on the block...’ Pauline Masurel, The Short Review
“Sometimes stories that I’ve used to mythologize my childhood resurface in my mind as actual memories … Perhaps if you tell a story enough times, it will become the truth.”
This admission by Mark Greensleeves, the compulsive liar in the story, Some Facts About Me, sums up Frank Burton’s sharp, surreal and subversive short story collection, A History of Sarcasm. The seventeen stories in this collection blur the boundaries between fact and fantasy through a series of obsessive characters and their skewed versions of reality. Among them are a man who insists on living every aspect of his life in alphabetical order, a girl who believes she is receiving secret messages through the TV, a paranoiac who is pursued by an army of giant lobsters, and an academic who turns into a cat.
Funny, dark and relentlessly off the wall, this collection brings together the best of Frank Burton’s published work with some brand new stories.
Aabehlpt (First published in Etchings)
The Illusion of Security
The Day She Melted (First published in Polluto)
Voom and Bloom (First published in Polluto)
Some Facts About Me
The Opening (First published in The Beat)
The Wondering (First published in Twisted Tongue)
The World (Broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Opening Lines, April 2009)
Joost First (first published in Etchings)
M (first published in Gobstopper)
A History of Sarcasm (First published in Etchings)
The Point (First published on laurahird.com)
Walter Walks Sideways (First published in Skive Quarterly)
Monica Gets Messages
The Nature of Human Happiness