July Book Club Selection: 'Staring into the Abyss' by Richard Thomas

LitReactor Book Club:  'Staring into the Abyss' by Richard Thomas

Every month here at LitReactor, we celebrate reading with a new selection in our Book Club. For July we will be reading and discussing Staring into the Abyss by LitReactor's own Richard Thomas.  Here's a synopsis:

In this collection of short stories Richard Thomas shows us in dark, layered prose the human condition in all of its beauty and dysfunction. A man sits in a high tower making tiny, mechanical birds, longing for the day when he might see the sky again. A couple spends an evening in an underground sex club where jealousy and possession are the means of barter. A woman is victimized as a child, and turns that rage and vengeance into a lifelong mission, only to self-destruct, and become exactly what she battled against. These 20 stories will take you into the darkness, and sometimes bring you back. But now and then there is no getting out, the lights have faded, the pitch black wrapping around you like a festering blanket of lies. What will you do now? It's eat or be eaten—so bring a strong stomach and a hearty appetite.

Author: Richard Thomas is the author of three books—his debut novel, Transubstantiate (Otherworld Publications), and two short story collections, Herniated Roots (Snubnose Press) and Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press). He has published over 75 stories online and in print, including the Shivers VI anthology (Cemetery Dance) with Stephen King and Peter Straub. He is also the editor of two anthologies, both out in 2014: The Lineup (Black Lawrence Press) and Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk. In his spare time he is a featured book critic at The Nervous Breakdown, as well as a columnist at LitReactor. He is represented by Paula Munier at the Talcott Notch Literary Agency.

Discussion for Staring into the Abyss will kick off on July 1st, but you should pick up the book and start reading ASAP!  (We've provided a handy link below). Once you're locked and loaded, you can announce your presence in the Book Club. (No invitation needed!)  That thread is where all discussion about the book will go down.

If you read our June Book Club selection, They Don't Dance Much by James Ross, make sure you check out that thread as discussion there has officially started.

Happy reading!

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Joshua Chaplinsky

News by Joshua Chaplinsky

Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor. He is the author of The Paradox Twins (CLASH Books), the story collection Whispers in the Ear of A Dreaming Ape, and the parody Kanye West—Reanimator. His short fiction has been published by Vice, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Severed Press, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, Broken River Books, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @jaceycockrobin. More info at joshuachaplinsky.com and unravelingtheparadox.com.

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MarkMatthews's picture
MarkMatthews June 4, 2013 - 8:21am

Glad to see this book here. This is the anthology collection for those of us who thought we didn't like anthologies. Well, at least that was my case.  I devoured this book in morsels, and recomend it highly. The pieces both fully respect the intelligence of the reader yet do not ask them to work too hard. I wasn't sure what the author's self-described 'neo-noir transgressive slipstream fiction' was, but after reading this, you'll see that if fits.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies June 9, 2013 - 1:41pm

thanks, mark!