'Warning: The following stories contain nudity, violence, pianos, amazingly radiant verbalising, venomous weather, and funny clanking noises in the tiled washrooms of the nation. Viewer discretion is advised.'
'Both highly erotic and anti-pornographic, humanizing investing souls in objectified bodies.'
N A Hayes
'Barry Webster is a classically trained pianist. Parents of budding prodigies beware: If Webster's story collection reflects his experience, you'd do better to put your money on tap dancing. His story "The Royal Conservatory Statement and Fugue for Eight Voices" opens with a piano teacher gazing from her studio window at "dangling icicles, dead squirrels, and tress reft by lightning." The hard chill, the little frozen corpses, the shattered trees preface an aria of beauties and horrors. In a fearless, magnificent run-on sentence, we encounter gold-buckled shoes, slit throats, tulips, scorpions and fresh hearts "whose blood drips in straight lines down the wallpaper and coagulates in little puddles below the electric sockets." Enter the ice-pick-wielding mezzo-sopranos.'
'Montreal author Barry Webster is a classically trained musician, a pianist to be precise, and in his writing, that fact couldn't be made more clear. The Sound of All Flesh, his first published compendium of short fiction, is ruled by rhythm, breathing imagery in and out like the dependable lungs of an accordion.'
'Imagine a world threatened by clowns, enriched by music, and teetering on the edge of change, and you have a taste of the rich offering in this strong debut collection.'
- Porcupine's Quill, Incorporated
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What People are saying about this
'Barry Webster's stories constitute a magical glass window through which we see more clearly into the human story than with ordinary prose. Webster's fiction neither magnifies nor distorts, but its clarity of vision permits a reader to see the longing for a better life that underlies ordinary existence -- that wish his characters (and ourselves) have for a happier past, a more caring and just present, a beneficent future. By unflinchingly revealing the gritty and the glorious, these tales bring into sharp focus previously opaque dimensions to how people function amid restrictive social constructs and a damaged natural world that we inherit and must transform or at least cope with.'
Meet the Author
Barry Webster is a classically-trained pianist and a graduate of the University of Toronto and Concordia University. His fiction has appeared in numerous Canadian journals from the Fiddlehead to the Danforth Review and has been short-listed for a National Magazine Award and the CBC-Quebec Prize. Originally from Toronto, he now lives in East Montreal.
A seasoned traveller, Webster was living in Berlin the night the Wall fell, has lived in England and hitch-hiked from Alber
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