Hot Pink

  • Review
By – March 15, 2012
This col­lec­tion of ten short sto­ries may be unlike any oth­er. Author Adam Levin has a gift for the grotesque, the vile, and the absurd, pack­aged as our dark­est but truest impuls­es.

The anthol­o­gy opens with the tale of a fanat­i­cal father deter­mined to per­fect a bulim­ic toy doll for the greater good. Whit­tling away his sav­ings, health, and fam­i­ly ties try­ing to please the demand­ing toy com­pa­ny he’s pitch­ing (the dol­l’s bile is too real­is­tic, then not real­is­tic enough), he even­tu­al­ly goes with Has­bro for some­thing in the low sev­en-fig­ure range” and lives with his wife and three sons bizarrely but hap­pi­ly ever after.

Anoth­er sto­ry, Con­sid­er­ing the Bit­ter­sweet End of Susan Falls,” fea­tures a fif­teen-year-old prodi­gy who, dev­as­tat­ed by the death of her tur­tle, which she killed when test­ing the strength of its shell with her moun­tain bike, throws her­self in front of a car and los­es her legs.

The sto­ries will make you wince and squirm, but it’s dif­fi­cult to keep from turn­ing the page to see what comes next: Levin goes places where most of us would­n’t dare let our mind wander.

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